Following a week of negative reports, the American Chemistry Council's (ACC; Washington, DC) economics and statistics department changed its banner from green to yellow when its running tab of positive indicators slipped to 11 out of 20. While news that initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to a two-year low was positive, disappointing reports on retail sales, industrial production, trade, and the regional business surveys outweighed any optimism to be gleaned from that bright spot.
In the July 16 report, the ACC also confirmed that overseas the industrial production recovery appears to be slowing, with year-earlier comparisons in Europe, China and India, remaining strongly positive but now beginning to moderate. "This confirms earlier signals emanating from the purchasing manager reports and composite leading indicators," the ACC concluded in its weekly report. "A second half slowdown or soft patch is clearly...