Tuesday, 21 August 2012

China's home prices rebound

A report on Monday showed that home prices were up in July in 49 of the 70 Chinese cities tracked by the government, the most since May last year. Prices fell in nine cities and were unchanged in 12.

While the rebound in prices helps prevent real estate from dragging down the rest of the economy, it also complicates the government’s efforts to stimulate economic growth. “Rising property prices are constraining aggressive policy action from the central bank,” said Zhang Zhiwei, chief China economist at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the US economy may have improved in July. A report on Monday showed that the Chicago Fed National Activity Index increased to –0.13 in July from –0.34 in June. However, the three-month moving average fell to –0.21 from –0.18, suggesting, according to the Chicago Fed, that economic growth was below historical trend.

Japan's economy, though, appears to be slowing. Data from the Cabinet Office on Monday showed that the leading index for June has been revised up to 93.2 from 92.6 but that was still the third consecutive month of decline. The coincident index was revised up to 94.1 from 93.8 but was also down from 95.8 in May.

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