Business

Retail sales fell in December

Australia: 

Retail sales fell by 0.1% in December, the weakest monthly result since July.  Annual growth eased to 3.0% and remains well below the 10-year average of 4.3%.  

In addition to the monthly retail sales turnover, the Bureau of Statistics released the quarterly retail sales volumes data, which exclude the impact of prices. 

This data told a more encouraging story, with an increase of 0.9% in the December quarter. 

However, the healthy rise in volumes was helped by price discounting, suggesting retailers' margins are under pressure.

ANZ job ads jumped 4.0% in January, after falling by 2.2% in December. For the year to January, job ads rose by 7.1%, up from 3.7% in the year to December.

The Melbourne Institute gauge of inflation lifted by 0.6% in January, following a rise of 0.5% in December.  For the year to January, inflation rose by 2.1%, up from 1.8% in the year to December.

Share Markets:

Investors became more cautious overnight, as uncertainty over the political environment in the US and Europe grew. 

Overnight, the Dow Jones closed 0.1% lower and the S&P500 dropped by 0.2%.

Interest Rates:

The more cautious mood boosted demand for US Treasuries.  Therefore, yields (which move inversely to price) fell by 5bp on both the US 2-year and 10-year notes.

German 10-year bund yields also fell, from 0.43% to 0.36%.  In contrast, the French 10-year bond yield rose from 1.08% to a 17-month high of 1.16%. 

The latter has been unnerved by far right candidate Le Pen's recent promise to exit the Eurozone and hold a referendum on EU membership.

Foreign Exchange: 

The US dollar index was fairly stable. EUR/USD fell from 1.0775 in the Sydney afternoon to a low of 1.0706 overnight, then ground back to 1.0750. 

GBP/USD dipped to 1.2428 in sympathy, before trimming to 1.2470. 

The safe-haven yen was the best performer; USD/JPY fell from 112.60 through 112.00 in a sudden slide in the New York afternoon, to touch as low as 111.63.  This rate was the weakest since late November.

AUD/USD was quiet in the London morning, but then suffered from global nerves, falling to 0.7630 in the New York morning before rebounding to 0.7660.  NZD/USD is flat on the day at 0.7320, but at one point slipped to 0.7285. 

AUD/NZD probed slightly lower to 1.0460.

Commodities: 

Oil prices dropped, as the US dollar advanced overnight and the revival of US shale drilling boosted the country's production outlook. 

Gold, on the other hand, surged to the highest in more than two months due to investor wariness over the possible impact of Trump's policies.

China:  

The Caixin services PMI eased to 53.1 in January, from 53.4 in December. 

The index remains above 50 signalling expansion in services sector activity in January, although at a slightly slower pace than in December.

Europe:

German factory orders surged 5.2% in December, well above the estimate of 0.7%.  It was the largest monthly increase since July 2014 and signals a pickup in business spending and overall activity at the turn of the year.

United States: 

No major data to report.

Topics:  economy retail st george economics



How to do Eat Street the right way

EVERYTHING you need to know to get the most out of your Eat Street experience and to avoid a food coma when you’re only one stall deep.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Nothing stops one-armed woodchopper

CHAMPION AXEMAN: Nick Fredriksen competed at Killarney Show in five woodchop categories.

Woodchopper cuts through the competition at Killarney Show

Summer forecast to end with a washout

WET WEEK: Weather forecasters predict summer will end with rain on the Southern Downs.

Clear skies set to be the last of the sunshine this summer

Buskers descend on Stanthorpe for championships

Kenny Slide performs at the National Busking Championships South East Queensland event in Stanthorpe on Saturday, February 25.

All manner of music has filled the streets of Stanthorpe.

Local Partners

Fancy dress tea party stirs up the past

EVER wanted to dress up in 19th century attire and don tails and a top hat or an ankle-sweeping dress with a petticoat and corset?


REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Collegians to kick off footy season next week

Collegians coaches (from left) Deb Scanlan, Garth Miller, Ben Brownlie, Matt Collins (U9 assistant), David Hallman, Kerry Scanlan, Josh Williams, Bob Bell, Craig Frattini and Scott Morton.

Plenty of experience in Collegians coaching ranks

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Can rightful winner Midnight take out golden Gosling in Oscars?

Can Lion pip La La Land at the post in this year's Oscars? Sunny Pawar (pictured) helped bring a powerful film to the big screen.

WILL Aussie film Lion triumph or will popular La La Land prevail?

Buskers descend on Stanthorpe for championships

Kenny Slide performs at the National Busking Championships South East Queensland event in Stanthorpe on Saturday, February 25.

All manner of music has filled the streets of Stanthorpe.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!