Data suggests US recovery is slowing down

City A.M. Reporter
THE pace of the US economic rebound may be slowing, manufacturing data and retailers results hinted yesterday, at the same time as concerns grow about the impact of Europe’s debt crisis on global growth.

A gauge of manufacturing in New York State showed the sector continued to grow in May but at a slower pace, although the jobs gauge reached its highest level in about six years, the New York Federal Reserve said in a report published yesterday.

The New York Fed’s “Empire State” general business conditions index fell to 19.11 in May from 31.86 in April. compared with consensus forecasts of 30.00. Readings of more than zero show growth.

Meanwhile Lowe’s, the second-biggest US DIY retailer – gave a muted quarterly outlook despite posting stronger-than-expected results for the latest period. The company forecast earnings of 57 cents to 59 cents a share for its second quarter, which began on 1 May. “While we are optimistic we will experience solid demand through the balance of the year, we view 2010 as a year of transition for our industry,” chief executive Robert Niblock said in a statement.

A poll showed the turmoil in European debt markets is putting back economists’ forecasts for when the Federal Reserve will be able to start raising rates. Six weeks ago, a majority of the big banks that deal directly with the Fed thought it would raise interest rates before the end of this year. Now most predict it will come in 2011.