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  • 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


    --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.

  • 2019-05-23 08:44

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian wholesale sales rose 1.4% to C$64.1 billion in March, a fourth straight increase and the fastest pace in two years, with gains across most sectors led by building supplies.

    The gain reported by Statistics Canada Thursday was faster than the estimates of 0.8% from Bank of Montreal and 1.1% from CIBC. However, the solid March gain followed downward revisions in both January and February. Statistics Canada lowered its estimate for February sales to a 0.2% gain from 0.3%, and for January to 0.3% from 0.4%.

    Here are some other key takeaways from the data released Thursday:

    - Six of seven major industries reported gains in March, including a 4.5% rise in building materials and supplies that followed a 5.0% decline in February.

  • 2019-05-22 08:43

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian retail sales increased in March for the second consecutive month, up a softer-than-expected 1.1% to C$51.3 billion, led by a 6.0% price-related rise in gasoline sales. The March gain was the biggest increase in total sales since May 2018 and followed an upward revision in March to a 1.0% gain from the 0.8% rise previously reported.

    Analysts in an MNI survey had expected a 1.2% gain.

    The following are the other key points from the March data on retail sales released Wednesday by Statistics Canada:

    - Retail sales excluding motor vehicles and parts were up 1.7%, faster than the MNI expected gain of 1.4%.

    - Excluding price changes, sales in volume terms rose 0.3% in March.

  • 2019-05-22 07:00

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Mortgage Bankers Association Wednesday reported a modest rebound in mortgage activity in the May 17 week, with activity up 2.4% on a slight downtick in mortgage rates.

    Here are some of the key features of the report:

    - The Refinance Index rose by 8%, while the Purchase Index fell by 2% in the current week.

    - The 30-year average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell further to 4.33% in the current week from 4.40% in the previous week, hitting its lowest point since January 2018.

    - The unadjusted purchasing index was up 7% from a year earlier.

    --MNI Washington Bureau; tel: +1 202-371-2121; email:

    [TOPICS: MAUDS$,M$U$$$,MK$$$$,M$$MO$]

  • 2019-05-21 12:10

    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said Tuesday that uncertainty over U.S.-China trade relations in light of otherwise healthy growth and a temporary decline in inflation calls for the Fed to be patient in raising or lowering short-term interest rates.

    "I see no clarion call to alter current policy in the near term. I view current policy as slightly accommodative and likely to be consistent with inflation returning to the Fed's 2% inflation target over time. This is likely to occur more rapidly if tariffs are imposed," he said in remarks prepared for The Economic Club of New York.

  • 2019-05-21 12:03

    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Recent weakness in U.S. inflation was likely exaggerated by one-off price moves in isolated categories, and low rates of increases in health care prices will continue to restrain overall levels, Federal Reserve economists said in interviews over the past week.

    While President Donald Trump's latest tariff hikes on Chinese imports could result in a modest boost to inflation, the effects are difficult to pinpoint and would be viewed as transitory, they said.

    Cyclical components of the Fed's favored personal consumption expenditures inflation gauge have stayed high, in line with a healthy economy and tight labor market, said San Francisco Fed economist Adam Shapiro.

  • 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

  • 2019-05-20 01:05

    BEIJING (MNI) - China's central bank is confident and capable of maintaining the stability of the yuan exchange rate at a balanced level, according to Pan Gongsheng, vice governor of the People's Bank of China.

    In a statement on the PBOC website posted late on Sunday, Pan said that foreign capital inflows have increased and forex reserves have risen steadily since the beginning of this year.

    Pan, who is also the director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange told the PBOC-run newspaper Financial News that healthy macroeconomic fundamentals, rapid credit growth and moderate monetary and financial conditions would provide strong support for the forex market and the yuan.

    He said the PBOC would carry out the necessary counter-cyclical adjustments and strength