Archive for the breakfast-today Category

UK services PMI at eight-month high

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

The latest PMI data from Markit revealed service providers in the UK commenced Q2 2015 on a strong note. The UK services PMI rose to 59.5 in April, increasing for 28 successive months, compared with 58.9 in March. Moreover, employment growth was strong and the sentiment remained optimistic despite the upcoming elections.

UK shop price decline rate slows in April: BRC

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), retail prices in the UK declined 1.9% y-o-y in April compared with a 2.1% y-o-y drop in March. Food items reported a deflation of 0.9% while the price of non-food items decelerated 2.5% for the month. With almost zero CPI and rising real wages, consumers are likely to benefit from the low prices.

Eurozone investor confidence falls slightly in May

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

A survey from Sentix revealed the investor confidence index dropped to 19.6 from 20.0 in April. The expectations measure also narrowed to 26.5 compared to 31.5 last month. However the investors remained more optimistic about the current situation as the index improved to 13.0 from 9.0 last month.

Eurozone’s unemployment rate remains steady in March

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Data from Eurostat showed that the Eurozone’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 11.3% in March, the lowest in nearly three years. The number of unemployed people in the region stood at 18.105 million. The jobless rate was 11.7% in March 2014.

UK retail sales growth cools in April: CBI

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The Confederation of British Industry’s retail sales balance stood at +12 in April compared to +18 in March. The drop is ascribed to the declining sales among grocers, despite a broad-based increase among most types of retailers. On the other hand, the optimism over next month’s sales improved strongly.

Mortgage approvals in UK rise in March

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) stated house purchase mortgage increased to a six-month high of 38,751 in March from 37,453 in February, mainly driven by lower mortgage rates due to reduced prospect of a rate hike by the Bank of England. Moreover, consumer borrowing rose £400m m-o-m in March.

UK spending power confidence improves in March: Lloyds

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

The latest Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report indicated people are more optimistic about the current situation in the UK as the index jumped 10 points to 207 in March 2015. Meanwhile, the overall index rose 4 points to 158 due to optimism in personal, household and employment situation in the country.

Industrial profit in China falls in March

Monday, April 27th, 2015

The China National Bureau of Statistics revealed industrial profits in March fell 0.4% y-o-y to ¥508.61bn. In Q1 2015, profits declined 2.7% y-o-y to ¥1.25tr. The agency attributed the slower decline to a steeper drop in raw material prices and reduced financing costs.

Merkel intends to prevent Greece from running out of cash

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel met Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the sidelines of a European Union summit in Brussels. After the meeting, she stated that Greece should be prevented from defaulting before it signs a cash-for-reform deal with its international creditors. The details of the meeting were kept confidential.

Germany lifts growth forecast for 2015

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Germany raised its economic growth projection for 2015 to 1.8% from the earlier 1.5% in January. The revision factored in strong performance in the labor market, including record high employment rate with rising wages, and higher consumer spending in the country.

Eurozone debt surges to record high

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

In the Eurozone, the government debt to GDP ratio rose to a high of 91.9% y-o-y for 2014 compared to 90.9% a year earlier. At 177.1%, Greece recorded the highest ratio (175% in 2013). Meanwhile, the government deficit to GDP ratio declined to 2.4% from 2.9%. Denmark, Germany, Estonia and Luxembourg recorded a government surplus for the year.

IMF official expects positive development between Greece and its creditors

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Poul Thomsen, Director of the IMF’s European Department and head of its programme with Greece, informed positive developments have taken place in the negotiations between Greece’s government and its creditors in the past few days. The Greek government’s finances are likely to last until June, he further added.

Rightmove: UK asking house prices soar in April

Monday, April 20th, 2015

According to Rightmove, the asking house prices in UK accelerated 1.6% m-o-m in April from 1.0% in March, which escalated the average asking house price to £286,133. However, on y-o-y basis, the price growth slowed to 4.7% from 5.4% in March.

ECB raises growth projections, lowers inflation forecast

Friday, April 17th, 2015

The ECB’s Survey of Professional Forecasters for Q2 2015 indicated inflation in the Eurozone is likely to reduce to 0.1% in 2015 due to lower oil prices, but would stand at 1.2% and 1.6% in 2016 and 2017, respectively, on accommodative monetary policy measures. On the other hand, real GDP growth projections were raised to 1.4% for 2015, 1.7% for 2016 and 1.8% for 2017. The earlier GDP estimates were 1.1% for 2015, and 1.5% for 2016 and 1.7% for 2017.

