Czech Economic Growth Slows Sharply In Q4

Trading 14 fév 2020 Commentaire »

The Czech Republic's economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter of 2019 to its lowest in nearly six years, preliminary figures from the Czech Statistical Office showed on Friday.

Gross domestic product grew a seasonally adjusted 1.7 percent year-on-year after a 2.5 percent expansion in the third quarter. Economists had forecast 1.9 percent growth. The latest pace of growth was the slowest since the first quarter of 2014, when the economy grew 1.6 percent. The slowdown was largely due to the sluggishness in the manufacturing sector, while services and construction remained successful. Growth was largely underpinned by household consumption. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP rose 0.2 percent after a 0.4 percent growth in the previous three months. Economists had forecast 0.3 percent growth. The quarterly outcome was also the weakest since the first quarter of 2014. In the full year 2019, the Czech economy grew 2.4 percent, supported by household consumption and exports. The economy grew 2.8 percent in the previous year.


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U.S. Business Inventories Inch Up In Line With Estimates In December

Trading 14 fév 2020 Commentaire »

Business inventories in the U.S. edged higher in the month of December, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday.

The report said business inventories inched up by 0.1 percent in December after slipping by 0.2 percent in November. The uptick in inventories matched economist estimates.

The modest increase in business inventories came as manufacturing inventories rose by 0.5 percent, more than offsetting a 0.2 percent dip in wholesale inventories. Retail inventories came in unchanged.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said business sales edged down by 0.1 percent in December after climbing by 0.5 percent in November.

Wholesale sales slumped by 0.7 percent, more than offsetting a 0.5 percent increase in manufacturing sales. Retail sales came in unchanged.

With inventories rising and sales falling, the total business inventories/sales ratio crept up to 1.40 in December from 1.39 in November.


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Slovakia Economic Growth Improves In Q4

Trading 14 fév 2020 Commentaire »

Slovakia's economy grew at a faster pace in the fourth quarter of 2019, preliminary data from the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic showed on Friday.

Gross domestic product grew a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent from the third quarter, when it rose 0.4 percent. The economy grew 0.6 percent and 0.3 percent in the first and second quarters, respectively. GDP grew a seasonally adjusted 1.9 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter after a 1.7 percent increase in the previous three months.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, GDP rose 2.1 percent year-on-year after a 1.3 percent climb in the previous quarter


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U.S. Consumer Sentiment Unexpectedly Improves In February

Trading 14 fév 2020 Commentaire »

Reflecting an improvement in expectations, the University of Michigan released a report on Friday showing an unexpected increase in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of February.

Preliminary data showed the consumer sentiment index rose to 100.9 percent in February from the final January reading of 99.8. The uptick surprised economists, who had expected the index to edge down to 99.5.

The unexpected increase by the headline index came as the index of consumer expectations climbed to 92.6 in February from 90.5 in January.

On the other hand, the report said the current economic conditions expected slipped to 113.8 in February from 114.4 in January.

"Net gains in household income and wealth were reported more frequently in early February than at any prior time since 1960," said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin.

However, Curtin added, "These gains in consumers' economic assessments have also been accompanied by a faint stirring of two powerful sources of uncertainty."

Curtin said just 7 percent of respondents mentioned the coronavirus when asked to explain their economic expectations, while only 10 percent mentioned some aspect of the upcoming presidential election.

On the inflation front, the report said one-year inflation expectations were unchanged at 2.5 percent, while five-year inflation expectations fell to 2.3 percent from 2.5 percent.


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Dollar Eases Off After In-line U.S. Retail Sales Data

Trading 14 fév 2020 Commentaire »

The U.S. dollar pulled back against its most major rivals in early New York deals on Friday, following the release of the nation's in line retail sales data for January.

Data from the Commerce Department showed that retail sales rose in line with economist estimates in January.

The Commerce Department said retail sales rose by 0.3 percent in January after edging up by a downwardly revised 0.2 percent in December.

Economists had expected retail sales to climb by 0.3 percent, matching the increase originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding sales by motor vehicles and parts dealers, retail sales still rose by 0.3 percent in January after climbing by 0.6 percent in December. Ex-auto sales were also expected to increase by 0.3 percent.

Data from the Labor Department showed that U.S. import prices came in flat in the month of January, while export prices unexpectedly showed a notable rebound.

The Labor Department said import prices were unchanged in January, while export prices climbed by 0.7 percent

Economists had expected import prices to dip by 0.2 percent.

The greenback fell to 1.0861 against the euro, from near a 3-year high of 1.0827 set at 7:00 pm ET. The greenback is seen finding support around the 1.10 mark.

Preliminary figures from Destatis showed that German economy stagnated in the fourth quarter of 2019 amid slower consumption and weaker exports.

Gross domestic product was unchanged from the previous quarter on a seasonally and calendar-adjusted basis. Economists had forecast 0.1 percent growth.

The greenback pared gains to 109.74 against the yen, from a high of 109.91 seen at 10:00 pm ET. The next possible support for the greenback is seen around the 108.00 level.

Data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed that Japan's tertiary industry activity declined unexpectedly in December.

