UK retail sales fall year on year; UK inflation falls to 1.6% as the WTO predicts modest global growth for 2014-2016

Apr 15 • Mind The Gap • 1458 Views • No Comments on UK retail sales fall year on year; UK inflation falls to 1.6% as the WTO predicts modest global growth for 2014-2016

shutterstock_108009011After USA retail sales reported a growth of 1.1% on the month yesterday it was the UK’s turn to reveal their latest retail sales figures, a trade body in the UK revealed overnight that sales in the UK have in fact fallen by 1.7% year on year. Although it’s not the official ONS data the print from the BRC tends to lead rather than lag therefore this data may have analysts concerned that the UK shopper may be all shopped out.

The WTO has published its latest prediction in relation to growth in world markets over the coming years. World trade will grow by 4.7% in 2014 and at 5.3% in 2015 WTO economists said on 14 April 2014. Although the 2014 forecast of 4.7% is more than double the 2.1% increase of last year, it remains below the 20-year average of 5.3%.

UK inflation figures were published this morning and as expected the rate of consumer inflation fell to 1.6% from 1.7% previously. The largest contribution to the fall in the rate came from transport, particularly motor fuels. Other smaller downward effects came from the clothing and furniture & household goods sectors.

Japanese stocks were on pace to end their seven-day slump after Wall Street stocks rebounded on Monday from a two-month low. Chinese equities sold off sharply as the central bank signalled concerns over the boom in lending.

Kiev’s central bank raised the benchmark discount rate from 6.5 per cent to 9.5 per cent and the overnight loan rate from 7.5 per cent to 14.5 per cent on Monday night. “The central bank considers it necessary to take the step to increase the value of the national currency, to restrain inflation and to stabilise the situation on the money market,” the central bank said in a statement.

China’s broadest measure of new credit fell 19 percent from a year earlier and money supply grew at the slowest pace since 2001, suggesting risks of a deeper slowdown as the government tries to curb any financial dangers. Aggregate financing was 2.07 trillion yuan ($333 billion) in March, the People’s Bank of China said in Beijing this morning, down from 2.55 trillion yuan a year ago.

UK Consumer Price Inflation, March 2014

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) grew by 1.6% in the year to March 2014, down from 1.7% in February. The largest contribution to the fall in the rate came from transport, particularly motor fuels. Other smaller downward effects came from the clothing and furniture & household goods sectors. These were partially offset by upward contributions from restaurants & hotels and alcohol & tobacco. CPIH grew by 1.5% in the year to March 2014, down from 1.6% in February. RPIJ grew by 1.8%, down from 2.0% in February.

Swiss producer/import prices down 0.7 pct yr/yr in March

Swiss producer and import prices fell 0.7 percent in March from a year ago and were flat compared with the previous month, the Federal Statistics Office said on Tuesday. It said producer prices fell 0.4 percent year-on-year, while import prices fell 1.5 percent.

BRC-KPMG UK Retail Sales Monitor

UK retail sales were down 1.7% on a like-for-like basis from March 2013, when they had increased 1.9% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were down 0.3%, against a 3.7% increase in March 2013. The 3-month average total growth was 2.1%, just below the 12-month trend of 2.4%. A clearer underlying picture should appear in April, when the Easter distortion is reversed. The Food and Home categories, the most affected by the Easter distortion, showed a decline, while the fashion categories showed record growth, flattered by a low comparable period. Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 12.8% in March versus a year earlier.

WTO: Modest trade growth anticipated for 2014 and 2015 following two year slump

World trade is expected to grow by a modest 4.7% in 2014 and at a slightly faster rate of 5.3% in 2015 WTO economists said today (14 April 2014).Although the 2014 forecast of 4.7% is more than double the 2.1% increase of last year, it remains below the 20-year average of 5.3%. For the past two years, growth has averaged only 2.2%. The sluggish pace of trade growth in 2013 was due to a combination of flat import demand in developed economies ( 0.2%) and moderate import growth in developing economies1 (4.4%). On the export side, both developed and developing economies only managed to record small, positive increases (1.5% for developed economies).

Market snapshot at 10:00 am UK time

The ASX 200 closed down 0.55%, the CSI closed down 1.73%, the Hang Seng closed down 1.50%, the Nikkei closed up 0.62%. Euro STOXX is down 0.55%, CAC is down 0.30%, DAX is down 0.65%, FTSE is down 0.21%.

The DJIA equity index future is down 0.06%, the SPX future is down 0.01% and the NASDAQ future is up 0.01%. NYMEX WTI oil is down 0.44% at $103.28 per barrel, NYMEX nat gas is down 0.07% at $4.56 per therm. COMEX gold is down 0.36% at $1314.20 per ounce, silver is down 0.73% at $19.80 per ounce.

Forex focus

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against 10 major peers, rose 0.1 percent to 1,009.17 at 7 a.m. in London after gaining 0.2 percent yesterday. The gauge declined 1 percent last week.

The dollar gained 0.1 percent to $1.3803 per euro after strengthening 0.5 percent yesterday, the most since March 19th. The U.S. currency was little changed at 101.79 yen. The euro weakened 0.2 percent to 140.48 yen.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced for a third day before a U.S. report that economists said will show a gauge of manufacturing in the New York region increased in March.

Australia’s dollar fell 0.5 percent to 93.82 U.S. cents late evening in Sydney from yesterday. It touched 94.61 on April 10th, the highest since Nov. 8th. The Aussie weakened 0.4 percent to 95.57 yen. The kiwi dropped 0.6 percent to 86.40 U.S. cents and declined 0.4 percent to 88 yen. The Aussie weakened versus all except one of its 16 major peers after minutes of the RBA’s April meeting showed officials reiterated the most prudent course was likely to be a period of steady interest rates.

Bonds briefing

Australia’s government bonds declined, pushing the 10-year yield up 3 basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 3.99 percent. The three-year rate climbed two basis points to 2.95 percent.
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