Friday November 17 2017
Week Ahead
Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

In the US, the most important events are the FOMC minutes release, existing home sales and durable goods. In the UK, investors will be waiting for the Autumn Budget. Elsewhere, flash PMIs for the Euro Area, Germany, France and Japan will also be in the spotlight.

In the US, investors will be waiting for the FOMC minutes release for further clues on the timing of the next Fed rate hike. Markets are anticipating a 25bps rise in the fed funds rate in the December meeting. Other important data include existing home sales, durable goods, final figures for Michigan consumer sentiment and flash PMI figures.
 
Elsewhere in America: Canada retail sales; mid-month inflation figures for Brazil and Mexico; final figures for Mexico GDP growth; Colombia interest rate decision and Chile GDP growth. On Sunday November 19th, Chileans will choose the next President and investors bet on the return of Sebastián Piñera.
 
In the UK, the Chancellor Philip Hammond will deliver the Autumn Budget. Other important data include government borrowing numbers and the second estimate for GDP growth.
 
In Europe, flash PMI readings for the Euro Area, Germany and France; Eurozone consumer confidence; Germany IFO business climate and final estimates for GDP growth; and the minutes from last ECB monetary policy meeting will also be in the spotlight.
 
In Asia, important data include flash manufacturing PMI for Japan; Thailand GDP growth; final GDP growth figures for Singapore and Taiwan. In Australia, the RBA will also publish minutes from its last monetary policy meeting.
 
In Africa, investors will be waiting for South Africa inflation rate and monetary policy updates for South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.




Friday November 17 2017
US Housing Starts at 1-Year High
U.S. Census Bureau | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Housing starts in the United States jumped 13.7 percent month-over-month to an annualized rate of 1,290 thousand in October of 2017, the highest in a year and beating market expectations of a 5.6 percent rise to 1,180 thousand. It follows an upwardly revised 1,135 thousand in September, which was the lowest reading since September of 2016, mainly due to disruptions caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the South.

Single-family starts, the largest segment of the market, increased 5.3 percent to 877 thousand, led by a 16.6 percent recovery in the South after damages causaded by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Also, the volatile multi-family segment went up 37.4 percent to 393 thousand. Overall, housing starts rose in the South (17.2 percent to 621 thousand), the Midwest (18.4 percent to 212 thousand) and the Northeast (42.2 percent to 145 thousand), but fell in the West (-3.7 percent to 312 thousand).

Building permits increased 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1,297 thousand, higher than 1,225 thousand in September and market expectations of 1,240 thousand. It is the biggest value so far this year. Permits for construction of single-family homes increased 1.9 percent to 839 thousand while for multi-family homes permits rose 13.4 percent to 416 thousand. Permits increased in all main areas: the South (3 percent to 613 thousand), the West (13 percent to 366 thousand), the Midwest (3.8 percent to 192 thousand) and the Northeast (4.1 percent to 126 thousand).

Year-on-year, starts shrank 2.9 percent while permits gained 0.9 percent.




Friday November 17 2017
Canada Inflation Rate Slows to 1.4% in October, Matches Forecasts
Statistics Canada |Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Canada increased 1.4 percent year-on-year in October of 2017, following a 1.6 percent rise in the previous month, and matching market expectations. The decline in annual inflation rate was mainly led by a slowdown in prices of gasoline and shelter. Meanwhile, the BoC's annual core inflation, which excludes volatile items, went up to 0.9 percent compared to 0.8 percent in September.

Transportation prices rose 3 percent on a year-over-year basis in October, following a 3.8 percent increase in September. This deceleration was led by gasoline prices, which advanced 6.5 percent after increasing 14.1 percent the previous month in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. At the same time, the purchase of passenger vehicles index rose 1.5 percent month-over-month in October, providing the impetus for the largest year-over-year gain in this index since March 2017.

The shelter index rose 1.2 percent after an increase of 1.4 percent in September.

Consumer prices for food were up 1.3 percent, after rising 1.4 percent in the previous month.

