Saturday, 18 December 2010

US leading index, German and French business confidence improve

It looks like US economic growth will be sustained in the months ahead. From Reuters:

The U.S. economy is gathering steam as the year draws to a close, boosting optimism about prospects in 2011, according to measures published by two separate economic research firms on Friday.

The Conference Board's measure of leading economic indicators jumped 1.1 percent in November, the biggest rise since March and the fifth straight monthly gain.

Separately, the Economic Cycle Research Institute said its gauge of future growth rose to its highest level since May.

And although Europe's sovereign debt problems persist, with Moody's cutting Ireland's credit rating on Friday, optimism remains in Europe.

Bloomberg reports that business confidence rose in Germany in December.

German business confidence unexpectedly rose to a record in December as stronger domestic demand helped bolster the recovery in Europe’s largest economy.

The Munich-based Ifo institute said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, increased to 109.9 from 109.3 in November. That’s the highest since records for a reunified Germany began in 1991. Economists predicted a drop to 109, the median of 36 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey shows.

French business confidence also rose in December. Again from Bloomberg:

French business confidence rose this month as an improved job outlook and investment helped lift domestic demand after last year’s recession.

An index of sentiment among factory executives increased to 103 from 100 in November, national statistics office Insee said today. Economists expected a reading of 102, according to the median of 15 forecasts gathered in a Bloomberg News survey.

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