Friday, 17 July 2009

China reports 7.9 percent growth, US data mixed

China's stimulus programme seems to be working. From AFP/CNA:

China's economy grew 7.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2009, the government said Thursday, in a startling turnaround for the Asian powerhouse fuelled by a massive stimulus package.

Expansion in the world's third biggest economy picked up pace again after growing by just 6.1 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, which was the slowest growth in more than a decade.

The turnaround in the US looks likely to be less dramatic. From Bloomberg:

Manufacturing in the Philadelphia region shrank at a faster pace than forecast as sales and employment deteriorated.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index fell to minus 7.5 from a nine-month high of minus 2.2 in June, the bank said today...

Still, other reports on Thursday were encouraging.

Initial jobless claims dropped by 47,000 to 522,000, lower than forecast, in the week ended July 11, from a revised 569,000 the prior week. The total number of people collecting unemployment insurance plunged by a record 642,000, also reflecting seasonal issues surrounding the closures at carmakers, a Labor analyst said...

Another report today showed confidence among U.S. homebuilders rose this month to the highest level since September. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence increased to 17 from 15 in June as measures of sales and of prospective buyer traffic gained.

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