U.S. Economic Activity Slows Down in August

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U.S. Economic Activity Slows Down in August U.S. economic activity grew slower than expected last month; through it stuck to a trend expected for the rest of 2014, according to research organization Conference Board on Friday.

The Conference Board’s monthly Leading Economic Index rose 0.2 percent in August, compared with a revised increase of 1.1 percent in July. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected the measure to jump 0.4 percent after jumping by the previously-announced 0.9 percent in July.

The weak growth was attributed to fewer applications for housing permits as well as fresh orders for non-defense capital goods.

“The leading indicators point to an economy that is continuing to gain traction, but most likely won’t repeat its stellar second-quarter performance in the second half,” Ken Goldstein, economist at The Conference Board, said.

The Coincident Economic Index, which tracks current economic activity, expanded due to rising personal incomes, retail sales and employment. However, factory output fell slightly for the first time since February.

Most economists are confident the U.S. economy will pick up in the final six months of this year after it slowed down in the first half due to extreme winter weather that weighed on economic activity.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s consumer inflation for the month ending mid-September surged faster than analysts had expected. The inflation gauge IPCA-15 jumped to 0.39 percent from 0.14 percent a month earlier, reported the national statistics agency. Most economists had expected an increase of 0.35 percent.

Annual inflation jumped to 6.62 percent, the quickest pace since June 2013, and exceeded the median estimate of 6.57 percent given by economists in a Bloomberg News survey. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com