The Week In Numbers Oil Prices Set To Rise

When China says its economy will grow between 6.5% and 7% this year, then you can probably bet your last dollar that is going to grow at that rate. In the third quarter of this year, China’s economy grew at an annual rate of 6.7%, which was the same as the previous two quarters. How uncanny?

The World Bank reckons that the price of a barrel of oil could be around $55 next year. It expects a “solid” rise in energy prices next year, led by oil. But it qualified its outlook by saying that it depends on the details and the implementation of the upcoming OPEC meeting in November. Doesn’t it always?

US Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer warned of the dangers of low interest rates. That could be the biggest clue, yet, that the Fed could lift the cost of borrowing, which has been stuck at 0.5% since December 2015, either in November or December. But his views on the danger of low rates appear to be at odds with Fed Chair, Janet Yellen, who may want to run a “high pressure” economy with low rates. Who’s right?

The rate of inflation in the UK has risen to its highest level for two years. The rise in September to 1% was driven by higher fuel and clothing prices. The Office for National Statistics said inflation remains low by historic standards. It added that there is no explicit evidence that the lower pound is pushing up the prices of everyday goods. Famous last words!

And finally, wine production is expected to hit a four-year low this year. Output could be down by 5% to 259.5 million hectolitres. According to the Organisation of Vine and Wine, production had been affected by climatic events, where French producers had to endure frost and hailstorms in the spring and drought in the summer. But fear not. It said prices might not be affected because the wine industry keeps stock to respond to such events.

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