TODAY’S TOP ARTICLES – 17 APR 2014

Japan: Consumer Confidence Falls to Lowest Level Since August 2011
In March, consumer confidence among Japanese businesses fell to 37.5, which represents the lowest value since August 2011. In February, a reading of 38.5 was registered. Analysts expect that the index may continue to drop since the sales-tax increase that has been introduced on 1 April reduced the general spending capacity.

Eurozone: ECB Hardliner Weidmann Comes in From the Cold as Deflation Threatens
Jens Weidmann, the Bundesbank head, has been opposed any move by the European Central Bank to print money to buy assets and buoy the euro zone economy. However, in this report Reuters states that he is no logger opposing the policy.

Ukraine: Three Dead in East Ukraine, Putin Warns of ‘Abyss’
Reuters reports that separatists have attacked a Ukrainian national guard base overnight. The Ukrainian government claims this is the worst bloodshed yet in a 10-day pro-Russian uprising. The news came accompanied by tough words from Vladimir Putin that overshadowed crisis talks.

United States: Jobless Claims in U.S. Hover Near Lowest Level Since 2007
According to Bloomberg, the number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance payments last week hovered near the lowest level in almost seven years, showing the job market is making progress.

United Kingdom: After Six Years, Wage Rises Match Inflation
As the BBC News reports, after nearly six years of falling real wages, rises in weekly earnings have finally caught up with inflation. It is the first time that earnings have matched inflation for six years, apart from two months in 2010.

For latest economic indicators from around the world, please visit us at FocusEconomics.

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