The US economy is seeing strong growth, but has missed estimates

A closely watched estimate of US gross domestic product (GDP) was revised up for the final three months of last year, according to Commerce Department data released on Wednesday, consistent with more positive economic growth. GDP growth in the world's largest economy was cut to 3.2 percent annualized rate in the last quarter of 2023, down from last month's estimate of 3.3 percent.

The U.S. economy has proved wrong the majority of economists who warned of a recession as the U.S. Federal Reserve aggressively raised interest rates to tame rising inflation. The economy is supported by a tight labor market, which pushes up wages and supports consumer spending.

Meanwhile, economic sentiment in the eurozone unexpectedly hit a three-month low in February, indicating the currency bloc is still on the brink of recession, a monthly survey showed on Wednesday. The European Commission's economic sentiment index for countries that share the euro currency fell 0.7 points to 95.4 in February, while the broader EU fell 0.4 points to 95.4. Berenberg Bank economist Solomon Fiedler said „the eurozone economy is in rough waters,” adding that „today's economic sentiment survey suggests that near-term risks are tilted to the downside.”

Finally, in Japan, industrial output fell at its fastest pace since May 2020 as the rest of the world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, government data for January showed on Thursday, raising concerns about a fall in motor vehicle production. About the vulnerability of the world's fourth largest economy.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said industrial production fell a seasonally adjusted 7.5 percent in January, beating forecasts for a 6.7 percent decline after a 1.4 percent increase in December.

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On an annual basis, industrial production fell 1.5 percent after falling 0.7 percent in the previous month. METI's forecast suggests industrial production will rise 4.8 percent in February and two percent in March.

This article does not constitute legal and/or financial advice and is provided by Bank of Valletta plc, 58, Zachary Street, Valletta for informational purposes only. Bank of Valletta is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and licensed to carry on the business of banking and investment services pursuant to the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta) and the Investment Services Act (Cap. 370). Laws of Malta).

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