Archive forApril, 2015

UK retail sales growth cools in April: CBI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Making sense of the Maelstrom

Promises, promises and yet more promises, A General Election is upon us and the investment outlook has probably never been more polarised. As the bookies’ odds on the election outcome show, both main parties are running close and any polls favouring one party have been reversing fairly quickly. For investors, whether in equities, bonds or even capital projects, the extreme rhetoric from some politicians directed to stir disaffected grass roots voters has created a highly-charged and nervous investment environment in the run-up to the 7th May Election Day. However, as the accompanying chart shows, despite the uncertainty, the FTSE 100 and the 250 Indices have broken up to new highs since the start of the year.

Rightmove: UK asking house prices soar in April

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

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

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

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.

Harry Stevenson talks with DekelOil Public (DKL.L) on – 14/04/2015

Beaufort Research Analyst, Harry Stevenson speaking with Lincoln Moore (Executive Director) of DekelOil Public (DKL.L) on – 14/04/2015

Retail spending in UK rises in March

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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%.