Carry on spending
Great news from the UK today as retail sales grew at the fastest annual pace in 10 years. Whilst avid readers of the newsletters may have noted some cynicism regarding Black Friday, Manic Monday, Cyber Tuesday, Blue Thursday and Made-up Shopping Extravaganza Wednesday, it seems that they actually worked! Retail sales were 1.7% for November, well ahead of the 0.3% predicted. Food sales jumped by 0.4%, clothing sales jumped 3.8%, household goods rose 3.6% and internet sales rose in general by 3.8%. With real wages becoming more positive, employment rising, petrol prices falling and a supermarket price war, things are looking rosy for the British consumer.
Things are also looking up in the US as yesterday the much-publicized “considerable time” phrase was replaced by “patience” implying that interest rate hikes will be governed by data. In further good news out of the US, initial jobless claims were released at 294,000 compared to the expected 297,000. And soon, they will be able celebrate their jobs with some Cuban cigars.
As expected the Greek elections will go to another stage as Samaras’ party fell short of the required 180 seats. In good news for Greece, unemployment has fallen from 26.6% to 25.5%.