The recreation, education and reading index increased 1.5 percent, following a 2.1 percent gain in September. Prices for travel tours contributed the most to this deceleration, increasing 4.4 percent, after a 7.3 percent gain in September. The recreational services index increased 5.2 percent, following a 14.7 percent gain in September. Meanwhile, prices for digital computing equipment and devices (-4.4%) declined at a slower rate on a year-over-year basis in October than in September.

Consumer prices for household operations, furnishings and equipment rose 0.2 percent, after declining year over year for three consecutive months. Prices for telephone services increased 3.9 percent on a monthly basis, leading to a 0.1 percent year-over-year decline in October, following a 3.1 percent decrease in September. Prices for child care services went up 2.6 percent. Additionally, the tools and other household equipment index recorded a smaller year-over-year increase for the month than was seen in September.

The clothing and footwear index went down 1.5 percent in October 2017, after falling 2.3 percent in the prior month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent, following a 0.2 percent increase in September.




Friday November 17 2017
Malaysia Q3 GDP Growth Strongest In Over 3 Years
Bank Negara Malaysia l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Malaysian economy advanced 6.2 percent year-on-year in the September quarter of 2017, compared to a 5.8 percent growth in the previous three months and beating market consensus of a 5.4 percent expansion. It was the strongest growth since the June quarter 2014, boosted by robust private consumption and faster rises in government spending, investment and exports.

In the third quarter, private consumption increased by 7.2 percent year-on-year, following a 7.1 percent rise in the previous period, supported by consumption on food & non-alcoholic beverages, communication and housing & utilities. Also, goverment spending rose 4.3 percent, faster than a 3.3 percent increase in the prior three months. In addition, gross fixed capital formation expanded 6.7 percent, much faster than a 4.1 percent growth in the preceding quarter, driven by machinery & equipment and recovery in other asset. Exports grew by 11.8 percent, higher than  a 9.6 percent rise in the June quarter. Imports advanced 13.4 percent, compared to a 10.7 percent rise in the previous three months. 

On the production side, the services sector went up by 6.6 percent, stronger than a 6.3 percent rise in Q2. At the same time, the manufacturing sector rose 7.0 percent, after growing 6.0 percent in the June quarter. Also, the mining & quarrying sector increased at a faster 3.1 percent (from 0.2 percent). Meantime, the construction sector grew by 6.1 percent (after a 8.3 percent rise in Q2). The agriculture sector grew by 4.1 percent, compared to a 5.9 percent increase in the June quarter. 

Moving forward, the economy is expected  to reach  the upper range of the official projection of 5.2 – 5.7 percent in 2017, supported by domestic demand. Meantime, exports are expected to continue benefiting from the favourable global demand conditions. Headline inflation is expected to average at the upper end of the forecast range of 3 – 4 percent for 2017 as a whole.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy grew by 1.8 percent, faster than a 1.3 percent growth in the previous period. 




Thursday November 16 2017
Indonesia Leaves Rates Steady
Bank Indonesia | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The central bank of Indonesia left its benchmark repo rate unchanged at 4.25 percent on November 16th 2017, in line with market expectations. Policymakers said the current policy rate is adequate to control inflation, to maintain a healthy current account deficit and to build economic growth momentum. So far this year, the central bank already cut the borrowing cost twice by a total of 50bps in an attempt to boost the economy. The lending and the deposit facility rates were also left steady at 5 percent and 3.5 percent respectively.

Excerpts from the Bank Indonesia Press Release:

The decision was consistent with efforts to maintain macroeconomic and financial system stability as well as build economic recovery momentum, while paying due consideration to global and domestic economic dynamics. Bank Indonesia believes the current policy rate is adequate to control inflation within the target corridor and maintain a healthy current account deficit. Furthermore, the domestic economy has continued to grow, with a more equitable and balanced structure. Nonetheless, Bank Indonesia shall remain vigilant of the risks, including the global risks linked to the plans to tighten monetary policy in several advanced countries, as well as domestic risks, such as the limited growth in household consumption and banking intermediary. Bank Indonesia will continue to coordinate with the Government to reinforce the policy mix in order to maintain macroeconomic stability and financial system stability as well as to enhance structural reforms to strengthen fundamentals of Indonesia’s economy.

