U.S. consumer spending growth unexpectedly stalled in April as households cut back on purchases of automobiles and continued to boost savings, suggesting the economy was struggling to gain momentum early in the second quarter.
India's economy grew faster than China's in the quarter through March, data showed on Friday, but a sharp downward revision for the previous quarter fuelled doubts about the accuracy of a new method used to measure economic activity.
The U.S. economy likely contracted in the first quarter as it buckled under the weight of unusually heavy snowfalls and a resurgent dollar, but activity since has rebounded modestly.
Asian shares slipped on Monday and the dollar stayed near a four-month low against a basket of major currencies after soft data raised doubts over whether the U.S. economy has been growing despite U.S. share prices standing at historic highs.
Wall Street was set to open higher on Thursday as weekly jobless claims fell, suggesting that the labor market was on solid footing even as the economy struggles to regain momentum.
U.S. retail sales were flat in April as households cut back on purchases of automobiles and other big-ticket items, the latest sign the economy was struggling to rebound strongly after barely growing in the first quarter.
A slowdown in Germany weighed on the euro zone in the first quarter, but the bloc's economy still grew at its fastest in almost two years as cheap food and fuel boosted spending and a central bank stimulus program kicked in.
China's money supply grew at its slowest pace on record and investment growth sank to its lowest in nearly 15 years as April data showed the world's second-largest economy was still losing momentum despite a concentrated burst of policy easing.
Japan's economy was expected to post a second straight quarter of moderate growth in January-March, led by a pickup in exports and business investment, a Reuters poll found, pointing if realized to a steady recovery from recession after last year's sales tax hike.
China's exports unexpectedly fell 6.4 percent in April from a year earlier, while imports tumbled by a deeper-than-forecast 16.2 percent, fueling expectations that Beijing will quickly roll out more stimulus to avert a sharper economic slowdown.
China's leaders, caught off guard by a sharp economic slowdown and worried about the risk of job losses, are likely to resort to fiscal stimulus to revive growth after a run of monetary policy easings proved less effective, policy insiders said.
A surge in imports lifted the U.S. trade deficit in March to its highest level in nearly 6-1/2 years, suggesting the economy contracted in the first quarter.
U.S. economic growth nearly stalled in the first quarter as harsh weather dampened consumer spending and energy companies struggling with low prices slashed spending.
Fitch Ratings downgraded Japan's credit rating by one notch after the government failed to take steps in this fiscal year's budget to offset a delay in a sales tax increase, the agency said on Monday.
Healthcare companies on a seven-year tear have been top performers so far in 2015, helping to push broad stock indexes to record levels, but traders are now looking to protect themselves from a selloff as they await major earnings reports in the sector.
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