Thursday, 6 January 2011

Services expand in US and euro area

Economic reports on Wednesday again show the economic recovery continuing.

Bloomberg reports the data from the US.

Service industries expanded in December at the fastest pace since May 2006, showing the U.S. economic recovery is picking up and broadening beyond manufacturing.

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-factory index, which covers about 90 percent of the economy, rose to 57.1, exceeding the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, from 55 in November. A reading greater than 50 signals growth. Another report today showed hiring accelerated...

A report today from ADP Employer Services showed companies boosted payrolls in December by the most since records began in 2001. Employment increased by 297,000, almost three times the 100,000 median estimate of economists surveyed.

Employers last month also announced plans to cut 32,004 jobs, the fewest since June 2000, according to data today from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. The Chicago-based outplacement company said firings were down 29 percent from December 2009.

Data from the euro area also suggest continuing economic growth. Again from Bloomberg:

Europe’s services and manufacturing industries expanded faster than initially estimated in December led by the fastest growth in more than four years in Germany.

A composite index based on a survey of euro-area purchasing managers in both industries held at 55.5 from November, London- based Markit Economics said today. That compares with Dec. 16 reading of 55. A figure above 50 indicates expansion. In Germany, the region’s largest economy, a services gauge was also revised higher...

Euro-area industrial orders rose 1.4 percent in October from the previous month, when they dropped 4.2 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today...

The euro-area services indicator fell to 54.2 in December from 55.4, Markit said today. While the German services gauge held at 59.2, above an initial reading of 58.3, the French and Italian service indicators declined. Germany’s composite index of manufacturing and services rose to the highest since June 2006.

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