The global economy has continued to expand. The global economy is predicted to accelerate by 3.6% on 2017 and 2018 on the back of growth in China, Japan and Europe that has beaten previous expectations, coupled with solid economic gains in the United States. Strong exports and domestic demand are driving China’s economy and restoring consumer confidence. Furthermore, Japan’s economic outlook has been upgraded in line with the ongoing export recovery. In Europe, the economic growth projection has also been revised upwards on export performance, supported by improving world trade and domestic economic recovery. Meanwhile, tenacious consumption and increasing investment contributed to the US economic gains. Congruent with the improving world economic outlook, world trade volume (WTV) and international commodity prices are both expected to surpass the previous projections. Moving forward, Bank Indonesia shall continue to monitor the global risks, including potentially tighter monetary policy in advanced countries as well as geopolitical factors.

Bank Indonesia predicts national economic growth in 2017 at 5.1%, improving thereafter to 5.1%-5.5% in 2018.

Throughout 2017, the balance of payments is expected to remain positive on the back of capital and financial account surplus, with current account deficit maintained at below 2% of GDP.




Thursday November 16 2017
US Industrial Output Rises the Most in 6 Months
Federal Reserve | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Industrial production in the United States increased 0.9 percent month-over-month in October of 2017, following an upwardly revised 0.4 percent rise in September and beating market expectations of 0.5 percent. It is the biggest gain in industrial output since April, amid a return to normal operations after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma suppressed production in August and September. Manufacturing and utilities increased while mining fell, as Hurricane Nate caused a sharp but short-lived decline in oil and gas drilling and extraction. Excluding the effects of the hurricanes, the index for total output advanced about 0.3 percent.

Manufacturing output rose 1.3 percent in October, and upward revisions to previous months reduced the decrease estimated for the third quarter to 1.2 percent at an annual rate. In October, the index for durables increased 0.4 percent, and the index for nondurables increased 2.3 percent. Most durable goods industries posted gains, with the largest advance, 1.0 percent, recorded by motor vehicles and parts. Gains were also widespread among nondurable goods producers; notably, the return to more normal levels of production following the hurricanes led to jumps of 5.8 percent for chemicals and 4.0 percent for petroleum and coal products.

In October, the decline of 1.3 percent in mining output reflected reductions in all of its major components. The index for utilities rose 2.0 percent; output in August was revised up from a drop of 4.9 percent to a decline of 1.3 percent, and the rate of change in September was revised down from an increase of 1.5 percent to a decrease of 1.0 percent.

Capacity utilization for manufacturing was 76.4 percent in October, a rate that is 2.0 percentage points below its long-run average. Utilization for durables increased 0.2 percentage point to 75.7 percent, and the operating rate for nondurables rose 1.7 percentage points to 78.1 percent. The operating rate for mines fell 1.3 percentage points to 82.4 percent, and the rate for utilities rose 1.5 percentage points to 77.2 percent.

With modest upward revisions for July through September, industrial production is now estimated to have only edged down 0.3 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter; the previously published estimate showed a decrease of 1.5 percent.




Thursday November 16 2017
US Jobless Claims Highest in 6 Weeks
Anna | anna@tradingeconomics.com

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased by 10 thousand to 249 thousand in the week ended November 11th from the previous week's unrevised level of 239 thousand and above market expectations of 235 thousand. It is the biggest number in six weeks.

Last week marked the 141st straight week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, which is associated with a strong labor market. That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was smaller.

The 4-week moving average was 237,750, an increase of 6,500 from the previous week's unrevised average of 231,250.

Claims taking procedures continue to be severely disrupted in the Virgin Islands. The ability to take claims has improved in Puerto Rico and they are now processing backlogged claims. 

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.3 percent for the week ending November 4, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week's unrevised rate.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (continuing jobless claims) during the week ending November 4 was 1,860,000, a decrease of 44,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since December 29, 1973 when it was 1,805,000. The previous week's level was revised up 3,000 from 1,901,000 to 1,904,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,887,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since January 12, 1974 when it was 1,881,000. The previous week's average was revised up by 750 from 1,895,250 to 1,896,000. 





