dpa-AFX overview: ECONOMY from February 15th, 2023 – 5.30 p.m

USA: Retail increases sales significantly

WASHINGTON – US retail increased its sales significantly at the beginning of the year. The Department of Commerce announced on Wednesday in Washington that revenues increased by 3.0 percent from December to January. Bank economists had expected an average growth of 2.0 percent. Excluding the volatile revenue from car sales, revenue rose 2.3 percent. That was also above expectations. Retailer sales are taken as a guide to the strength of consumption, which is critical to the US economy.

USA: Empire State Index recovers from multi-year low

NEW YORK – The industrial mood in the US state of New York recovered strongly in February from a mood dampener at the beginning of the year. The Empire State Index rose to minus 5.8 points, the New York Federal Reserve said on Wednesday. In the previous month, the sentiment index had fallen to minus 32.9 points, its lowest level since May 2020.

USA: Industry stagnates at the beginning of the year

WASHINGTON – The US industry started the new year with stagnation, mainly due to the warm weather. Overall production did not change from December to January, as the US Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday in Washington. Analysts had expected growth of 0.5 percent. The stagnation follows two consecutive declines.

USA: NAHB housing index continues to rise

WASHINGTON – Sentiment in the US housing market continued to improve in February. The NAHB home market index rose seven points to 42 points, the National Association of Home Builders announced in Washington on Wednesday. This is the highest value since last September. Economists had expected an average of 37 points.

euro zone: Industry produces less at the end of the year

LUXEMBOURG – Industrial companies in the euro zone produced less towards the end of the year. Compared to the previous month, the total production was 1.1 percent lower, as the statistics office Eurostat announced on Wednesday in Luxembourg. Analysts had expected an average decline of 0.8 percent. Compared to the same month last year, production fell by 1.7 percent.

Eurozone: Trade deficit rising again – High deficit for the full year 2022

LUXEMBOURG – The deficit in the eurozone’s trade balance widened again at the end of last year. After a decline in November, the seasonally adjusted deficit in December increased by 3.7 billion to 18.1 billion euros, as reported by the Eurostat statistics office in Luxembourg on Wednesday. Analysts had expected a deficit of 16.0 billion euros. While exports fell 4.6 percent, imports fell 2.9 percent.

Spain: Consumer prices increase more at the beginning of the year

MADRID – In Spain, inflation picked up again at the beginning of the year. The consumer prices measured according to the European method (HICP) increased in January by 5.9 percent over the year, as the statistics office INE announced on Wednesday in Madrid after a second estimate. The initial survey was revised slightly upwards by 0.1 percentage points. In the previous month, the rate was 5.5 percent. Despite the increase, inflation is significantly lower than in mid-2022, when it rose to more than 10 percent.

UK: High inflation continues to decline

LONDON – Inflation in the UK continues to fall but is still at high levels. In January, consumer prices were 10.1 percent higher than in the same month last year, as the statistics office ONS announced on Wednesday in London. Inflation was 10.5 percent in December. The drop in the rate was more than analysts had expected on average at 10.3 percent.

IEA raises oil demand forecast due to China opening

PARIS – The International Energy Agency (IEA) has sharply raised its forecast for global crude oil demand due to the prospect of stronger economic growth in China. In the first three months of the year, demand is likely to be 500,000 barrels (159 liters) per day higher than previously assumed, according to the monthly report published in Paris on Wednesday by the association of leading industrialized countries. For the year as a whole, the IEA assumes an increase of two million barrels per day to an average of 101.9 million barrels per day.

First delivery with liquefied natural gas in Schleswig-Holstein

BRUNSBÜTTEL – The first tanker with liquefied natural gas (LNG) was symbolically received in Brunsbüttel on Wednesday. “Following the arrival of the floating terminal in mid-January, the first LNG delivery from Abu Dhabi is the next important step,” said RWE manager Andree Stracke. The LNG tanker “ISH” has 137,000 cubic meters of LNG on board, which corresponds to more than 82 million cubic meters of natural gas. The gas obtained from the LNG is to be fed into the grid from the end of February with the help of the special ship “Höegh Gannet”. Germany wants to replace missing Russian gas supplies with LNG.

Institute: Great dependency on China for individual products

KIEL – The German economy is very dependent on China for import shares of up to 90 percent for important products such as laptops, mobile phones and medical devices such as respiratory masks. This was the result of an analysis published by the Kiel economic research institute IfW on Wednesday. Overall, however, the dependency is significantly lower than classic trade statistics suggest. Only an extremely small part of German production depends on Chinese inputs. By far the largest part comes from German contributions.

Customer Note:

ROUNDUP: You are reading a summary in the business cycle overview. There are several reports on the dpa-AFX news service on this subject.