Europe

  • 2019-05-24 06:57


    --Brexit Uncertainty Weakens Retailers' Investment Intentions

    LONDON (MNI) - Retail sales volumes contracted in May following last month's Easter euphoria, according to the CBI Distributive Trades Survey, published Friday.

    --Retail sales volumes declined to -27 in May, the fastest pace of decline since

    October 2017, following Easter-led growth of +13 in April.

    --Expectations for sales turn positive in June.
    --Orders placed on suppliers in the year to May also fell at their fastest pace

    in 19 months but were expected to contract again next month, albeit at a slower pace.

    --Non-store retailing was the only sub-sector that reported growth.
    --The quarterly survey showcased a more dismal business environment for

    retailers.

    --Year-ahead investment intentions hit a record low, amid uncertai

  • 2019-05-24 05:01


    By Shaily Mittal and Laurie Laird

    LONDON (MNI) - Retail sales volumes remained steady in April, far exceeding expectations of a retreat after an unusually-strong showing in March.

    The following are the key points from UK Retail Sales data published Friday by the Office for National Statistics.

    - Brexit uncertainty has failed to discourage the UK consumer. Retail sales volumes were unchanged between March and April, far exceeding expections of a 0.8% fall.

    - Unusually-strong sales in March were revised even higher, rising by 1.2% over April.

  • 2019-05-20 12:53


    By David Robinson

    LONDON (MNI) - Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent said that the negative impact of the Brexit process on business investment would be worse if business executives continued to take the view that the end was in sight.

    In a speech at Imperial College Business School Broadbent said that the evidence showed businesses which were expecting uncertainty to evaporate in the near future held off investing more than if uncertainty was expected to persist.

    Persistent speculation that there could be a resolution of Brexit soon only amplifies the hit to business investment.

    The following are key points from the speech:

    -The Brexit deadline for a deal to be agreed between the UK and the EU, allowing a transition period, was originally set for

  • 2019-05-20 11:12


    -BOE Carney And Colleagues Hearing Tues Cancelled; Problem Not With BOE

    LONDON (MNI) - Tuesday's scheduled hearing with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and colleagues at the Treasury Select (TSC) Committee has been cancelled.

    A TSC official confirmed the cancellation but did not offer a reason, although Market News understands that the cancellation was triggered by the TSC and not by the Bank.

    Mark Carney, Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent, and external MPC members Silvana Tenreyro and Michael Saunders were scheduled to give evidence on the May Inflation Report at 0930 GMT.

    All TSC meetings scheduled for Tuesday have been cancelled and no alternative date for the MPC hearing has yet been proposed.

    --MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2223; ema

  • 2019-05-17 11:35


    By Luke Heighton

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - The eurozone slowdown may prove temporary, the governor of the Bulgarian National Bank told MNI, but whether Europe emerges from the current soft patch by the second half of 2019 is uncertain.

    "The euro area's economy beat many economists' expectations in the first quarter.

  • 2019-05-16 13:30


    By David Robinson

    LONDON (MNI) - Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Jonathan Haskel said in a speech in York that the growth of intangible assets could impact both policy transmission and financial stability.

    The following are key points from the speech, which did not address current monetary policy setting:

    --Haskel focussed on his signature research topic: the rapid growth in firms' intangible assets such as software, reputation and knowledge relative to tangible capital, such as hardware and buildings.

    Haskel had previously said that Brexit uncertainty could be a key factor behind recent weakness in UK investment but here he floated the idea that it may also reflect under-recorded investment in intangibles.

    "Intangibles appear to be part of t

  • 2019-05-09 04:07


    LONDON (MNI) - The Norges Bank kept its key policy rate unchanged at 1.00% following its meeting Thursday.

    The full text of the Norges Bank statement follows.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Policy rate unchanged at 1.0 percent

    Norges Bank's Executive Board has decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at 1.0 percent.

    In Monetary Policy Report 1/19, which was published on 21 March 2019, the Executive Board's assessment was that capacity utilisation in the Norwegian economy was slightly above a normal level. Underlying inflation was a little higher than the 2 percent inflation target. The policy rate was raised by 0.25 percentage point to 1.0 percent in March.

  • 2019-05-08 20:01


    LONDON (MNI) - UK firms are shifting from filling permanent placements to short-term contractual roles amid weakness in the economy caused by Brexit related uncertainty, the KPMG/REC UK Jobs report, published Thursday.

    - The Permanent Placements index remained in the contractionary territory for the third time this year but improved slightly in April to 49.7 from 47.6 in March.

    - Billings from temporary staff hiring expanded to 53.8 in April from 52.9 in March.

    - Given the fragility of the UK economy, overall job vacancies continued to slide, falling to the lowest level since August 2012. Vacancies for the public sector remained subdued.

    - The low unemployment rate and uncertain outlook for Brexit discouraged workers to look for a new job.

  • 2019-05-07 19:01


    By Shaily Mittal

    LONDON (MNI) - UK Retail Sales increased 4.1% in April, compared with a decrease of 3.1% in April last year, boosted by the late Easter, the latest BRC/KPMG Retail Monitor showed. The strong positive data was distorted by the timing of Easter, but even after accounting for this distortion, retail sales remained soft on an longer-term average view.

    The two-year average, which corrects for Easter, was 0.4% per annum, weaker than 0.9% per annum in March.

    - In April, retail sales increased 3.7% on a Like-for-like basis from April 2018, when they were down 4.2% from a year earlier.

    - Food sales increased 1.7% on a Like-for-like basis and 2.8% on a Total basis in three months to April.

  • 2019-05-01 05:52


    by Jason Webb

    LONDON (MNI) - The European Central Bank has not discussed the effects of negative interest rates on bank profitability at the level of the Governing Council or board, ECB Vice-President Luis de Guindos said on Wednesday, adding that the main drag on banking profits came from structural factors such as excess capacity and cost inefficiency.

    Here are main points of a speech and question-and-answer session by De Guindos at an OMFIF event in London:

    --"We have not had any discussion in the board or the Governing Council about the side effects of negative interest rates," De Guindos said, in response to a question referring to comments by President Mario Draghi which prompted speculation the ECB could tier its deposit rate.