Thursday November 16 2017
Euro Area Inflation Rate Confirmed at 1.4%
Eurostat |Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in the Euro Area increased 1.4 percent year-on-year in October of 2017, below 1.5 percent in September and in line with preliminary estimates. It is the lowest rate in 3 months.

A slowdown was seen for energy (3 percent compared to 3.9 percent in September); non-energy industrial goods (0.4 percent compared to 0.5 percent) and services (1.2 percent compared to 1.5 percent). On the other hand, prices increased more for food, alcohol and tobacco (2.3 percent compared to 1.9 percent). 

Annual core inflation, which excludes cost of energy, food, alcohol and tobacco was 0.9 percent, down from 1.1 percent in September and matching earlier figures. Excluding energy only, inflation edged down to 1.2 percent from 1.3 percent. 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased 0.1 percent. 




Thursday November 16 2017
Italy Trade Surplus Widens in September
Istat | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's trade surplus increased to EUR 4 billion in September of 2017 from EUR 2.76 billion in the same month of the previous year and above market consensus of EUR 3.42 billion. Exports surged 5.7 percent from a year earlier to EUR 38.06 billion mostly driven by sales of coke and refined petroleum products. Meantime, imports advanced at a slower 5.5 percent to EUR 34.07 billion, underpinned by purchases of crude oil and coke and refined petroleum products. With European Union countries, the trade surplus shrank to EUR 0.47 billion from EUR 0.83 billion in September 2016.

Year-on-year, exports rose 5.7 percent to EUR 38.06 billion from EUR 36 billion, driven by higher sales of: Coke and refined petroleum products (35.2 percent); pharmaceutical, chemical and botanical articles (16.7 percent); transport equipment (13.3 percent) and basic metals and metal products (7.6 percent). In contrast, exports fell for other products of processing of non-metallic minerals (-3 percent); vehicles (-1.4 percent) and paper and paper products, printing and reproduction of media (-1.3 percent).

The biggest increases in shipments were recorded for Russia (22.5 percent); Turkey (20.9 percent); China (18.7 percent); Mercosur countries (15.5 percent) and Belgium (12.7 percent). Conversely, exports fell to OPEC countries (-5.3 percent) and to the United Kingdom (-3.7 percent).

Imports advanced 5.5 percent to EUR 34.07 billion from EUR 32.30 billion in September of 2016, led by gains in purchases of: Crude oil (24.5 percent); coke and refined petroleum products (22.6 percent) and electrical equipment (14.5 percent). Meanwhile, imports declined for sport and leisure articles (-9.5 percent); pharmaceutical, chemical and botanical articles (-6.9 percent); vehicles (-4.1 percent) and natural gas (-3.3 percent). 

Imports grew mostly from India (16.2 percent); Poland (15.4 percent); OPEC countries (12.5 percent); Germany (10.6 percent) and the Netherlands (9.4 percent). On the other hand, purchases declined from: Switzerland (-10.2 percent); ASEAN countries (-8.7 percent); the United Kingdom (-8.6 percent); Japan (-8 percent) and Czech Republic (-2.2 percent).

Considering the January to September period, the global trade surplus shrank to EUR 32.37 billion from EUR 35.76 billion in the same period of 2016, as imports grew 9.5 percent and exports rose at a slower 7.3 percent.




Thursday November 16 2017
Hong Kong Jobless Rate Lowest Since 1998
Census and Statistics Department | Marta Dubiel | marta.dubiel@tradingeconomics.com

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Hong Kong decreased to 3.0 percent in the three months to October of 2017, after four consecutive months of a 3.1 percent rate. It was the lowest unemployment rate since February 1998. Meanwhile, the underemployment remained at 1.1 percent for the fourth consecutive three-month period.

Comparing to the previous three-month period, the number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by about 4 600 from 128 200 in July-September 2017 to 123 600 in August-October 2017. In the meantime, the number of underemployed persons increased slightly from the previous period by around 500 to 44 200.

Total employment also fell marginally to 3.837 million from 3.837 million in July-September 2017, and the labour force decreased by around 4 900 to 3.96 million.

