Friday, 23 December 2011

US third quarter GDP growth revised lower but momentum being maintained

A report on Thursday showed that US third quarter GDP growth has been revised down to a 1.8 percent annual rate from 2.0 percent due to a sharp reduction in the estimate for healthcare spending.

Other reports on Thursday showed that the US economy maintained growth in the fourth quarter.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index decreased to minus 0.37 in November from minus 0.11 in October but the three-month moving average remained unchanged at minus 0.24.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 4,000 to 364,000 last week, the lowest level since April 2008.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index rose to 69.9 in December from 64.1 in November.

And the momentum in the economy looks likely to be maintained into early next year after the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rose 0.5 percent in November.

Meanwhile, in the UK, third quarter growth was revised up to 0.6 percent from 0.5 percent but the second quarter GDP was revised down to show no growth.

In Japan, the government on Thursday lowered its economic growth forecast for the fiscal year to March 2012 to 0.1 percent from 0.5 percent. The economy is forecast to grow 2.2 percent in fiscal year 2012, down from its previous forecast of between 2.7 percent and 2.9 percent.

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