Yesterday's economic reports were relatively positive.
Japan's bank lending stopped declining in January. From Bloomberg:
Outstanding loans were unchanged from the year earlier, the first time the value hasn't dropped since December 1997, the Bank of Japan said in Tokyo today...
M2 plus CDs, the main measure of money supply that tracks bank savings, cash in circulation and certificates of deposit, rose 1.9 percent in January from a year earlier, the bank said in a separate report released today.
There were also other positive indicators on the Japanese economy.
The Economy Watchers outlook index, which measures people's economic expectations for the next two to three months, rose to 56.4 points in January, the highest since the survey began in 2000.
In the UK, manufacturing output grew in December, Reuters reports:
The Office for National Statistics said that manufacturing output also beat expectations in December, rising 0.3 percent after an upwardly revised 0.5 percent increase in November and versus analysts' expectations of a 0.2 percent rise. But it fell on a year earlier and over 2005 as a whole...
The wider industrial sector -- which includes Britain's North Sea oil fields -- also posted the second monthly rise in a row, up 0.2 percent versus forecasts of a 0.3 percent rise.
And in Germany, a rise in December helped exports hit a record in 2005, according to Bloomberg.
German exports rose in December to lift last year's foreign sales to a record, led by demand from Asia.
Sales abroad, adjusted for working days and seasonal changes, rose 0.8 percent from November, when they dropped 1.6 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today in a faxed statement. Economists expected an increase of 1.6 percent, the median of 11 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey showed. In 2005, exports rose 7.5 percent to a record 786 billion euros...
Germany's trade surplus narrowed to 9.2 billion euros in December from 13.3 billion euros in November, the statistics office said. In 2005, the surplus widened to 160 billion euros from 156 billion euros in 2004...
Imports rose 8.7 percent last year... Imports rose 5.8 percent in December.