The tertiary industry activity index fell 0.2 percent month-on-month in December. Economists had forecast a 0.1 percent rise.

Having climbed to near a 2-month of 0.9819 at 8:15 am ET, the greenback moved off to 0.9802 against the franc. On the downside, 0.96 is possibly seen as the next support level for the greenback.

Data from the Federal Statistical Office showed that Switzerland's producer and import prices declined in January.

The producer and import prices fell 1.0 percent year-on-year in January.

In contrast, the greenback held steady against the pound, after rising to 1.3001 at 8:15 am ET. The pair had finished Thursday's trading at 1.3038.

The University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment index for February will be featured in the New York session.


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*U.S. Business Inventories Inch Up 0.1% In December

Trading 14 fév 2020 Commentaire »

U.S. Business Inventories Inch Up 0.1% In December


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*U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index Rises To 100.9 In February

Trading 14 fév 2020 Commentaire »

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index Rises To 100.9 In February


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U.S. Industrial Production Drops Slightly More Than Expected In January

Trading 14 fév 2020 Commentaire »

As unseasonably warm weather led to another steep drop in utilities output, the Federal Reserve released a report on Friday showing a continued decrease in U.S. industrial production in the month of January.

The Fed said industrial production fell by 0.3 percent in January following a revised decrease of 0.4 percent in December.

Economists had expected industrial production to dip by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.3 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

The slightly bigger than expected decrease in production came as utilities output plunged by 4.0 percent in January after plummeting by 6.2 percent in December.

Manufacturing output also edged down by 0.1 percent in January after inching up by 0.1 percent in December, as Boeing (BA) significantly slowed production of civilian aircraft amid the grounding of its troubled 737 Max.

The Fed noted manufacturing output increased by 0.3 percent when excluding the production of aircraft and parts.

Meanwhile, the report said mining output jumped by 1.2 percent in January after surging up by 1.5 percent in December.

"Looking ahead, the supply chain challenges posed by the coronavirus and Boeing production halt will combine with the steadfast headwinds from weak global growth and protectionist trade policies to prevent a resuscitation of manufacturing activity," said a note from economists at Oxford Economics.

"Energy activity will stay soft as oil prices are unlikely to firm amid a soft global growth environment," they added. "We therefore expect industrial production growth to stagnate this year."

The Fed said capacity utilization for the industrial sector fell to 76.8 percent in January from 77.1 percent in December, matching economist estimates.

Capacity utilization in the utilities sector slumped to 70.6 percent from 73.8 percent, while capacity utilization in the manufacturing sector edged lower and capacity utilization in the mining sector crept higher.


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U.S. Import Prices Unexpectedly Show No Change In January

Trading 14 fév 2020 Commentaire »

A report released by the Labor Department on Friday showed U.S. import prices came in flat in the month of January, while export prices unexpectedly showed a notable rebound.

The Labor Department said import prices were unchanged in January after rising by a downwardly revised 0.2 percent in December.

Economists had expected import prices to dip by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.3 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

Import prices came in unchanged in January as a 2.2 percent nosedive in prices for fuel imports was offset by a 0.2 percent uptick in prices for non-fuel imports.

While natural gas prices showed a substantial pullback, prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials and foods, feeds, and beverages increased.

Meanwhile, the report said export prices climbed by 0.7 percent in January after slipping by 0.2 percent in December. Export prices had been expected to edge down by 0.1 percent.

The unexpected rebound in export prices came as prices for agricultural exports surged up by 2.0 percent due to rising prices for vegetables, soybeans, wheat, and corn.

Prices for non-agricultural exports also increased by 0.7 percent amid higher prices for non-agricultural industrial supplies and materials, finished goods, and non-agricultural foods.

Compared to the same month a year ago, import prices in January were up by 0.3 percent, while export prices were up by 0.5 percent.


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U.S. Retail Sales Rise 0.3% In January, But Core Sales Unchanged

Trading 14 fév 2020 Commentaire »

Retail sales in the U.S. increased in line with economist estimates in the month of January, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday.

The Commerce Department said retail sales rose by 0.3 percent in January after edging up by a downwardly revised 0.2 percent in December.

Economists had expected retail sales to climb by 0.3 percent, matching the increase originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding a modest rebound in sales by motor vehicles and parts dealers, retail sales still rose by 0.3 percent in January after climbing by 0.6 percent in December. Ex-auto sales were also expected to increase by 0.3 percent.

Sales by miscellaneous store retailers and building materials, equipment and supplies dealers saw significant growth, while sales by clothing and accessories stores pulled back sharply.

The report said closely watched core retail sales, which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials and food services, were unchanged in January after rising by a downwardly revised 0.2 percent.

Core retail sales were expected to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.5 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

"After a rare contraction in the fourth quarter, the 3m/3m annualized growth rate of control group sales slipped further to -0.7% in January," said Andrew Hunter, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics,

He added, "That means there are now clear downside risks to our initial forecast that real consumption growth will rebound back above 2% annualized in the first quarter."

However, Hunter said he wouldn't be surprised to see much stronger retail sales figures in February and March and noted strong fundamentals suggest that a sustained downturn in consumption remains unlikely.


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