Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Statistical Notes Tuesday August 16

-Consumer price inflation in Britain again accelelarated in July, to 4.4% from 4.2%.

-Industrial production in the U.S. rose as much as 0.9% in July, owing largely to increased ulitities production due to increased demand for electricity caused by unusually warm weather in parts of the country. However, manufacturing and mining also posted strong gains.

However, the Philly Fed index dropped in August, suggesting a slowdown in manufacturing in August, and the housing sector showed continued signs of contraction.

-According to the first estimate, euro area economic growth slowed more than expected in the second quarter to 0.2% (0.8% at an annualized rate) compared to the previous quarter and 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year.

The biggest disappointments were Germany, Holland and as previously reported France who came significantly below expectations. Spain and Italy also grew relatively slow at 0.2% and 0.3% were also weak, but no more than expected. A few euro area countries did however grow relatively strongly. Apart from Estonia, the highest growth was seen in Finland (1.2%), Austria (1.0%), Slovakia (0.9%) and Belgium (0.7%).

The weak number for Germany in particular is likely to put to rest the prospect of further ECB interest rate increases and further illustrates that particularly the last one was a mistake.

-Swedish second quarter growth was relatively fast (1.0% compared to the previous quarter), but falling June industrial new orders and production suggests that growth will be a lot lower in the third quarter.

-GDP in Japan contracted for a second straight quarter. The contraction is of course mainly attributable to the earthquake/tsunami that struck Japan in March. The strong yen and weakening economies abroad may however mean that the recovery will be slow or non-existent.

-Israeli GDP growth also slowed, but was a still decent 0.8% (3.3% at an annualized rate) compared to the previous quarter and 5% compared to the same quarter last year.

Meanwhile, the increased campaigns against a rising cost of living helped push down consumer price inflation to 3.4% in July from 4.2% in June.


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