House price growth in UK accelerates in March 2015

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ monthly house price balance increased to +21 in March from +15 in February. The improvement in the reading was primarily ascribed to shortage of properties.

UK house price growth decelerates in February 2015

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) stated growth in UK house prices slowed to 7.2% y-o-y in February compared with 8.4% in January. Excluding London and the South East, house prices rose 5.9% y-o-y in February. Moreover, the average house price in the UK improved 0.6% m-o-m to £268,000.

Retail spending in UK rises in March

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

The British Retail Consortium stated retail sales in the UK increased 4.7% y-o-y in March, the fastest rise since April 2014, compared with a 1.7% y-o-y gain in February. On a like-for-like basis, sales rose 3.2% in March vis-à-vis 0.2% in February. The growth was largely ascribed to rising wages and pre-Easter trading in March.

Private sector activity in England and Wales rises in Q1 2015

Monday, April 13th, 2015

The Lloyds Bank regional Purchasing Managers’ Index indicated business activity in England increased to 59.0 in March, the fastest in seven months, from 56.9 in February. The average reading for 2014 was 58.3. Moreover, business activity in Wales rose to 59.8 from 56.9 in February. The growth was largely ascribed to improvement in new business orders and backlog of outstanding work.

UK trade deficit widens in February

Friday, April 10th, 2015

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed the UK’s trade deficit for goods and services widened to £2.86bn in February, a seven-month high, from £1.54bn in January. Moreover, export of goods declined to £23.16bn, the lowest since September 2010.

Demand for mortgages in UK expected to rise in Q2 2015

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

According to a survey by the Bank of England, banks in the UK expect mortgage demand to rise in the next three months (April-June) following a significant decline in the previous two quarters. However, lending to businesses is projected to remain unchanged for the quarter.

UK shop prices decline fastest since 2006 in March

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

According to BRC, retail prices in the UK fell 2.1% y-o-y in March compared with a 1.7% drop in February. The decline was triggered by a sharp fall of 0.9% in food prices for the month.

Greece officially quantifies claim for German reparations

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Greece’s Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas stated that Germany owes it €278.7bn in reparations for the Second World War, including the occupation loan that Nazi Germany imposed on the Bank of Greece.

Productivity in UK declines in Q4 2014

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

The Office for National Statistics stated the output per hour worked fell 0.2% during Q4 2014 from Q3 2014. The drop was ascribed to a faster rise in employment than output.

Unemployment rate in Eurozone falls to lowest since May 2012

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

According to Eurostat, Eurozone’s unemployment rate edged down to a seasonally adjusted 11.3% in February, its lowest level since May 2012, from 11.4% in January. The unemployment rate in February 2014 stood at 11.8%.

Consumer confidence in UK rises in March

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

GfK, an economic polling company, stated the monthly consumer confidence index in the UK rose to +4 in March, the highest since June 2002, from + 1 in February. The continued increase in the index was ascribed to falling inflation and a gain in real wages, along with declining energy prices.

BoE and ECB strike deal over central counterparties in euro trade

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Following a ruling by the EU’s General Court on 4th March, the ECB and Bank of England (BoE) reached an agreement on centrally cleared markets within the EU to provide greater financial stability in the region. The deal includes information exchange and cooperation between the two banks while extending the swap line to support multi-currency central counterparties with large euro-denominated business.

Retail sales balance in UK rises in March

Friday, March 27th, 2015

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI)’s retail sales balance increased to +18 in March from +1 in February. The rise was ascribed to robust sales growth for chemists, along with strong growth in the furniture and carpet businesses. However, the sales expectations for April contracted to +21 from +27 in March.

Mortgage approvals in UK rise to five-month high

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

The British Bankers’ Association stated mortgages approved for house purchases increased to a seasonally adjusted 37,305 in February compared to 36,517 in the previous month. However, the value of mortgage approvals remained unchanged at £6.2bn for the month.

Annual inflation in UK at zero in February

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

The Office for National Statistics revealed inflation in the UK fell to zero in February on an annual basis following a 0.3% y-o-y rise in January. The decline was ascribed to a sharp fall in oil prices and an ongoing price war among supermarkets. However, the UK’s consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.3% m-o-m in February after dropping 0.9% in January.

ECB upholds unemployment projections despite bond-buying programme

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

According to the European Central Bank (ECB), the unemployment rate in the region is expected to remain in double digits despite the complete implementation of the €1.1tn quantitative easing programme. The current unemployment rate is 11.2% as a sharp rise in economic growth to boost employment appears unlikely.