Friday, March 30, 2007

Forex News: 30.03.2007 Unemployment in the euro area at its minimum in February

Unemployment in the euro area was 7.3% in February, Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities reported today. In the preceding month the index was 7.4%, while February index was up to expectations.

In February the lowest unemployment rates were registered in Denmark (3.4%) and the Netherlands (3.5%). Unemployment rates were highest in Poland and Slovakia (11.0%).

In February 2006 the unemployment rate was 8.2%. Over the year 2006, unemployment fell in twenty one EU member states, in two countries the rate remained unchanged, and there was an increase in four countries.

Forex News: 30.03.2007 Economic sentiment unexpectedly rose in the euro area in March

Economic sentiment index in the euro area unexpectedly rose to 111.2 points in March from 109.7 points. The analysts expected that the index would decrease to 109.4 points.

The economic sentiment index in March reflects growing confidence of companies in current economic situation. The firms increase investment spending and hiring. This, in its turn, bolsters consumer confidence.

In manufacturing sector economic sentiment rose to 6 points, compared with 5 points in the preceding month. In services sector economic sentiment increased to 22 points from 20.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Forex News: 29.03.2007 US GDP in the forth quarter was above expectations

Final annual GDP in the USA in the forth quarter was 2.5%, while the adjusted reading and earlier estimates suggested 2.2%, the Ministry of Trade reported today.

GDP deflator, which reflects the inflation component of GDP, rose in the forth quarter by 1.6%, compared with 1.9% in the third quarter.

Exports rose in the forth quarter by 10.6%, compared with 6.8% in the preceding quarter. Imports fell by 2.6%, compared with 5.6% increase in the third quarter.

In 2006 the most substantial increase of GDP was in the first quarter (5.6%). In the second quarter GDP rose by 2.6%, in the third - by 2.0%. Over the whole year 2006 GDP rose by 3.3%, compared with 3.2% in 2005.

Forex News: 29.03.2007 Retail sales volume balance (CBI) in Great Britain was +32% in March

According to the CBI Distributive Trades Survey, retail sales volume balance was in Great Britain +32% in March and reflected substantial growth of durable and household goods.

It is worth noting that it was the forth consecutive positive balance. In February the index was +19%, while the analysts expected the same reading - +19%.

The CBI retail sales volume balance is based on the survey of 20000 outlets, which provide 40% employment in the country. The average balance for three months was +27%, the highest since June 2004 (+23%).

Forex News: 29.03.2007 Consumer credit in Great Britain was below expectations in February

The index of consumer credit in Great Britain rose in February by 0.919bln stg, the Bank of England reported today. In the preceding month consumer credit grew by 1.022bln stg (revised from 1.063bln).

It is important to note that the index achieved its minimum since September 2006, while the analysts estimated 1.0bln increase.

The volume of mortgage lending was 119K in February, unchanged from the preceding month. The Bank of England reported earlier that the volume of mortgage lending was 120K.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Forex News: 28.03.2007 U.S. Feb. durable goods orders rise 2.5%

Orders for durable goods climbed by 2.5% in February as defense and non-defense aircraft orders bounced back following big declines a month earlier.

Excluding transportation orders, however, durable goods orders declined by 0.1% in February.

The rise in orders for durable goods was mostly powered by an 88.4% increase in orders for non-defense aircraft. Orders for defense aircraft and parts rose by 29.2% in February.

Economists were expecting durable goods orders to rise by 3.8% in February.

Forex News: 28.03.2007 GDP in Great Britain +0.7% in the forth quarter

According to final estimates, GDP in Great Britain grew by 0.7% in the forth quarter and 3.0% in a year, the Office of National Statistics reported today.

Earlier estimates were 0.8% and 3.0% in a quarter and year respectively. The analysts expected that final estimates of GDP for the forth quarter would be equal to adjusted (0.8% and 3.0). Over the year 2006 GDP grew by 2.8%. Earlier reported data was 2.7% growth.

The growth of GDP in the forth quarter reflected economic rise in all sectors excluding production industry. Production industry output fell by 0.2% in a quarter. Gross fixed capital formation grew by 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter, driven by strong business investment.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Forex News: 27.03.2007 Ifo business climate in Germany unexpectedly improved in March

German firms have provided more favorable assessments of the current business situation as well as expressed more positive outlook for the coming six moths, Ifo Institute for Economic Research reported today.

