The Week Ahead: Winners And Loser In Retail

We are less than a fortnight away from an interest-rate decision by the US Federal Reserve. But ahead of the meeting by the Federal Open Market Committee, rate-watchers could be going through US economic statistics with a fine-tooth comb.

Next week the Bureau of Labor Statistics will report core inflation numbers for August. Last month, core inflation rose 2.2%, which was a smidgen below market estimates. Nevertheless, the number, which strips out volatile elements such as food and fuel, has been above 2% for nine consecutive months. The headline inflate rate, on the other hand, rose 0.8%.

The weekly change in US oil inventories has become a focus of attention of late. It seems to have an impact on global oil prices. Last week, there was a significant drawdown in US oil stocks. The blame was put on tropical storm Hermine that threatened the supply of crude in the Gulf coast.

China will report retail sales numbers for August. These have been robust, even as the Chinese economy slows down. However, the 10.2% year-on-year growth rate in July was below market expectations. It was also a tad lower than the previous month. Another disappointment could raise concerns over China’s ability to rebalance its economy.

The UK economy appears to be able to chugging along following the referendum to leave the European Union. Some of that could be down to the Bank of England’s decision to cut interest rates last month to 0.25%. The central bank will have to make another decision next week.

Singapore will report Retail Sales for July. In June, Statistics Singapore said retail sales rose 0.9% compared to a year ago. Motor dealers enjoyed their day in the sun, which should please Jardine Cycle & Carriage (SGX: C07). Retailers engaged in the furniture & household goods sector and medical and toiletries department also saw a healthy rise in sales.

And finally, it’s a holiday-shortened trading week for us. So put away your laptops on Monday and enjoy Hari Raya Haji.

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