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The US economy continues its slow march to recovery

Christopher Joye
21 March 2011

With the rider being extreme global uncertainty (witness the price of Brent spike back up to $115.50 overnight from a low of $109.45), here is UBS's summary of the latest US data (note, in particular, the inflation data, which I have been harping on about for ages):

  • “US: CPI rose 0.5 per cent in Feb (consensus 0.4 per cent), after a 0.4 per cent rise in Jan. Core CPI rose 0.2 per cent (cons & UBSe: 0.1 per cent) after 0.2 per cent – the first back-to-back gain since Sep-Oct 2009, accelerating to 1.1 per cent from one per cent year-on-year. Data suggest some upside risk to our inflation forecast.”
  • “US: New jobless claims fell 16k to 385k, in line with expectations. The four-week average fell to 386k from 393k in the prior week.”
  • “US: The index of leading economic indicators (LEI) jumped 0.8 per cent month-on-month after a 0.1 per cent gain in Jan.”
  • “US: IP fell 0.1 per cent in Feb (cons: +0.6 per cent, UBS: +0.7 per cent) after a 0.3 per cent gain in Jan (was -0.1 per cent). However, the drop reflected a plunge in utility output due to unseasonably warm weather. Factory output rose a solid 0.4 per cent, after +0.9 per cent.”
  • “US: The Philly Fed current activity index rose to a 'booming' level of 43.4 in March from 35.9 in February.”

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