Wednesday, 28 January 2009

German business confidence up, US consumer confidence down

German business confidence unexpectedly rose in December. Bloomberg reports:

The Ifo institute in Munich said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, increased to 83 from 82.7 in December. Economists expected a drop to 81, the median of 37 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey shows.

The same can't be said of US consumer confidence. Again from Bloomberg:

Consumer confidence in the U.S. sank to the lowest level on record in January as jobs evaporated and home values sank, signaling a further slide in spending at the start of 2009.

The Conference Board’s index, records for which go back to 1967, fell to 37.7, lower than forecast. A separate report showed the drop in house prices in major metropolitan areas deepened in November. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index fell 18.2 percent from a year earlier, the most since it began in 2001.

US stocks managed to finish the day up though.

Stocks rose as better-than-forecast earnings from companies including Texas Instruments Inc. and Travelers Cos. overshadowed the grim economic news. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 1.1 percent to close at 845.71. Treasuries moved higher, sending benchmark 10-year note yields to 2.53 percent at 4:17 p.m. in New York from 2.64 percent late yesterday.

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