Haver
January 15, 2016
Consumers reined in their spending for the holiday season. Purchases at retail stores and restaurants eased 0.1% during December (+2.8% y/y) following a 0.4% November rise, revised from 0.2%. For all of last year, sales advanced 2.1%, the weakest increase since a decline in 2009. The latest rise disappointed expectations for a 0.1% rise in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.
Haver
January 15, 2016
Overall industrial output declined 0.4% during December following a 0.9% November fall, revised from -0.6%. It was the third consecutive monthly decline and lessened the 2015 increase to 1.3%, its weakest rise in six years. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected a 0.3% fall.
Reuters
January 14, 2016
The International Monetary Fund has asked China for clearer communication of its exchange-rate policy, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice says. The nation's economic fundamentals have not changed, he says.
Reuters
January 13, 2016
The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges say they are watching sales by big shareholders to make sure they don't violate trading restrictions recently imposed by the government. The Shanghai bourse says it has established special procedures to oversee sales of shares purchased through block trades.
The Wall Street Journal
January 11, 2016
Three big investment banks are forecasting oil prices in the $20-a-barrel range. Wolfe Research said a drop that severe could bankrupt as many as a third of US oil companies. Those that took on big debt to finance their part in the US oil boom are forced to keep producing oil to cover interest payments, effectively lowering prices further.
Bloomberg
January 12, 2016
Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's might downgrade 17% and upgrade 6% of companies it covers this year, the largest gap since 2009. Corporate defaults are increasing, while investors are demanding higher yields.
Bloomberg
January 15, 2016
Oil will turn into a new bull market before the year is out as the price rout shuts down sufficient production to erode the global glut, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The crash in U.S. oil futures -- which sank back below $30 a barrel on Friday to a new 12-year low -- will send the nation’s shale-oil boom spinning into reverse in the second half of the year, the bank said in a report. As U.S. production slumps by 575,000 barrels a day, global oil markets will tip from surplus to deficit, Goldman predicts.
Bloomberg
January 12, 2016
Central bankers' "managed floating" of foreign exchange rates could backfire, says Erik Nielsen, UniCredit's chief global economist. Nielsen notes in a report a "new global regime of de facto FX targeting by many central banks, which -- unannounced and uncoordinated -- causes additional damaging volatility and uncertainty in markets and for businesses."
Reuters
January 12, 2016
Emerging economies will be at risk if the Federal Reserve isn't gradual with interest-rate increases, which should be justified by evidence of inflationary pressure, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde says. The Fed's increases in tandem with easing by other central banks would raise the value of the US dollar, used widely in developing economies, Lagarde says.
Bloomberg
January 14, 2016
The fourth-quarter earnings season is underway, and corporate profit is expected to decrease 7.2% on a share-weighted basis, after a 3.1% drop in Q3 and a 1.7% decline in Q2, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A strengthening US dollar and falling oil prices are major factors driving down profit.

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