Friday, 20 July 2007

Chinese economy surges but US economy faces continued slow growth

Watch for more tightening from China after the latest economic data. From Reuters:

China's annual economic growth surged to an 11-½ year high of 11.9 percent in the second quarter, cementing expectations for tighter policy to keep the world's fastest-growing major economy from overheating.

The figures put China on course to chalk up its straight fifth year of double-digit growth and to overtake Germany as the world's third-biggest economy -- perhaps as soon as this year...

Soaring costs of pork and grain pushed annual consumer price inflation to a 33-month high of 4.4 percent in June, beating expectations and accelerating from 3.4 percent in May.

Other figures also were stronger than expected: industrial output in June rose 19.4 percent from a year earlier, retail sales were up 16.0 percent and investment in urban areas was up 28.5 percent.

The US economy could do with some boost from stronger growth elsewhere. There might not be so much in the US itself. The latest reading on the Conference Board's US leading index:

The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index decreased 0.3 percent, the coincident index increased 0.2 percent and the lagging index increased 0.5 percent in June...

The leading index now stands at 137.5 (1996=100). Based on revised data, this index increased 0.2 percent in May and decreased 0.2 percent in April. During the six-month span through June, the leading index decreased 0.7 percent, with four out of ten components advancing (diffusion index, six-month span equals forty percent).

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