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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Japan output up, euro zone confidence improves ]

Japan output up, euro zone confidence improves

Japan output up, euro zone confidence improves
June 29, 2009 - Reuters

Japanese industrial output rose for the third month in a row and euro zone economic confidence is improving, data showed on Monday, but policymakers said it was too early to conclude a recovery is taking root.

A top White House adviser said President Barack Obama could discuss more measures to stimulate the world's biggest economy if needed while China also flagged the possibility of more spending to lift consumption.
Top central bankers at a Bank of International Settlements meeting over the weekend said it would be premature to withdraw trillions of dollars of economic stimulus and tighten policies after a spell of record low interest rates.

"I think that we are not out of the woods yet," said Guillermo Ortiz, Mexico's central bank governor and the BIS board chairman. "One important question is whether these green shoots actually take root."
Global recovery hopes have pushed world stocks more than 20 percent higher in the second quarter. But the rally has stalled recently on worries that markets may have been too aggressive in their bets on the strength and the timing of the upturn.

The MSCI world equity index <.MIWD00000PUS> was down 0.1 percent at 0905 GMT as investors booked profits from the powerful second quarter rally. Tokyo shares fell 1 percent, but European stocks pushed 0.6 percent higher.

JAPANESE OUTPUT

Japanese industrial production rose 5.9 percent in May and manufacturers forecast further, albeit smaller, increases in the next two months. That improvement is set to be reflected in the Bank of Japan's quarterly tankan business survey on Wednesday.

But production is still nearly a third below year-ago levels and, with unemployment rising, some economists fear the upturn could still fizzle out.

That is also a concern in the United States. Last week's news of a rise in consumer spending and income coincided with a report the U.S. savings rate hit a record high, showing much of the government stimulus money was being stashed away.

Senior White House adviser David Axelrod said on Sunday the $787 billion stimulus bill pushed through by Obama in January should be enough to put the U.S. economy back on its feet. But he acknowledged high unemployment was a worry and did not rule out additional steps.

"Right now we believe what we have done is adequate to the task. If more is needed, we'll have that discussion."

EURO ZONE CONFIDENCE

More job losses ahead are also looming large over the euro zone economy, which is expected to trail both Japan and the United States in returning to growth.

The euro zone's economic sentiment index rose for the third month in a row to 73.3 in June, a European Commission survey showed, topping a Reuters poll forecast of 70.8. [ID:nBRQ007408]

But the reading is still below the lows of the last big recession in the early 1990s.

European Union economic chief Joaquin Almunia said Europe faced quarters of negative growth and further stimulus measures should not be ruled out.
However, some economists say more spending will damage already fragile government finances and could stoke inflation.

The International Monetary Fund said France, the euro zone's second-biggest economy, faced "uncomfortably high fiscal deficits", while a Chinese government think-tank official said there were early signs of asset price bubbles.
Later on Monday, the sentencing of Bernard Madoff will serve as a reminder of market excess and oversight flaws that led to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Madoff, 71, is accused of masterminding Wall Street's biggest investment fraud and faces an effective life term in prison.
Trying to build a new regulatory framework for financial markets is a key task for policymakers.

Britain said it planned to keep its financial regulation in the hands of a beefed-up Financial Services Authority rather than transfer powers to the Bank of England.
Separately, surveys showed British financial services firms are more optimistic than at any time in the last two years, although banks remain downbeat. UK mortgage lending in May rose by its lowest amount ever.


(Source: Financial Mirror, http://www.financialmirror.com/News/Cyprus_and_World_News/16182)



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