Tuesday, 27 June 2006

US new home sales up, German inflation and leading index up

Like much of the rest of the US economy, the US housing market is surprising many by its resilience. From Reuters:

Sales of new single-family U.S. homes again defied predictions of a slowdown in May and rose 4.6 percent...

Still, compared with a year earlier, the May sales pace was down 5.9 percent.

The May median sales price for new single-family homes fell 4.3 percent from April to $235,300, a figure that was nonetheless 3.1 percent above the year-ago median price of $228,300.

The closely watched supply of new homes for sale at the end of May fell 0.7 percent to 556,000 from a downwardly revised 560,000 in April, which was a record level.

The homes-for-sale figure represented a 5.5 months' supply at the current sales pace, compared to a 5.8 months' inventory in April.

There was also no sign of cooling from Germany yesterday. From Bloomberg:

Inflation in Germany, Europe's largest economy, accelerated in June, strengthening the case for the European Central Bank to raise interest rates.

Consumer prices in Germany climbed 2 percent from a year earlier, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said in a statement today. That matches the median estimate of 38 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. From a month earlier, prices rose 0.2 percent.

And the economic outlook for Germany remains good, according to the Conference Board's leading index for the country.

The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for Germany increased 0.3 percent and the coincident index remained unchanged in April.

And there certainly does not appear to be any cooling in China. From AFP/CNA:

China's economy will grow by 10.3 percent in the first half of 2006, then slow marginally for a full-year expansion of 10 percent, the central bank said in a new report.

At the same time, inflation will climb slowly, registering 1.3 percent in the first six months of the year and 1.7 percent for the 12 months, according to the report, from the People's Bank of China's research bureau.

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