Financial Markets…Global equities declined and US Treasuries gained after the Congress failed to agree on a plan to allow higher taxes on those earning more than $1 million as budget talks stalled. The MSCI All-Country World Index dropped 0.8% at 10:44 a.m. in New York and the Standard Poor’s 500 Index slumped 0.9%. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.4%, falling from a 19-month high. US Treasuries rose, with the yield on 10-year Treasuries decreasing five basis points to 1.75 percent.

The MSCI Emerging Market Index slid 1.1%, its biggest drop in more than five weeks. China’s stocks retreated from a four-month high on concern that the rally from the beginning of this month was excessive. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7%. India’s Sensex slid 1.1%.

High-income Economies…US durable goods orders rose 0.7% (m/m) in November, following an upwardly revised 1.1% gain in October. Orders for capital goods excluding defense and aircraft – a proxy for future business investment – rose 2.7% (m/m) building on an upwardly revised 3.2% gain in October.

US consumer sentiment, however, slumped in December, with the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index falling sharply to 72.9 from 82.7 in November, reflecting consumers’ concerns about uncertainty over negotiations on tax hikes and spending cuts that are set to come into effect in the new year.

UK GDP growth for the third quarter was revised slightly down to 0.9% (q/q) (implying an annualized rate of 3.6% q/q) from the earlier reported 1.0%. Despite the downward revision, this was the UK economy’s best performance since the second quarter of 2010.

Denmark’s GDP grew at an annualized 1.2% (q/q) in the third quarter, following a 2.8% annualized decline in the second quarter.

Canada’s consumer price fell to the lowest in three years in November, declining to 0.8% (y/y) compared with 1.2% in October. On a monthly basis, prices fell 0.2% due to declines in fuel costs and automobile prices. Inflation is now below the central bank’s 1%-3% target range.

Poland’s retail sales growth slowed to 2.4% (y/y) in November from 3.3% in October, falling 6.4% (m/m), pointing to a slowing consumer demand amid high unemployment. Poland’s unemployment rate rose to 12.9% in November from 12.5% in October.

Developing Economies…Argentina‘s industrial production dropped 1.4% (y/y) in November and declined 2.1% (m/m) versus October, due to slowing down of Brazilian demand for Argentine automobiles as well as decline in investment and domestic demand.

Brazil‘s unemployment rate dropped to 4.9% in November from 5.3% in October. November figure was the lowest since December 2011, when the jobless rate was 4.7%.

Colombia’s GDP growth slowed to 2.1% (y/y) in the third quarter from 4.9% in the second quarter, to a large extent due to a 12.3% drop in construction. On a quarterly basis Colombian economy contracted 0.7% (q/q) in the third quarter. The Government of Colombia lowered economic growth forecast for full-year 2012 to 4-4.5%, due to weak expansion in the third quarter, from a previous targeted 4.8%.

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Prospects Daily: Global equities decline after US budget talks stall and US consumer confidence falls

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