Friday, 15 May 2009

Economic indicators take a negative turn

James Hamilton looked at the latest US economic indicators and asked "Where's my recovery, dude?"

[T]he Labor Department reported today that seasonally adjusted new claims for unemployment insurance rose by 32,000 for the most recent available week. That bumps the 4-week average to 630,000, up 6,000 from its value the previous week...

Well, if recovery cannot be discerned from the latest US data, it's not apparent in today's European GDP report either. From Bloomberg:

Europe’s economy contracted at a record pace in the first quarter as companies cut output and jobs to survive the worst global slump in more than six decades.

Gross domestic product in the 16-member euro region dropped 2.5 percent from the fourth quarter, when it fell 1.6 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That’s the biggest drop since the euro-area GDP data were first compiled in 1995 and exceeded the 2 percent decline economists expected in a Bloomberg News survey. Inflation held at 0.6 percent in April, a separate report showed.

And while there had been some better numbers from Japan earlier in the week, today's machinery orders report suggests that its economy is likely to continue to struggle. From AFP/CNA:

Japan's core machinery orders, a leading indicator of corporate capital spending, fell by a smaller-than-expected 1.3 per cent in March from the previous month, official data showed on Friday...

The data also showed core machinery orders dropped 9.9 per cent in the three months to March compared with the previous quarter.

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