The headline CPI (for all urban areas) annual inflation rate in May 2015 was 4.6%. This rate was 0.1 of a percentage point higher than the corresponding annual rate of 4.5% in April 2015. On average, prices increased by 0.3% between April 2015 and May 2015.
Measured in real terms (constant 2012 prices), retail trade sales increased by 3.4% year-on-year in April 2015. The main contributors to the 3.4% increase were general dealers (contributing 1.3 percentage points) and retailers in textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods (contributing 0.7 of a percentage point).
Measured in real terms (constant 2012 prices), wholesale trade sales decreased by 6.3% year-on-year in April 2015.
Measured in nominal terms (current prices), motor trade sales decreased by 2.1% year-on-year in April 2015. Negative annual growth rates were recorded for fuel sales (-9.8%), new vehicle sales (-3.0%) and workshop income (-0.9%).
Motor trade sales increased by 1.6% in the three months ended April 2015 compared with the three months ended April 2014. The main contributors to this increase were:
- Used vehicle sales (11.9% and contributing 2.0 percentage points); and
- Sales of accessories (11.9% and contributing 2.0 percentage points)
The Greek search for aid continued to unnerve markets this week after talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) broke down on Sunday. Attention was then diverted to the Eurogroup meetings on Thursday in another “last ditch” effort for Greece to secure bailout funding which was to yield no result and in turn, more than EUR1bn was withdrawn from Greek banks on the day. As a result, the European Central Bank called an emergency meeting to discuss an increase in liquidity to Greek banks. Greece needs to pay EUR1.6bn in bundled payments (deferred and current) by the 30 June 2015.
The U.S. provided an equal amount of volatility to the marketplace as we awaited statements relating to monetary policy at the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. At the meeting, The Federal Reserve Bank left lending rates unchanged whilst reassuring market participants that future rate rises would be gradual and data dependent. A key indicator for the Federal Reserve is the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data, which showed inflation in the U.S. to be at 0.4% (est. 0.5%) m/m.
The week ahead
The new week will see a continued focus on Greece trying to find common ground with the Troika in lure of the impending liquidity crunch and possible default to follow. On Tuesday, Flash manufacturing PMI data is scheduled for release out of China, France and Germany as well as the combined Eurozone. Wednesday will see the release of the Final GDP estimate out of the U.S.
Back at home, current account data is scheduled for Tuesday while Producer Price Index (PPI) data is scheduled for Thursday.