Overseas Headlines – July 19, 2021

United States:

Gain in U.S. Retail Sales Underscores Solid, Steady Consumer

“U.S. retail sales rose unexpectedly in June, reflecting fairly broad gains across spending categories and wrapping up a solid quarter for household demand. The value of overall retail purchases advanced 0.6% last month following a downwardly revised 1.7% drop in May, Commerce Department figures showed Friday. Excluding autos, sales jumped 1.3% in June. The June increase in overall sales topped all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The median projection called for a 0.3% decrease in June sales, and a 0.4% gain excluding autos.”



Lagarde’s Strategy Hints at New Era of ECB Teamwork With Germans

“President Christine Lagarde had barely begun unveiling the European Central Bank’s new monetary policy strategy this month when she signaled that the Germans were on board. By quickly highlighting officials’ unanimous backing, she revealed the support of Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann — validation that also underscored how the hawkish and conservative institution he leads is committed to exerting influence through engagement rather than confrontation, and is quietly satisfied with the results.”



BOJ Joins Global Climate-Change Battle With Green Loan Support

“The Bank of Japan joined the battle against global warming by offering a series of incentives for lenders to help businesses move toward a greener economy, with Governor Haruhiko Kuroda insisting there was no longer any time to waste. The BOJ said Friday it would offer banks interest-free funds for climate-linked loans or investments and exempt more of their reserves from its negative interest rate. After a two-day meeting, the central bank also left its main policy settings unchanged and tweaked its economic forecasts to reflect the latest virus restrictions as Japan readies for a fan-free Olympics.”



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