Meanwhile, unemployment among youngsters between 15 and 24 went down by 1.0 percentage point to 9.5 percent. To assist young people to find jobs, the Labour Department provides through the Youth Employment and Training Programme comprehensive training and employment support to young school leavers aged 15 to 24 with educational attainment at sub-degree level or below.

“Labour market conditions will likely remain tight in the near term amid the further solid growth of the local economy. Yet, we will stay vigilant of various uncertainties in the external environment and closely monitor the relevant developments”, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare commented.




Thursday November 16 2017
French Q3 Jobless Rate Highest in 3 Quarters
Insee l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The unemployment rate in France rose to 9.7 percent in the three months to September of 2017 from 9.5 percent in the previous period and in line with market consensus. It was the highest jobless rate since the fourth quarter of 2016. Meantime, the employment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 65.1 percent while the activity rate came in at 71.9 percent (from 72.0 percent in Q2).

The average ILO unemployment rate in metropolitan France and the overseas departments (excluding Mayotte) went up to 9.7 percent from 9.5 percent in the previous period. In metropolitan France only, the unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points from the preceding quarter to 9.4 percent, as the number of unemployed increased by 62,000 to 2.7 million. The unemployment rose among persons aged 25 to 49 and those aged 50 and over, whereas it declined for youths. Among unemployed, 1.2 million were seeking a job for at least one year. The long-term unemployment rate edged up to 4.2 percent from 4.0 percent in Q2. 

In the third quarter, the employment rate of the population aged 15-64 years decreased by 0.2 percentage points from the previous period to 65.1 percent.  It fell among those aged 25 to 49 and those aged 50 to 64, and held firm for youths. Over a year, the employment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points.

About 6.2 percent of the employed persons were underemployed, meaning that they had a part-time job but wished to work more.

The activity rate of people aged 15-64 was almost steady at 71.9 oercent (from 72 percent in the June quarter). Over a year, it increased by 0.3 percentage points. Among inactive people, 1.4 million persons wished to work without being considered as unemployed according to the ILO definition: they made up the halo of unemployment. Their number fell by 59,000 compared to Q2 2017 and by 62,000 over a year.




Thursday November 16 2017
Philippines Q3 GDP Growth Strongest in A Year
Philippine National Statistical Coordination Board l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The Philippines economy grew an annual 6.9 percent in the September quarter of 2017, following an upwardly revised 6.7 percent expansion in the previous quarter and above market consensus of a 6.5 percent growth. It was the strongest growth since the third quarter 2016, as government spending rose at a faster pace while private consumption, investment and exports increased further.

In the three months to September, government expenditure rose 8.3 percent, faster than a 7.1 percent growth in the June quarter, as the government embarked on a large infrastructure construction program. Household consumption expanded 4.5 percent year-on-year, compared to a 5.9 percent increase in the second quarter.
 
Gross domestic capital formation increased by 6.6 percent, slowing from a 8.5 percent growth in the previous quarter and marking the second straight quarter single digit growth after eight straight quarters of double-digit gains. Investment in intellectual property products grew by 29.2 percent, followed by durable equipment (8.9 percent); breeding stocks & orchard development (3.5 percent), and construction (2.8 percent).
 
Exports increased by 17.2 percent, following a 20.4 percent rise in the second quarter. Sales of goods rose 17.4 percent (from 23.5 percent in the second quarter) and those of  services went up 16 percent (from 11 percent). Imports rose by 13.9 percent, following a 18.7 percent rise in the preceding quarter.
 
On the production side, the services sector advanced 7.1 percent, compared to a 6.3 percent growth in the three months to June. Growth in the sector was supported by public administration & defense, compulsory social security (8.2 percent); real estate (7.7 percent); trade and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, personal and household goods (6.8 percent); other services (7.7 percent); transport, storage & communication (3.9 percent), and financial intermediation (8.6 percent). The industry sector expanded 7.5 percent, following a 7.4 percent growth in the preceding quarter. Mining & quarrying went up by 4.6 percent, following a 12.5 percent rise in the June quarter. Manufacturing grew (9.4 percent), followed by construction (3.8 percent), and electricity, gas and water supply (3.3 percent). Agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing rose 2.5 percent following a 6.3 percent expansion in the previous period.
 
