Important developments today:
U.S. retail sales beat forecasts on the upside in September.
Domestic retail sales advanced 1.1% (m/m) in September following upwardly revised 0.3% growth in August according to the latest report from the Commerce Department. Sales of automobiles climbed 3.6% in September, the strongest monthly growth in the sector since March 2010, translating to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13.1 million vehicles sold. Sales of non-durables increased by 0.6% over the same period, signaling the broad-based nature of the improvement in domestic consumption despite elevated unemployment levels. Indeed over the past two months, the momentum in retail sales growth (3m/3m saar) appears to be swinging upwards again to a monthly gain of 4% in September.
Among Emerging Markets…in South Asia, India’s annual inflation as measured by the benchmark Wholesale Price Index eased marginally from 9.78% in August to 9.72% in September, despite the Reserve Bank’s consistently aggressive actions to control prices. The Reserve Bank has hiked interest rates 12 times since March 2010, the most aggressive tightening pace globally, and will likely do so again at the policy meeting later this month.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria’s headline annual inflation rose to 10.3% in September from 9.3% in August, reversing the declining trend seen in the previous three months and putting pressure on the central bank to raise interest rates for a seventh time this year.