US: Retail sales in the US dropped in May by their largest amount for 16 months.
China: GDP grew 6.9% in Q2 YoY, defying expectations from economists. The Government target for the year as a whole is 6.5%. Retail sales for June grew 11% which was the fastest pace since December 2015.
China: 17% of world exports for 2016 came from China. The EU and the USA were closely behind with 16% and 14% respectively. Imports were led by the US who took in 18% of the world’s imports and the EU at 15%, with China at 12%. The EU’s main exports were machinery and vehicles which accounted for 43% of total EU exports. 69% of the EU’s total imports came from manufactured goods.
Kenya: In a bid to reduce plastic pollution, Kenya has introduced incredibly tough laws against those found selling or using plastic bags with prison terms of up to 4 years and a fine of 4m Kenyan Shillings (nearly $40,000). 300m plastic bags are used annually in Kenya.
Inflation in the EuroZone is at a 4 month high. The rise is attributed to rising energy prices for consumers which are up 1.5% in August. Economic confidence is at its highest for almost a decade. Unemployment has dropped to 9.1%. The ECB is due to meet in early September to discuss the QE programme which is expected to finish by the end of the year. It is believed a ‘cautious stance’ will be taken according to Capital Economics in London.
Italy: the number of people employed in the country is at its highest since 2008. Italy is the EuroZone’s 3rd biggest economy. Employment during July increased by 59,000. There are now over 23m employed in Italy.
Italy: Moody’s have revised upwards their GDP forecast for 2017 & 2018 to 1.3% (for both). Previously figures stood at 0.8% and 1% respectively.