Many economic reports came out today. Some painted good pictures and some painted bad pictures for their respective economies.
The economic activities in the two major economies, Germany and France, are not improving tremendously. The EZ’s Flash Manufacturing and Services PMI came in line at 51.0 and 52.3 respectively. Belgian NBB Business Climate was -8.8 below the forecast of -6.1. It is a survey of 6000 businesses and a reading above 0.0 indicates improving conditions, and below 0.0 worsening conditions.
The general thrust of the economic reports was favorable for the British economy and pound sterling. The Retail Sales m/m for December came at +0.4%, which was better than the forecast of -0.6%. The Core Retail Sales – excluding the volatile Auto and Fuel sales – came at +0.2%, also better than the forecast of -0.7%. The Year-over-Year Retail Sales as +4.3% and Core Retail Sales was +4.2% the forecast were +3.0% and +3.3% respectively. Graphs, on the other hand, do not show a roaring Retail Sales environment.
The Bank of Canada unexpectedly cut the interest rate on January 21st, 2015. Today’s CPI report give us some of the reasons behind it. The CPI m/m for December was -0.7%, below the forecast of -0.5%. The Core CPI – excluding the eight most volatile items – came in line at -0.3%. The news from the retail sector was somewhat better. The Retail Sales was +0.4% versus the forecast of +0.1% and 0.0% last month. The Core Retail Sales m/m -excluding automobiles – came at +0.7% versus the expectations of +0.5% and last month’s 0.1%.
On the States side, the Flash Manufacturing PMI disappointed at 53.7 when the market was expecting 54.1. The Existing Home Sales also disappointed. The Annualized numbers of residential homes sold last month was 5.04 million, below the forecast of 5.087 mil. Finally the Conference Board’s Leading Index m/m came in line at 0.5%