The UK economy has returned to growth, albeit barely. Reuters reports:
Britain only just crept out of an 18-month recession at the end of 2009, suggesting any monetary tightening remains a long way off and raising fears about the prospects for recovery ahead of an election due by June.
The Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday gross domestic product rose by 0.1 percent between October and December, well below analysts' forecasts for growth of 0.4 percent and lower than all the predictions in a Reuters poll.
Other economic reports on Tuesday were also positive.
In the US, home prices and consumer confidence are up. Bloomberg reports:
The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index increased 0.2 percent in November, the sixth consecutive gain, the group said today in New York...
The Conference Board’s confidence index increased to 55.9, higher than the median estimate of economists surveyed, from a revised 53.6 in December, the New York-based private research group said...
German business confidence is also up. Again from Bloomberg:
German business confidence rose more than economists forecast to an 18-month high in January as the global economic recovery boosted exports.
The Ifo institute in Munich said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, increased to 95.8 from 94.6 in December. That’s the highest since July 2008 and the tenth straight increase...
With all the positive data flow, the IMF has also become more confident about the global economy. From Reuters:
The International Monetary Fund sharply raised its global economic growth forecast, casting developing countries in a leading role while rich nations struggle with high unemployment and government debt.
In an update of its World Economic Outlook, the IMF said on Tuesday the world economy will expand by 3.9 percent in 2010, much higher than the 3.1 percent it projected in October, and the pace will pick up to 4.3 percent next year.