Friday, 24 September 2010

US existing home sales and leading index rise, eurozone composite index falls

US economic data on Thursday were mostly positive. Bloomberg reports:

Sales of U.S. previously owned homes climbed from a record low in August and a gauge of the outlook for the economy increased, confirming the Federal Reserve’s forecast for a “modest” pace of expansion.

Purchases of existing houses climbed to a 4.13 million annual pace, the second-lowest on record, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. The New York- based Conference Board said its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.3 percent, exceeding forecasts.

But not all increases were good for the economy.

Initial jobless claims rose by 12,000 to 465,000 in the week ended Sept. 18. The total number of people receiving unemployment insurance declined, while those getting extended payments increased.

Meanwhile, the much-anticipated slowdown in the eurozone economy may be a bit sharper than previously thought. From Bloomberg:

Growth in Europe’s services and manufacturing industries weakened more than economists forecast in September, adding to evidence the recovery in the region is losing steam.

A composite index based on a survey of euro-area purchasing managers in both industries declined to 53.8 from 56.2 in August, London-based Markit Economics said today. Economists expected a reading of 55.7, according to the median of 15 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

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