Thursday, 9 December 2010

Japanese growth revised up

Japan's third quarter economic growth has been revised up. Reuters reports:

Japan's economy grew a revised 1.1 percent in July-September from the previous quarter, exceeding an initial government estimate, but that offered little comfort to policymakers wary of slowing growth in the current quarter...

The revised GDP translates into annualised growth of 4.5 percent, exceeding an initial reading of 3.9 percent and above the 4.1 percent rate expected by economists, due to upward revisions in capital spending and inventories.

But the outlook for the economy is weak. From AFP/CNA:

Fears that Japan's recovery is heading for further slowdown deepened Wednesday as data showed the nation's trade with the world rose only slightly and corporate spending fell in October...

The current account surplus -- the broadest measure of trade with the rest of the world -- widened 2.9 per cent in October from a year earlier to 1.44 trillion yen (17.20 billion dollars), missing expectations of a 7.0 per cent rise.

In September the surplus rose 24.3 per cent.

Other data from the finance ministry showed core private-sector machinery orders, a leading indicator of corporate capital spending, fell 1.4 per cent in October from the previous month, the second consecutive decline after a 10.3 per cent fall in September.

The data also missed expectations of a 0.1 per cent decline.

On a more positive note, results from the Economy Watchers Survey showed that the current conditions index rose 3.4 points to 43.6 in November, its first rise in four months.

Meanwhile, there was more evidence on Wednesday that UK manufacturing is doing well. From Reuters:

The Confederation of British Industry survey's total order book balance unexpectedly jumped this month to -3 from -15 in November, well above economists' forecasts of a reading of -13 and its highest since June 2008.

The export order book balance also rose to +4 from -7, its highest since August 1995. The indexes are normally in negative territory.

Industrial production in Germany has also been strong. From Bloomberg:

Industrial production in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, rose almost three times as much as economists forecast in October, led by demand for investment goods such as machinery.

Production jumped 2.9 percent from September, when it fell a revised 1 percent, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said today. That’s the biggest increase since May. Economists had forecast a gain of 1 percent, the median of 40 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed. From a year earlier, output increased 11.7 percent when adjusted for the number of work days, after rising a revised 7.7 percent in September...

A separate report today showed that German exports unexpectedly dropped in October. Sales abroad, adjusted for working days and seasonal changes, fell 1.1 percent from September, when they rose 3 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said.

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