Saturday, 22 July 2006

China acts to cool economy, others may do so too

China has taken additional steps to cool its economy. From AFP/CNA:

The People's Bank of China said the required deposit reserve ratio for commercial lenders would rise 0.5 percentage point to 8.5 percent on August 15 in a bid to cut the amount of money fueling a liquidity-driven investment boom.

This comes on the back of reports that China's real estate index rose 1.06 points from May to 102.93 points in June and house prices rose 5.8 percent in June over the same period last year. Meanwhile, a report by the National Development and Reform Commission sees an acceleration of domestic consumption in the second half of the year while the Asian Development Bank expects China's growth to hit 10.1 percent this year while East Asia as a whole sees 7.5 percent growth.

India, the other big emerging Asian economy may also need cooling. Again from AFP/CNA:

India's inflation rate fell but analysts still forecast the central bank would hike a key interest rate next week to restrain prices in the fast-growing economy...

Inflation slipped to 4.68 percent for the week ended July 8 from 4.96 percent the previous week due to cheaper food prices, official data showed.

But the rate measured by the wholesale price index ... was up more than two-tenths of a percentage point from its year-ago level of 4.46 per cent.

The biggest economy in Asia, Japan, is not as hot, its all-industry index falling 0.2 percent in May, while the biggest economy in the world, the US, could be slowing as the Economic Cycle Research Institute's leading index for last week was flat at 136.9

But Europe is seeing good growth. From Reuters/CNN:

France said household spending rose at its fastest pace in a year in June, lifting expenditure for the April-June period as a whole 1.5 percent, after a 1.2 percent rise in the previous quarter in the euro zone's second-largest economy.

Britain, the first major European economy to produce an estimate of second-quarter GDP, said gross domestic product rose at its fastest clip in two years in the period, up 0.8 percent from the previous quarter. Britain trades heavily with the euro zone...

Italy's July 9 football World Cup win gave a boost to consumer morale in July, according to thinktank ISAE on Friday, which said its consumer confidence index rose to 108.7 from 106.9 last month.

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