European manufacturing grows for 14th month in August
Europeans' confidence in the economy declined in August, the European Commission said Aug. 31. „It's very difficult to gauge whether we reached a peak or not” in the Q2, said ECB executive board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi on Aug. 26. „In the last two quarters, we have seen a very strong recovery, even though there are risks from oil prices and public finance.” Crude oil climbed to a record $78.40 a barrel on July 14 and has surged 65% in the past two years. Oil reached $70.82 in New York Aug. 31. The rise in oil is also boosting inflation in Europe, pushing the ECB to raise interest rates. The central bank has increased its benchmark rate four times since early December, to the current 3%. The bank Aug. 31 raised its forecast for inflation this year to about 2.4 from 2.3%. Consumer prices rose 2.3% in August from a year earlier, a slowdown from July, when they climbed 2.4%. (Bloomberg)
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