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The dollar declined significantly against most major currencies after data from the Conference Board showed that by the end of April, consumer confidence has grown significantly ahead with the experts' forecasts. According to the report, this month's consumer confidence indicator rose to the level of 68.1, compared with a revised downwards index for March at 61.9, while the originally reported value at 59.7. Note that the April figure was the highest since November 2012. According to the average forecasts of experts, this indicator had improved to the level of 60.6. Moreover, the data showed that consumer expectations for economic activity in the next six months, rose nearly 10 points to 73.3, compared with a revised figure for the last month at 63.7 (initially reported on the index at 60.9.) Note that the index, which measures current economic conditions rose to 60.4 from a revised figure for March at 59.2.
Value of the pound rose today, registering its biggest monthly gain against the dollar since October 2011, as the report showed that in March, British banks have issued more loans to buy homes than analysts predicted, adding to signs that the economy is improving. As it became known that the number of mortgage approvals in March amounted to 53,504 against 51,947 in February, and net consumer credit rose in March to 923 million pounds (1.43 billion dollars) against a 1.3 billion pounds in February. Lending companies continued to decline. Lending to non-financial companies fell in March to 554 million pounds, while lending to small and medium-sized businesses fell by 117 million pounds. The data indicate that the joint program of the Bank of England and the Treasury, designed to stimulate lending in the country, has no effect on the companies. Authorities fear that it will deter investment and spending. Meanwhile, we note that the money supply increased in March. M4 money supply, which does not take into account the cash circulating in the financial system, increased by 0.3% compared to February and by 4.5% compared with the same period last year.
The Canadian dollar was higher against the U.S. dollar after the data presented showed that the GDP of Canada in February rose by 0.3%, driven by increased activity in the mining and oil exploration sector. Activity in the manufacturing sector in Canada in February rose a second straight month. Thanks to the return of professional hockey in the sub-sector, entertainment, recreation and the arts was an increase of 3.3%. Economists had expected GDP growth of 0.2% in February. Experts say that after weak growth in the second half of 2012, Canada's economy is slowly returning to the path of recovery in early 2013. But even if the GDP will remain unchanged in March, Canada's GDP growth in Q1 could reach 2.3% compared with the same period last year.
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