Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

The US econ­omy ap­pears to show signs of con­tin­ued growth, with pre­lim­i­nary an­nu­al­ized Q3GDP com­ing in at 3.2 per­cent sup­ported by im­prov­ing re­tail sales and a strong hous­ing mar­ket. With the con­sumer price in­dex com­ing in at 1.6 per­cent YoY, boosted by ris­ing en­ergy prices, and the ex­pected in­crease in govern­ment spend­ing from the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion, this could sup­port the Fed’s case for a De­cem­ber rate hike.

The Novem­ber US ISM man­u­fac­tur­ing came in at 53.2, higher than Oc­to­ber’s read­ing of 51.9. The Novem­ber Non­farm Pay­roll came in at 178,000, sig­nif­i­cantly higher than the Oc­to­ber read­ing of 142,000. US un­em­ploy­ment im­proved to 4.6 per­cent in Novem­ber ver­sus 4.9 per­cent in Oc­to­ber. Con­sumer con­fi­dence grew in Novem­ber to 107.1 from 100.8 in Oc­to­ber. Durable goods or­der came in higher than ex­pected at 4.8 per­cent in Oc­to­ber, due to a 12 per­cent gain in trans­porta­tion or­ders, com­pared to the re­vised Septem­ber fig­ure 0.4 per­cent. Strong US hous­ing data re­vealed hous­ing starts im­proved 25.5 per­cent in Oc­to­ber to an an­nu­al­ized rate of 1.323 mil­lion, mark­ing the strong­est monthly per­cent­age gain since 1982. Ex­ist­ing home sales also picked up to 5.60 mil­lion while new homes sales dropped to 0.563 mil­lion in Oc­to­ber on an an­nu­al­ized rate.

The UK Man­u­fac­tur­ing Pur­chas­ing Man­agers In­dex (PMI) for Novem­ber dropped slightly to 53.4 com­pared to 54.2 in Oc­to­ber. UK in­fla­tion re­mains some­what sta­ble at 0.9 per­cent down from 1.0 per­cent in Septem­ber. Un­em­ploy­ment fell to 4.8 per­cent, an 11-year low as the num­ber of un­em­ploy­ment claims only rose 10,000 to 803,000. Con­sumers con­tinue to be confident which is prov­ing to be cru­cial to the UK econ­omy; re­tail sales rose to 7.4 per­cent YoY in Oc­to­ber, up from the re­vised 4.2 per­cent in Septem­ber.

UK eq­ui­ties dropped 2.5%

The eu­ro­zone man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor con­tin­ues to grow as ev­i­dent in the pre­lim­i­nary man­u­fac­tur­ing PMI of 54.1 for the month of Novem­ber, up from 53.5 in Oc­to­ber. Fur­ther sup­port­ing growth in the region, is the pre­lim­i­nary ser­vice PMI for Novem­ber, also at 54.1 com­pared to 52.8 in Oc­to­ber. Con­sumer con­fi­dence, al­though still neg­a­tive, has im­proved from a read­ing of -8.0 in Oc­to­ber to a read­ing of -6.1 in Novem­ber. Euro­pean eq­ui­ties in Novem­ber gained 0.9 per­cent, as mea­sured by the Stoxx Europe 600.

Ja­pan posted, a trade sur­plus of JPY 496 bil­lion in Oc­to­ber, com­pared to JPY 498 bil­lion in Septem­ber. The sur­plus was driven by a con­tin­ued de­cline in the value of

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