Overseas Headlines – March 14, 2017


U.S. Producer Prices Climbed More Than Forecast in February
U.S. producer prices rose more than forecast in February, while costs increased from a year earlier by the most since March 2012, signaling inflation is picking up, a Labour Department report showed Tuesday in Washington.

Key Points
· Producer-price index climbed 0.3 percent from January (forecast was for 0.1 percent gain) after 0.6 percent jump that was the biggest since September 2012
· Over 80 percent of the advance due to 0.4 percent increase in services prices
· PPI increased 2.2 percent from February 2016 (estimate was 1.9 percent) following a 1.6 percent rise in the previous 12-month period
· Excluding food and energy, wholesale prices rose 0.3 percent from the previous month (forecast was 0.2 percent) and rose 1.5 percent from February 2016


Euro zone industry output rises less than expected in January
Euro zone industrial output increased less than expected in January as firms’ higher investment in machinery was partially offset by a drop in the production of consumer goods, estimates from the European Union statistics office showed on Tuesday. Eurostat said industrial production in the 19-country single currency bloc rose in January by 0.9 percent compared to the previous month, and by 0.6 percent year-on-year. Both figures were lower than market expectations. A Reuters poll of economists had forecast an average monthly rise of 1.3 percent and a 0.9 percent increase year-on-year. The lower-than-expected January figures were partly counterbalanced by upwardly revised data for December when industrial production fell by 1.2 percent on the month, less than the 1.6 percent drop initially estimated by Eurostat.


China individual mortgages to drop below 30 percent of new loans in 2017
China’s mortgages by individuals should account for less than 30 percent of total new loans in 2017 as housing curbs are expected to slow mortgage growth, state newspaper China Securities Journal quoted a central bank official as saying on Tuesday. That would be a "clear drop" from the high ratio last year, the newspaper quoted Zhou Xuedong, director of the business management department in the People’s Bank of China, as saying. In 2016, China’s 5.68 trillion yuan ($820.9 billion) in new medium- and long-term household loans made up 44.9 percent of total new loans in the year, boosted by a furious property market boom, central bank data showed. Zhou’s estimates echoed central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan’s remarks last week, who said measures by local governments to cool rising house prices would slow mortgage growth to some degree, but housing loans would continue to grow at a relatively rapid pace.