Thursday, 18 February 2010

Industrial production and housing starts rise in the US

Wednesday's data show that the US economy continues to recover. From Bloomberg:

Industrial production in the U.S. rose more than anticipated in January as factories churned out more consumer goods and business equipment, leading the recovery of the world’s biggest economy.

The 0.9 percent increase in production at factories, mines and utilities followed a 0.7 percent gain the prior month, according to the Federal Reserve in Washington. Figures from the Commerce Department today showed housing starts climbed to a 591,000 annual pace, exceeding the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey...

The Commerce Department said housing starts increased 2.8 percent in January after dropping 0.7 percent. The annual rate was faster than the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey for a 580,000 pace. Construction of single-family houses rose 1.5 percent, while work on multifamily homes such as townhouses and apartment buildings jumped 9.2 percent...

A separate report from the Labor Department showed prices of goods imported into the U.S. rose 1.4 percent in January, reflecting in part a jump in the cost of petroleum.

There were also positive data from the euro area. Again from Bloomberg:

European exports increased in December as a strengthening global economy and a weaker euro boosted demand for goods from the region.

Exports from the euro area rose a seasonally adjusted 3.1 percent from November, when they remained unchanged, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. European construction output gained 0.5 percent from November, when it fell 0.8 percent, a separate report showed.

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