Euro zone economic sentiment jumped more than expected in August thanks to more optimism in the industry and service sectors and among consumers, monthly survey data from the European Commission showed on Wednesday.
The Commission’s economic sentiment index for the 19 countries sharing the euro rose to 111.9 in August from an upwardly revised 111.3 in July, beating expectations of economists polled by Reuters of a 111.3 reading.
The Commission’s business climate index, which points to the phase of the business cycle, also recovered from a dip in July, rising to 1.09 in August from a revised 1.04.
Moody’s Investors Service kept its forecast for G20 economic growth at just over 3 percent for this year and next, but warned of geopolitical risks, U.S. protectionism and spillovers from global monetary tightening and China’s deleveraging measures.
The ratings agency said surprisingly strong data in the first half of the year prompted it to raise 2017 growth forecasts for China to 6.8 percent from 6.6 percent, for South Korea to 2.8 percent from 2.5 percent, and for Japan to 1.5 percent from 1.1 percent.
It also expected the euro zone to accelerate in the rest of the year as suggested by robust sentiment indicators and revised upwards its forecasts for Germany, France and Italy.
The agency cut its forecast for the United States, however, to 2.2 percent in 2017 and 2.3 percent in 2018 from a previous 2.4 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, citing its weaker-than-expected first half performance and expectations of more modest fiscal stimulus than previously assumed.
Oil prices slid lower on Wednesday as ongoing disruptions from Tropical Storm Harvey kept refineries from buying crude, weighing on demand but prompting fears over fuel shortages.
U.S. crude oil was down 27 cents or 0.6% at $46.16 a barrel by 04:30 AM ET (08:30 GMT), not far from Monday’s one-month trough of $45.77.
Global benchmark Brent futures were at $51.35 as barrel, off 31 cents or 0.56%.
Some refiners in Corpus Christi that shut down ahead of the storm were looking to restart, but heavy rains were expected to last through Wednesday, adding to catastrophic flooding.
The National Weather Service said the storm has set a rainfall record for tropical cyclones in Texas.
But even refineries that are able to restart may experience difficulties getting enough oil supplies.
Ships carrying oil are still unable to enter Texas ports, while producers in south Texas who shut down operations are only starting to ramp up and some pipelines that carry supplies to refineries are still shut.
U.S. private-sector employers hired 237,000 workers in August for the biggest monthly increase in five months, beating economists’ expectations, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 183,000 jobs.
July’s private payrolls increase was revised up to 201,000 from the previously reported 178,000.
The report is jointly developed with Moody’s Analytics.
The ADP figures come ahead of the U.S. Labor Department’s more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which includes both public and private-sector employment.