The Week In Numbers: Interest Rates Set To Rise This Year

Janet Yellen spoke for 52 minutes to an audience that was made up of academics and students at the University of Massachusetts. The chair of the Federal Reserve, who argued the case for raising interest rates later this year, mentioned the word “inflation” no less than 173 times.

Yellen said inflation pressures should start to gradually build in the coming years. She said that those pressures are not asserting themselves yet because a strong dollar and falling oil prices are placing temporary downward pressure on consumer prices. You’ve been warned!

Ironically, consumer prices in Singapore fell for the 10th straight month in August. They contracted 0.8% from a year ago. The fall in consumer prices this time was attributed to the lower cost of car ownership and a decline in accommodation costs. Enjoy it whilst you can.

News of falling factory in China put many stock markets on the back foot this week. The flash Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 47.0, which was the worst reading since March 2009. A level below 50 suggests that China’s manufacturing sector had shrunk. It seems that China’s economic rebalancing could be working.

German carmaker Volkswagen has admitted that 11 million cars worldwide were fitted with software that allowed cars to cheat emission tests. The wheeze meant that some VW cars could have emitted toxic gases up to 40 times above permitted levels. It is reckoned that the company could face fines of up to US$18 billion. A disaster with far-reaching consequences.

And finally, it seems that celebrity-inspired selfies are boosting the sales of make-up. Apparently, face, eye and lip make-up sales have seen double-digit growth, as a result. The sales of “prestige make-up” grew 14.3% from a year ago. Time to invest in man-scara and guy-liners?

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