Saturday, 16 May 2009

Decline in US industrial production slows

After some disappointments in economic reports earlier in the week, Friday's US data turned out better. Bloomberg reports:

Industrial production contracted the least since October last month and New York’s manufacturing slump eased further in May, signaling the recession’s grip is loosening.

Output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities decreased 0.5 percent last month, less than forecast, after dropping 1.7 percent in March, Federal Reserve figures showed today in Washington. The New York Fed’s Empire state manufacturing index rose to minus 4.6, also beating economists’ estimates...

Consumer sentiment improved for a third straight month in May, a private survey showed. The Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment rose to 67.9 from 65.1 in April. The index reached a three-decade low of 55.3 in November.

Still, the second quarter GDP estimate by Macroeconomic Advisers has now been revised downward. From Real Time Economics:

According to Macroeconomic Advisers‘ GDP tracking estimate, second quarter GDP was on pace to decline just 0.5%, at an annual rate, as recently as Tuesday...

On Friday, following release of April industrial production figures showing lower-than expected vehicle assemblies, second quarter GDP is tracking a 1.3% decline, according to Macroeconomic Advisers.

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