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Fundamental Market Overview
January 16 2016, 09:41GMT
In the United Kingdom, demand for bank lending among small and medium-sized enterprises dropped in the last quarter of 2016 in the wake of the country’s decision to leave the European Union, according to the Bank of England’s quarterly Credit Conditions Survey released on Friday. Furthermore, British banks suggested that the demand for bank credit by SMEs will remain low in the upcoming months. In the meantime, the demand for credit among large businesses remained unchanged in the reported quarter, following a large slip posted in the preceding quarter. In addition, the Bank said the availability of secured credit for households held steady in the last three months of 2016 and is likely to rise moderately in the first quarter of 2017. Despite an increase in the availability of unsecured credit in the past quarter, it is expected to fall during the first quarter of 2017 due to stricter terms and conditions of credit card offers introduced in the three month period to December.
The Bank of England was looking for signs of damage to British companies, business investment and overall economic growth after the vote to leave the European Union. The survey was carried out between November 21 and December 9.
US retail sales rose more than expected last month amid higher demand for furniture and automobiles, figures showed on Friday. According to the Department of Commerce, retail sales advanced 0.6% in December, following the preceding month’s upwardly revised 0.2% gain and surpassing analysts expectations for an increase of 0.5%. The following increase provided further evidence that the US economy gained momentum in the last three months of 2016. In addition, retail sales grew 4.1% on annual basis and 3.3% over the past year. Sales of automobiles contributed most to this increase, jumping 2.4%.Excluding volatile items, sales climbed 0.2% last month, compared to November’s upwardly revised rise of 0.3%, while analysts anticipated an increase of 0.5% during the reported period. Separately, the Department of Labor reported its Producer Price Index surged 0.3% in December, after rising 0.4% in the prior month. However, the reading topped economists’ forecasts for a 1.1% increase. The PPI grew 1.3% compared to the same period one year ago and 1.6% for all of 2016. The rise was mainly driven by stronger oil prices that rose above $50 per barrel over the past months. In the meantime, the University of Michigan said its flash Consumer Confidence Index fell to 98.1 in January, following December’s final reading of 98.2 and missing expectations for 98.6.
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