Brian Blackstone at Real Time Economics reports
"Total loans to the private sector grew 0.3% last month from one year ago. Though hardly signaling a resurgence in economic activity, that’s still the best pace in almost one year and well above the trough of -0.8% last October.CHINA INVESTS HEAVILY IN BRAZIL
What ECB economists will notice is the breakdown. Loans to households grew 2.8% on the year, led by a 3.4% rise in lending for home purchases (consumer credit fell). Home loans have been rising steadily since early last year, when they were contracting on an annual basis. The rise in lending to households last month offset a 1.9% drop in loans to nonfinancial corporations.
According to an ECB paper last year, loans to households tend to be a leading indicator for GDP by one or two quarters, while loans to businesses lag the economic cycle."
John Pomfret at the Washington Post reports that China is investing heavily into Brazil. Now some in Brazil, and elsewhere in South America, are beginning to see the Chinese as the new colonialists. Worth reading in full.
ENGLISH SPREADING IN INDONESIA DRIVING FEARS FOR THE FATE OF INDONESIAN
Norimitsu Onishi at the New York Times reports that English is spreading in Indonesia as the language of the upper classes; some fear for the fate of the native Indonesian language as a result.
LEBANON CLAIMS ISRAELI OFFSHORE GAS FIELDS CROSS INTO LEBANESE TERRITORY
Bassem Mroue at the Associated Press reports that Hezbollah is claiming that Israel's offshore gas fields found last year cross into Lebanese territory and that force needs to be used to stop them from being stolen from.
KYRGYZSTAN'S ENERGY CRISIS WORSENS
Asyl Osmonaliyeva at Central Asia Online reports that Kyrgyzstan's energy crisis is deepening.
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE FELL TO A FIVE MONTH LOW OF 50.4
Shobhana Chandra at Bloomberg reports that
"The Conference Board’s sentiment index fell to 50.4, below the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and the lowest level in five months, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today."CASE SHILLER INDEX UP
Invictus at the Big Picture hosts a graph of the Case Shiller Index, which showed a small rise in its most recent reading:
Free Exchange wonders why the readings are up in places where the bubble was worst, such as Las Vegas.