Macroeconomy

  • 2015-04-21 09:37


    --Revamped Producer Price Index Faces Challenges, Criticism

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - As the Bureau of Labor Statistics this week celebrates the 125th anniversary of what used to be called its wholesale prices index, the measure faces more challenges than the criticism of the markets community, including those that are political, definitional and technological.

    The new Producer Price Index, which one trading room economist in mid March said is evidence the "BlS has run amok," began late in the 19th century, thanks to a U.S. Senate resolution in 1891.

  • 2015-04-21 08:55


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the text of the weekly retail sales report released by Johnson Redbook Tuesday, for the month-to-date through the week ended April 18:

    The Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index was up 0.8% in the second week of April following a 1.1% gain the prior week. Month-to-date, April was up 1.0% compared to April of last year (relative to a target of a 1.7% gain). Month-over-month showed a 0.1% gain versus March (relative to a target of a 0.8% gain). April is a four-week month on the retail calendar, ending on May 2nd.

    Retailers were up against last year's pre-Easter shopping week, making for a difficult comparison as a result of the Easter shift.

  • 2015-04-21 08:30


    By Yali N'Diaye

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Whether in volume or value, Canada wholesale activity showed further weakness in February, with total sales down 0.4% on the month, following a 2.9% drop in January as estimated by Statistics Canada, not boding well for the first quarter performance.

    Real sales, more relevant to the GDP, decreased by 0.7% in February, following a 3.1% decline in January - revised up from -3.3% - meaning that March would have to be particularly strong to bring a meaningful offset to the first two months of the year.

    The 0.4% monthly decrease brought down the year-over-year growth pace to 5.5% in February from +7.3% in January, the smallest gain since April 2014 (+5.0%).

  • 2015-04-21 07:45


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the commentary from the RetailEconomist.com-Goldman Sachs monthly Chain Store Sales Snapshot released Tuesday:

    The Retail Economist-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index declined marginally by 0.1% (seasonally adjusted) compared with its previous week for the period ending on Saturday, April 18. On a year-over-year basis, sales rose by a healthy 3.3%.

    Michael P.

  • 2015-04-21 05:23


    --Current Conditions surge to 70.2, highest since July 2011

    LONDON (MNI) - Germany's benchmark investor sentiment index fell for the first time in six months in April, the ZEW Institute said Tuesday, adding to concerns that early growth momentum in the region's biggest economy may be difficult to maintain.

    The headline component of the indicator jumped to 53.3 points in April from 54.8 in March, the ZEW said, well shy of the 56.0 mark anticipated by analysts polled by MNI. The current conditions index, however, again recorded a sharp increase, jumping to 70.2 from a previous tally of 55.1 (and 45.5 in February) and outpacing the MNI median forecast of 56.3.

    "The German economy is in good shape.

  • 2015-04-21 05:23


    FRANKFURT (MNI) - The European Central Bank on Tuesday allotted E95.737 billion in its main seven-day refinancing operation at a fixed rate of 0.05%.

    The ECB satisfied all of the 130 bids received.

    Today's operation resulted in a net drain of E822 million after the ECB allotted E96.559 billion in its 7-day MRO last week.

    --MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 207-862-7492; email: lcommons@mni-news.com

    [TOPICS: M$X$$$,M$$EC$,M$XDS$,MN$MM$]

  • 2015-04-21 05:12


    --Current Conditions surge to 70.2

    LONDON (MNI) - Germany's benchmark investor sentiment index fell for the first time in five months in April, the ZEW Institute said Tuesday, adding to concerns that early growth momentum in the region's biggest economy may be difficult to maintain.

    The headline component of the indicator jumped to 53.3 points in April from 54.8 in March, the ZEW said, well shy of the 56.0 mark anticipated by analysts polled by MNI. The current conditions index, however, again recorded a sharp increase, jumping to 70.2 from a previous tally of 55.1 (and 45.5 in February) and outpacing the MNI median forecast of 56.3.

    "The German economy is in good shape.

  • 2015-04-21 02:47


    TOKYO (MNI) - Combined same-store sales slumped 19.7% to Y544.1 billion in March for the first year-on-year drop in two months in payback for a sharp 25.4% rise a year earlier when durable goods spending surged ahead of the April 1 sales tax hike, the Japan Department Stores Association said Tuesday.

    But March sales were still higher than Y445.7 billion in February, when store sales marked the first year-on-year rise in 11 months as higher share prices lifted consumer confidence and visitors from Asia rushed to spend during the Lunar New Year holidays.

    Department store sales to visitors from overseas, particularly from China and Southeast Asia, continued to grow at a high pace (+218.6%) on year in March. The weak yen and expanded duty-free program pushed up sales of expen

  • 2015-04-20 20:36


    TOKYO (MNI) - Corporate demand for financing via bank loans posted the first drop in a year in April, reflecting lower sales and investment at small firms and improved funding tools for large firms, according to the Bank of Japan's quarterly survey of senior loan officers at 50 banks released Tuesday.

    The index for corporate fund demand - which is calculated by subtracting the number of banks reporting a decline in lending from the number of those reporting an increase - fell to +1 in April after rising to +6 in January from +5 in October.

  • 2015-04-20 10:32


    By Karen Mracek

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley said Monday he is not yet reasonable confident that inflation will move back to the Fed's 2% objective over the medium term, a condition for raising rates, but when U.S. central bank decides to move it will not be a surprise to anyone.

    "I'm saying I'm thinking I will become reasonably confident in the future," Dudley said during a question and answer session after a speech to the Bloomberg Americas Monetary Summit in New York.

    "In other words, if the forecast that I outline actually materializes, then I think I would be reasonably confident, but I'm not reasonably confident right now," he said.