Ifo business climate index, estimated on the survey of 7.000 companies, rose in March to 107.7 points from 107.7 points in the preceding month. The analysts estimated the index decrease in March, to 106.5 points.

The index of current business situation improved in March to 112.4 points, from 111.6 points in the preceding month. The index of business outlook rose to 103.2 points, from 102.6 in February.

Forex News: 27.03.2007 Possible decrease of interest rates in the USA

“Last week came to an end with good data of existing home sales in the USA, which greatly supported dollar and initiated its rise. In the light of this optimistic data the analysts also expected positive news on new home sales. However, the index was below expectations and achieved its lowest level for seven years, while the index of the preceding month was also revised to worse”, Georgiy Fedotov, NorthFinance financial analyst says.

Last week results persuaded the analysts that US monetary politics would not change and the interest rate would either stay unchanged or grow. But yesterday data indicates that there is a possibility of rate decrease, which is connected with the increase of mortgages by 9% in February and a record number of unpaid credits and bankruptcy of mortgage agencies.

After yesterday release dollar abruptly fell, while euro and pound sterling have been traded around their last maximums.

Today eur/usd is traded in the corridor of 1.3200-1.3400. Coming out of the corridor will indicate further developments”.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Forex News: 23.03.2007 Current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of EUR 2.7bln

The working day and seasonally adjusted current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of EUR 2.7bln in January, corresponding to a deficit of EUR 6.0bln in non-seasonally adjusted terms, the European Central Bank reported today.

The preceding reading of current account was revised from 2.3bln to 2.0bln. With consideration of the initial data, the analysts estimated surplus decrease in January, to 2.2bln.

Annual working day-adjusted current account was in deficit of 12.8bln, compared with 7.8bln deficit a year earlier.

Combined direct and portfolio investment recorded net inflows of EUR 34.0bln, mainly reflecting net purchases made by non-residents. In the preceding month net inflows were 7.6bln.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Forex News: 22.03.2007 Initial jobless claims dropped by 4,000 to 316,000

The number of Americans signing up for state unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in six weeks in the week ending March 17, the Labor Department reported.

Seasonally adjusted initial claims fell by 4,000 to 316,000. The four-week average of new claims fell by 3,750 to 326,000. Both figures are the lowest since the week of Feb. 3.

Meanwhile, the number of people collecting unemployment checks fell by 69,000 to 2.50 million in the week ending March 10.

The insured unemployment rate fell back to 1.9% from a high of 2.0%.

Forex News: 22.03.2007 UK March manufacturing orders balance +8 pct

The recovery in the UK's manufacturing sector continued during March, as orders rose at a 12-year high, the country's leading business lobby group said today.

The Confederation of British Industry said the total order book balance rose to +8 pct in March from February's +4 pct.

March's balance was the highest since May 1995, when it stood at +10 pct, and above market expectations for a modest decline to +3 pct.

Forex News: 22.03.2007 Euro-Zone January trade account swings into deficit

The euro zone had a trade deficit with the rest of the world in January 2007 as exports fell and imports rose.

According to figures released by the statistics agency Eurostat, the 13 countries that share the euro had a deficit of EUR7.8 billion on their trade in goods, compared with a deficit of EUR9.9 billion in January 2006 and a surplus of EUR3.2 billion in December 2006.

Eurostat revised up its estimate of the December surplus from EUR2.5 billion previously, partly reflecting Slovenia's entry into the euro zone in January.

The figures suggest that exports may not make as large a contribution to growth as they did in the fourth quarter, when the euro-zone economy grew by 0.9%.

Forex News: 22.03.2007 Retail sales in Great Britain were above expectations in February

The index of retail sales rose in Great Britain by 1.4% in February and by 4.9% in a year, the Office of National Statistics reported today. The index was far above expectations, because the analysts estimated the increase by 0.8% in a month and 4.0% in a year.

January reading of retail sales was revised and according to new estimates the retail sales fell in January by 1.5% and rose by 3.3% in a year.

Obviously, unexpected and substantial increase of retail sales will positively influence pound sterling, but the influence will be short term. In February consumer prices rose again, which may narrow retail sales next month.

Forex News: 22.03.2007 Dollar continues to decline

“Dollar continues to decline”, Artem Enshin, NorthFinance financial analyst says. “Yesterday we passed by the maximums of the last year and saw two-year maximum. EUR/USD consolidated at 1.3400, indicating that the investors still bear negative attitude toward American dollar.

