Friday, 31 December 2010

US data point to stronger economic growth

US economic reporting ends the year on an optimistic note. Reuters reports:

Upbeat U.S. data on the jobs market and manufacturing sector Thursday buttressed the view the economy gained momentum as the year ended, setting the stage for a stronger performance in 2011.

New applications for unemployment benefits dropped 34,000 last week to 388,000, the lowest level since July 2008...

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago's business barometer for the Midwest provided an even more bullish signal.

It jumped to 68.6, the highest since July 1988, from 62.5 in November. Economists had expected it to dip. Any reading above 50 indicates the region's economy is expanding...

In a third report, the National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index, which is based on signed contracts to buy previously owned houses, rose 3.5 percent last month to 92.2. It was the second straight month of gains and beat market expectations for a 2 percent increase.

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