Friday, 4 May 2012

ECB leaves rate unchanged, US and UK services slow

The European Central Bank left its benchmark rate at 1.0 percent on Thursday.

President Mario Draghi said at a news conference that he expected the euro area economy to recover gradually during the course of the year but that the “economic outlook continues to be subject to downside risks”. He said that growth had to be put back at the centre of the agenda even as governments continued with fiscal consolidation.

Meanwhile, data elsewhere indicated that the global economy continued to slow in April.

In the US, the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index fell to a four-month low of 53.5 in April from 56.0 in March. More encouragingly, initial jobless claims fell by 27,000 to 365,000 in the week ended 28 April.

In the UK, the services sector also slowed in April, with the Markit/CIPS PMI for the sector falling to 53.3 from 55.3 in March. Meanwhile, house prices fell 0.2 percent in April after having fallen 1.0 percent in March.

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