The US economy appears poised to start adding jobs soon. From Bloomberg:
Fewer Americans than anticipated filed claims for unemployment benefits last week, pointing to an improvement in the labor market that will help sustain economic growth next year.
Initial jobless claims fell by 22,000 to 432,000 in the week ended Dec. 26, the lowest level since July 2008, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The number of people collecting unemployment insurance fell in the prior week to 4.98 million, and those receiving extended benefits jumped.
There was also good news from the UK, with Reuters reporting that house prices are rising.
House prices rose for an eighth consecutive month in December to end the year nearly 6 percent higher than they started it, mortgage lender Nationwide said on Thursday.
However, the monthly rise of 0.4 percent was the smallest since April and the lender cautioned that the outlook for 2010 remained uncertain.
And credit conditions in the UK are expected to ease. Again from Reuters:
Lenders expect to make credit more easily available to households and businesses in the first quarter of 2010, a survey by the Bank of England showed on Thursday.
The central bank's quarterly credit conditions survey also showed that lenders expect to narrow spreads on both corporate and mortgage lending in the coming months.
On that positive note, I'd like to wish all readers a Happy New Year.