Bloomberg News | Aug 9, 2010 | 10:03 AM GMT+0530
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut its growth forecasts for the world’s two largest economies on signs that stimulus boosts will wane. Japan will grow 1.4 percent in 2011, compared with an earlier forecast of a 1.7 percent expansion, Tokyo-based senior economist Chiwoong Lee said in a report dated Aug. 7. Goldman last week lowered its projection of U.S. growth for the same year to 1.9 percent from 2.5 percent. A report today showed Japan’s current-account surplus narrowed for a second month as export gains cooled, adding to concerns that the recovery is losing steam. Government incentives that have bolstered spending at home are wearing off, with economists forecasting second quarter gross domestic product grew at half the pace of the previous period.
“We expect signs that growth is slowing to gradually emerge in line with the disappearance of the government stimulus boost both in Japan and abroad,” Lee wrote in a separate report dated today. “The U.S. economic recovery has lost a considerable amount of its momentum.” Japan will experience a “significant falloff” in consumer spending, which has so far been propped up by government measures, according to Lee. He noted that there is “little chance” Prime Minister Naoto Kan will extend a program scheduled to expire in December that encourages household to buy energy-efficient electronics. Continue reading
Japan stocks fall, dollar hits 8-month low vs yen | Reuters 04/08/2010 | 12:50 pm IST
Japanese stocks fell behind their Asian peers and slid 2 percent on Wednesday as the yen climbed towards 15-year highs against the U.S. dollar after weak U.S. data spurred talk of more Federal Reserve easing. Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan were slightly off their three-month peaks scaled on Tuesday and are seen prone to profit-taking as investors remain sensitive to any signs of fatigue in the global economy. The latest signs came in the form of disappointing U.S. consumer spending and housing market reports, which fanned speculation the Fed may further relax its loose policy at its Aug. 10 meeting and pushed the dollar to an eight-month low. European shares were set to open lower, with financial spreadbetters expecting Britain’s FTSE 100 to fall about 0.4 percent; Germany’s DAX to fall 0.2 percent and France’s CAC 40 to ease 0.1 percent. Tokyo stocks fell 2.1 percent, hit by fears that a strong yen will erode exporters’ profits and sap economic growth.
Such concerns combined with a run of disappointing U.S. data that cast a pall over recovery in the world’s largest economy, boosted Japanese government bonds, pushing the 10-year yield below 1 percent for the first time in seven years. Japan’s finance minister reiterated that he was closely watching currency moves as the dollar’s weakness tests the tolerance for a stronger yen as the economy struggles to pull out of a crippling spell of deflation. “Today’s stock fall is really all about the yen. At this kind of level, there’s inevitably worries about what sort of impact this will have on company earnings going forward,” said Toshiyuki Kanayama, a market analyst at Monex Inc. Continue reading
Bloomberg | Jul 31, 2010 | 2:29 AM GMT+0530
Nomura Holdings Inc., one of the 18 primary dealers that trade with the Federal Reserve, said policy makers will “ease” at their Aug. 10 meeting, though what form it takes is debatable. Central bankers may change the language of their policy statement to signal that the Fed’s balance sheet will remain expanded and change policy on the mortgage program to start reinvesting paydowns, the firm said in a note to clients today. There is also a chance of other actions, such as a cut in the rate on excess reserves, Nomura’s global economics team said. Nomura changed its viewpoint because of a softening of the comments from policy makers such as Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard. The firm also cited the Fed’s downward revision for growth and the slack in the economy that threatens to push inflation to an unacceptably low level for Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke.
“Easing is going to be very seriously considered given several months of disappointing data and the very dovish tone of public commentary across the spectrum,” said Zach Pandl, an economist at Nomura Securities International in New York. “If the Fed is averse to buying more assets, then cutting the rates of interest on reserves could be the next option.” Bullard said yesterday that the central bank should resume purchases of Treasury securities if the economy slows and prices fall rather than maintain a pledge to keep rates near zero.
