Fundamental updates by Solid ECN

SOLIDECN

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Nov 16, 2021
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Germany's Import Prices: A Continuing Decline

In October 2023, Germany saw a continued decrease in the cost of imported goods, marking the eighth month of this trend. The reduction in import prices was 13.0%, slightly less than the anticipated 13.4%. This ongoing drop stems largely from the high prices experienced in 2022 due to the conflict in Ukraine. The biggest decrease was in energy imports, which were 43.5% cheaper than the previous year. This includes significant reductions in the prices of natural gas, hard coal, electricity, mineral oil products, and crude oil. Intermediate goods and agricultural products also saw price drops, as well as both durable and non-durable consumer goods, albeit to a lesser extent. On the flip side, the cost of capital goods actually went up a bit.

For a catchy and visually appealing representation of this topic, I would suggest an image that creatively illustrates the decline in import prices in Germany. It could depict a downward graph or arrow, symbolizing the price reduction, set against a backdrop of key items such as energy sources and consumer goods. The overall tone should be informative yet engaging.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
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EURUSD Fundamentals

On Wednesday, the Euro struggled to maintain its strength above the 1.1000 level against the US Dollar, ultimately retreating to around 1.0990 as trading began in Europe. Conversely, the US Dollar, referred to as the Greenback, is wavering around 102.70, despite recovering from earlier dips in the 102.50-102.45 range, as indicated by the USD Index (DXY).

The current monetary policy landscape remains stable for now. However, investors are speculating about potential interest rate reductions by the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the European Central Bank (ECB) come spring 2024.

Attention in the Eurozone is now turning towards Germany’s forthcoming release of preliminary inflation data for November. Meanwhile, in the US, the spotlight is on several key economic indicators, including the advanced Q3 GDP Growth Rate, preliminary figures for Goods Trade Balance, and Mortgage Applications as monitored by the MBA. The day in North America will conclude with the publication of the Fed’s Beige Book.

Adding to this, Cleveland Fed’s Loretta Mester, a hawkish figure and 2024 voter, is scheduled to speak, potentially offering further insights into future economic policies.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
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US Stock Futures Rise: A Sign of Economic Optimism​

On a recent Wednesday, the US stock market showed signs of optimism before the market opened. Futures, which are contracts to buy or sell assets at a later date for a price agreed upon now, indicated an upward trend. Both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones, two major stock market indices, were expected to rise by approximately 0.3%. The Nasdaq 100 futures, representing a third significant index, were poised to see an even more substantial increase of nearly 0.4%.

Factors Influencing the Market

Several factors contributed to this positive outlook. First, comments from officials at the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, suggested a more accommodating monetary policy. They hinted that the period of increasing interest rates might be over, raising hopes of reduced borrowing costs in the coming year. This change in tone from the Fed can make it cheaper for individuals and businesses to borrow money, potentially stimulating economic activity.

Additionally, a decrease in Treasury yields, which are the returns on government securities, was seen as favorable for stocks. Lower yields often make stocks more attractive to investors compared to bonds.

Key Economic Indicators and Corporate News

Investors were also anticipating the release of revised figures for the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and initial data on corporate profits. GDP growth rate is a crucial indicator of the overall health of the economy, reflecting the total value of goods and services produced over a specific period. Positive GDP growth suggests a thriving economy, while a decline can indicate economic challenges.

On the corporate side, General Motors (GM) saw its shares jump over 5% in premarket trading. This surge was a reaction to the company's announcement of a $10 billion share buyback program, indicating confidence in its future financial performance. In contrast, shares of Las Vegas Sands, a major hospitality and gaming company, fell by about 5% after news that its largest shareholder planned to sell $2 billion worth of shares.

Assessing the Economic Implications​

The overall sentiment in the US stock market on this day was positive, which is generally beneficial for the economy. Rising stock prices can increase wealth for investors and boost consumer confidence, leading to more spending. When companies like GM announce significant share buybacks, it often reflects their confidence in their financial health, which can further stimulate economic growth.

However, large sales of shares, like in the case of Las Vegas Sands, can sometimes raise concerns about a company's future prospects, potentially impacting investor confidence.

Impact on the Economy

  • Positive Indicators: Higher futures, dovish Federal Reserve comments, and rising corporate shares like those of GM are all positive signs for the economy. They indicate investor confidence and a potentially growing economy.​
  • Cautionary Signs: Large share sales and fluctuations in key economic indicators like GDP growth and corporate profits require careful monitoring as they can signal shifts in economic stability.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
2,995
22
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How Hong Kong’s Retail Sector Slowed Down in October​

In October 2023, Hong Kong’s retail sector grew by only 2.7% compared to the same month last year. This was a big drop from the 10.0% growth rate in September 2023. It was also the lowest growth rate since December 2022.

One of the main reasons for this slowdown was the decline in sales of some essential items, such as food, drinks, tobacco, fuels, and consumer durable goods. These items are usually bought by local residents for their daily needs. However, due to the high inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic, many people reduced their spending on these items.

Another reason was the weak demand for luxury goods, such as jewellery, watches, clocks, and valuable gifts. These items are usually bought by tourists and wealthy customers. However, due to the travel restrictions and the political unrest, many tourists and investors stayed away from Hong Kong.

On the other hand, some categories of retail sales still performed well in October 2023. These included clothing, footwear, and other consumer goods. These items are usually bought by young and fashionable customers. They also benefited from the online shopping platforms and the festive promotions.

Compared to September 2023, retail sales increased by 6.1% in October 2023. This was mainly because of the seasonal factors and the low base of comparison. However, this increase was not enough to offset the year-on-year slowdown.

