Some Interesting Data

July 9, 2013

Growth in Japan’s monetary base is seeping into the money supply.  A 3.8% on-year rise in M2 money in June was the most in over a decade.  M2 growth accelerated to 3.5% in the second quarter from 2.9% in 1Q and 2.5% in 2012.  Broad liquidity climbed 3.2% in the year to June, up from 2.7% in May and a mere 0.3% in calendar 2012.

Chinese consumer price inflation accelerated to a 4-month high of 2.7% in June from 2.1% in May, casting new doubt on how hard the central bank will try to alleviate a credit crunch and support growth.  The acceleration of the CPI mostly reflected food costs.  Producer prices, down 2.7% in the year to June, has posted uninterrupted 12-month declines since March 2012.

British industrial production was unchanged in May and hasn’t posted a monthly increase since February.  Output was 2.3% lower than in May 2012.  In the three months to May, production surpassed the December-February level by just 0.2% and was 1.9% weaker than a year earlier.  The latest figures were worse than forecast and break a streak of surprisingly upbeat figures in other data.  For example, it was also reported today by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors that the house price balance index jumped to an on-year increase of 21% in June from 5% in May, 1% in April, minus 2% in March and minus 7% in February.

The U.K. merchandise trade deficit widened 0.7% in May to GBP 8.49 billion, and the goods and services deficit of GBP 2.44 billion was also larger than April’s imbalance of GBP 2.07 billion.  Same store retail sales reported by the British Retail Consortium were 1.4% higher than a year before in June following a 1.8% increase in May.

Ezone finance ministers agreed on the release of the next tranche of aid to Greece, which is EUR 3 billion in size.  This will keep the euro intact past German elections in September.

The dollar is unchanged against the euro and loonie, up 0.6% versus sterling, 0.4% relative to the Swiss franc, and 0.2% against the yen.  But it’s down 0.7% against the New Zealand dollar, 0.2% relative to the Aussie dollar and 0.1% against the yuan.

Gold rose on new Chinese concerns, advancing 1.2% to $1249.30 per ounce.  Oil edged down 0.1% to $103.04 per barrel.

Ten-year Japanese JGB and British gilt yields eased a basis point, and the 10-year German bund held steady.

Japan’s Nikkei jumped by 2.6%.  Elsewhere in the Pacific Rim, stocks were mixed, with gains of 1.5% in Australia, 0.7% in Singapore, New Zealand and South Korea, and 0.5% in Hong Kong but losses of 1.1% in Taiwan and 0.7% in Indonesia.  Alcoa kicked off the U.S. corporate earnings season yesterday with a decent report.

The NZIER index of New Zealand business sentiment improved to a reading of 32 last quarter from 23 in 1Q.

The National Australia Bank’s business conditions index sank to a 4-year low of minus 8 in June from -4 in May.  Business confidence edged up to zero from negative readings of -1 in May and -2 in April.

Japanese machine tool orders slumped more sharply, 12.4%, in June according to preliminary figures than the 7.4% on-year drop in May.

Swiss retail sales volume dipped 0.1% on month and posted a smaller 1.8% on-year increase in May after April’s 3.1% increase.

Czech CPI inflation edged up to 1.6% in June from 1.3% in May, while the jobless rate dipped to 7.3% from 7.5% in May.

The Danish current account surplus widened 43% on month to DKK 11.85 billion in May.

Scheduled U.S. data releases today include the NFIB index of small business sentiment and the Labor Department’s JOLTS index, which tracks job hiring and firing trends.  Canadian housing starts also arrive.

Copyright 2013, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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