Chinese and Japanese Manufacturing Activity Declined in March, Europe and U.S. Increased
The China Manufacturing PMI declined again in March, from 50.7 in February to 49.2. The PMI has contracted three of the past four months, causing China to reduce its target 2015 real GDP growth rate to 7 percent. The Japan Manufacturing PMI also decreased in March, from 51.6 to 50.4, its lowest level since May 2014. Overall, the Japanese economy is growing slowly, with real GDP up 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter. In contrast, the Eurozone Manufacturing PMI rose from 51.0 to 51.9, its highest level since May 2014 and the United States Manufacturing PMI rose from 55.1 to 55.3, indicating decent growth. To read more, visit here.
Consumer Prices Rose in February for the First Time in Four Months
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.2 percent in February. This is the first time in the past four months that the CPI has increased, largely due to higher gasoline prices and a 0.2 percent increase in February for both food prices and core consumer prices. On a year-over-year basis, core inflation has increased 1.7 percent, which is below the Federal Reserve's stated goal of less than 2 percent. The CPI has been below the 2 percent goal for 25 straight months. To read more, visit here.
U.S. Now Official Partner Country for the World's Largest Industrial Trade Fair
Hannover Messe is the world's largest industrial trade fair. Held annually in Hanover, Germany, thousands of exhibitors from more than 60 countries display their manufacturing technologies and products to more than 200,000 attendees. Last week, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed, naming the United States as an official Hannover Messe partner country, and opening up the gates for American manufacturers to exhibit on the world stage at the 2016 Hannover Messe on April 25-29. To read more, visit here.
United States Real GDP Grew 2.2 Percent in the Fourth Quarter of 2014
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that real GDP grew 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, only slightly better than the 2.3 percent and 2.2 percent rates seen in 2012 and 2013. It is a decline from the rather robust 4.8 percent real GDP growth average in the second and third quarters of last year. Consumer and business spending were the greatest contributors to fourth quarter growth, while net exports and government spending pulled that number down. To read more, visit here.