The latest retail sales figures suggest low inflation and falling petrol prices helped increase spending during the first two months of the final quarter this year . Even though the December sales data may come in weaker when compared with 'Black Friday' bolstered November, the total fourth-quarter sales should come in stronger. UK shoppers have been enjoying massive discounts ahead of the festive season, while cheaper petrol has given the buyers' appetite a healthy boost too .Adding to the positive sentiment was Inflation below the official target of 2% and the record positive outlook for UK households for their personal finances.
German business confidence rose for a second month in a sign that Europe’s largest economy is overcoming the weakness it hit earlier in the year. The Bundesbank has said that the German economy is showing signs of strengthening after it effectively stagnated in the middle of the year and managed only a “modest start” to the fourth quarter. Even so, the recovery may come too late to be much help to the euro area, leaving the European Central Bank considering buying government bonds to stave off region-wide deflation.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week as the worlds largest economy’s continued to show improvement. Employers are dismissing less and hiring at the strongest pace since 1999, a sign of a tightening labour market conditions that may put upward pressure on wage growth. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and her colleagues yesterday raised their assessment of the labour market and said they will remain patient on the timing of the first interest-rate rate increase.
There are no key announcements today
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