Friday, 1 August 2008

US economy weaker than expected, eurozone inflation accelerates

The US economy is performing worse than expected. Bloomberg reports:

Gross domestic product increased at a 1.9 percent annualized rate, the Commerce Department said in Washington, compared with the median projection of 2.3 percent in a Bloomberg News survey...

Annual benchmark revisions showed consumer spending slowed more than previously estimated and the housing slump worsened. The economy shrank 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter last year, compared with a previously reported 0.6 percent gain.

First-quarter figures were also revised down to show a 0.9 pace of growth compared with a prior estimate of 1 percent.

But the latest data still provide room for debate on the direction of the economy.

Exports may have also spurred a gain in the National Association of Purchasing Management-Chicago's business activity index. The group said today its measure increased to 50.8 this month from 49.6 in June. Fifty is the dividing line between growth and contraction...

Initial claims for unemployment insurance jumped by 44,000 to 448,000, the Labor Department said today. The department tomorrow may say payrolls declined by 75,000 in July, bringing total job losses so far this year to over 500,000.

Meanwhile, though, Europe is still struggling with inflation, although unemployment is also starting to tick up. Again from Bloomberg:

Inflation in Europe accelerated to the fastest pace in more than 16 years in July, restricting the European Central Bank's room to bolster the economy even as unemployment starts to increase.

The inflation rate for the 15-nation euro region rose to 4.1 percent from 4 percent in June, the European Union statistics office in Luxembourg said today. The rate, the highest since April 1992, matched the median estimate of 36 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. A separate report showed unemployment was 7.3 percent in June, exceeding the 7.2 percent median forecast.

No comments:

Post a Comment