Saturday, 7 July 2007

Strong US job growth and UK and German manufacturing

The week ended on a positive note as far as economic data are concerned

MarketWatch reports that US job growth continues to be healthy.

The U.S. economy continued to add jobs at a healthy pace in June, with nonfarm payrolls rising by 132,000, the Labor Department reported Friday.

The unemployment rate remained at a very low 4.5% in June, while average hourly wages and the number of hours worked rose.

... [B]ig revisions in April and May totaling 75,000 put total employment above expectations.

Also above expectations were UK industrial output in May. Reuters reports:

The Office for National Statistics said industrial output rose 0.6 percent in May, its biggest month-on-month jump since November, helped by major shipbuilding work and rising output from the North Sea Buzzard oil field. Analysts had forecast a 0.3 percent gain.

Manufacturing output also rose more quickly than expected, up 0.4 percent on the month against forecasts for a 0.3 percent increase...

"It highlights that policymakers can continue to focus on the upside risks to inflation in the medium term, with few signs of a slowdown in output or expenditure growth in the economy," said Alan Castle, economist at Lehman Brothers.

On the strength of the latest figures, Castle reckons second quarter GDP growth could come in stronger than the 0.7 percent expansion in the first three months of this year.

On the other hand, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research estimates that the UK economy grew 0.7 percent in the three months ending June, slightly less than the estimated 0.8 percent growth in the three months to May.

Manufacturing also surprised on the upside in Germany in May. From Bloomberg:

Manufacturing orders in Germany, Europe's largest economy, increased more than forecast in May, led by foreign demand for investment and consumer goods.

Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, rose 3.2 percent from April, when they dropped 1.6 percent, the Economy and Technology Ministry in Berlin said today. Economists expected a gain of 0.6 percent, according to the median of 37 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. From May 2006, orders rose 7.5 percent.


Anonymous said...

Hi Lim,

Noticed that you were able to accuately identify that US dollar was overvalued much ahead of many others in the industry. Could you please provide your perspective on how the future is looking for the Singapore dolaar vs. Indian rupee?

lim said...

Sorry, I don't monitor the Indian rupee.

For what it's worth, my gut says it should appreciate against the Singapore dollar because of the fast-growing Indian economy. But there are plenty of risks with the Indian economy and, in any case, my gut hasn't been feeling so good lately.

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