The Week Ahead: Singapore Retailers On The Mend

The latest US inflation rate will be on show next week. Last time, annual inflation for February came in at 2.7%. That was higher than the 2.5% inflation rate for January. Since July 2016, the headline rate of inflation has climbed steadily from a low of 0.8%.

Also on tap will be retail sales, which appear to be coming off the boil. In February, the increase was the lowest since August 2016. The sluggish sales were blamed on lower purchase at motor vehicle dealers, electronics and appliance stores.

The Chinese growth figures for the first quarter of 2017 could provide some useful pointers on the direction of the economy. In the final quarter of 2016, the Chinese economy advanced 6.8%, which was a tad faster than the previous three months. The growth was supported by consumer spending, higher government spending and a willingness by banks to lend.

China will report its latest inflation numbers. In February, consumer prices rose 0.8%, which was the lowest inflation rate since January 2015. The number, which took the market by surprise, was attributed to a 4.3% fall in food prices.

The UK will report inflation figures too. The rate of inflation, which hit a low of 0.3% in April 2016, has been climbing steadily. In February, it reached a recent high of 2.3%. The rise had been boosted by rising fuel prices, while food costs increased for the first time in 34 months.

Retailers in Singapore appear to be on the mend. Retail sales in February rose 2% year on year, following an upwardly-revised 0.7% increase in December. It was the fifth straight month of increases and the fastest since October 2016. The rebound was driven by sales of food and beverages, supermarkets and department stores. So keep an eye on the likes of BreadTalk (SGX: 5DA), Sheng Siong (SGX: OV8) and Metro Holdings (SGX: M01).

And finally it will be a holiday-shortened trading week because Good Friday is a public holiday. That means a little less time for trading and more time for analysis.

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