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  • New Data Suggest a Pause in China’s Slowdown

    Communication, Environmental Design

    HONG KONG — China’s economy faces major structural challenges in the coming years, but for now, the slowdown of the recent past may have bottomed out.

    A new batch of economic data released Friday provided additional signs of buoyancy in an economy that has been weighed down by lackluster international demand. The Chinese government has also taken a tough-love approach, eager to wean the country from its reliance on exports and cheap credit.

    Industrial output growth, which had been languishing around 9 percent for the past few months, jumped to 9.7 percent in July, the National Bureau of Statistics reported. The figure easily beat expectations for a rise of 9 percent, and helped support tentative signs that conditions in the country’s manufacturing sector were starting to show a moderate improvement.

    Retail sales grew 13.2 percent from a year earlier, slightly less than the 13.5 percent that analysts polled by Reuters had expected, but in line with the performance of the past few months.

    And investment in fixed assets, like buildings and machinery, in urban areas also was in line with expectations, growing 20.1 percent in the first seven months of this year.

    Together with unexpectedly solid import and export data released Thursday, this week’s data appeared to show that the Chinese economy has stabilized, at least for now, and prompted some analysts to project a modest pickup in the coming months.

    ‘'The better-than-expected July activity data has largely dampened...

  • 212-5rdmd

    Source

    A comparison of the Federal Reserve's statements from its two-day meeting that ended Wednesday and its meeting on June 18-19:

    ECONOMY:

    June: "Economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace. ... The (Fed) expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic growth will proceed at a moderate pace and the unemployment rate will gradually decline."

    July: The Fed downgrades its view of economic growth from "moderate" to "modest," but expects improvement later this year: "Economic activity expanded at a modest pace during the first half of the year. ... The (Fed) expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic growth will pick up from its recent pace and the unemployment rate will gradually decline."

    INFLATION:

    Then: The Fed "also anticipates that inflation over the medium term likely will run at or below its 2 percent objective."

    Now: Fed officials expressed more concern about inflation, which has slowed: The Fed "recognizes that inflation persistently below its 2 percent objective could pose risks to economic performance, but it anticipates that inflation will move back toward its objective over the medium term."

    HOUSING:

    Then: "The housing sector has strengthened further."

    Now: "The housing sector has been strengthening, but mortgage rates have risen somewhat."

    ...

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