Euro area factory output still falling
- Euro area industrial production was slightly better than expected in February. The overall trend, however, shows ongoing shrinkage.
Indian inflation bucks downtrend
- But it’s likely not enough to keep the central bank from cutting rates to try to shore up sagging growth.
US retail sales drop in March
- Sales at US retailers slipped in March. Some think it suggests weakness stemming from the payroll tax cut and federal spending cuts—known as the sequester—still worming their way through the US economy. We’re skeptical. A significant part of the softness in the retail sales report was concentrated in a 2.2% decline in gasoline sales. That reflects lower prices, and lower gas prices are actually a good thing for American shoppers, freeing up more cash to be spent outside of their gas tanks. On the other hand, more forward looking University of Michigan data on US consumer sentiment was also soft in April, which is something to watch.