"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

French GDP, Swiss Consumption, and the Case-Shiller HPI

Leaving Japan behind, we cast our eyes westward towards Europe and the United States. France reported its final revision for Q3 GDP, showing that it softened slightly in the third quarter (growing only 0.3%), with year over year growth remaining unchanged at 1.7%. UBS released its (Swiss) Consumption Index, showing growth in consumer spending decreasing 9 bps from October's 1.72% to November's 1.63%.
Also from Europe, Yves Mersch is now on record as saying that "the recent European proposals for reform of the economic governance of the euro area go in the right direction, but are not ambitious enough to ensure a healthy and efficient functioning of monetary union." He would like to see faster responses to excessive deficits, with automatic sanctions applied early. And why should anyone care what Yves Mersch says? Because he's on the Governing council of the European Central Bank, making him a voice that will be heard as debate about the future of the euro and the European Union continues.
Arriving in the howling arctic wastes that were once the eastern seaboard of the United States of America, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index is out. The 10-City Composite increased (barely) 0.2% while the 20-City Composite fell 0.8%, and home prices fell in all 20 metropolitan areas covered by the index.
Also in US news, the winter of our (fiscal) discontent is not made glorious summer by this son of Chicago. Not only do we not have a 2011 federal budget[1], now it has been announced that delivery of a FY 2012 budget will be delayed until around February 21. Mostly because the confirmation of the President's budget director wasn't finalized until November 18, and it takes a while to put a budget together.
Next up? Consumer confidence, in about half an hour.
[1] Blame for that can go to the Congress, though.

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