Friday, 10 July 2009

US initial jobless claims fall, German exports rise

The global economy still appears to be on track towards recovery.

In the US, Bloomberg reports that initial jobless claims fell last week to the lowest since January.

Initial jobless claims fell by 52,000 to 565,000, a lower level than forecast, in the week ended July 4, from a revised 617,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said today in Washington...

The four-week moving average of initial claims, a less volatile measure, fell to 606,000 last week from 616,000.

Continuing claims soared by 159,000, the most since early May, in the week ended June 27 to 6.88 million.

There were also encouraging signs from Europe. From Bloomberg:

German exports rose in May, the third report this week to suggest Europe’s largest economy may be shaking off its worst recession since World War II.

Sales abroad, adjusted for working days and seasonal changes, increased 0.3 percent from April, when they dropped 5 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. Economists expected a gain of 1.5 percent in May, according to the median of 10 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey...

Factory orders rose 4.4 percent in May from April, driven by an 8.2 percent gain in exports to countries outside the euro area. Industrial production increased 3.7 percent in May, the biggest gain in 16 years.

At least the BoE is encouraged enough to ease up on its monetary easing. From Reuters:

The Bank of England cut the pace at which it pumps money into the economy on Thursday after unexpectedly deciding not to expand its 125 billion pound asset buying scheme, raising fears it may stop purchases completely...

[T]he Bank reduced weekly gilt purchases to 4.5 billion pounds from 6.5 billion, with the last money to be spent on July 29 before it decides whether to fund future purchases at its August 6 policy meeting.

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