Wednesday, 5 January 2011

More signs of stronger manufacturing growth

Adding to the positive data on Monday, Bloomberg reports that US factory orders rose in November.

American factories unexpectedly received more orders in November, signaling that gains in consumer spending, business investment and exports will sustain the manufacturing recovery.

The 0.7 percent increase in bookings topped the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News which called for a 0.1 percent drop, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Orders for capital goods like computers rebounded after falling in October.

Meanwhile, manufacturing activity has hit a 16-year high in the UK. Reuters reports:

The Markit/CIPS manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 58.3 in December, its highest since September 1994. The headline figure was above the consensus forecast of 57.0 and November's downwardly revised reading of 57.5.

There was also positive news on the UK housing front on Tuesday. Again from Reuters:

Mortgage approvals for house purchases rose to 48,019 in November from 47,315 in October, in contrast to economists' expectations for a slight fall...

Net consumer credit weakened with an unexpected drop of 121 million pounds versus rises in the previous two months.

Among data on Tuesday that beat expectations on the upside, unfortunately, was eurozone inflation. From Bloomberg:

European inflation accelerated more than economists estimated in December on surging energy prices, exceeding the European Central Bank’s limit for the first time in more than two years.

Euro-area consumer prices rose 2.2 percent in December from a year earlier after increasing 1.9 percent in November, the European Union statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That’s the highest rate since October 2008 and above the 2 percent median forecast of 21 economists in a Bloomberg survey.

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