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Key regions of the United States remained mired in recessionary conditions this month, data Monday showed, as the slowdown in the world's largest economy wore on and inflation continued to hurt businesses.
Euro zone manufacturing activity cooled in March, but there was the biggest growth split among leading economies in seven years, while price pressures spiralled higher, a survey showed on Tuesday.
Australia's central bank was still concerned that interest rates might not be high enough to restrain inflation when it hiked rates to a 12-year high earlier this month, minutes of the policy meeting showed on Tuesday.
Business sentiment among big Japanese manufacturers has sunk to a four-year low, a Bank of Japan survey showed on Tuesday, in further evidence of a worsening economic outlook and reinforcing market speculation that the central bank may cut rates later in the year.
The euro came close to a record high against the dollar Monday as higher-than-forecast euro-zone price data reinforced expectations that the inflation-focused European Central Bank will not start cutting rates soon.
The full text of a speech on the "Blueprint for Regulatory Reform" given by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on March 31, 2008:
Business activity in the U.S. Midwest contracted in March for the second consecutive month, a report showed Monday that continued the recent run of data highlighting worries of recession.
Euro zone inflation jumped to new record highs in March while economic sentiment eased for the 10th month in a row, data showed on Monday, deepening the European Central Bank's interest rate dilemma.
Japanese industrial production fell less than expected in February, but the second monthly decline in a row did little to disperse clouds building over the economy.
Stocks closed lower Friday after a profit warning from J.C. Penney, which renewed fears about slower consumer spending. Financials and techs caved in after earlier attempts to rally.
The dollar edged higher against the euro and Swiss franc Friday, marginally supported by improving money market conditions that helped ease the impact of generally bleak U.S. economic data.
Stocks advanced Friday, boosted by benign inflation data and an upgrade on Lehman Brothers.
Stocks rose at the opening bell as the market weighed benign inflation data with a weak outlook from J.C. Penney.
Euro zone price pressures are "alarmingly high," threatening medium-term price stability, and first quarter growth in the bloc could exceed expectations, European Central Bank officials said on Friday.
Consumer spending hit a 17-month low in February, hit by the credit crisis, job cuts and soaring energy costs. But a key inflation gauge remained tame.
Japanese annual inflation hit a decade-high 1.0 percent in February, but the credit crisis and a stalling Japanese economy mean the Bank of Japan is still seen as more likely to cut interest rates this year than raise them.
As food prices surge, America’s supermarkets are also feeling the pain. While consumer food prices are up five percent, wholesale prices have soared a whopping 20 percent.
The U.S. economy seems to be slipping into recession and the Federal Reserve must cushion the pain and make it as brief as possible, two Fed policymakers said.
The dollar rallied Thursday after suffering steep losses in the last two sessions, rising on data showing the U.S. economy grew in the fourth quarter in line with market expectations.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called on Thursday for banks to declare the full extent of the damage to their operations caused by the credit crunch.