Saturday, 24 March 2012

French business confidence rises, US new home sales fall

The tables got turned on Friday, with economic data from the euro area coming out better than that from the US.

In the euro area, French business confidence improved this month with the manufacturing industry sentiment index rising to 96 from 93 in February. In Italy, retail sales rose 0.7 percent in January.

However, in the US, new home sales fell 1.6 percent in February. It was the second consecutive decline and will raise doubts about the housing market's recovery, especially after housing starts had also unexpectedly shown a decline earlier in the week.

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