The US second quarter GDP report shows that the economy is beginning to slow. Bloomberg reports:
The U.S. economy slowed in the second quarter as a scarcity of jobs eroded consumer spending, leaving the rebound dependent on a surge in business investment.
Gross domestic product grew at a 2.4 percent annual pace, less than forecast, after a 3.7 percent first-quarter gain that was larger than previously estimated, according to Commerce Department data issued today in Washington...
Other US data, though, were mixed.
The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc.’s business barometer rose to 62.3 this month, exceeding the median forecast of economists surveyed which anticipated the measure would drop to 56. The June reading was 59.1 and figures greater than 50 signal expansion.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment declined to 67.8 this month from 76 in June. A preliminary measure issued earlier this month was 66.5.
Earlier reports showed that Japan's economy may also be facing a slowdown. From AFP/CNA:
Japan's unemployment rate ticked higher while production of automobiles and electronic gadgets slipped in June, data showed Friday, in a mixed picture for the world's second-largest economy.
Unemployment rose to 5.3 per cent in June, rising by 0.1 percentage points from the previous month and higher than market expectations of 5.1 per cent, in an indication of the headwinds that Japan's fragile economic recovery faces.
Industrial output fell 1.5 per cent in June from the previous month, missing market expectations of a 0.l per cent rise...
Japan's core consumer price index fell 1.0 per cent in June from a year earlier, marking the 16th straight month of decline as deflation continues to drag on recovery...
But in a sign domestic demand may be picking up, average household spending in June was 0.5 per cent higher on-year and 2.9 per cent higher than in May.
Unlike Japan, the euro area has largely managed to stave off deflation. From Bloomberg:
European inflation accelerated to the fastest pace in more than 1 1/2 years on rising energy costs and unemployment held at the highest in almost 12 years.
Euro-area consumer prices rose 1.7 percent from a year earlier in July after increasing 1.4 percent in June, the European Union statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That’s the fastest inflation since November 2008 and in line with the median forecast of 33 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The jobless rate remained at 10 percent for a fourth month in June, the statistics office said in a separate report. That’s the highest since August 1998.