The Week Ahead: Windy Conditions

America will count the cost of its second hurricane hit in a month. It has been estimated that the strong winds cost Texas as much as $180 billion, following the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

The damage that could be inflicted by Hurricane Irma, which is even larger, is expected to cost almost as much. Credit Suisse reckons that the damage caused by the strong winds could be as much as $125 billion. But if the Category 4 storm is elevated to a 5 when it hits Florida, then the cost could double.

Staying in the US, the inflation data on Thursday will be closely watched for clues about the Fed’s next move on interest rates. The headline inflation rate is expected to rise slightly to 1.8%, which is inching closer to the central bank’s target of 2%.

China will report retail sales for August. The rate of growth is expected to be around 10.4%, which is unchanged from a year ago. Last month’s sales growth was the weakest since February, which could be a cause for concern.

The Bank of England is pencilled in for an interest-rate decision. At the last meeting, the central bank voted by six to two to keep the cost of borrowing unchanged at 0.25%. It is not expected to deviate from the script this month, even though the inflation rate is expected to climb to 2.8%.

Malaysia will report retail sales for July. Malaysian shopkeepers have been enjoying their day in the sun. Last month, retail sales grew 13.9%, which is the fastest growth rate on record.

Singapore will also report retail sales for July. In June, they rose 1.9%, which marked the fourth straight month of growth. Some of the best performing categories included watches & jewellery, footwear and furniture.

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