Things may have started turning up in March in the UK as well as the US and the eurozone.
U.K. Business Spending Reaches Highest Since 2005 (Bloomberg) – U.K. business investment rose to the most in 2 1/2 years in the fourth quarter, led by manufacturing companies. Investment in equipment, vehicles and buildings rose 1.8 % from the three months through September, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. Spending rose 5.3 % from a year earlier to 36.7 bln pounds, the most since the second quarter of 2005. The report suggests manufacturers, which account for 15 % of the economy, spent on their businesses after profiting from a weaker pound and reaching the strongest level of factory production since 2001 last year.
U.K. Sales Index Rises for First Time in Four Months, CBI Says (Bloomberg) – An index of U.K. retail sales rose for the first time in four months in March as shoppers spent more on shoes and groceries, the Confederation of British Industry said. The survey of 152 retailers showed 36 % sold more goods than a year earlier and 35 % sold fewer, the biggest U.K. business lobby said today. The net rounded balance of 1 %age point was higher than the minus 3 from last month.