The world bank in April pegged its economic growth outlook for the Philippines this year at 6.9 percent, then downgraded it to 6.8 percent last July, the same pace as in 2016, and well inside the Philippines government 6.5 - 7.5 percent target. Over the next 6 years, the government is targeting GDP growth within a 7 percent to 8 percent range annually.
 
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the GDP advanced 1.3 percent, compared to an upwardly revised 2 percent growth in the June quarter and below market consensus of 1.6 percent.
 
 
 




Thursday November 16 2017
Philippines Economy Grows 1.3% QoQ in Q3
PSA l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Philippines GDP expanded 1.3 percent quarter-on-quarter in the September quarter of 2017, following an upwardly revised 2.0 percent growth in the June quarter. The figure came below market estimates of a 1.6 percent expansion, as the services and the industry sectors grew at slower paces while the agriculture contracted.

In the third quarter, the services sector rose 1.5 percent, slower than a 1.9 percent rise in the June quarter. Also, the industry sector went up 1.4 percent, easing from a 2.4  percent expansion in the previous three months. Meantime, the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing contracted by 0.8 percent, after a 1.6 percent increase in Q2.

Year-on-year, the economy expanded an annual 6.9 percent, following an upwardly revised 6.7 percent expansion in the previous quarters and above  consensus of a 6.5 percent growth. It was the strongest growth since the September quarter 2016.




Thursday November 16 2017
Australia Jobless Rate Falls to 56-Month Low of 5.4%
ABS l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Australia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 5.4 percent in October of 2017 from 5.5 percent in the previous month while market expected 5.5 percent. It was the lowest jobless rate since February 2013, as the economy added 3,700 jobs while the number of unemployed declined by 8,100.

In October, the number of unemployed decreased by 8,100 to 701,500. The number of unemployed persons looking for full-time work remained steady at 485,900 and the number of unemployed persons only looking for part-time work fell by 8,100 to 215,600.

Employment increased by 3,700 to 12,297,100, the smallest rise since January and way below estimates of a 17,500 increase: Full-time employment rose by 24,300 to 8,425,400 while part-time employment decreased by 20,700 to 3,871,700.

The labour force participation rate edged down to 65.1 percent from 65.2 percent in the preceding two months and slightly below expectations of 65.2 percent. 

Seasonally adjusted aggregate monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 4.6 million hours (0.3 percent) to 1,723.7 million hours. Meantime, the seasonally adjusted employment to population ratio fell slightly to 61.6 from 61.7 in September.




Wednesday November 15 2017
US Retail Sales Unexpectedly Rise 0.2% in October
Anna | anna@tradingeconomics.com

Retail sales in the US rose 0.2 percent month over month in October. The reading came above market expectations of no change after purchases surged 1.9 percent in September as people replaced vehicles and items destroyed by hurricanes.

9 of 13 major retail categories showed month-over-month increases. 

Purchases at automobile dealers climbed 0.7% after surging 4.6% in September. Sales also rose rose at: clothing vendors (0.8 percent vs 0.1 percent), furniture stores (0.7 percent vs 0.1 percent), electronics and appliiance stores (0.7 percent vs 0.3 percent),  restaurants (0.8 percent vs 0.1 percent), and sporting goods (1.5 percent vs 0.1 percent). 

In contrast, receipts at gasoline stations fell 1.2 percent after growing 6.4 percent in September. The decline was also observed in purchases of building marterial (-1.2 percent vs 3 percent).

Excluding automobiles and gasoline, purchases rose 0.3 percent after a 0.6 percent gain.

So-called retail-control group sales, which are used to calculate GDP and exclude food services, auto dealers, building materials stores and gasoline stations,  grew 0.3 percent following an upwardly revised 0.5 percent increase in September.

On annual basis, retail sales grew 4.6 percent versus 4.8 percent repoerted in September.





