Thursday, 15 April 2010

US retail sales and eurozone industrial production increase

The US economic recovery appears to have been sustained at least to the end of the first quarter. From Bloomberg:

Americans heartened by an improving job market flocked to shopping malls and auto showrooms in March, raising the odds of a durable economic recovery.

Retail sales increased 1.6 percent last month, more than anticipated and the biggest gain in four months, according to figures from the Commerce Department issued today in Washington. Another report showed consumer prices rose 0.1 percent...

The economy expanded “somewhat” across most of the U.S. in March as consumer spending and manufacturing improved, signaling the recovery is broadening without gaining much speed, according to the Fed’s Beige Book of regional economic activity issued today...

Separate figures from the Commerce Department showed a 0.5 percent gain in inventories in February, the most since July 2008, as companies boosted orders to keep pace with sales.

Industrial production in the euro area also appears to have performed quite well in the first quarter. Again from Bloomberg:

European industrial production increased more than economists forecast in February led by demand for intermediate goods such as steel and car engines.

Output in the economy of the 16 nations using the euro rose 0.9 percent from January, when it increased 1.6 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists projected a gain of 0.1 percent, the median of 32 estimates in a Bloomberg survey showed. From a year earlier, February production increased 4.1 percent.

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