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On the brink

Fears of a double-dip recession in Europe are weighing heavily on stock prices across the world. The FTSE 100 dipped below 5,000 again yesterday after European economic growth forecasts were cut again – the second time in five weeks.

In the US, however, there has been reason for comfort in the latest figures from the Institute of Supply Management’s gauge of manufacturing activity which suggest that the American economy is still afloat and defying fears of a double-dip. Although the figures suggest that the economy is only ‘limping’ forward, the data comes at a time when most were fearing that the economy was set to fall back.

It is not all good news in the US though. The US Commerce Department released data on Friday which indicated that US personal income fell by 0.1% in August – the first fall for two years. This data sits alongside a flat employment rate of around 9%.

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