Overseas Headlines – August 17, 2021

United States:

Drop in U.S. Retail Sales Underscores Shift to Services Spending

“U.S. retail sales fell in July by more than forecast, reflecting a steady shift in spending toward services and indicating consumers may be growing more price conscious as inflation picks up. The value of overall retail purchases dropped 1.1% last month following an upwardly revised 0.7% increase in June, Commerce Department figures showed Tuesday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 0.3% decrease. Excluding autos, sales decreased 0.4% in July.”



U.K. Wage Growth Hits a Record as Vacancies Pass 1 Million

“U.K. wage growth hit a record as companies posted more than 1 million new job vacancies for the first time in an unprecedented scramble for staff following the loosening of lockdown rules. Average earnings in the three months through June surged a record 8.8% from a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday. While the figure partly reflects distortions created by the pandemic, underlying wage pressures are also gathering pace.”



Yuan’s Global Use Faces Test as Xi’s Reforms Rattle Markets

“The Chinese yuan has been making inroads in the world of cross-border payments in recent years, but a pair of data points due this week will reveal whether the country’s sudden industry crackdowns have dented international trust in the currency. The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, also known as Swift, and China’s foreign-exchange regulator will both announce figures this week that together paint a picture of the yuan’s role in international trade and investment. Previous data through June showed a steady increase in its use but that was before a regulatory crackdown escalated in July.”




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