Thursday, 4 January 2007

US manufacturing steady, other data mixed

Reuters reports the economic news from the US yesterday.

[T]he Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity climbed to 51.4 from 49.5 in November -- above the 50-threshold that separates growth from contraction. Analysts had forecast a reading of 49.9...

Analysts were also encouraged by the decline in the ISM's prices paid index, which measures inflation pressures at the industrial level. The index fell to 47.5 from 53.5, while a measure of new orders climbed to 52.1 from 48.7...

Construction spending...fell 0.2 percent in November, led by an eighth straight drop in private residential building that more than offset record highs in nonresidential and public construction...

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinance and purchase loans, rose 3.6 percent last week...

The monthly ADP National Employment Report showed private sector employers shed 40,000 jobs after adding 158,000 jobs in November...

Meanwhile, things look more positive elsewhere.

In Germany, unemployment fell in December, reports Bloomberg.

The number of people out of work, adjusted for seasonal swings, fell 108,000 to 4.12 million, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency said. The jobless rate fell to 9.8 percent, the lowest since August 2002, from 10.1 percent...

Germany's DIW economic institute, the largest of the country's six leading research institutes, today raised its outlook for growth this year to 1.7 percent from 1.4 percent. Gross domestic product may even reach 2.5 percent next year, the Berlin-based DIW said.

In the UK, Reuters reports that construction accelerated in December, the Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply's index for construction rising to 57.5 from 54.8 in November.

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