US economic activity remains robust

US economic activity remains robust

Economic data shows signs of a pick-up in activity and inflation in the US, according to Principal Global Investors.


Industrial production figures from December showed the first year-on-year increase the sector has seen since August 2015, with month-on-month utility production and manufacturing up 6.6 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively, the company said.

Principal Global Investors said this data provided “a clear sign that the recession-like levels in manufacturing and mining are over”.

The company noted the housing sector was also showing signs of improvement, though housing starts were “volatile”.

“Headline starts surged 11.3 per cent, with a nearly 54 per cent gain in multi-family starts,” the company said.

“More stable building permits for single-family starts increased 4.7 per cent, the best since September 2012. Early January data [was] decent.”

Additionally, inflation “is in a much better place going in to 2017” with December marking the first time year-on-year headline CPI inflation has gotten above 2 per cent since July 2014.

Principal Global Investors said growth and inflation were accelerating elsewhere in the world too, pointing to China’s 9.9 per cent year-on-year GDP growth and “decent” figures from the eurozone as proof.

“The co-ordinated pick-up in global economy activity and inflation that started early last year continues to gain steam. In December and in the fourth quarter, activity, inflation, and nominal growth firmed in Europe, China, and the United States,” the company said.

“Early business survey and confidence numbers for January suggest that this cyclical reflation still has momentum going into 2017.”

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