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Rev up the SUV, it's retail sales time

  • US retail sales are due out, and should confirm the relentless hedonism of the US consumer. We see a 0.4% headline, supported by a slower decline in gasoline prices and stronger auto sales. Underlying this is the ongoing improving trend in household formation in the US.
  • Bank of Japan governor Kuroda has again been declaring that prosperity is just around the corner, if only people would believe in Abenomics. Markets have responded in a somewhat rude manner, by exhibiting volatility and other signs of disbelief.
  • Brazil seems to be in retreat from currency wars. Last week capital controls were relaxed, on Tuesday there was intervention in the foreign exchange markets, and yesterday more capital controls were relaxed to stop the real from weakening.
  • One of the multitude of European Presidents heads to Portugal today, which might throw that part of the periphery into focus. Meanwhile the ECB is to issue the normal monthly bulletin, at a time when monetary policy makers seem keen to emphasise the limits of their power.

Listen to the audio version of this briefing.