New Overnight Developments Abroad – Abbreviated

March 17, 2009

Japan’s Tertiary Index, which gauges activity in service sectors, rose 0.4% in January.  A drop of that amount had been anticipated.  Despite the unexpected increase, the index was still 1.0% below the 4Q level.  Last quarter, the index fell 6.8% at a seasonally adjusted rate and by 2.7% from 4Q07.

Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s meeting earlier this month considered two options, a further rate cut or a pause.  Even though officials correctly foresaw weak growth in 4Q and early this year, choice two was felt to be most appropriate, giving officials latitude to for easing later if that proves necessary.  Rates had been reduced sharply in recent months, and officials though it would be wise to pause and watch how stimulus in the pipeline impacts the economy before committing to additional support.

Copyright 2009 Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.


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