In U.S. economic news, the third estimate of fourth-quarter GDP came in at 2.9%, increasing from the prior-quarter reading of 2.5%, and beating consensus estimates of 2.6% growth. The Office for National Statistics illustrated a picture of slower than expected economic growth for the fourth-quarter in the U.K. Gross Domestic Product expanded by 0.4% quarter-on-quarter, below the 0.5% exhibited in the prior period. South Korean gross domestic product expanded by a seasonally adjusted 0.2% on-quarter during the fourth-quarter of 2017, slowing significantly from the 1.4% gain realized in the third quarter.
In housing news, the MBA mortgage applications index for the week ended 3/16 fell 1.1%, below the prior-week’s 0.9% gain. Meanwhile, new home sales for the same month came in at 618,000, below both the prior-month’s upwardly revised 622,000 figure and consensus estimates of 620,000. Germany’s business climate index for March fell to 114.7 from 115.4 in the prior month. This is slightly higher than the 114.6 forecasted according to the Ifo Institute. Fear of trade conflict stemming from recent developments in U.S. trade policy is a heavy influence. The unemployment rate in Japan ticked up to a seasonally adjusted 3.70% in February, increasing marginally from the 3.68% rate reported in January. The 3.70% rate matched economists’ expectations.
In U.S. economic news, CPI for the month of February reported 0.2% growth, matching the consensus estimates, butbelow the prior month’s 0.5% growth. Revised February data for the Eurozone showed inflation growth eased to 1.1%, following January growth of 1.3%. Japan’s industrial production dropped an adjusted 6.8% month-over-month in January, faster than the 6.6% fall reported earlier and below the 2.9% increase seen in December.
In U.S. economic news, revised productivity for the fourth-quarter remained flat, moving slightly higher than the decline of 0.1% reported in the prior quarter, and was higher than economists’ estimates of a 0.1% reduction as well. Germany’s exports & imports declined sequentially in January, but continued to grow on a year-over-year basis. Exports decreased in January by 0.5%, missing analyst’s expactations of a 0.3% increase. Imports decreased by 0.5% in January, well below a December increase of 1.1% and a forecasted 0.2% decrease.China’s inflation increased to its highest point since November 2013, rising to 2.9% in February, higher than the 1.5% rise seen in January, also topping analysts’ forecasts of a 2.4% increase. Meanwhile, producer price inflation dropped to 3.7% in February from the 4.3% seen in January.
In U.S. economic news, international trade in goods for the month of January reported a $74.4 billion deficit, below the downwardly-revised $72.3 billion deficit in the prior month, and below consensus estimates of a $72.2 billion deficit. Spanish unemployment fell in February by 6,280, as compared to January. Unemployment has fallen by 280,628 since the same time last year, or by 7.48%. Currently, unemployment is at 3.47 million, its lowest mark in 9 years. Manufacturing in South Korea continued its expansion in the month of February recording score of 50.3, lower than the prior month’s reading of 50.7. Industrial output in South Korea grew a seasonally adjusted 1.0%, on month for January, following a 1.7% decline seen in December.
In U.S. economic news,the MBA mortgage applications index fell 6.6% for the week ended February 17, lower than the prior week fall of 4.1%. The United Kingdom saw GDP increase by just 0.4% sequentially, as opposed to initially reported estimates of 0.5%. Japan’s producer prices in January increased 0.7%, slightly missing analysts’ expectations of a 0.8% gain.
In U.S. economic news, housing starts for the month of January registered at 1,326,000, above consensus estimates of 1,240,000, and above the upwardly revised prior month’s reading of 1,209,000. Elsewhere, U.K. retail sales rose 0.1% month-on-month during January, coming in lower than the expected 0.5% rise, and reversing course from the 1.4% drop in the prior month. Finally, China’s new loans for January registered CNY 2,900.00 billion, higher than the consensus estimates of CNY 2,000.00 billion.
The U.S. MBA mortgage applications index rose 0.7% for the week ended February 3rd, higher than the dip of 2.6% in the prior week. Elsewhere, the industrial output of France grew by 0.5% sequentially in December, positively reversing the 0.3% fall seen in November. Finally, Malaysia’s unemployment rate remained constant at 3.3% in December, the same rate that was reported in November.
In U.S. economic news, personal spending in December rose 0.4%, missing consensus estimates of 0.5% and below prior month’s 0.8% growth. Elsewhere, Eurozone producer price inflation increased 2.2% year-over-year for December, slowing from November’s 2.8% increase, and was lower than economists’ expectation of 2.3%. Finally, Australia’s producer prices rose 0.6% on-quarter in the fourth-quarter of 2017, higher than the 0.2% gain it witnessed in the prior-quarter.