Valentine’s Day disappoints after Star Wars surge

March 2, 2016

By Lindsay Dunsmuir

The Fed’s Beige Book, a compendium of anecdotes from business contacts across the U.S. central bank’s 12 regional districts, is not known for tickling detail.  But it seems one regional Fed district – Boston to be precise – is paving the way in bringing a bit of relatable life to the usually dour document. In January’s report it pointed out that a toy company in its district reported strong sales “largely driven by the new Star Wars movie.” This time, it seems that all that movie-related spending has left locals with little money to spend on love. “Sales of Valentine’s Day items usually spike a few days before the holiday, but this year sales were lackluster,” the Boston Fed reported. Next time around, will we find out that children were deprived of their chocolate Easter bunnies? It’s anyone’s guess, but it seems like the researchers in Boston are minded to let us know.

Déjà vu? Fed may struggle to hike if U.S. optimism fades for H2

April 28, 2015

RTR4VVNE.jpgThe U.S. Federal Reserve may find it even more tough to raise interest rates as the year wears on if dwindling expectations for growth are any guide.

BOC to hold this year? Probably not say nearly half the primary dealers

April 15, 2015

Bank of Canada Governor Poloz speaks during a Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce event in central LondonThe Bank of Canada will almost certainly hold policy steady on Wednesday but nearly half of the banks who do business directly with it predict at least one more rate cut this year.

Surprise monetary policy moves may become new norm in India

April 14, 2015

File photo of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan during a news conference in Mumbai

For all the measures India’s central bank has taken to increase transparency in policy making, predicting rate moves by Governor Raghuram Rajan is still difficult.

Patient: Fed may drop the word, not the idea

March 18, 2015

RTR4R4RY.jpgFed Chair Janet Yellen may signal later today that she is no longer patient about when to consider raising rates but any eventual hike is likely to come after June, judging by how many key economic reports so far this year have undercut expectations.

China’s new economy needs fresh, reliable indicator on consumers

August 8, 2013

China’s transition into a domestic demand driven economy has kicked off with the government announcing long-awaited reforms, but it is missing a key element — an indicator to measure the success of the plan.

Hopefulness, not confidence, is spreading through the euro zone

February 22, 2013

Optimism in Germany is roaring and consumers across the euro zone are starting to become less gloomy. But the latest hard economic data are a reminder of the difference between confidence that things are going to get better, and the hope that they will.

An unpleasant surprise may lurk in euro zone GDP numbers

September 24, 2012

The euro zone economy may be doing far worse than most economists want to believe. That’s not good news for a central bank trying to rescue the single currency through a hotly-contested bond purchasing programme that has yet to get started.

India inflation consistently tough to pin down

September 4, 2012

High inflation is a drag on economic growth in the world’s second most populous country and matters immensely to over 400 million people, or over a third of India’s total population, who struggle to earn enough to feed their families three meals a day.

The euro zone recovery is over

September 22, 2011

“The recovery has finished, we are now contracting. The forward looking indicators suggest that things will deteriorate further in the coming months,” – Chris Williamson, chief economist at PMI compiler Markit.