Japan Manufacturing PMI Unchanged At 48.9 In March

The manufacturing sector in Japan continued to contract at a steady pace, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed on Friday with a manufacturing PMI score of 48.9. That’s unchanged from the February reading and it remains beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. Individually, there were further production cutbacks amid weaker new order inflows, while business confidence remained below the long-term average. “Further struggles for Japanese manufacturers were apparent at the end of Q1, with latest flash PMI data showing a sustained downturn. Slack demand from…

U.S. Leading Economic Index Rises Slightly More Than Expected In February

Reflecting accommodative financial conditions and a rebound in stock prices, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing its reading on leading U.S. economic indicators rose for the first time in five months in February. The Conference Board said its leading economic index edged up by 0.2 percent in February after revised data showed no change in January. Economists had expected the index to inch up by 0.1 percent compared to the 0.1 percent dip originally reported for the previous month. Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Economic Research at the…

Dutch Consumer Confidence Weakest Since December 2014

The Netherlands’ consumer confidence fell for the eighth month in a row in March to the weakest level since late 2014, data from the Central Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday. The consumer confidence index dropped to minus 4 from minus 2 in February. The latest reading was the lowest since December 2014, when the score was minus 4. The latest reading is slightly below the past twenty years’ average of minus 3. Economic expectations of households deteriorated further in March, with the relevant survey measure dropping to minus 3…

New Zealand GDP Data Due On Thursday

New Zealand will on Thursday release Q4 figures for gross domestic product, highlighting a busy day in Asia-Pacific economic activity. GDP is expected to add 0.6 percent on quarter and 2.5 percent on year after rising 0.3 percent on quarter and 2.6 percent on year in the three months prior. New Zealand also will see February figures for credit card spending; in January, spending was up 1.4 percent on month and 6.9 percent on year. Australia will provide February data for unemployment, with forecasts suggesting the jobless rate will hold…

German Producer Price Inflation Stable In February

Germany’s producer price inflation was unchanged in February, defying expectations for an acceleration, after slowing in the previous two months, preliminary figures from the Federal Statistical Office showed on Wednesday. The producer price index rose 2.6 percent year-on-year, same as in January. Economists had expected a higher rate of 2.9 percent. Producer price inflation was last lower than the current rate in May 2018, when it was 2.5 percent. Among the main industrial groups, energy prices rose 7.5 percent after a 0.2 percent slump in January. Prices of durable consumer…