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The Wall Street Journal

Dow Jones Newswires
US Economy Seen Stabilizing In Second Half Of 2009-NABE Survey

20 Jul 09

The U.S. economy should stabilize in the second half of this year, but a robust recovery is unlikely and job cuts should continue, according to the latest survey from the National Association for Business Economics.

"Industry demand was still declining in the second quarter of 2009, but the breadth of decline had narrowed considerably since late 2008, raising prospects for stabilization in the second half," said NABE member Sara Johnson, an economist at IHS Global Insight.

USA Today

Reuters
Survey: Recession easing but likely not over

20 Jul 09

The National Association for Business Economics' quarterly industry survey found that demand is stabilizing, but a small majority of the 102 respondents said their firms had not yet seen the bottom.

The survey "provides new evidence that the U.S. recession is abating, but few signs of an immediate recovery," said Sara Johnson, managing director of global macroeconomics for IHS Global Insight, who helped analyze the report for the NABE.

"Industry demand was still declining in the second quarter of 2009, but the breadth of decline had narrowed considerably since late 2008, raising prospects for stabilization in the second half" of the year, she said.

Bloomberg.com

Fleet Demand May Boost U.S. Auto Sales, Production (Update1)
By Mike Ramsey

16 Jul 09

Automakers, shippers, metal producers and economists all anticipate vehicle production will rise in 2009’s second half, That would be the first time that more vehicles were built in the second half of a year than in the first six months since 1991, when the U.S. economy was in a recession, according to data from IHS Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts.

BusinessWeek

Associated Press
Spike then slump: chaotic crude hits Middle East
By TAREK EL-TABLAWY and ADAM SCHRECK

16 Jul 09

At the same time, the group's efforts to explain the need for a higher price, while also shifting the blame for the volatility in the market to speculators, appears to be resonating outside its borders.

"There is greater recognition (by consumer nations) that producers need some kind of market security and stability," said Catherine Hunter, an OPEC expert with the IHS Global Insight consultancy in London. "That's helped the producer side in terms of not being constantly criticized for wanting higher prices."

Daily Telegraph (UK)

Britain's unemployment rises by a record
16 Jul 09

"While the economy appears currently to be close to at least temporarily stabilizing, unemployment is a lagging indicator and the extended deep economic contraction seen in the second half of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 will continue to feed through to hit the jobs market pretty hard for some months to come," said Howard Archer, an economist at Global Insight.

Journal of Commerce

Imports Up But Lower Year-Over-Year
Ports handle 1 million TEUs in May for the first time in four months
By Bill Mongelluzzo

16 Jul 09

Port Tracker, a monthly publication of the National Retail Federation and IHS Global Insight, projects that container volumes each month through October will be slightly higher than the previous month as the U.S. container trades enter the peak shipping season.

Port Tracker also follows port congestion, rail performance and harbor trucking capacity, and the intermodal system scored high grades in all of those areas.

“With the volumes low, the ports are clear of congestion and there’s plenty of capacity on the rails and highways,” said Paul Bingham, IHS Global Insight economist.

Les Echos (Les Echos.fr)

Grande-Bretagne : le taux de chômage au plus haut depuis 1997
16 Jul 09

Mais les économistes ont relativisé ces chiffres en données nationales, retenant surtout la forte progression du chômage au sens du BIT, qui sert de comparaison avec les autres pays.

Il est "difficile de concilier la forte divergence entre les chiffres au sens du BIT et ceux en données nationales, mais dans l'ensemble, on ne peut qu'être pessimiste pour le marché du travail", a estimé ainsi Howard Archer, du cabinet IHS Global Insight. Selon lui, s'il semble que les entreprises multiplient les efforts pour limiter les licenciements, en instaurant par exemple des gels (voire des baisses) de salaires ou des plans de congés sans solde, "le nombre de chômeurs risque de grimper encore considérablement", jusque dans le courant de 2010, et d'atteindre la barre symbolique des trois millions à cet horizon.

Purchasing.com

Container carriers push rate hikes
By David Hannon

16 Jul 09

With ocean container shipping firms reporting continually lower rates and slumping revenues in the first quarter, freight buyers and international shippers are preparing for an all-out push on container freight rates for the rest of 2009.

"Monthly cargo volumes are starting to creep up but the magnitude of the recessionary decline is clear when you compare this year's numbers with last year's," IHS Global Insight Economist Paul Bingham said. "Import container traffic is projected to continue to be weak because of the underlying reduction in demand for goods during the recession."

San Francisco Chronicle

Gas blip blamed for jump in consumer prices
By Tom Abate

16 Jul 09

In fact, the Labor Department said the overall CPI declined 1.4 percent last month versus June 2008, its biggest 12-month decline in 50 years.

"We haven't seen anything like it since the late 1950s," said economist Brian Bethune with IHS Global Insight.

Economists generally believe that falling prices (deflation) can be as bad if not worse for an economy than rising prices (inflation) because when prices drop, companies lay off more workers, which leads to less spending and lower prices, creating a downward economic spiral.

But Bethune said the current deflation could benefit the economy because it can be traced almost entirely to the lower cost of crude oil, which drives the price of gas and other forms of energy.

"The economy is almost being pulled along like a dog on a chain by oil prices," Bethune said.

But he thinks the chain is being pulled in the right direction because less spending on gas and energy gives consumers more money for other goods.

"To some extent the decline in energy prices is helping the economy," he said.

Sydney Morning Herald

AFP
Fed sees end to recession, eyes exit strategy
By Rob Lever

16 Jul 09

The Fed has pledged over one trillion US dollars to help the financial system recover in a program some call quantitative easing.

The latest statement, Brian Bethune at IHS Global Insight said, shows "the Fed feels confident about scaling back some of its programs, signaling that it is scaling back quantitative easing programs prudently in line with the performance of the economy."


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