The interest rate increase or more radical announcement of FOMC could only stop this tendency, but FOMC went other way. The idea of the announcement was that further steps of the Committee would depend on macroeconomic data, in particular, on inflation and GDP change. As a result the unchanged rate and neutral position of FOMC aggravated dollar position.

All major currencies benefited from dollar decline, where each of them consolidated by, at least, 100 points. Australian dollar even broke through its own record and consolidated at its historical maximum, 0.8090.

The most interesting macroeconomic news of today is retail sales in Great Britain, which, according to estimates, will rise by 2 per cent, from -1.8 in January to 0.8 in February. Trade balance for the euro area is published today. In the preceding month the index was 2.5bln euro. The traditional Thursday indicator is jobless claims in the USA. The index is expected to rise by 322K, compared with 318K in the preceding week”.

Forex News: 22.03.2007 Fed holds rates steady

The Federal Reserve held benchmark interest rates steady at 5.25 percent for a sixth straight meeting, while maintaining a warning on the risk of inflation.

The widely expected decision by the central bank's Federal Open Market Committee keeps the overnight federal funds rate target at the level it hit in June after 17 straight quarter-percentage point increases.

In a statement outlining its decision, the Fed indicated it continues to focus on inflation risks and stands ready to raise borrowing costs further if needed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Forex News: 21.03.2007 BoE: Inflation will be down in shorter term

The Bank of England published today the minutes of monetary policy Committee meeting of March 7-8, when the rates were kept unchanged at 5.25%.

The Committee noted that high volatility of financial markets, slower money growth, sterling depreciation and oil prices rise have influenced the decision.

The inflation in the country is at the level of expectations, but the Committee warns that the inflation will be down in shorter term than it was estimated before, following CPI decrease in January.

It is also marked that GDP growth for the first quarter 2007 will be strong, which is testified by consecutive growth of output in manufacturing and energy sectors.

Forex News: 21.03.2007 Housing starts increased in February

Groundbreaking on new homes rebounded by 9% in February after a 14% decline in January, but building permits declined by 2.5%.

Housing starts increased 9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.525 million in February from a 10-year low of 1.399 million in January, exceeding the expectations for a smaller increase to 1.46 million. Starts are down 28.5% compared with February 2006.

Building permits fell for the 12th time in the past 13 months, down 2.5% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.532 million from 1.571 million in January. Economists expected permits to be roughly unchanged.

Permits are down 28.6% compared with February 2006.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Forex News: 20.03.2007 Budget surplus in UK was 1.9bln stg in February

As the National Office of Statistics reported today, the public sector current budget was in surplus by 1.9bln stg in February, while the analysts estimated 2.0bln. In the preceding month budget deficit was 21.4bln stg.

In the financial year (April 2006 - February 2007) budget deficit was 6.4bln, which is 5.4bln lower than in the same period of 2005/06, when there was a deficit of 11.8bln stg.

At the end of February public sector net debt was 483.5bln stg, which is equivalent to 36.2% of GDP. At the end of February 2006 public sector net dept was 447.7bln (35.4% of GDP).

Monday, March 19, 2007

Forex News: 19.03.2007 The week of correction

Last week we evidenced the collapse of dollar rate. Thus, the change of eur/usd was 250 points from 1.3100 to 1.3350. As a result of this leap the pair achieved almost historical maximums, which were registered in December 2006. Artem Enshin, NorthFinance financial analyst observes further developments.

The news, capable of influencing euro/usd are absent, excluding FOMC meeting on kea interest rate, which is most likely to remain unchanged.

The week is promising to be correctional and we may see the pair in the range of 1.3250-1.3350.

Pound sterling also rose last week by 300 points to its maximum 1.9500.

At the oil market there was the substantial decrease of barrel price, by more than $5, to the level of $56.50. In the nearest future the correction to $60/a barrel is expected.

Gold reveals high volatility, but is still traded at $640-660/oz, as in the beginning of the month.

On Tuesday the consumer price index in Great Britain is published. In the preceding month the index was -0.8%, while February index is expected to rise by 0.3%. The index of retail prices in Great Britain is also to rise from -0.5% to 0.5%.

Wednesday is marked by FOMC meeting as well as by the trade balance in Switzerland, which was 1.29bln in the preceding month.

On Thursday it is important to pay attention to retail sales in Great Britain, which are to rise substantially, from -1.8% to 0.6%. Trade balance in the euro area will be also interesting. The index was 2.5bln in December.

