Wednesday, 1 June 2005

US consumer outlook only one to rise

Yesterday, there was not a lot of good news on the global economic front.

European Business, Consumer Confidence Dropped in May
European business confidence dropped to a 21-month low in May and consumers were the most pessimistic in a year as oil prices around $50 a barrel and unemployment near a five-year high dimmed the outlook for economic growth.

An index gauging confidence among 35,000 executives in the dozen euro nations fell to minus 11 from April's minus 9, the European Commission said today in Brussels. Economists expected minus 10, the median of 29 forecasts showed. An index of consumer sentiment dropped to minus 15 from minus 13, the commission said...

U.S. Economy: Consumer Confidence Rises; Manufacturing Slows
U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly rebounded this month and business in the Chicago area expanded at a slower pace, evidence of uneven growth in the economy, private reports showed.

The Conference Board's index of consumer sentiment increased to 102.2 during the month from 97.5 in April, the New York-based research group said today. An index of Chicago-area business, a center of manufacturing, fell to an almost two-year low of 54.1, the National Association of Purchasing-Management-Chicago said. Readings above 50 indicate growth...

Again, the US consumer seems to be the last man standing. He may be getting lonely.

Morgan Stanley's economists possibly think so. Andy Xie warns in his latest commentary that the trade cycle has turned while his chief economist Stephen Roach now thinks that global imbalances may be resolved not by a rise in US interest rates but by a fall in interest rates elsewhere.

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