Euro Strong On Positive Data
The euro strengthened against the dollar on Thursday morning after stronger than expected economic data confirmed that the region's recovery was growing.
The common currency traded at $1.32 following the release of better than expected GDP data which indicated that the 17 nation bloc's recovery was broad based.
Reuters reported that Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, released data which showed that the eurozone's economy grew by 0.3 percent in the second quarter. Exports and increased household spending contributed to the improved GDP and added to a growing number of positive economic indicators coming from the region.
After six months of falling sales, the eurozone's global exports spiked in the April to June period and helped contribute to the economy's expansion. Government spending also positively affected the economy in the second quarter for the first time since the crisis began in 2009.
Household spending increased for the first time since 2011, which many believe stems from eurozone governments' pull back on austerity policies designed to reduce budget deficits. At the start of the crisis, most struggling nations implemented belt tightening policies and cut spending on things like healthcare and education, which in turn contributed to the already rising unemployment rate.
PMI data from the region confirmed that businesses were picking up as new orders increase. Markit's composite PMI increased one percent from July to August and the forward looking new orders index rose above the 50 mark that indicates growth to 51.0.
The positive data has most betting that the European Central Bank will maintain the region's record low 0.50 percent interest rate, at least for the time being. ECB President Mario Draghi pledged to maintain the current rate, or take it lower if need be, at last month's policy meeting as he attempted to provide some forward guidance.
Despite the recent positive data, the European Commission has forecast that the eurozone's economy will contract 0.4 percent this year, before returning to growth in 2014.
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