The latest economic data continue to show a weak global economy that is gradually improving.
Eurozone industrial orders fell 0.8 percent in March and Germany confirmed a dramatic 3.8 percent contraction in GDP in the first quarter.
However, German consumer confidence held steady in June while business confidence improved in May, the IFO index rising for a second month to 84.2 from 83.7 in April.
Meanwhile French consumer spending on manufactured goods increased 0.7 percent in March.
And US consumer spending also looks likely to hold up better than previously expected. From Bloomberg:
Confidence among U.S. consumers jumped in May by the most in six years, fueling speculation the economy will recover later this year.
The Conference Board’s sentiment index surged to 54.9, higher than forecast, according to figures from the New York- based research group today...
The 28-point jump in confidence over April and May is the biggest two-month rally since records began in 1967. The measure reached its lowest point ever in February, with a reading of 25.3.
On a more negative note, however, US home prices continued to decline in March.
... A report from S&P/Case-Shiller today showed home prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas fell a more-than-forecast 18.7 percent in March from the same month last year, as foreclosures surged.
The better consumer confidence though was enough to drive US stocks up for the first time in five sessions. The S&P 500 jumped 2.6 percent on Tuesday.