Wednesday, March 10, 2010

NPWorldview, Feb. 22 - March 10

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The week of February 22 had ended on a positive note for both the US and the UK economies. On Friday, February 26, revised ONSS stats showed that the UK economy (GDP) grew by 0.3% in Q4 2009, instead of the initial 0.1% stat. In the US, the corresponding revision was also upwards, to 5.9 from 5.7 per cent (annual). Yet most of the US revision came from inventory changes.

On Thursday March 4, both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England decided to keep their interest rates unchanged. Unchanged, at 9.7%, was the US unemployment rate in February, as announced on Friday, March 5 (30,000 jobs was the net loss).

The Fed said that snow is slowing down the pace of growth of the US economy.

In February, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) index rose to 58.4 from 54.5 the previous month, its highest since January 2007, thus indicating that the service sector in the UK grew at its fastest monthly pace in three years.

On March 10, ONS announced that in January the UK's trade defict in goods and services with the rest of the world widened unexpectedly to £3.8bn, compared with £2.6bn in December. That is the largest deficit since August 2008.

In less than a week since the idea was first mentioned in public, a proposal for a European Monetary Fund equivalent to the IMF, is being tabled with a view to being adopted by the European Council in June.

In the US, Obama is trying hard to salvage his healthcare reform.


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