90 seconds at 9 am: US growth up, future prospects trimmed; ECB wants growth focus and surpluses too; UK in recession again; India warned

Here's our summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, and its all about central banks today.

The US Federal Reserve said that expectations for domestic economic growth in the current year have increased modestly, but it toned down its growth forecast for 2013 and 2014. It said it will keep short-term rates near zero through late 2014. Markets were firmer after the Fed Statement.

US durable goods orders fell, while business investment rose. And, despite the recession in Europe and slower growth in China, some big US industrial companies are reporting surprisingly robust results for the first quarter and sounding confident about the rest of the year.

In Europe, ECB boss Mario Draghi acknowledged the backlash against austerity measures even as data showed the European economy is far from recovery, but he rejected calls for more deficit spending.

In the UK, they have slipped back into recession, after a sharp fall in construction leads to their economy shrinking by 0.2% in the first three months of 2012 - and that is despite all the Olympics preparation. The Bank of England thought it had come to the end of its QE program, but it may be re-thinking that now.

Standard and Poor's has warned India that their credit rating may be downgraded, challenging India's image as a surging economic force. The issue is the level of long term debt. India has BBB- credit rating, the lowest investment grade, and if it were to be cut, it would fall to subinvestment - or junk - grade.

Back to the US, mad-cow disease has been found in California, and South Korea has already banned imports of US beef. Australia and NZ beef exports may benefit.

The exchange rate was on holiday with the rest of us yesterday, and we start the day pretty much unchanged from Tuesday, at US$0.813

We have our own Reserve bank announcement today. Check in at 9 AM to get the latest on Dr Bollard's assessments. He won't be changing rates, but his briefing will set the tone for the economy and the exchange rate.

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Europe faces Japan syndrome as credit demand implodes

Fantastic piece!

Wowoweeewa...A.J....another cracker......now a translation for the lay-American seems well in order......and this...
“Unless we change direction,” you write, “we’ll have another crisis by 2015. Congress made all the wrong moves to guarantee it.” Please elaborate.
Congress has been keeping interest rates very low, basically to subsidize the banking industry. We’ve never seen domination over Washington in the way we’re seeing it now nor the Fed willing to keep interest rates low so long to subsidize the banks.
People aren’t earning enough on investments of low risk to keep pace with inflation, which is being underreported because the [Consumer Price Index] doesn’t include many things we use on a daily basis that are increasing in price. Inflation is the great destroyer of wealth. We’re getting sleight-of-hand on the part of people who know better.
Does this sound a little familar...?

Pithy tweet from Zero Hedge.
"Basically the Fed just admitted again that since it is powerless to prevent home wealth destruction, it will keep ramping stocks to offset"

UK's stunning uh achievement today v the Great Depression...
"Now Britain is officially in double-dip recession, and has achieved the remarkable feat of doing worse this time around than it did in the 1930s."
like oh dear.......

Mad cow disease on the west coast of US, whoo, this may well firm returns on beef?
The outlook in the Eurozone is looking bleak, Greece on the ropes, with Spain, Italy and many others to follow, perhaps a meltdown within the next 18 months, but what will the reaction of the masses be, it may make the Arab Sping look like a Sunday school picnic? My dusty old Chrystal Ball is starting to show signs of WW111 ? A great outcome for the Banksters?