This is very good news, as is that from the US where jobless claims had their biggest drop in 5 years.

US housing sales jumped 12 % in the most recent update, blowing away analysts estimates.

Brazil and India is beginning to grow again and even the EU is expected to post solid h2 growth.......all positive news for the price of  commodities including well as driving inflation up which is good for PM,s



China’s economy rose at a rate better than expected in the fourth quarter of 2012, indicating a revival of economic growth momentum of the country.

According to data released Friday by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the country’s gross domestic product, which measures the annualized change in the inflation-adjusted value of all goods and services produced, rose to 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, up from 7.4 percent in the third quarter and above the analysts’ expectation of 7.8 percent.

The data released Friday by the NBS also showed that the country’s industrial production, which measures the change in the total inflation-adjusted value of output produced by manufacturers, mines, and utilities, rose 10.3 percent in December up from 10.1 percent in November.

The NBS reported as well that China’s retail sales, which measure the change in the total value of inflation-adjusted sales at the retail level, rose 15.2 percent in December on a year ago up from 14.9 percent in November.

Markets welcomed the report. The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5 percent Friday, snapping a three-day losing streak, carrying upbeat momentum after the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rallied to a five-year closing high, Reuters reported.

Australian shares added 0.3 percent, after closing Thursday at a 20-month high when an unexpected fall in Australian employment in December narrowed the odds of another interest rate cut.

Hong Kong shares rose 0.7 percent and Shanghai shares gained 0.5 percent.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei surged 2.2 percent as the yen resumed its downtrend after a brief pause in recent heavy selling. A weak yen helps improve earnings prospects for Japanese exporters.

The stronger equities boosted Asian credit markets, tightening the spread on the iTraxx Asia ex-Japan investment-grade index wider by 3 basis points.

Analysts are not fully optimistic about the revival of China’s growth, however, as the global economic condition continues to be weak amid the debt crisis in the euro zone. Also earlier in the month it was reported that China’s inflation rate accelerated faster than expected in December, an indication that inflationary pressures continue to increase, lowering the prospects for a further loosening of monetary policy. Data from the NBS released this month showed that the consumer price index of China rose 2.5 percent in December compared with the same period in the previous year, and from 2 percent in November.

Market participants hope the policymakers will soon announce monetary easing measures so that the economy will continue to see that the industrial activities are picking up. However, inflationary pressures have added to concerns about the slowdown in economic growth, as they pose a major obstacle for the central bank to assertively cut interest rates.

Policymakers will soon have to make clear their stance on whether they will give priority for pro-growth measures or take steps to control inflation. Market players feel that instead of fighting inflation, the most urgent priority for China appears to be its growth policy stance against the backdrop of the current uncertain global economy.