U.S. Retail Sales Trail Forecast, Suggesting Drag From Inflation
“U.S. retail sales rose by less than forecast in November, suggesting that consumers are tempering purchases against a backdrop of the fastest inflation in decades. The value of overall retail purchases increased 0.3% last month, following an upwardly revised 1.8% advance in October, Commerce Department figures showed Wednesday. Excluding gas and motor vehicles, sales climbed 0.2% in November. The figures aren’t adjusted for inflation.”
ECB Forecasts Show Inflation Below 2% Goal After Next Year
“The European Central Bank’s new projections show inflation below the 2% target in both 2023 and 2024, according to officials familiar with the matter, giving President Christine Lagarde ammunition to argue against a swift increase in interest rates. While consumer-price growth for next year will be stronger than the 1.7% predicted in September and above the goal, it will then slow over the forecast horizon, the officials said. They asked not to be identified because such numbers are confidential.”
China’s Economic Slump Fuels Calls for More Stimulus
“China’s economy took a knock last month from an ongoing property market slump and sporadic Covid outbreaks, prompting economists to warn that recent easing measures may not be enough to stabilize growth. Residential property sales and the area of new housing started by developers both dropped about 20% from a year earlier, pulling down the pace of overall investment spending in the economy. Retail sales growth weakened to 3.9% in November as people stayed home amid renewed virus outbreaks.”
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