Thursday, 4 September 2014

US economy expands, eurozone growth slows

Data on Wednesday painted a brighter picture for the US economy.

In its latest Beige Book, the Federal Reserve reported that US economic activity continued to expand in recent weeks, with manufacturing expanding across a broad base of sectors and auto sales hitting “high levels”.

That report was corroborated by other data on Wednesday. New orders for manufactured goods jumped 10.5 percent in July, a record monthly gain, while auto sales rose to an annual rate of 17.53 million units in August, the highest since January 2006.

In contrast, data on Wednesday showed that growth in the euro area slowed in August. Markit's composite PMI fell to an eight-month low of 52.5 last month from 53.8 in July as the services PMI fell to 53.1 from 54.2. In addition, eurozone retail sales fell 0.4 percent in July.

However, in China, services activity rebounded in August. The HSBC/Markit services PMI jumped to 54.1 last month 50.0 in July while the official non-manufacturing PMI rose to 54.4 from 54.2 in July.

In Japan, Markit's services PMI fell to 49.9 in August from 50.4 in July. Nevertheless, the composite PMI rose to 50.8 from 50.2.

And in the UK, the Markit/CIPS services PMI rose to 60.5 in August from 59.1 in July.

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