Monday, 8 May 2006

US consumer credit, machine tool demand slows

If the jobs report on Friday was a little ambiguous in indicating the direction of the US economy, there have been other reports recently suggesting that the economy may yet be cooling.

Also out on Friday was the Federal Reserve's report on consumer credit. Reuters has the story:

U.S. consumer credit rose a smaller-than-expected $2.52 billion in March, the smallest rise since November, due to a drop in credit card debt, a Federal Reserve report showed on Friday...

Consumer credit outstanding rose to $2.161 trillion in March, rising at a 1.4 percent annual rate from $2.159 trillion the previous month.

US machine tool demand also fell in March although the longer-term uptrend appears to be intact.

The American Machine Tool Distributors' Association (AMTDA) and the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) said total U.S. March machine tool demand stood at $247.21 million, down 5.8 percent from $262.35 million in February. March demand was also 10 percent lower than $274.57 million in March 2005...

Total U.S. machine tool demand in the first three months of this year stood at $725.59 million, up 4.8 percent from $692.41 million in the same 2005 period.

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