Europe had some good news to report on Thursday in the form of higher industrial production. From Bloomberg:
European industrial output rose at twice the pace economists forecast in November as companies stepped up production of goods from car parts to machinery.
Output in the economy of the 16 nations using the euro increased 1 percent from October, when it fell 0.3 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists had projected production would rise 0.5 percent, according to the median of 30 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. From a year earlier, November output declined 7.1 percent after falling 10.9 percent in October.
But the ECB is unlikely to raise interest rates soon. Again from Bloomberg:
The European Central Bank kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low as it unwinds some of its emergency stimulus measures and monitors an economic recovery that may be losing steam.
ECB policy makers meeting in Frankfurt left the main rate at 1 percent, as predicted by all 51 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The bank will not raise rates until the fourth quarter, a separate survey forecasts.
Sales at U.S. retailers unexpectedly fell in December following a bigger gain than previously estimated the prior month, highlighting the risk that the largest part of the economy will be slow to recover.
The 0.3 percent decrease came after a 1.8 percent jump the prior month, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Other reports showed inventories rose more than forecast in November and jobless claims climbed last week.