Entries in Growth (5)


Euro Zone Sees End to Six Quarters of Recession

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After six consecutive quarters of economic contraction, the European Union's combined gross domestic product rose in the most recent quarter.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the combined GDP of the European Union's 17 members was 0.3 percent higher than the first three months of this year. While the numbers were still less than the second quarter last year, this quarter saw the fastest quarterly expansion since 2011.

The figures mark an end to the longest European recession on record.

Portugal saw the greatest degree of expansion, 1.1 percent, the first economic expansion since 2010. Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Finland and Slovakia also saw economic growth, says the Journal.

Italy, Spain and the Netherlands saw economic declines, but by a smaller amount than last quarter. Cyprus saw the largest decline.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


China’s Economy Has Underwhelming Start, Slowest Since 2009

Getty/George Doyle/Thinkstock(BEIJING, China) -- The growth of China’s economy may be showing signs of slowing down, as the nation’s industrial output started the year weaker than it has any year since 2009 and lending and retail growth slowed, though the economy is still growing on the whole.

Bloomberg is reporting that government economic data released on March 9 shows growth that falls short of economists’ estimates, who were underwhelmed by the 9.9 percent production increase in January-February and the 12.3 percent retail sales growth.

Economists had predicted a 10.6 increase in production, and a 13.8 percent increase in retail sales. Retail sales have not increased by so little since 2004, and the lack of retail sales may partially be a result of a crackdown by Communist Party chief Xi Jinping on lavish spending by government officials and state-owned companies.

The government should also be mindful of rising inflation in China, which rose by four percent this year, a half-percent over the government’s target.

“From a monetary policy perspective, by mid-2013, the inflation issue should begin to move up policy makers’ list of things to worry about,” Li Wei, a Shanghai-based economist with Standard Chartered, said in a note.

There is some good news for the Chinese, as exports jumped 23.6 percent, the most they have in the first two months of the year since 2010.

The slower than expected growth isn’t dire news, but it does merit some concern.

“Policy makers face a dilemma as growth is weakening yet inflationary pressure keeps building,” Zhang Zhiwei, chief China economist at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Hong Kong told Bloomberg.

“The government will eventually have to tighten policy to contain inflation but in the short term, the next several months, the government may put policy on hold to observe how growth and inflation move and fine-tune accordingly.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Gross Domestic Product Slows, Grew at 1.8% Pace in Q1

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A new report shows the pace of the economic recovery slowed significantly during the first quarter. The gross domestic product report -- the first of three revisions -- showed the economy growing at a 1.8 percent annual pace from January to March. In the fourth quarter of 2010, the economy was growing at a 3.1 percent pace.

Economists said they expected the slow down, pointing to weather effects and a significant reduction in construction. The report shows the slowdown is a result of a big pullback in government spending, slower spending on construction and by consumers, and an increase in imports.

The second estimate will be out on May 26.

The report is available on the U.S. Commerce Department's website.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Commerce Dept.: US Consumer Spending Continues to Improve 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Official data from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows that consumer spending in the United States has grown at its fastest pace since 2007.  The Commerce Department reports that spending has grown 3.5 percent since 2009.

Economists say spending and savings growth should persist in 2011, provided that the job market continues to improve.

Copyright 2011 ABC News


US Exports Likely to Continue Growth in 2011, Say Analysts

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEWARK, N.J.) -- U.S. exports are expected to continue growth in 2011, reports The Journal of Commerce.  Strong export growth across the country was seen in record numbers in 2010 and is likely to grow.

Data reported by analysts at PIERS, a sister company of The Journal of Commerce, is supportive of this expectation, observing a nearly 12 percent jump in the first half of 2010.  PIERS researchers say a "mid- to-high single-digit growth" is likely over the next few quarters.

The journal attributes the acceleration of U.S. export growth to a "growing Asian middle class, overseas crop issues, a week U.S. dollar [and] demand for U.S. goods from agriculture to manufactured products."

With the surfacing of such optimistic reports should increase the possibility that the Obama administration could reach its goal to double exports by 2015.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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