Thursday, 23 July 2009

Eurozone industrial orders dip

Eurozone industrial orders fell again in May. Bloomberg reports:

European industrial orders declined more than economists expected in May as the worst recession in six decades curtailed demand for machines and equipment.

Orders to industrial companies in the euro region fell 30.1 percent from a year earlier, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That was the 10th straight drop and followed a record 35.3 percent decline in April. Economists forecast a 27.9 percent fall in May, according to the median of 14 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. From the prior month, May orders fell 0.2 percent, also more than economists expected.

Still, the May numbers indicate some stabilisation.

“The overall picture is that the industrial sector is close to stabilizing and probably will come out of recession not in the second quarter but in the third quarter,” said Nick Kounis, chief European economist at Fortis Bank Nederland Holding NV in Amsterdam. He forecasts the euro-area economy will grow 0.1 percent this quarter from the previous three months.

French consumer spending data out on Wednesday add to signs of an improving outlook. From Bloomberg:

French consumer spending rose the most in five months in June as clothing retailers brought forward seasonal sales and consumer confidence improved.

Spending on manufactured goods rose 1.4 percent from May, when it fell 0.2 percent, Paris-based national statistics office Insee said today. The increase, the most since January, topped the median forecast for a 0.3 percent gain in a survey of 21 economists by Bloomberg News.

The French are not the only ones spending. Canadian retail sales also rose in May. Again from Bloomberg:

Canadian retail sales rose more than expected in May, posting the fourth gain in five months, led by sales of automobiles and personal care products.

Sales rose 1.2 percent to C$34 billion ($30.8 billion), Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists expected a 0.5 percent increase in May, based on the median of 21 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

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