Friday, 7 August 2009

BoE in surprise move amid improving global economy

Evidence of global economic recovery continued to build on Thursday.

In Japan, the leading index climbed again in June. Bloomberg reports:

Japan’s broadest indicator of economic health rose at the fastest pace in 29 years, signaling the nation’s deepest postwar recession is easing.

The leading index, a composite of 12 indicators including stock prices and consumer confidence, climbed to 79.8 in June from 76.9 in May, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. It the largest advance since comparable data were made available in January 1980...

Coincident index, a measure of the current state of the economy, rose for a third month to 87.8. The three-month moving- average of the index, which the government uses to make its monthly evaluation, rose to 87 in June, the second monthly increase, the report showed.

In Europe, Italy saw industrial production fall 1.2 percent in June but German factory orders jumped 4.5 percent that month, the most in two years and the fourth successive monthly gain.

However, some central bankers are taking no chances with the recovery. Certainly not the Bank of England. From Reuters:

The Bank of England took a far bigger step than expected to boost the recession-hit economy on Thursday, stunning markets by expanding its quantitative easing plan to 175 billion pounds from 125 billion.

The central bank said Britain's downturn appeared to have been deeper than previously thought and, while the trough in output was near and some recovery was on the way, tight credit conditions would remain a considerable drag.

The European Central Bank appears to be taking a more sanguine stance. From Bloomberg:

European Central Bank President Jean- Claude Trichet indicated the economy may recover sooner than previously anticipated and signaled the bank is unlikely to provide any further stimulus.

“The overall mood today is a little bit better than it was before,” Trichet said at a press conference in Frankfurt after the ECB left its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 1 percent. Rates are “appropriate” and policy makers are “satisfied” with their asset-purchase program and measures to improve the flow of credit, he said.

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