Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Economics Headlines; US confidence; US housing prices; UK eco growth $SPY

Economics Headlines

         US confidence - Consumer confidence rose 6.1 points in March to 52.5, partly reversing the 10.1 point decline that occurred in the February report. The assessment of the present situation rose 4.3 points and the typically more volatile expectations component rose 7.3 points.  The increase in consumer confidence was a little better than expectations which looked for a 51.0 on the headline, nonetheless its hard to get too excited about a confidence number that is still below its average over the last six months.  . 
         US housing prices - it not only beat expectations but has shown steady growth over the last seven months. The seasonally adjusted 20-city composite was up 0.3% in January, the same as the December increase. Since bottoming in May of last year, the 20-city index is up 3.9%, and is down only 0.7% from a year ago. The strongest gains recently have generally been in those parts of the Southwest that had the biggest boom-bust cycles, such as Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas. House prices in New York continue to decline and are down 5.3% from last year.  . 
         UK eco growth - 4Q GDP revised up from 0.3% to 0.4%q/q; The upward revision to 4Q GDP (in today's third release of last quarter's national accounts) indicates that growth in the initial phase of recovery had more momentum than previously thought. Private sector services output looks stronger, after being a key disappointment in the initial report. Final demand in the private sector was still very weak in 4Q, with net trade a drag. The main upward revision was to inventories.   

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