• A gauge of US demand has recorded its highest reading for nearly four years.

In its quarterly poll of economists, the National Association for Business Economists found that 53% of respondents believed demand increased in Q3, while only 11% noted a decline.

The 42% difference, known as the net rising index, was the highest since Q4 1999.

• The European Commission has slashed its 2003 growth estimates for the Eurozone.

The EC believes the combined economy of the twelve countries using the euro will grow just 0.4% this year, lower than April's forecast of 1%. It blamed the decline in business and consumer confidence caused by the war in Iraq, stock market jitters and job fears.

Growth is expected to accelerate next year to 1.8%, though the EC warned that unemployment could still rise.

• Japanese industrial output jumped 3% in September – the biggest rise since May last year and double analysts' expectations of 1.5%.

A rebound from August's 0.7% slide, September's growth was fuelled by a 9.2% surge in exports, including a 42% leap in sales to China.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff