Retail sales in Germany fell in December
In December German retail sales unexpectedly fell, but for the whole 2015 their growth was the highest in more than 20 years, said the Federal Statistics Service, Destatis.
In December retail sales fell by 0.2% in real terms, compared with November, when they grew by 0.4%. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires predicted that they would add 0.2%.
Compared with the previous year, retail sales rose by 2.7%, the most since 1994, adds Destatis.
GDP growth in France slowed down in the fourth quarter
At the end of 2015 the economic growth in France slowed as consumer spending fell against the background of unusually warm weather and the acts of terrorism that killed 130 people.
The second largest Eurozone’s economy added 0.2% in the last quarter of 2015, after 0.3% in the third, according to the statistical office Insee.
For the entire 2015 French GDP grew by only 1.1%, and this is not enough to stop the rise in unemployment, which reached 10.6%.
Consumer spending is the driving force of the French economy, and they fell by 0.4% per quarter, after the terrorist attacks in Paris, as well as due to the lower demand for heating and clothing because of the warm weather.
The Bank of Japan has set a negative interest rate
On Friday the Bank of Japan said that it is introducing a negative interest rate, as low inflation and what is happening in global financial markets pose a threat to the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plans to revive the economy.
The central bank lowered the deposit rate for commercial banks to -0.1% from 0.1%, in order to reduce borrowing costs and accelerate inflation to the target level of 2%.
“We will continue to reduce the rate if see fit”, – said the Bank of Japan.
Orders for durable goods in the US fell by 5.1% in December
Orders for durable goods in December fell by 5.1%, the Commerce Department said, while analysts had expected that this decline would be 1.5%.
Meanwhile, the orders for transportation fell by 12.4%. Excluding transportation, orders in December were 1.2% lower. The so-called orders for capital goods fell by 4.3%.