SHANGHAI, Mar. 4 (SMM) –
The euro zone business confidence continued to improve last week but the UK GDP remained disappointing. In the US, economic data were mixed, with existing home sales exceeding forecasts which indicated growth in home sales in the next few months, but durable goods orders dropped 5.2%.
Germany March GfK Consumer Confidence Index Edges Up
Survey of GfK shows that consumer confidence index for March was positive with the country’s economic outlook improving.
GfK consumer confidence index for March rose for the second month to 5.9, compared with 5.8 for the previous month, enhancing expectations that consumption will continue to give support to economic growth.
Euro zone February Business Climate Index Up for 4th Month
The European Commission reported last Wednesday that euro zone February business climate index was up to 91.1, rising for the fourth consecutive months and beating the 89.9 forecast.
UK GDP Remains Weak
The UK 4Q GDP data on an annualized basis were revised upward to 0.3% but data on a quarterly basis still staged a contraction of 0.3%. Besides, other sub-indexes also showed depression.
Preliminary UK business investment slipped 1.2% on a QoQ basis in 4Q, the largest decline since 1Q 2011, and up 0.4% YoY. 4Q manufacturing output dropped 1.3% QoQ, and industrial output was down 1.9% from the previous quarter, with both figures presenting the biggest losses. Only household spending, government spending, and construction data saw increases.
US January Durable Goods Orders Down 5.2%
The US durable goods orders slipped 5.2% in January due mainly to falling orders of planes for commercial and defense use. The core durable goods orders excluding the orders from transportation sector increased in January, up for the fifth month.
Data show the growth in durable goods orders in December 2012 was revised down from 4.3% to 3.7%.
US January Pending Home Sales Up 4.5%, Beating Expectation
NAR reported that the US pending home sales in January were up 4.5% MoM due to high affordability.
Housing transactions often are completed in two month after contracts are concluded, meaning pending home sales will lead increase in home sales in the next one or two month.
Environmental Protection Inspections Produced Fruit
Sources from the Ministry of Environmental Protection revealed recently that 12 enterprises were found qualified in the environmental protection inspections conducted for lead-acid battery and secondary lead sectors. Industry insiders believe this indicates a vital achievement in consolidation of China’s lead-acid battery sector.
Tongren Aluminum Starts Construction of Aluminum Alloy Project
Tongren Aluminum started construction of its aluminum alloy production and processing project on February 27.
The project costing RMB 9 billion is among the first batch of key construction projects approved by Henan provincial government in 2012. A 300,000 mt/yr aluminum processing line is planned to be built, with the 100,000 mt/yr in hard alloy capacity costing RMB 5.4 billion to be built initially in 2.5 years. The hard alloy capacity is expected to yield RMB 8 billion in sales income and RMB 900 million in profits each year. The project is aimed to realized the most accomplished “bauxite – alumina – aluminum production – aluminum processing” industry chain across the nation and to integrate R&D with production so as to help promote aluminum industry development.