Economy grew at lower than expected rate but jobless claims fall again and other top news stories of the day
Economy grew at lower than expected rate but jobless claims fall again
The economy grew at only 3 percent, a rate lower than expected, but jobless claims fell this past week to 359,000, the lowest number since April 2008, according to data released this morning from the Commerce Department. CNBC is also reporting that European and Asian markets are both down today. The Dow closed yesterday at 13,126, down 71 points from Tuesday.
OECD says Euro nations falling behind US and Canada in recovery
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, released information that indicated that the G-7 countries are anticipated to experience a 1.9 percent growth rate in the first half of 2012 with the US shouldering a 2.9 percent growth in Q1 and 2.8 percent growth in Q2. In contrast, as reported by Reuters, France and Italy are predicted to contract their economies and Germany will grow at .1 percent. The UK will contract by .4 percent in Q1 but grow by .5 in Q2.
BRICS hold their own summit
The emerging BRICS countries, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, held a summit in New Delhi yesterday, according to Reuters, and had strong words for the developed nations. The BRICS criticized the US for failing to support ratification of new voting rights for the IMF this year. They considered launching their own economic index as well as creating their own BRIC led Southern Development Bank. The BRICS include almost one half of the world population and about one fifth of all economic output. The Financial Times reported that Brazil was quick to criticize the monetary policies of developed nations indicating that the quantitative easing is devaluing currencies and, combined with low interest rates, is hurting the developing nations. Additionally, the BRICS indicated that Iran should be allowed to pursue the development of peaceful nuclear energy.
Americans pay for their car before their homes
In data recently released by TransUnion, one of the largest credit tracking agencies, it was found that Americans were more likely to pay off their car loans than their mortgages or credit card debt, as reported by the Associated Press. While 39 percent of individuals would be delinquent on their mortgages, only 10 percent were likely to be delinquent on their car loans. Experts believe that individuals feel they need their cars to get to their jobs and fear losing them. Additionally, the foreclosure process takes multiple years so consumers may feel they have more time to make up for late payments on mortgages.
Oil drops slightly
Talk by the US, UK, France and Germany about releasing oil from their strategic reserves was strong enough on Wednesday to drop the price of Brent Crude Oil from $125 per barrel to $123 per barrel, according to the Financial Times. The International Energy Agency is not supportive of these releases from strategic reserves. In other energy news, the Department of the Interior approved Royal Dutch Shell's plan for response to an oil spill in the Beaufort Sea of Alaska which brings it closer to its goal of drilling this summer. Additionally, the DOI will conduct new seismic surveys off of the Alaska coast to identify pools of oil in 2013. This type of survey has not been conducted in multiple decades.
Annie's Organic has strong IPO to be followed by Facebook
Annie's Organic foods rose 89 percent on Wednesday with the strongest IPO since the LinkedIn IPO in May of 2011, according to the Wall Street Journal. Facebook is targeting a May IPO and has halted trading in the secondary markets. Facebook indicates that timing currently rests with the SEC.