US NAHB edged higher, sentiment in Germany has improved (Zew index) but remains in negative territory
US: NAHB housing market index (Feb): 62 vs 59 expected (prior: 58)
- Sentiment in housing has rebounded mainly on higher future sales and higher prospective buyers traffic after interest rates have moderated.
UK: Unemployment rate (ILO) (Dec.): 4% as expected (prior: 4%)
- Claimant count rate was stable at 2.8%; jobless claims were up by 14.2 k after 20.2 k the prior month.
- Trend in labor looks stable for several months.
UK: Average earnings incl. Bonus (Dec.): 3.4% y/y vs 3.5% expected (prior: 3.4%)
- Trend remained sustained on wage growth; wages in construction continue to show the strongest yearly rise.
Germany: Zew (Feb.): -13.4 vs -13.6 expected (prior: -15)
- Expectations continue to regularly improve from October depressed levels, but at a slow pace. On the opposite, sentiment on the current situation has weakened further.
- The economic situation remains fragile and the recovery could stay moderate as large sectors (banks, industry and exports) remained under pressure.
Italy: Industrial orders (Dec.): -1.8% m/m (prior: -0.4% revised from -0.2%)
- Industrial sales were down by 3.5% m/m after -0.1% m/m the prior month. Momentum has sharply deteriorated for orders in all sectors; foreign orders have contracted by 7.4% m/m, while domestic orders were up by 2.5% m/m.
- Activity in the eurozone sharply weakened at year end, and Italy looks at risk as its GDP has contracted by Q4
Switzerland: Trade balance (Jan.): 3.04 Bn CHF (prior: 1.96Bn)
- Real exports: 0.6% m/m after -4.3% m/m the prior month; real imports: 4.8% m/m after 3.9% m/m the prior month.
Sweden: CPI (Jan.): -1% m/m vs -0.7% expected (prior: 0.4%)
- Prices have declined in all sectors and particularly in energy and for clothes.
- Trend has moderated from 2% y/y the prior month to 1.9% y/y and core inflation from 1.5% y/y to 1.4% y/y.
- With inflation below target, the central bank will have to wait to normalize further its interest rates.