US economic data released on Wednesday were weak. Bloomberg reports:
Orders for durable goods in the U.S. increased less than forecast in July and sales of new homes unexpectedly dropped, increasing the risk of a renewed recession in the world’s largest economy.
Bookings for goods made to last at least three years rose 0.3 percent, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Excluding transportation equipment, demand fell by the most in more than a year. Purchases of new dwellings fell 12 percent to an annual pace of 276,000, the weakest since data began in 1963, figures from the same agency showed.
Earlier on Wednesday, Japan had reported further weakening in its exports. From Bloomberg:
Japan’s export growth slowed for a fifth month in July, adding to risks in an economy under threat from the yen’s surge to a 15-year high against the dollar.
Overseas shipments advanced 23.5 percent in July from a year earlier, less than June’s 27.7 percent gain, the Finance Ministry said in Tokyo today. The median estimate of 18 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 21.8 percent increase. From a month earlier, exports fell 1.4 percent, the third monthly drop.
Germany remains a bright spot in the world economy though. Again from Bloomberg:
German business confidence unexpectedly increased for a fourth month in August to a fresh three-year high, suggesting the economy may not lose as much momentum as some economists forecast.
The Munich-based Ifo institute said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, rose to 106.7 from 106.2 in July. Economists expected a drop to 105.7, according to the median of 36 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey.