An Economic Mixed Bag

The recovery crowd got a little of cold water in the face this morning with the release of the New York Fed’s Empire Report. This report cover June and is generally the earliest gauge of business conditions.

From Reuters:

The New York Fed’s “Empire State” general business conditions index fell to minus 9.41 in June from minus 4.55 in May.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a June reading of minus 4.5, and the surprisingly weak result challenges analysts who believe the U.S. economy is poised for a rebound.

Separately, the IMF adjusted its forecast for the U.S. recession, suggesting that it will be less deep and shorter than they had previously predicted.

From the Telegraph:

In an analysis of the US economy, the IMF now expects that the world’s biggest economy will notch growth of 0.75pc in 2010, stronger than its earlier prediction. The contraction in gross domestic product will be 2.5pc this year, less severe than the 2.8pc it expected at the time of its last forecast in April.

In a wide-ranging examination at the American economy, which included praise for the policy response of the Federal Reserve and President Obama’s administration, the IMF said that the US can expect a ‘gradual’ recovery next year.

The IMF’s analysis came with the usual warning about debt levels, the appetite for dollar assets and interest rates.

So take your pick. The IMF is lining up with lots of other pundits. The data is more than a little disappointing. Opacity rules the day.

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