The Week In Numbers: We Don’t Have Lift-Off

The US Federal Reserve has decided to keep interest rates on hold at 0%. It seems that the US Federal Reserve does not think the time is right to hike rates. Previously, the Fed referred to two conditions, namely, unemployment and inflation, as key measures for an interest-rate increase. It has now added a third – the strength of the global economy, which could mean almost anything.

5 – that is the number of Prime Ministers which Australia has gone through in as many years. It seems that after months of infighting within the ruling Liberal Party, Tony Abbott has been forced to give way to Malcolm Turnbull.

Abbott, who became Prime Minister 2010, was only in his first term of office after he beat Labour’s Kevin Rudd in the 2013 general election. Rudd who had deposed Julia Gillard ahead of the general election, was, himself, deposed by Gillard in a leadership battle in 2010. What a carry on.

Singapore shopkeepers should be feeing happier but they are probably not. Whilst retail sales in July rose 5.2%, the improvement was not spread evenly. If car sales, which jumped 40.6%, were excluded, the improvement would have been a paltry 0.8%. Good news for Jardine Cycle & Carriage (SGX: C07) and other car dealers, though. Watches and jewellery also did well, as did medical goods and toiletries.

Singapore’s Interbank Offered Rate (SIBOR) reached a seven-year high this week. The three-month rate, which is a key mortgage benchmark, rose to 1.13%. The rise in SIBOR, which came ahead of America’s decision on interest rates, could affect many homeowners, whose mortgages are link to the key bank interest rate.

And finally, it is reckoned that the combined wealth of Asia Pacific’s super-rich could surpass its 2014 total of US$15.8 trillion next year. It is also reckoned that the super-rich in this region could overtake their counterparts in the US. A super rich is defined as someone with investible money of at least US$1 million.

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