Economic Updates

  •  The ZEW economic sentiment index in Germany climbed to a reading of 48.20 in February, from a reading of 31.50 in the previous month.
  • On a monthly basis, construction output in the eurozone fell 1.7% in December, compared to a 0.4% decline recorded in the previous month.
  •  The ZEW economic expectations index in the eurozone rose to a reading of 42.40 in February, from a reading of 31.20 in January.
  •  Switzerland National Bank Chairman, Thomas Jordan, reiterated his stance that the central bank will not exit its policy of capping the currency soon. He stated that the central bank would continue to enforce the minimum exchange rate with utmost determination.
  • The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index in the US edged down to a reading of 46.00 in February from a reading of 47.00 in January.
  • On a month-on-month basis, wholesale sales in Canada dropped 0.9% to CAD49.00bn in December, compared to a 0.7% growth in the previous month.
  •  The leading economic index in Japan rose to a reading of 93.40 in December, following a downwardly revised reading of 92.00 in November. Also, the coincident economic index advanced to a reading of 92.60 in December, from a reading of 90.20 in the previous month.
  •  The Japan Department Store Association has reported that, on an annual basis, nationwide department store sales in Japan rose 0.2% in January, compared to a 1.3% drop in the previous month.
  •  The total merchandise trade deficit in Japan has widened to JPY1,629.40bn in January compared to a revised JPY643.30bn deficit posted in December.
  •  Moody’s Investors Service has indicated that the Chinese economy is showing signs of recovery and a case for hard landing looks unlikely. The ratings agency expects the economic growth to climb to the upper half of the 7.5% to 8.5% range it previously forecast for 2013. However, it has warned that an unchecked non-credit growth could likely endanger the soundness of the banking system and in turn the economy.

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