Overseas Headlines – May 16, 2023

May 16, 2023

United States:

US Retail Sales Increase in Sign of Steady Consumer Spending

US retail sales increased in April, suggesting consumer spending is holding up in the face of economic headwinds including inflation and high borrowing costs.

The value of retail purchases rose 0.4% after an upwardly revised 0.7% decrease in March, Commerce Department data showed Tuesday. Excluding autos and gasoline, sales increased 0.6%. The figures aren’t adjusted for inflation.




German Recession Fears Resurface as Investor Outlook Weakens

Investors’ confidence in Germany waned for a third month, reigniting fears that Europe’s largest economy is heading for a recession.

The ZEW institute’s gauge of expectations fell to -10.7 in May from 4.1 in April — the first sub-zero reading of 2023. Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected a decline to -5. An index of current conditions also deteriorated.




China’s Waning Economic Recovery Spurs Calls for Stimulus

Fierce competition for new mortgage customers is driving banks in Hong Kong to offer the highest cash rebates in nearly two decades.

China’s economic recovery is losing momentum after an initial burst in consumer and business activity early in the year, prompting calls for more policy stimulus to bolster growth.

Official data Tuesday showed industrial output, retail sales and fixed investment grew at a much slower pace than expected in April. The figures were disappointing even though the low base of comparison from last year, when Shanghai was in lockdown, helped to boost the data.




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