Unilever Saved By Asia, Emerging Markets; Europe Weak

Price increases on products like Hellman’s Mayonnaise and Dove Soap helped Unilever (UN) beat their sales forecast for the first time in 6 years. Revenue climbed 7.2%, beating a 5.9% street estimate. Gains in Asia and Africa were responsible for most of the positive news, notching a 14% increase. European sales rose 2.3%, compared to the expected 4.1%.

So what does this mean for the overall economic picture? A recurring theme: gains in emerging markets masking weaknesses in Europe and the US. In this case, the Europe weakness may even suggest that folks on the continent are too strapped to buy mayo, which isn’t a good sign.

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