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2013-03-14
Economic Update


On an annual basis,South African retail sales at constant prices rose less-than-expected by 1.9% in January, compared to a downwardly revised 2.2% gain recorded in the previous month. On a monthly basis, retail sales unexpectedly dropped 1.2% in January, compared to a downwardly revised 0.4% rise recorded in December.

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel's cabinet approved the draft budget for 2014, lowering its net borrowing estimate to EUR6.40bn from EUR17.10bn planned for 2013.

Final data from the statistical office Insee showed that, on a quarterly basis, non-farm payroll employment in France declined 0.3% in 4Q12, following a drop of 0.2% recorded in 3Q12.

On a monthly basis, the consumer price index in France rose 0.3% in February, compared to a 0.5% fall recorded in the previous month.

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis industrial output in the eurozone fell 0.4% in January, compared to an upwardly revised 0.9% growth recorded in the previous month.

According to Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), for the week ended 8 March 2013, mortgage application volume in the US, on a seasonally adjusted basis, fell 4.7% from one week earlier.

The Commerce Department reported that the advance retail sales in the US rose 1.1% in February, following an upwardly revised 0.2% increase recorded in January.

The Labour Department reported that, on a monthly basis, import price index in the US rose 1.1% in February, following a 0.6% increase recorded in January.

The Commerce Department reported that, on a month-on-month basis, the business inventories in the US increased 1.0% in January, following a revised 0.3% growth recorded in December.

The US budget deficit has narrowed to $203.50bn in February from a $231.70bn deficit reported in the same period last year.

At a press conference, Governor Zhou Xiaochuan stated that People's Bank of China would take measures to stabilise prices and inflation expectations. He further noted that February's inflation hit a 10-month high 3.2%, suggesting that the nation should remain on high alert on inflation.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate in Australia has remained unchanged at 5.4% in February, compared to a similar rate recorded last month.

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