Bloomberg | Jul 1, 2010
Reports on U.S. manufacturing, employment and home sales pointed to slower growth in the second half of the year; just as government spending to stimulate the economy begins to wane. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing gauge fell more than forecast to 56.2 last month from 59.7 in May. A reading, greater than 50, points to expansion. Other data showed contracts to buy existing homes fell 30 percent in May, and claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week. Stocks and commodities slumped and Treasuries rose on signs the global economy is cooling after manufacturing weakened in Europe and China. The data underscore concerns of Federal Reserve policy makers that financial-market turmoil sparked by Europe’s debt crisis threatens to inhibit a self-sustaining recovery in the U.S. “The U.S. recovery is set to have a bad start to the second half” of 2010, said David Semmens, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in New York. The pace of growth “definitely poses concerns” and won’t improve “until the labor market picks up.” Economists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. today lowered forecasts for second- and third-quarter growth, reflecting the influence of the European debt crisis on stocks, confidence and exports. The economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate from April through June and will expand at a 3 percent pace the following three months, down from a prior estimate of 4 percent, Michael Feroli, JPMorgan’s chief U.S. economist in New York, said in a note to clients.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell to a nine-month low, losing 0.3 percent to close at 1,027.37 in New York. The 10-year Treasury yield rose 2 basis points to 2.95 percent. Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded in June at the slowest pace this year as factories received fewer orders and demand from abroad cooled, the report from the Tempe, Arizona-based ISM showed. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a reading of 59. General Motors Co., the largest U.S. automaker, said U.S. sales in June rose 11 percent from last year, trailing the median forecast of a 16 percent gain. GM’s results show the car market may be cooling as employment is slow to improve.
Bloomberg | Jul 1, 2010
Manufacturing growth from China to the euro-region slowed in June, suggesting the global export-led recovery is losing strength. In China, manufacturing growth slowed more than economists forecast, and a gauge of factory output in the 16-member euro region weakened for a second month, two surveys showed. The U.S. Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index due today probably also declined, according to the median forecast of 79 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Asian and European stocks fell on concern that a Chinese economic slowdown combined with deepening budget cuts from Spain to the U.K. may undermine the global recovery. While the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on May 26 raised its global growth forecast for this year, it said that a “boom-bust scenario cannot be ruled out” in some countries. “We expect data to soften from here,” said Jacques Cailloux, chief European economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in London. “It’s going to raise some question marks about the outlook, about a double dip. It’s an environment with significant downside risks.”
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 1 percent today. The Euro STOXX 50 Index was down 0.7 percent at 2:04 p.m. in London. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has shed 3.7 percent over the past month, bringing its year-to-date decline to 7.6 percent. The economy of the OECD’s 30 members will grow 2.7 percent this year instead of a previously projected 1.9 percent, the Paris-based group said on May 26. China may expand more than 11 percent this year compared with growth of 3.2 percent in the U.S. and 3 percent in Japan, according to the OECD. The euro- region economy may expand 1.2 percent, it said. Limited demand in advanced economies has left the world reliant on emerging markets, led by China, to drive a recovery that Group of 20 leaders this week described as “uneven and fragile.” Signs of a slowdown as the Chinese government clamps down on property speculation and the effects of its stimulus package fade have unsettled investors.
Reuters | Sun May 16, 2010 | 10:16pm IST
The U.S. economy has begun to climb out of the worst downturn since the 1930 Great Depression but still needs further steps by the federal government to stem a crisis in the job market, a senior economic adviser to President Barack Obama said on Sunday. "What we need now is not the withdrawal of support, but further targeted actions that will help the private sector come back more strongly," Christina Romer, chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers said in prepared remarks for a commencement ceremony at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Text of Romer’s remarks was made available in Washington.
Washington Post | Saturday, May 1, 2010
The slow-motion economic recovery has continued in the early months of 2010, according to new data that both affirm that an expansion is solidly in place and underscore that it is likely to remain sluggish. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, rose at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, the government said Friday. That was the third straight quarter of increase, driven by a rise in spending by American consumers and increased business investment. The stock market fell sharply on Friday, with the ‘Standard & Poor’s’ 500 index down 1.7 percent on the weaker-than-expected GDP report and continuing uncertainty surrounding a potential bailout for Greece.
The details of the GDP report paint a picture of an economic recovery that is well underway and a nation that is unlikely to slide back into recession in 2010. Personal consumption increased at a pace of 3.6 percent, while investment in business equipment and software rose at a 13.4 percent rate. Those gains bode well in that they show both consumers and corporate America starting to loosen their purse strings. "Put together the rise in consumer spending and what is happening on the corporate side, and we’re starting to make the transition from a government-driven expansion to a private-sector recovery," said Robert Dye, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group. "That’s a very important transition for us to make over the next few months."
Friday’s data showed the limits of that expansion, however, and gave some reasons to be concerned about its sustainability. A rise in business inventories — companies increased the value of goods on their warehouse and store shelves by $31 billion in the quarter — contributed 1.6 percentage points to growth but is likely to