Wednesday November 15 2017
US Inflation Rate Slows to 2%
BLS | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in the United States rose 2 percent year-on-year in October of 2017, below 2.2 percent in September and in line with market expectations. Cost eased for gasoline and fuel oil after hurricane-related production disruptions at oil refineries in the Gulf Coast area gave a boost to energy prices during September and August. Yet, core inflation rose to 1.8 percent, the highest in six months amid rising prices for food, transportation services and medical care.

Year-on-year, energy prices rose 6.4 percent in October, slowing from a 10.1 percent jump in September. Cost eased for gasoline (10.8 percent from 19.3 percent in September), fuel oil (11.7 percent from 15.6 percent) and utility piped gas service (3.2 percent from 3.8 percent) but rose faster for electricity (2 percent from 1.7 percent). Meanwhile, inflation slowed for medical care commodities (0.9 percent from 1 percent in September) and was steady at 3.2 percent for shelter. Also, prices fell further for apparel (-0.6 percent from -0.2 percent) and new vehicles (-1.4 percent from -1 percent). On the other hand, prices rose faster for food (1.3 percent from 1.2 percent in September), transportation services (4.2 percent from 3.9 percent) and medical care services (1.9 percent from 1.7 percent). Cost declined less for used cars and trucks (-2.9 percent from -3.7 percent). 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent, lower than a 0.5 percent rise in September and in line with expectations. The shelter index increased 0.3 percent and was the main driver of the increase. Prices for medical care, used cars and trucks, tobacco, education, motor vehicle insurance, and personal care also went up. On the other hand, the energy index fell, as a decline in gasoline outweighed increases in other energy component indexes and prices of new vehicles, recreation, and apparel also declined. The food index was unchanged over the month. 

Excluding food and energy, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent on the month, above 0.1 percent in September and matching forecasts. Year-on-year, core consumer prices rose 1.8 percent, above 1.7 percent in the previous five months and higher than expectations of 1.7 percent. 




Wednesday November 15 2017
US Retail Sales Rise 0.2% in October
Anna | anna@tradingeconomics.com

Retail sales in the United States rose 0.2 percent month-over-month in October of 2017, slightly below market expectations of no growth but following a upwardly revised 1.9 percent growth in September. 9 of 13 major retail categories showed month-over-month increases.

Purchases at automobile dealers climbed 0.7% after surging 4.6%. So-called retail-control group sales, which are used to calculate GDP and exclude food services, auto dealers, building materials stores and gasoline stations, advanced 0.3% following an upwardly revised 0.5% increase in September.


Wednesday November 15 2017
Ireland Trade Surplus Widens in September as Imports Plunge
CSO | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Irish trade surplus increased to EUR 4 billion in September of 2017 from EUR 3.8 billion in the same month of the previous year. Exports fell 8 percent year-on-year to EUR 9.6 billion mainly due to a decline in sales of organic chemicals. Meanwhile, imports decreased at a faster 17 percent to EUR 5.5 billion, dragged down by a 60 percent slump in purchases of other transport equipment.

Year-on-year, exports fell by EUR 885 million, or 8 percent, to EUR 9,601 million, mainly due to lower sales of organic chemicals (-29 percent) and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances (-19 percent). In contrast, exports rose for medical and pharmaceutical products (13 percent) and food and live animals (5 percent), namely dairy products and birds' eggs.

The EU accounted for EUR 5,036 million, or 52 percent of total goods exports, a decrease of EUR 274 million, or 5 percent, compared with September of 2016. Exports to Belgium were EUR 935 million and to Germany were EUR 728 million. Exports to the UK increased by EU 120 million, or 10 percent, to EUR 1,297 million, boosted by higher sales of chemicals and related products. The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for EUR 2,866 million, or 30 percent, of total exports in September of 2017.

Meantime, imports declined by EUR 1,126 million, or 17 percent, to EUR 5,535 million compared with September 2016, led by reduced purchases of other transport equipment, including aircraft (-60 percent). Conversely, imports rose for medical and pharmaceutical products (32 percent), food and live animals (11 percent) and petroleum (14 percent).

