Wednesday, 7 September 2005

UK economy growing, US and German data upbeat

The UK economy continues to eke out some growth.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported yesterday that manufacturing production rose by 0.1 percent in July. Overall industrial production, however, fell 0.3 percent.

For the service sector, the findings from a quarterly survey of the sector carried out in August by the Confederation of British Industry and accountancy firm Grant Thornton and released today showed that business volume expectations for the coming quarter consumer services were flat, while for business and professional services, the volume of business is expected to slow over the coming quarter.

Nevertheless, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research estimates that the British economy grew by 0.5 percent in the three months to August, up from 0.4 percent in the three months to July.

Elsewhere in the world, there was upbeat news from the US, where the non-manufacturing ISM index rose to 65.0 in August, its highest reading since April 2004, from 60.5 in July, and from Germany, where manufacturing orders rose 3.7 percent in July compared with 2.3 percent in the previous month.

Japan, however, saw household spending fall 3.7 percent in July from a year earlier in price-adjusted real terms and 4.2 percent from June on a seasonally adjusted basis. The Cabinet Office's consumer sentiment index for July, on the other hand, rose 1.5 points from the previous month to 48.1 on an unadjusted basis.

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