Thursday, 1 April 2010

US factory orders rise

US economic data were mixed on Wednesday. Bloomberg reports:

Manufacturers are driving the U.S. economic recovery as the real estate industry struggles to recover from recession, hurting employment, reports today showed.

Factory orders rose 0.6 percent in February after surging 2.5 percent, the Commerce Department said in Washington... Figures from ADP Employer Services showed an unexpected 23,000 drop in company payrolls this month, led by a slump in construction jobs...

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said today its business barometer fell to 58.8, lower than the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey, from an almost five-year high of 62.6 in February. Figures greater than 50 signal expansion.

The data from Japan were negative, as housing starts fell 9.3 percent in February from a year earlier, faster than an 8.1 percent annual decline in the previous month while the Nomura/JMMA Japan manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 52.4 in March from 52.5 in February.

In the euro area, the wrong indicators showed increases. Consumer prices increased 1.5 percent in March from a year earlier after a 0.9 percent gain in February while unemployment rose to 10 percent in February, the highest rate since August 1998.

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