Tuesday, 27 January 2009

US economic indicators turn up

There were positive surprises for US economic data on Monday. From Bloomberg:

Two measures of U.S. economic performance unexpectedly turned positive in December...

The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes rose 6.5 percent to an annual rate of 4.74 million last month, propelled by the biggest slump in prices since the Great Depression. The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators increased 0.3 percent as the supply of money expanded.

Unfortunately, job losses are also going up.

Analysts said the indicators, while reflecting Federal Reserve and Treasury efforts to stave off a complete collapse of the economy, needed to be viewed against the backdrop of surging firings -- at least 74,000 announced today alone. The job losses, they said, may deepen the pullback in consumer spending and make banks more reluctant to lend, exacerbating what’s already the longest recession since 1982.

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