On Friday current account in the euro area in January is published. In the preceding month it was 2.3bln euro. Existing home sales in the USA are expected to noticeably fall, to 6.35mln from 6.46mln.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Forex News: 16.03.2007 Consumer sentiment at lowest level in 6 months

Pummeled by higher gasoline prices, a weaker stock market and news about foreclosures, consumer sentiment fell in March to the lowest level since September.

The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to 88.8 in March from 91.3 in February. The decline was exactly as expected by economists.

Attitudes about the current economy fell to 103.6 from 106.7 in February. The expectations index dropped to 79.3 from 81.5 in February.

Forex News: 16.03.2007 Industrial production in the USA far above expectations in February

The index of industrial production in the USA rose in February by 1.0%, which was far above analysts’ estimates of 0.2% growth.

The considerable growth of industrial production may provide great support to dollar, because it is one of major macroeconomic indicators reflecting the tendencies of national economy.

Besides, industrial production in January was not so much down, as it was reported before. According to the revised estimates, the index of industrial production fell by 0.3% in January (earlier reported as 0.5).

Forex News: 16.03.2007 Inflation in the USA above expectations in February

The consumer price index in the USA rose in February by 0.4%, which was above analysts’ estimates, 0.3%. The growth of consumer price index was conditioned by gains in fuel, food and medical care.

Core consumer price index (excluding food and energy) in the USA rose by 0.2% in February, which was up to expectations.

Annual consumer price index grew by 2.4% in February, while consumer prices excluding food and energy rose by 2.7%.

In January consumer prices in the USA rose by 0.2%. Consumer prices excluding food and energy increased by 0.3%.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Forex News: 14.03.2007 U.S. current account narrows in fourth quarter

The U.S. current account deficit narrowed by 14.6% to $195.8 billion in the fourth quarter.

The deficit, the lowest since the third quarter of 2005, amounted to 5.8% of the nation's gross domestic product.

For all of 2006, the current account deficit grew to a record $856.7 billion, totaling 6.5% of GDP.

Economists had expected the current account deficit narrow to about $205 billion in the fourth quarter.

Forex News: 14.03.2007 Industrial production in the euro area below expectations in January

The index of industrial production in the euro area unexpectedly declined in January by 0.2%, Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities reported today. The analysts expected that the index would rise by 0.4%.

The annual growth of industrial production was 3.7% in January, while the analysts estimated 4.2%.

December reading of the index was revised to better. In December the index of industrial production rose by 1.2% in a month (previously reported as 1.0%) and by 4.4% in a year (revised from 4.0%).

Forex News: 14.03.2007 UK claimant count fell again in February, by 3800

Claimant count fell again in Great Britain in February by 3800. In the preceding month the index dropped by 13500, while the analysts expected 8500 decline in February.

Claimant count rate did not change in February and was up to expectations 2.9%.

The annual growth of average earnings for three months including January was above expectations 4.0%. The index was 4.2%, compared with the preceding reading 4.0%.

ILO jobless rate for three months to January remained unchanged, 5.5%.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Forex News: 13.03.2007 U.S. business inventories rose in January

U.S. business inventories grew again in January after a one-month drawdown in December.

Business sales fell 0.7% in January, while inventories increased 0.2%. In relation to sales, inventory levels equaled a two-year high.

The inventory-to-sales ratio rose to 1.30 from 1.28. The 0.2% increase in inventories matched expectations of economists.

In the past year, business sales are up 1.9%, while inventories are up 5.7%.

Forex News: 13.03.2007 U.S. retail sales up 0.1 pct in February

U.S. retail sales stayed soft in February, rising just 0.1% after no gain in January. Sales were led by a solid 0.9% rise in auto sales and a 1.2% rise in gasoline station sales, which was boosted by higher prices at the pump. Sales elsewhere were soft.

Sales excluding autos fell 0.1%, the first decline since October. And excluding both cars and gasoline sales, retail sales fell 0.3%, the largest decline since April 2004.

Sales were weaker than economists' expectations for 0.2% gains. Total retail sales were up 3.2% compared with February 2006.

Forex News: 13.03.2007 ZEW economic expectations index in Germany increased twice in March

ZEW economic expectations index, which reveals the confidence of firms in the economic situation in six-month prospect, rose to 5.8 points in March, compared with 2.9 points in February. The analysts expected the index to decrease to 2.8 points.

The increase of ZEW economic expectations index reveals that German economy continues to recover, though the index is still low, compared with its historic maximum 33.2.

