U.S. Durable Goods Orders Decrease for First Time Since April
“Orders for U.S. durable goods unexpectedly declined in February for the first time in nearly a year, indicating a pause in the months-long manufacturing rebound. Bookings for durable goods — or items meant to last at least three years — decreased 1.1% from the prior month, the first drop since April, after an upwardly revised 3.5% gain in January, Commerce Department figures showed Wednesday.”
Euro-Area Companies Return to Growth With Price Pressures Rising
“Private-sector activity in the euro area unexpectedly grew for the first time in six months in March, fueled by a record increase in factory output that masks fresh concerns across the economy about surging infections and new lockdowns. The upturn is also fueling price pressures in the broader economy as companies seek to pass on a spike in costs caused by shortages and shipment delays that has been hitting them all year. Input costs rose at the fastest pace in a decade and selling prices for goods and services increased the most in more than two years, according to an IHS Markit survey.”
China’s $2.3 Trillion Hidden Debt Could Climb Even Further
“China’s local governments had 14.8 trillion yuan ($2.3 trillion) of hidden debt last year, and the figure could climb even further this year, according to a government-linked think tank. Local governments were under pressure to increase infrastructure investment and shore up growth through the pandemic, leading to a 6% rise in off-budget borrowing from a recent low of 13.9 billion yuan in the third quarter of 2019, according to Liu Lei, a senior researcher at the National Institution for Finance and Development.”
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