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While the Commerce Department released a report on Friday showing a modest increase in new home sales in the U.S. in the month of September, the uptick came from a significantly downwardly revised level in August.

The report said new home sales inched up 0.2 percent to an annual rate of 467,000 in September from the revised August rate of 466,000.

Economists had been expecting new home sales to drop to a rate of 460,000 from the 504,000 originally reported for the previous month.

With the modest increase, the annual rate of new home sales reached its highest level since hitting 477,000 in July of 2008.

Peter Boockvar, managing director at the Lindsey Group, said, "The level of new home sales continues to creep higher but at a glacial pace and at 467,000, the current level remains extremely depressed."

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While the Commerce Department released a report on Friday showing a modest increase in new home sales in the U.S. in the month of September, the uptick came from a significantly downwardly revised level in August.

The report said new home sales inched up 0.2 percent to an annual rate of 467,000 in September from the revised August rate of 466,000.

Economists had been expecting new home sales to drop to a rate of 460,000 from the 504,000 originally reported for the previous month.

by RTT Staff Writer

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Belgium's business confidence improved further in October, led by strengthening of sentiment in the construction sector, survey data from the National Bank of Belgium showed Friday.

The business confidence index rose to -6.8 from -7.2 in September. Economists had expected a weaker score of -7.2.

Sentiment improved strongly in the construction sector, with the relevant index climbing to -10.7 from -14.3. In manufacturing, the sentiment index rose to -7.9 from -8.2, while for the trade sector, the measure edged up to -10.7 from -10.8.

Morale weakened in the business services sector and the corresponding index fell to 3 from 5.2.

The capacity utilization rate in the manufacturing sector was broadly unchanged from the previous three quarters. The rate eased slightly to 78.8 percent in October from 79 percent in July.

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Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer said on Friday that the French government can do more to reduce spending.

In an interview on the RTL Radio, Noyer said a balance must be found between necessary improvement in public finances, which must be credible, without hurting economic activity.

Earlier on Friday, French President Francois Hollande said that the European Commission has asked further details on the 2015 budget that shows the government is set to miss the budget deficit target.

The EU has asked the French government for a reply by the end of the week. The government had forecast budget deficit at 4.3 percent of GDP in 2015, well above the Maastricht target of 3 percent, and has planned a EUR 21 billion spending cut.

The government could do more on spending cuts, but first it should achieve the planned EUR 21 billion reduction, Noyer said.

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The U.K. economy grew at a slower pace in the third quarter in the face of rising uncertainty stemming from global economic conditions, preliminary estimates from the Office for National Statistics Office showed Friday.

Gross domestic product climbed 0.7 percent from the second quarter, when it grew 0.9 percent. The sequential growth rate matched economists' expectations.

As expected, GDP was 3 percent higher in the third quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. GDP was estimated to be 3.4 percent higher than the pre-economic downturn peak of the first quarter of 2008, ONS said.

The production-side approach showed that the dominant service sector expanded 0.7 percent on quarter, slower than the 1.1 percent rise seen in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, growth in production accelerated to 0.5 percent from 0.2 percent. Construction went up 0.8 percent after expanding 0.7 percent. At the same time, farm output gained 0.3 percent, offsetting last quarter's 0.3 percent fall.

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Hourly wages in Italy remained unchanged in September, a report from the statistical office ISTAT showed Friday.

Wages remained flat month-on-month in September, the same as in August. This marked the third consecutive month of wages remaining unchanged.

Annually, wages rose 1.1 percent, the same as in August.

Among the major macro sectors, wages in the private sector rose 1.3 percent while wages in the government sector remained stagnant.

Hourly wages in the industry rose 2.1 percent and wages in the services sector climbed 0.8 percent.

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The U.K. economy grew at a slower pace in the third quarter, preliminary estimates from the Office for National Statistics Office showed Friday.

Gross domestic product climbed 0.7 percent from the second quarter, when it grew 0.9 percent. The sequential growth rate matched economists' expectations.

As expected, GDP was 3 percent higher in the third quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. GDP was estimated to be 3.4 percent higher than the pre-economic downturn peak of the first quarter of 2008.

The production-side approach showed that the dominant service sector expanded 0.7 percent on quarter, slower than the 1.1 percent rise seen in the second quarter.

Production and construction climbed 0.5 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. At the same time, agriculture gained 0.3 percent.

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Italy's retail sales declined at a faster rate in August, data from the statistical office ISTAT showed Friday.

Retail sales fell 3.1 percent year-over-year in August following the 1.7 percent drop in July.

Food sales slid 3.7 percent and non-food sales declined 2.5 percent.

On a month-over-month basis, retail trade decreased 0.1 percent in August, the same rate as in July.

by RTT Staff Writer

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German consumer climate is set to improve slightly in November, ending the downward trend, as income expectations among households strengthened on the back of the strong labor market situation, survey data revealed Friday.

The forward-looking consumer confidence index rose slightly to 8.5 in November from 8.4 in October, a survey based on responses from 2,000 households, published by market research group GfK, showed Friday. The score was forecast to fall to 8.

Private consumption continued to play its assigned job as a key pillar of the economy, GfK said. But, it warned that any escalation in the external crisis will hurt the German consumer climate.

Income expectations and willingness to buy have increased slightly, while almost no change was recorded in economic expectations.

After a dramatic decline in the preceding two months, the economic expectations index slid only 0.1 point to 4.3 in October. It continues to be above the long-term average of zero point.

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Austria's production index that combines industry and construction dropped in August from a year ago, figures from Statistics Austria showed Friday.

The production index fell a working-day adjusted 3.7 percent year-on-year. Industrial production decreased 2.8 percent and construction output declined 6.9 percent.

