The US economy grew less in the third quarter than previously estimated. Reuters reports:
In its second estimate of third quarter gross domestic product published on Tuesday, the Commerce Department said the economy expanded at a 2.8 percent annual rate, probably ending the most painful U.S. recession in 70 years.
It was slower than the previous estimate of 3.5 percent but still the fastest pace since the third quarter of 2007, reflecting government fiscal stimulus. The new estimate was slightly below expectations for a growth rate of 2.9 percent...
Output was constrained by consumer spending that was not as robust as first thought. Strong imports and weak investment in commercial buildings also held back growth.
But corporate profits surged as businesses raised output even as they were cutting payrolls.
Other reports mostly support the view that the economy remains on a gradual path to recovery.
Minutes of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting early this month released on Tuesday showed officials at the U.S. central bank viewed the recovery as durable, although they expected unemployment to rise further...
In another sign of stability in a sector that was at the heart of the recession, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.3 percent in September. Analysts said a tax credit for first time homebuyers helped support the market.
An index published by the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency found prices unchanged in September.
Separately, the Conference Board's index of consumer attitudes increased slightly to 49.5 in November from 48.7 in October. That compared to market expectations of 53.1.
Recovery also looks likely to continue in the euro area. From Bloomberg:
European industrial orders advanced for a sixth month in September, led by capital goods such as machines, as the euro-region economy pulled out of its worst slump in more than six decades.
Orders to industrial companies in the 16-nation region rose 1.5 percent from August, when they increased 0.6 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists forecast a gain of 1 percent, according to the median of 19 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. In the year, new orders dropped 16.5 percent after declining 23.2 percent in August.
Meanwhile, German business confidence continues to improve. Bloomberg reports:
German business confidence increased more than economists forecast to a 15-month high in November, suggesting the economic recovery may gather pace next year.
The Ifo institute in Munich said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, rose to 93.9 from 92 in October, the highest reading since August last year. Economists expected a gain to 92.5, according to the median of 37 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey. The index reached a 26-year low of 82.2 in March.