The Week Ahead: Singapore Retail Sales In The Spotlight

With Singapore’s blue-chips earnings season over bar the shouting, the market’s attention next week will turn to economic matters. There should be plenty to set tongues wagging.

On tap will be US inflation numbers. The headline rate was a subdued 1% in June, which was slightly below market forecasts. However, core inflation, which strips out more volatile components such as food and fuel, increased 2.3% from a year ago. That was still below the long-run average of 3.7%, though.

The UK will be reporting inflation numbers too. These will be closely eyed following the country’s decision to leave the European Union, which sent sterling to a 31-year low against the US dollar. UK Inflation has been below the long-term average of 2.6%. However, the core inflation rate of 1.4% has been flirting with the long-run average of 1.58%.

The jury is still out with regards to Japan’s strategy to revive its moribund economy. Abenomics will be put under the microscope on Monday when the world’s third-largest economy will report its second-quarter economic growth rates. In the first three months of 2016, the economy grew 1.9%. It is expected to have grown in the second quarter, but not nearly enough for either the government or the Bank of Japan to ease off the gas.

If the results from department store, Metro Holdings (SGX: M01), are anything to go by, then Singapore’s retail sales numbers are unlikely to inspire. Last month, retail sales rose 3%. However, sales were driven by motor vehicles. Food and Beverage saw a decline in sales.

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