Archive forMay, 2016

French GDP picks up in Q1 2016

As per data published by INSEE, the French statistical office, France’s GDP grew 0.6% q-o-q in Q1 2016, faster than the 0.4% rise in the previous quarter. The improvement was mainly due to a 1.0% increase in consumer spending and a 1.6% surge in investment. The country is targeting a GDP growth of 1.5% for 2016.

Brexit: Extreme Commentary is Desperation – Mike Franklin on Bloomberg’s “Countdown”, 27th May 2016

Beaufort Securities Chief Investment Strategist Michael Franklin discusses Britain’s upcoming referendum on membership of the European Union with Bloomberg’s Anna Edwards on Bloomberg Television’s “Countdown.” (Source: Bloomberg)

UK consumer confidence improves in May

As per GfK, consumer confidence index rose to -1 in May from -3 in April, the weakest since December 2014, beating the market expectations of a reading of -4. The sentiment is negatively impacted by vote on Brexit on 23 June 2016

Forward diary: 30th May – 3rd June 2016

Company and economic announcements planned for the week commencing 30th May 2016

Brexit to cost UK billions in trade: WTO

The World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Director General Roberto Azevedo has warned the UK that an exit from the European Union would cost it billions and the country would be forced to re-negotiate its membership of the WTO. He added these negotiations would be complex and could take years to reach an agreement.

Eurozone ministers approve bailout package for Greece

Eurozone’s finance ministers have agreed to extend further bailout loans to Greece in a meeting in Brussels. The ministers agreed to release €10.3bn in bailout money for Greece to avoid bankruptcy. The move comes after the Parliament of Greece approved spending cuts and increased taxes as demanded by creditors.

Eurozone consumer confidence improves in May

As per preliminary data from European Commission, the Eurozone’s consumer confidence climbed to -7.0 in May from -9.3 in April. The reading was the highest in the last four months. In the European Union as a whole, consumer sentiment increased 1.1 points to -5.7.

Japan’s exports decline in April

As per data from Japan’s Ministry of Finance, the country’s exports fell 10.0% y-o-y in April and imports slipped 23% y-o-y, resulting in a trade surplus of ¥823.0bn. The weak trade data was primarily due to poor demand from China, the US, and other emerging economies. Moreover, Japan’s manufacturing PMI dropped to 47.6 in May from 48.2 in April, its sharpest decline since December 2012.

Retail sales in UK rise in April

As per data from the Office for National Statistics, retail sales in the UK grew 1.3% m-o-m in April after a revised 0.5% decline in March. The rise was led by a 2.5% increase in non-food sales. On a y-o-y basis, retail sales advanced 4.3% in April after a 3.0% gain in March.

Forward diary: 23rd – 27th May 2016

Company and economic announcements planned for the week commencing 23rd May 2016

UK’s unemployment rate remains stable in three months to March

As per the data from the Office for National Statistics, the UK’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.1% in the three months to March. The number of people at work increased by 44,000 to 31.58 million. Moreover, the employment rate stood at 74.2%, the highest level since the records began in 1971.

UK inflation eases in April

As per data from the Office for National Statistics, inflation in the UK eased to 0.3% in April from 0.5% in March, marking the first decline since September 2015. The fall in prices mainly resulted from a drop in airfares and lower clothing prices. On an m-o-m basis, consumer prices rose 0.1% after a 0.4% increase in March.

CBI lowers growth forecast ahead of Brexit

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) trimmed its economic growth forecasts to 2% for 2016 and 2017, from its previous estimate of 2.3% and 2.1% respectively. The slowdown is ascribed to the approaching EU referendum as it is preceded by a period of unemployment and economic uncertainty which has impacted consumer activity. The agency’s projections are based on the assumption that Britain would stay in the EU.

House prices in UK rise in May: Rightmove

As per the property tracking website Rightmove, the average asking price for a house in the UK increased 0.4% m-o-m to £308,151 in May after a 1.3% rise in April. On a y-o-y basis, house prices gained 7.8% in May compared with a 7.3% rise in April. The prices increased after an investor rush to beat a new stamp duty introduced in April left led to a scarcity of homes for sale.

Forward diary: 16th – 20th May 2016

Company and economic announcements planned for the week commencing 16th May 2016

BoE warns of recession if UK leaves EU

The Bank of England (BoE) has cautioned that the UK could slip into recession if it exits the European Union. Furthermore, the bank trimmed the country’s growth forecast to 2.0% from its February estimate of 2.2%; however, it kept interest rates unchanged. The referendum would be held on 23rd June 2016.

UK house price balance falls in April: RICS

Accord to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), UK house price balance dipped to +41 in April, the lowest since June 2015, from +42 in March. London accounted for the sharpest fall in demand in April. The drop was primarily ascribed to reduced demand from the buy-to-let and second-home buyers, following the imposition of the additional stamp duty since 1st April 2016.

UK’s trade gap widens in Q1 2016

According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK’s trade deficit, which is the gap between exports and imports, in services and goods widened to £13.3bn during Q1 2016, its highest level in eight years. The weak trade data weighed on the overall economic growth for the quarter. The services sector, however, enjoyed a healthy trade surplus, which was offset by deficit in the goods sector.

UK retail spending stagnates in April: BRC

As per the British Retail Consortium (BRC), retail spending in the UK was flat against the previous year for the second consecutive month during April. The weak demand for fashion and footwear was primarily ascribed to the unusually cold weather in April. On a like-for-like basis, BRC said sales fell 0.9% y-o-y in April.

Cameron warns of threat to peace following Brexit

Today, British Prime Minister David Cameron will put forward a case for the UK to stay in the European Union (EU) to avoid another conflict that may threaten peace in the region. He will insist that the country cannot remain immune from the events in Europe.

Forward diary: 9th – 13th May 2016

Company and economic announcements planned for the week commencing 9th May 2016

UK economy ‘near stalling’ as service sector slows

UK economic growth is “near stalling”, partly due to uncertainty over the EU referendum, according to a closely-watched survey. Research firm Markit said its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) surveys for April pointed to growth of just 0.1% in the month. The latest PMI survey indicated the UK’s services sector grew at its slowest pace in three years in April. The services PMI reading fell to 52.3 from 53.7 in March. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

Shop prices in UK decline in April

As per the British Retail Consortium, shop prices in the UK fell 1.7% y-o-y in April, matching the rate of decline observed in March, primarily due to a decrease in non-food prices. The drop in prices was ascribed to intense competition across the retail industry as shops introduced additional discounts to attract consumers.

UK manufacturing sector contracts in April

As per Markit, UK’s manufacturing PMI fell to 49.2 in April from 50.7 in March, marking the first contraction in three years. The decline was mainly due to weak domestic demand, decline in new business from overseas markets and uncertainty ahead of the European Union (EU) referendum.

China’s manufacturing sector continues to contract in April

The Caixin manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for China fell to 49.4 in April from 49.7 in March. The decrease was largely due to stagnant new orders and a decline in new exports. The contraction renewed concerns about the health of the country’s economy.