Yesterday's economic reports painted a mixed picture of the US economy. From Reuters:
U.S. private-sector job growth slowed in December and the number of people receiving jobless benefits hit a two-year high in late December, reports released on Thursday showed.
Even so, U.S. stocks rose as traders worst fears about the jobs data did not materialize and raised hopes the economy may avoid a recession...
ADP...said U.S. private employers added 40,000 jobs in December...
First-time applications for state unemployment insurance fell to a seasonally adjusted 336,000 last week, from 357,000 the prior week, the government said.
In contrast with the previous day though, there was a positive surprise in manufacturing.
In another government report, new orders at U.S. factories surged a larger-than-expected 1.5 percent in November on a big rise in orders for nondurable goods, the Commerce Department said.
And more contrast comes from the employment trend in Germany. From Bloomberg:
Germany's unemployment rate fell to the lowest in almost 15 years in December as manufacturers of cars and industrial equipment hired staff to work off a backlog of orders.
The jobless rate, adjusted for seasonal swings, slid to 8.4 percent, the lowest level since March 1993, the Federal Labor Office in Nuremberg said today. The adjusted number of people out of work fell by 78,000 to 3.51 million, more than double the decline of 35,000 that economists expected, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.
This, together with a report that eurozone M3 money supply grew 12.3 percent in November from a year earlier, suggests that the ECB's fight against inflation may not be over.