German businessmen admit that new orders rose despite increase of value-added tax. The consumer confidence stabilized due to positive news from labor market. On the other hand, German economy is subject to negative impact of foreign orders decrease and oil prices rise.

The assessment of current situation dropped in March to 69.2 points, from 70.6 points in February. The assessment of current situation for the euro area rose by 0.2 points, to 66.9.

Forex News: 13.03.2007 Trade in goods deficit narrowed in UK in January

The deficit of trade in goods narrowed in Great Britain in January to 6.2bln stg, the National Office of Statistics reported today. In December the deficit of trade in goods was 6.9bln stg (previously reported as 7.1bln). With the consideration of the previous data, the analysts expected the decrease to 7.0bln.

In January exports did not change, revealing the unchanged level of manufacturing. Imports fell by 0.7bln stg.

Non-EU trade deficit narrowed to 3.7bln stg in January, from 4.3bln in December. Exports rose by 0.4bln, while imports fell by 0.2bln pound sterling.

Forex News: 13.03.2007 US federal budget deficit was $120bln in February

The congressional Budget Office reported that the deficit of the federal budget in the USA was $120bln in February, while the analysts expected $119bln. In January federal budget revealed the surplus of $38bln.

Compared with February 2006, the deficit of federal budget grew by $7bln (6%). Withholding for income and payroll taxes rose by $10.5bln (8%) for the same period. Outlays were $11bln greater than in February 2006, including the increase of spending for social security and medical care ($3bln). Medicaid spending was up by $2 billion in February.

The Congressional Budget Office expects that in the first five months of fiscal year 2007, the deficit of federal budget will be $165bln, compared with $218bln in the same period last year.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Forex News: 12.03.2007 UK Feb. input prices up 1.3 pct

UK raw materials costs recorded their biggest rise in seven months during February, driven by higher oil prices, official figures showed today.

The Office for National Statistics revealed that input prices jumped by 1.3 pct in February from January. This is the biggest monthly rise since July last year and reflects the rise in crude oil prices seen during the month. The reading is well above analysts' expectations for a much more modest rise of 0.7 pct and follows a 2.5 pct fall the previous month.

On a year-on-year basis, input prices fell by 1.0 pct, in line with forecasts.

Today's data also showed that on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, output prices rose a monthly 0.3 pct in February, down on January's upwardly revised 0.4 pct.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, core output prices were up by 0.5 pct in February from January, the biggest monthly rise since April last year and up on a 0.2 pct gain the previous month.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Forex News: 07.03.2007 January index of manufacturing orders in Germany far below expectations

The index of manufacturing orders in Germany unexpectedly declined in January by 1.0%. Annual growth of manufacturing orders was 7.8%.

December data was revised to better. In December manufacturing orders rose in Germany by 0.7% (revised from 0.2% decline) in a month and by 2.7% in a year (revised from 1.7%). In consideration of the initial data, the analysts expected substantial increase of the indicator, from -0.2% in December to 0.5% in January.

The index of manufacturing orders is one of most significant macroeconomic indicators, reflecting the perspectives of economic growth in the country. Thus, its substantial and unexpected decline may set negative sentiment of the market toward German currency.

Forex News: 07.03.2007 “Bear” tendency on EUR/USD keeps steady

Georgiy Fedotov, NorthFinance financial analyst: “After yesterday decline, EUR/USD rate came back to the level of 1.3125. Dollar rate was influenced by the data on industrial orders, which were below expectations and achieved their minimum since July 2000.

As we reported earlier, the decline of the indicator was connected with 60% reduction of new orders for aircraft and considerable decrease of orders in other industrial sectors.

There is a correction of descending movement of yen and Swiss franc rates, because the situation at the stock exchanges slightly stabilized.

Today the two-day BoE meeting starts in London, the results of which will come under light tomorrow. The rates are most likely to be unchanged.

It is also important to pay attention to the index of manufacturing orders in Germany, which is expected to substantially increase, from -0.2 in December to 0.5 in January. The US consumer credit is also expected to rise to 10bln from 6bln in the preceding month. At night the results of interest rates in New Zealand are published.

Day diagrams of EUR/USD keep “bear” tendency, the movement that started on Monday is most likely to continue”, the analyst notes.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Forex News: 06.03.2007 U.S. factory orders fall 5.6% in January

Demand for U.S.-made manufactured goods dropped 5.6% in January, the largest decline since July 2000.

A 60% plunge orders for new civilian aircraft led the decline, but most industrial sectors saw falling demand in January. Orders for core capital equipment fell 6.3%, the biggest decline in three years.

