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Europe vs. U.S.

May 16, 2012 – 5:03 pm

While the Europeans, along with the rest of the world, wrestle with the likelihood of Greece leaving the EU, economic numbers here in the U.S. have decidedly improved.

This morning the report of Industrial Production in April rebounded strongly from a poor showing in March. It was up 1.1% and was the strongest showing since December of 2010. Also, it was broadly based not confined to just one or two sectors.

Builder optimism rebounded as well. The Builder Sentiment Index rose to 24 which was the highest number since May of 2007. Still a reading over 50 is considered to be healthy. However, this morning a strong housing start report up 2.6% and strong revisions for March’s number reflected the better prospects of the construction industry.

The EU reported that overall they have not fallen into recession though many member countries have. That is because Germany, which represents 30% of the economic output for the entire Euro zone, surprised the experts with GDP growth in the second quarter of .5% instead of the .1% that was expected. That number with the size of Germany’s economy brought up the entire EU zone. There are some bright spots amongst the ruin of many economies of Europe and I note that those bright spots are all the countries that have practiced some fiscal discipline over the last many years or they are very small countries with little legacy of long term deficit spending.

Expect more of the same: improvement here in the U.S. and angst in Europe.

Good Trading
Steve Peasley

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