Overseas Headlines – January 18, 2021

United States:

U.S. Retail Sales Post Surprise Monthly Drop to Cap Dismal Year

“U.S. retail sales declined at the close of the holiday-shopping season, wrapping up a painful year for the nation’s merchants as the pandemic forced store closures and kept consumers at home. Total retail receipts decreased 0.7% in December from the prior month after a downwardly revised 1.4% drop in November, Commerce Department figures showed Friday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for no change in December.”



German Inflation Will Turn Positive in January, Bundesbank Says

“Price growth in Europe’s largest economy is likely to be “clearly positive” this month for the first time in half a year, according to the Bundesbank. After the phasing-out of a temporary sales-tax cut and the introduction of an emissions-pricing scheme, the cost of many goods and services in Germany is likely to have risen on an annual basis, the country’s central bank said in a monthly report published Monday.”



China’s Growth Beats Estimates as Economy Powers Out of Covid

“China’s economy roared back to pre-pandemic growth rates in the fourth quarter as its industrial engines fired up to meet surging demand for exports, pushing the full-year expansion beyond estimates and propelling its global advance. Gross domestic product climbed 6.5% in the final quarter from a year earlier, pushing growth to 2.3% for the full year. That leaves the world’s second-largest economy driving global growth and potentially passing U.S. GDP sooner than previously expected.”




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