Tuesday, 8 August 2006

US consumer credit rises, UK and Japanese economic growth maintained

The FOMC makes its interest rate decision later today. In the meantime, we have this Reuters report on US consumer credit growth.

U.S. consumer credit rose by a bigger-than-expected $10.27 billion in June on a surge in credit card debt, a Federal Reserve Report on Monday showed...

Consumer credit outstanding rose to $2.186 trillion in June, rising at a 5.66 percent annual rate from $2.176 trillion the prior month.

Also possibly weighing on the economy is another rise in oil prices. Again from Reuters:

U.S. crude surged 3 percent to $77 a barrel on Monday after pipeline damage forced BP to shut down an Alaskan oil field that pumps 8 percent of U.S. domestic output.

The Bank of England raised interest rates last week. Perhaps they were right in doing so, as house prices climbed in the second quarter.

House prices in England and Wales climbed 7.7 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, taking the average cost of a home to within a whisker of 200,000 pounds as the number of sales soared, official data showed on Tuesday.

The Land Registry said the number of houses sold jumped by almost a quarter to 268,430 in the three months to June compared with the same period in 2005, with all regions in England and Wales showing an increase in average prices.

And the UK economy maintained a strong momentum into July.

Britain's economy grew 0.8 percent in the three months to July compared with the previous three months, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research projected on Tuesday.

On the other hand, industrial output was weaker than expected in June.

Industrial output unexpectedly fell in June because of maintenance work in the oil and gas sectors, official data showed on Monday.

The Office for National Statistics said that overall industrial output fell 0.1 percent in June from May, leaving it 0.7 percent lower than a year earlier...

Manufacturing output was also weaker than expected, rising by just 0.1 percent in June against forecasts of a 0.2 percent increase. That left factory output 0.9 percent higher than a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Japan kicks off a busy week for economic news with its leading index, reported by Bloomberg:

Japan's broadest index of future economic activity showed the current expansion will probably become the longest in the postwar era.

The leading index, which comprises indicators including machinery orders and stock prices, was at 50 in June from 77.3 in May, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. A number at 50 or above signals the economy will grow in the next three to six months. The result was in line with the median forecast of 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

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