Tuesday, 31 January 2006

US consumer spending and Japanese industrial output rise in December

US consumer spending is not quite spent. Reuters reports:

U.S. consumer spending shot ahead a strong 0.9 percent in December... [T]he surprisingly big spending jump outstripped an as-expected 0.4 percent rise in personal income, the Commerce Department report showed.

Inflation remains relatively muted.

The department's overall price gauge held steady in December and its core inflation gauge, which strips out food and energy costs, moved up just 0.1 percent... Over the past 12 months, core prices have risen 1.9 percent...

And manufacturing remains steady.

A separate report showed manufacturing activity in the U.S. Midwest held steady last month. The Chicago Fed said its manufacturing index came in at 112.4 in December, the same as November's upwardly revised reading.

There was also steady growth in Japanese industrial production in December.

Industrial output rose by 1.4 percent in December, just under a revised 1.5 percent in November and below the market expectation of 1.8 percent growth. Year-on-year, output grew by 3.8 percent in December. Shipments picked up 1.1 percent from November while inventory stockpiles also grew, by 0.3 percent...

Production is expected to increase again by 0.9 percent month-on-month in January but then fall by 1.4 percent in February, said the survey of manufacturers by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

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