Economists were looking for orders to fall about 4.5%, according to the median forecast of economists.

Forex News: 06.03.2007 U.S. productivity rose 1.6% in the fourth quarter

U.S. productivity decelerated in the fourth quarter while labor costs rose, the Labor Department said.

Productivity of the U.S. nonfarm business sector rose at a 1.6% annual rate in the fourth quarter, revised down from the 3.0% pace estimated a month ago.

Unit labor costs rose at a 6.6% annual pace in the quarter, revised higher from a 1.7% increase. This is the largest quarterly gain since the first three months of 2006.

Economists expected productivity to be revised to a 1.4% annual pace, based on revisions to output and hours worked already reported in the gross domestic product data. Productivity fell at a 0.6% annual pace in the third quarter.

Productivity has increased 1.6% in the past year. Productivity has slowed every year since peaking at a 4.1% annual rate in 2002.

Forex News: 06.03.2007 Global collapse of stock exchanges influenced Forex

“The beginning of the week was marked by abrupt rise of dollar toward euro and pound sterling, and simultaneous fall toward Swiss franc and yen”, Georgiy Fedotov, NorthFinance financial analyst.

“Global collapse of stock exchanges finally influenced Forex market. The abrupt rise of yen and Swiss frank was conditioned by the fact that many investors took currency credits with low interest rates and transferred them into currencies with higher rates, using them for gambling at stock exchanges. With the global collapse of stock exchanges, the risks of these operations became very high and the participants of the market made transfer operations.

During this week ECB meeting takes place, as well as the meetings of Banks of Canada and New Zealand. If the kea interest rate is increased in Europe by 0.25 points, it will be a great surprise. The kea rate is possibly to be increased in New Zealand. Other Central Banks are not like to change their policies.

EUR/USD and GDP/USD are subject to “bear” sentiment”.

Forex News: 06.03.2007 Preliminary GDP in the euro area for the forth quarter up to expectations

Preliminary GDP for the forth quarter was 0.9% in the euro area, compared with 0.5% in the preceding quarter, Eurostat, the Statistical Office for the European Communities reported today. The index was up to analysts, expectations.

Seasonally adjusted annual growth of GDP was 3.3% in the forth quarter; while in the preceding quarter annual GDP was 2.7%.

Eurostat noted that in the forth quarter growth in investment and exports accelerated. Investments grew by 1.2% in the forth quarter. Exports rose by 3.7%, while imports fell by 1.7% for the period under report.

Over the whole year 2006, GDP grew by 2.6% in the euro area, compared with 1.4% in 2005.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Forex News: 05.03.2007 U.S. services sector show slower growth in February

The nation's service sector expanded in February but the 54.3 reading was slower than analysts had been expecting.

The Institute for Supply Management said its index of business activity in the service sector was down from 59.0 in January. Analysts had expected a reading of at least 57.0 for the latest month.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while one below that indicates contraction.

February marked the 47th consecutive month of business activity growth.

Forex News: 05.03.2007 Services sector activity in the euro area dropped slightly in February

Services sector activity in the euro area dropped slightly in February, which is indicated by PMI services index, which decreased from 57.9 points to 57.5 points during the period under report. The analysts expected even slighter decrease of the index, to 57.7 points.

The reading above 50 points reflects activity rise, below 50 - slowing down.

The decline of PMI services index was conditioned by the decrease of employment index as its component. The employment index was 54.0 points, compared with 54.3 points in January.

It is important to note that the index of economic expectations, reflecting services sector perspectives, grew by 68.0 points from 67.8 points in the preceding month.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Forex News: 01.03.2007 U.S. new-home sales rose by 16.6% in January

Sales of new homes plunged 16.6% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 937,000.It was the lowest sales pace in four years, and was the biggest percentage decline in 13 years. The decline in sales was much sharper than expected. The median forecast of economists was a drop to 1.08 million units. The inventory of unsold homes fell to 536,000 from 537,000. The median price of a new home was down 2.1% year-over-year, at $239,800.

Forex News: 01.03.2007 Chicago PMI falls to 47.9 in February

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index fell to 47.9 in February from 48.8 in January, suggesting a contraction in regional growth. Economists were forecasting a reading of 50. Among the index's individual components, the prices paid index rose to 63.2 in February from 54.9 a month earlier. New orders rose to 48.7 from 46.3, while the employment index climbed to 50.6 from 42.8.