On a monthly basis, the production index dropped a seasonally adjusted 2.1 percent, led by a 2.7 percent fall in construction. Industrial production decreased 1.8 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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Czech consumer confidence increased in October, survey data from the Czech Statistical Office showed Friday.

The consumer sentiment index rose to -2 in October from -5.8 in September.

Consumers were less worried about personal financial situation and unemployment in October. However, the survey showed that consumers were cautious about the decrease in overall economic situation in the upcoming year.

The business confidence indicator fell to 11.5 in October from 12 in September.

The overall composite indicator increased to 8.8 in October from 8.4 in the previous month.

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Spanish producer prices declined for a third straight month in September, figures from the statistical office INE revealed Friday.

Industrial producer prices dropped 0.3 percent annually following 0.6 percent decrease in August. Energy prices were flat, while prices in the intermediate goods industry fell 0.7 percent. Prices in the non-durable consumer goods industry declined 0.6 percent.

Month-on-month, producer prices rose 0.5 percent, recovering from a 0.1 percent fall in August.

by RTT Staff Writer

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Finland's producer prices decreased at a slower rate in September, data from Statistics Finland showed Friday.

Producer prices fell 0.3 percent year-on-year in September following the 0.8 percent drop in August.

Producer prices have been declining since August 2013.

Producer prices in the domestic market slid 0.9 percent while prices in the foreign market rose 0.4 percent.

Month-on-month, producer prices climbed 0.2 percent in September.

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Finland's retail sales remained flat in September, a preliminary report from Statistics Finland showed Friday.

According to the flash estimate, retail sales value remained unchanged year-on-year in September. In August, turnover had declined 1.7 percent.

Retail sales volume declined 0.7 percent annually in September.

The agency is set to release a detailed report on November 14.

In the January to September period, the retail sales value fell 0.6 percent over the corresponding period of the previous year and retail sales volume declined 0.9 percent.

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The unemployment rate in Malaysia edged down in August, figures from the Department of Statistics showed Friday.

The jobless rate decreased to 2.7 percent in August from 2.8 percent in July. A year ago, the unemployment rate was 3.1 percent.

The number of unemployed in the country fell to 379,700 persons in August from 394,100 in July. In the same month of last year, the jobless total was 431,800.

The labor force participation rate slid to 67.1 percent in August from 67.4 percent in the previous month. In August 2013, the rate was at 67.6 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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Singapore industrial production declined more than expected in September, data from the Economic Development Board showed Friday.

Industrial output fell 1.2 percent year-over-year in September following the 4 percent increase in August. This was more than the 0.4 percent drop expected by economists.

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output rose 0.5 percent in September.

Biomedical output fell 10.3 percent while output of the chemical cluster grew the most, by 4.1 percent.

On a month-on-month basis, industrial output dropped 3.3 percent in September after the 0.4 percent fall in August.

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U.K. GDP and German consumer confidence data are some of the important economic data scheduled for release on Friday.

At 2 am ET, market research group GfK is scheduled to release its consumer confidence report for the U.K. The consumer sentiment index is expected to decrease to 8 in November from 8.3 in October.

At 4:30 am ET, U.K. Office for National Statistics is due to release its preliminary gross domestic product, or GDP, and index of services. GDP is expected to grow 3 percent year-over-year in the third quarter after the 3.2 percent rise in the previous quarter. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, GDP is estimated to increase 0.7 percent following the 0.9 percent growth in the second quarter.

The index of services is forecast to climb 0.3 percent month-on-month in August, the same rate as in July.

At 3 am ET, the Czech Statistical Office is due to release its consumer and business confidence report for October. In September, the consumer confidence index was at -5.8, the business confidence index was at 12 and the composite index stood at 8.4.

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The trade deficit in the Philippines decreased unexpectedly in August, preliminary data from the National Statistics Office showed Friday.

The trade deficit came in at $ 17 million in August, which was less than the $ 41 million shortfall in July. Economists had expected the trade deficit to increase to $ 100 million.

A year earlier, the trade deficit was $ 608 million.

Imports fell 1.3 percent year-over-year in August following the revised 0.2 percent rise in July. Economists had expected imports to increase 0.1 percent.

Imports of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, which accounted for 23 percent of total imports, declined 2.6 percent in August. This was followed by the 15.4 percent drop in imports of electronic products, with 20.7 percent share in total imports.

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A leading index for China's economy climbed 0.9 percent in September, the latest survey from the Conference Board revealed on Friday - following the 0.7 percent gain in August and the 1.3 percent jump in July.

The coincident index advanced 0.5 percent in September following the flat reading in August and the 1.1 percent spike in July.

"The six-month growth rate of the leading economic index has eased steadily throughout the third quarter, indicating increased downside risks to economic growth in the months ahead," said Andrew Polk, resident economist at The Conference Board China Center in Beijing.

"While activity in the property sector stabilized a bit, sharp weakening in demand for both bank credit and real estate point to sluggish private investment in the last quarter of 2014. Recent developments, therefore, confirm our long-term view of a soft fall of the economy as we reported earlier this week."

by RTT Staff Writer

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South Korea's gross domestic product expanded 0.9 percent on quarter in the third quarter of 2014, the Bank of Korea said in Friday's advance estimate.

That follows the 0.5 percent increase in the second quarter and the 0.9 percent gain in Q1.

On the expenditure side, private consumption expanded 1.1 percent as expenditures on both semi-durable goods and services increased.

Construction investment gained 2.9 percent, with increases in both building construction and civil engineering. Facilities investment fell by 0.8 percent, due to a decrease in transport equipment investment.

Intellectual property products investment added 0.6 percent, centering on software investment.

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