Thursday, 11 March 2010

Mixed data from Asia and Europe

The economic reports from Asia's two biggest economies on Wednesday were mixed.

Data on China's economy showed that it remained red-hot in February Bloomberg reports:

China’s exports rose more than forecast in February and property prices jumped the most in almost two years, adding pressure on policy makers to pare stimulus measures adopted during the global recession.

Shipments abroad gained 46 percent in February from a year before after a 21 percent advance in January, the customs bureau reported on its Web site today. Commercial and residential property prices in 70 cities climbed 10.7 percent, the statistics bureau said separately.

Meanwhile, though, Japan is still struggling to sustain a recovery in capital spending. Again from Bloomberg:

Japan’s machinery orders slipped in January after the biggest jump since 2000, indicating a subdued appetite among the nation’s companies to ramp up capital spending even as manufacturing passed its worst.

Orders, a signal of business investment in three to six months, dropped 3.7 percent from December, when they climbed 20.1 percent, the Cabinet Office said today. The government said after the report that machinery demand is “bottoming.”

Wednesday's European data were also mixed.

Bloomberg reports that German exports were down in January.

German exports unexpectedly slumped in January, erasing December’s jump and ending a four-month streak of gains.

Sales abroad, adjusted for working days and seasonal changes, plunged 6.3 percent from the previous month, when they rose 3.4 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. Economists had forecast a 0.5 percent increase, the median of 11 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed. From a year earlier, exports rose 0.2 percent.

And Reuters reports that UK manufacturing output fell in January.

Manufacturing output slumped in January at its sharpest monthly rate since last August, confounding expectations of growth and reversing December's strong rise after icy weather dented production...

The Office for National Statistics said manufacturing output fell 0.9 percent in January -- well below analysts' expectations for a rise of 0.3 percent and a complete reversal of December's 0.9 percent rise.

However, industrial production posted gains in France and Italy. From Bloomberg:

French and Italian industrial production jumped in January, signaling the recovery is gaining pace in the euro-area’s second and third largest economies.

Output at French factories and utilities advanced 1.6 percent after a revised 0.2 fall percent in December, Paris- based national statistics office Insee said today. In Italy, production climbed 2.6 percent after a revised 0.2 percent decline in December. Economists expected gains of 0.1 percent in France and 0.7 percent in Italy, Bloomberg News surveys showed.

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