The EU accounted for EUR 3,453 million, or 62 percent of the value of goods imports, a decrease of EUR 516 million, or 13 percent, compared to the previous year. Imports from the UK advanced by EUR 54 million, or 4 percent, to EUR 1,411 million, mostly driven by mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials. The US with EUR 865 million, or 16 percent, and China with EUR 389 million, or 7 percent, were the main non-EU sources of imports. The total value of imports from non-EU countries in September 2017 was EUR 2,083 million, a decrease of  EUR 610 million, or 23 percent, of total imports.

Year-to-date, the trade surplus increased to EUR 35 billion from EUR 33.9 billion in the same period of 2016, as exports advanced 2 percent to EUR 90.1 billion and imports rose at a slower 1 percent to EUR 55.1 billion.




Wednesday November 15 2017
Nigeria Inflation Rate Edges Down to 15.91% in October
National Bureau of Statistics | Marta Dubiel | marta.dubiel@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Nigeria increased 15.91 percent year-on-year in October 2017, easing from 15.98 percent in September and in line with market expectations of 15.9 percent. The inflation slowed for the ninth consecutive month to its lowest level since May 2017 due to lower prices of education and housing utilities. Meantime, food inflation hit its highest level since July 2008 and transport prices increased further.

Year-on-year, consumer prices eased mostly for education (11.8 percent compared to 12.7 percent) and housing and utilities (8.5 percent compared to 8.8 percent). In addition, a slowdown was recorded for clothing and footwear (15.6 percent compared to 15.8 percent); alcoholic beverages, tobacco and kola (8.8 percent compared to 8.9 percent) and communication (2.7 percent compared to 2.8 percent). Also, inflation edged down for recreation and culture (10.0 percent compared to 10.1 percent). On the other hand, main upward pressure came from the rising cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages (21.3 percent compared to 20.3 percent) and transport (12.2 percent compared to 12.0 percent). In addition, prices rose at a faster pace for furnishings and household equipment (13.6 percent compared to 13.4 percent); health (11.2 percent compared to 11.1 percent); restaurants and hotels (10.2 percent compared to 9.9 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (11.4 percent compared to 11.2 percent).

Among food items, main increases were recorded in prices of potatoes, yams and other tubers, meat, oil and fats, dairy products, bread and cereals, coffee, tea and cocoa, fish and vegetables.

Annual core inflation which excludes price of volatile agricultural products increased to 12.14 percent from 12.12 percent in the previous month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.76 percent, following a 0.78 percent increase in September.




Wednesday November 15 2017
Euro Area Trade Surplus Widens in September
Eurostat | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Euro Area's trade surplus increased to EUR 26.4 billion in September of 2017 from a EUR 24.3 billion surplus a year earlier. It is the highest surplus ever for a September month.

Exports went up 5.6 percent year-on-year to EUR 187.1 billion and imports increased at a slower 5.1 percent to EUR 160.7 billion. Intra-euro area trade rose to EUR 157.6 billion in September of 2017, up by 4.9 percent compared with a year earlier.

Considering the January to September period, exports went up 7.4 percent to EUR 1624.9 billion and imports rose 10.4 percent to EUR 1454.5 billion, thus narrowing the bloc's trade surplus to EUR 170.4 billion from EUR 195.1 billion in the same period of 2016. Intra-euro area trade rose 7.4 percent to EUR 1369.2 billion.

Considering the European Union, exports went up 6.3 percent year-on-year to EUR 156.8 billion and imports rose 3.2 percent to EUR 153.7 billion. The trade surplus jumped to EUR 3.1 billion from EUR 1.6 billion in September of 2016. Intra-EU28 trade rose 4.9 percent to EUR 287.8 billion.

In the first nine months of the year, sales surged 9 percent to EUR 1390.3 billion, with rises seen mainly for machinery and vehicles (7.3 percent); other manufactured goods (7.4 percent); chemicals (7.3 percent); food and drink (5.5 percent); energy (37.1 percent) and raw materials (18.4 percent). Imports rose at a slightly slower 8.6 percent to EUR 1382.9 billion, due to purchases of both manufactured (6.2 percent) and primary (22.5 percent) goods. The EU 28 surplus increased to EUR 7.4 billion from EUR 3.1 billion a year earlier. Intra-EU28 trade rose 7 percent to EUR 2483.5 billion.