Thursday's economic reports show that prospects for a global economic recovery remain intact.
Bloomberg reports that US existing home sales rose for a third consecutive month in June.
Sales of existing homes in the U.S. rose in June for a third consecutive month, signaling the four- year slump that precipitated the financial crisis is ending.
Purchases climbed 3.6 percent to an annual rate of 4.89 million, stronger than forecast and the highest level since October, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. Another report showed jobless claims rose last week from a six-month low.
Investors are literally buying into the recovery story.
The S&P 500 rose 2.3 percent to close at 976.29 in New York, as EBay Inc., Ford Motor Co. and AT&T Inc. posted better- than-estimated results, while the homebuilder supercomposite gauge surged 5.2 percent. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note jumped to 3.67 percent at 4:15 p.m. New York time from 3.55 percent late yesterday.
Japan also had better news to report on Thursday. Again from Bloomberg:
Japan’s exports fell in June at the slowest pace this year as demand picked up worldwide, helping the trade surplus widen for the first time in 20 months and adding to evidence the economy is on the path to recovery.
Shipments abroad dropped 35.7 percent from a year earlier, easing from a 40.9 percent decline in May, the Finance Ministry said today in Tokyo. Compared with a month earlier, shipments rose 1.1 percent...
Exports measured by volume increased 5.7 percent in June on seasonally adjusted basis, the central bank said today. Shipments have risen for four months running by that measure, which correlates closely with the export component of GDP, according to London-based Capital Economics Ltd.
Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predict the rebound in exports helped the world’s second-largest economy expand an annualized 2.4 percent in the three months ended June 30. That would end four consecutive quarters of negative growth that shrunk gross domestic product down to its 2003 size.
The UK economy also looks increasingly likely to emerge from recession soon. From Reuters:
Retail sales jumped at three times the rate analysts expected last month as hot weather and early summer discounting boosted sales of clothes, official data showed on Thursday.
Separate figures from the British Bankers Association showed mortgage approvals rose in June to their highest level in over year, providing further evidence the economy is emerging from recession...
The Office for National Statistics said sales volumes rose 1.2 percent last month, above all forecasts in a Reuters poll and more than reversing a 0.9 percent fall in May. The annual rate picked up to 2.9 percent, its strongest this year.