US department stores didn’t have that great a time over Thanksgiving and Christmas. Shares in Macy’s and Kohl’s slumped after they reported lower-than-expected sales for November and December. That might just be specific to department stores. Let’s hope so. But we should get a better picture, when US Retail Sales for December are released on Friday.
China will report Vehicle Sales for December. Last month, sales of automobiles in China increased 17% to a record 2.9 million vehicles. If the reports from global carmakers are anything to go by, it should turn out to be a bumper year. Toyota, Ford and Nissan said sales grew 8% or more. Honda said sales grew 24% last year.
China will also report its latest inflation numbers, which has been remarkably steady at around 2% this year. Perhaps it is because the government had set an inflation target of around 3%. That said, last month inflation rose 2.3%, which was the highest since April.
The UK has inflation numbers to announce too. Last month, Consumer Prices rose 1.2% in a year to November compared with 0.9% the previous month. It was the highest inflation rate since October 2014.
Unemployment in the Eurozone has fallen steadily this year. But it still stood at 9.8% in October. However, the aggregate number doesn’t tell the whole story. It never does. The proportion of people out of work in Greece was 23.4%, while 19.2% of the working population in Spain were unemployed.
And finally, fingers crossed for some good retail sales numbers in Singapore. The numbers for October weren’t half bad, with motors vehicle sales driving the increase. Recreational goods also performed well, as did watches and jewellery. But sales of computer & telecommunication equipment fared badly. Keep an eye on Jardine Cycle & Carriage (SGX: C07), Aspial Corporation (SGX: A30) and The Hour Glass (SGX: AGS).
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