Thursday, 6 March 2008

US economic growth decelerating

The deterioration in the US economy appears to be broadening. Reuters reports:

The Federal Reserve said that all of its districts reported decelerating economic growth in early 2008, while prices pressed upward almost everywhere in the United States...

A government report showed new orders at U.S. factories fell 2.5 percent in January. That was the first decline since August...

The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index came in at 49.3, above the record-low 44.6 in January...

A fall of 23,000 private sector jobs in February, reported by ADP Employer Services compares with a downwardly revised 119,000 jobs added in January.

The rebound in the ISM services index was a relative bright spot, one that was mirrored in Europe. Again from Reuters:

For the euro currency zone as a whole, the RBS/NTC Eurozone Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rebounded in February [to] 52.3, up from 50.6 in January...

The composite PMI index rose to 52.8, from 51.8 in January.

But European retail sales in January was not overly impressive.

Data from the European Union statistics office showed retail sales in the 15 countries using the euro rose 0.4 percent in January after three straight months of shrinkage but dipped 0.1 percent year-on-year, the third decline in a row.

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