Thursday, 6 August 2009

US services continue to shrink, better data from Europe

After Tuesday's positive report showing a strong 3.6 percent rise in pending home sales, Wednesday's data failed to bring much additional cheer for the US economy. From Bloomberg:

Service industries in the U.S. shrank more than forecast in July, and companies cut another 371,000 jobs, indicating rising unemployment will erode spending.

The Institute for Supply Management’s index of non- manufacturing businesses, which make up almost 90 percent of the economy, fell to 46.4 from 47 in June, according to the Tempe, Arizona-based group... ADP Employer Services said companies cut staff last month more than economists anticipated...

A report from the Commerce Department today showed orders placed with factories rose 0.4 percent in June, a third consecutive gain, reflecting increases in the value of petroleum bookings and improving demand for goods such as metals and construction equipment.

However, in Europe, the services activity index continued to climb in July, rising to 45.7 from 44.7 in June.

In the UK, services activity is already expanding, the CIPS/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index rising to 53.2 in July, the highest since February 2008, from 51.6 in June.

In other positive reports from the UK, the Nationwide consumer confidence index rose to 60 in July from an upwardly revised 59 in June while industrial production rose 0.5 percent in June after dropping 0.7 percent in May.

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