HONG KONG Chinese manufacturing activity continued to deteriorate in September but at a smaller rate than in the previous month, according to official data released Monday. The official Purchasing Managers’ Index, released by the National Bureau of Statistics along with the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, improved to 49.8 in September from 49.2 in August, but remained below the 50-point threshold. A reading below 50 indicates a deterioration. The latest reading matched expectations of economists surveyed by Reuters. The data follows the final reading of a privately-compiled survey by HSBC over the weekend, which put the September PMI for [...]
FRANKFURT Consumer prices in Britain rose at a 2.5% annual pace in August, slowing from 2.6% in July, the U.K. Office for National Statistics reported Tuesday. On a monthly basis, inflation rose 0.5% in August, the ONS said. The figures matched forecasts.
FRANKFURT The annual rate of consumer price inflation in the 17-nation euro zone accelerated to 2.6% in August from 2.4% in July, European Union statistics agency Eurostat reported Friday in a preliminary estimate. Economists had forecast a rise to 2.5%. Separately, Eurostat said the unemployment rate in the euro zone stood at 11.3% in July, unchanged from an upwardly revised reading in June and in line with forecasts.
FRANKFURT The European Commission on Thursday said its euro-zone economic sentiment indicator fell to 86.1 in August from 87.9 in July, reflecting an across the board decline in its sector indexes. Economists had forecast a fall to 87.6. The commission said its consumer-confidence gauge dropped to minus 24.6 from minus 21.5 in July. The industry confidence gauge fell to minus 15.3 from minus 15.1 in July, while the services gauge declined to minus 10.8 from minus 8.5. The retail-trade indicator fell to minus 17.3 from minus 15.0, while the August construction index dropped to minus 33.1 from minus 28.5 in [...]
FRANKFURT The Ifo index, a closely-watched gauge of German business confidence, dropped more than expected in August, to 102.3 from a July reading of 103.3, as companies in Europe’s largest economy grew more worried about the future, the Munich-based Ifo Institute reported Monday. Economists had forecast a reading of 102.7. “Exports and domestic consumption have shielded the German economy against the euro-crisis virus up to now. This immunity, however, has been crumbling away quickly over recent months,” said Carsten Brzeski, euro-zone economist at ING Bank in Brussels. The Ifo expectations index, which measures business managers’ outlook for the next six [...]
FRANKFURT Private-sector business activity in the 17-nation euro zone contracted for a seventh consecutive month in August but at a marginally slower pace than in July, the Markit preliminary composite purchasing managers’ index for the region indicated on Thursday. The index rose to 46.6 from a reading of 46.5 in July. Economists had forecast an unchanged reading. A figure of less than 50 indicates a contraction in activity. The services PMI reading fell to 47.5 from 47.9 in July, while the manufacturing PMI rose to 45.3 from 44.0. The contraction continued across the euro zone, with national indexes for the [...]
The Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing index stayed in negative territory in August, coming in at negative 7.1 vs. negative 12.9 in July, which marks the fourth consecutive negative reading. Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a negative 5.0 reading. The index is a diffusion one, which means it subtracts the percentage of people reporting a drop in activity from those who report an increase.
The Empire State manufacturing index dropped sharply to negative 5.9 in August, the first time activity has contracted in nine months, the New York Federal Reserve Bank said Wednesday. The decrease was larger than expected. Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a small decline to 6.0 in August. The index has fallen sharply in the summer after reaching 17.1 in May. The key new orders sub-index stayed weak, falling to negative 5.5 in August from negative 2.7 in July. Unfilled orders, another forward-looking component, rose slightly to negative 10.6 in August from negative 13.6 in July.
Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes climbed in August to the highest level in more than five years on expectations the recovery in housing can continue. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index rose 2 points to a seasonally adjusted reading of 37, the best level since February 2007. There’s still a way to go for the index to reach the 50 level indicating “good” conditions, which hasn’t been the case since April 2006. The component measuring current sales conditions rose 3 points to 39, and the component measuring traffic of prospective buyers [...]
FRANKFURT Bank of England policy makers voted unanimously earlier this month to leave the central bank’s key lending rate unchanged at a record low 0.5% and to maintain the size of its asset-purchase program, the centerpiece of its quantitative easing strategy, at 375 billion pounds ($ 587.7 billion), according to minutes released Wednesday. Members of the nine-person Monetary Policy Committee in coming months “could take stock of the impact” of the bank’s recently announced Funding for Lending program, which is designed to encourage banks to boost lending to the private sector, the minutes said. “For most members, the decision this [...]