The Impact of Retail Sales on the Economy​

Retail sales are an important indicator of the economic health of a country or a region. They reflect the level of consumer confidence, income, and spending. They also affect the employment, tax revenue, and business activity of the retail sector.

Therefore, the slowdown in retail sales in Hong Kong could have a negative impact on the economy. It could reduce the income and profits of the retailers and their suppliers. It could also lower the tax revenue and the public spending of the government. It could also discourage the investment and the innovation of the retail sector.

However, the slowdown in retail sales could also have some positive effects on the economy. It could encourage the consumers to save more and spend less. It could also motivate the retailers to improve their efficiency and quality. It could also stimulate the diversification and the transformation of the retail sector.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
2,995
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Lithium Prices Continue to Fall​

The price of lithium carbonate, a key ingredient for making batteries, has dropped to CNY 120,000 per tonne. This is the lowest price since August 2021. The reason for this price drop is that there is more lithium than people need. People are not buying as many electric vehicles (EVs) as expected in China, which is the biggest market for lithium batteries. Instead, battery makers are using up their existing stocks of lithium, which they bought when the Chinese government gave them a lot of subsidies in 2021 and 2022. Some experts now think that there will be enough lithium for everyone until 2028. This is a big change from the previous predictions that there would be a shortage of lithium soon. In November 2022, the price of lithium was as high as CNY 600,000 per tonne.

The situation is not much better in other countries. In the US, people are not buying many EVs either, because they have to pay more interest on their loans. This makes them less willing to spend money on big items like cars. Meanwhile, the production of lithium is still going strong. Mineral Resources, the second-largest producer of spodumene, a type of lithium ore, plans to double its output in Western Australia next year.

The Effect of Lithium Prices on the Economy​

Lithium prices are an important indicator of the economic health of the battery and EV industries. They show how much demand and supply there is for lithium, and how much profit and cost there is for the producers and consumers of lithium. They also affect the employment, tax revenue, and business activity of these industries.

Therefore, the fall in lithium prices could have a negative impact on the economy. It could reduce the income and profits of the lithium miners and battery makers. It could also lower the tax revenue and the public spending of the governments that support these industries. It could also discourage the investment and the innovation of these industries.

However, the fall in lithium prices could also have some positive effects on the economy. It could encourage the consumers to save more and spend less. It could also motivate the lithium miners and battery makers to improve their efficiency and quality. It could also stimulate the diversification and the transformation of these industries.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
2,995
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UK Housing Market Sees Hope: Latest Trends in House Prices​

In recent months, the housing market in the United Kingdom has seen a notable shift. As of November 2023, the Nationwide House Price Index, a key indicator of house price trends, reported a year-on-year decrease of 2%. This figure is particularly interesting as it's the smallest drop in house prices we've seen in the past nine months, since February. What's more, this reduction is less than what experts had predicted, which was a decline of 2.3%.

Month-on-Month Changes and Economic Impacts
If we look at the month-to-month changes, there's a small but positive sign. House prices in November edged up by 0.2% compared to October, which itself had seen a 0.9% increase. This upward trend, albeit slight, is a change from the continuous decline observed over the past ten months.

The Role of Interest Rates​

A key factor in this scenario is the change in interest rate expectations. These expectations have recently gone down, leading to a decrease in longer-term interest rates. This is important because these rates heavily influence the pricing of fixed-rate mortgages, a common choice for homebuyers.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, commented on this development. He believes that if these trends continue, they could significantly ease the financial burden on potential homebuyers. This easing could, in turn, revive activity in the housing market, which has been somewhat subdued in recent times.

Economic Assessment: Beneficial or Detrimental?​

When assessing the economic implications of these developments, it's a mixed bag. On one hand, falling house prices can indicate a weakening economy and lower consumer confidence. On the other hand, a slower decline in prices, along with reduced interest rates, could encourage more people to enter the housing market, potentially stimulating economic activity. This could be beneficial for the economy, as a robust housing market often reflects and contributes to overall economic health.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
2,995
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France's Manufacturing Sector Faces Continued Challenges in 2023

In November 2023, the French manufacturing sector faced its tenth straight month of downturn, indicating persistent challenges in the industry. According to the S&P Global France Manufacturing PMI, the index saw a slight increase to 42.9, a marginal improvement from the preliminary estimate of 42.6 and a small step up from 42.8 recorded in the previous month. Despite this slight uptick, the situation remains concerning as this represents the most significant contraction since May 2020.


Factors Behind the Contraction

This continued decline can be attributed to a notable drop in demand. The new orders that factories received kept falling, mostly due to overall weaker market conditions. As a consequence, manufacturing output saw its sharpest decline since May 2020. This decline in production and orders has led to various repercussions within the manufacturing sector. Factories have been reducing their workforce, cutting down on purchasing activities, and experiencing significant drops in their stock of inputs, the largest since May 2020.


Price Trends and Future Outlook

On a somewhat positive note, the rate of input price inflation has stabilized, following a six-month trend of decreasing prices. However, looking forward, the mood among manufacturers remains overwhelmingly gloomy. With expectations of reduced orders, especially from the automotive and construction sectors, there's a strong sense of pessimism for the year ahead.


Economic Implications

The prolonged contraction in France's manufacturing sector is a concern for the economy. A healthy manufacturing sector is often a sign of a robust economy, as it creates jobs, stimulates trade, and contributes to GDP growth. The current downturn could lead to job losses, reduced consumer spending, and a slowdown in economic growth. However, the stabilization in input prices may provide some relief to manufacturers, potentially easing cost pressures.
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
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Spain's Tourism Bounces Back to Pre-Pandemic Heights

In October 2023, Spain saw a significant surge in foreign tourist arrivals, marking a 13.9% increase compared to the previous year, with a total of 8.2 million visitors. This figure not only surpasses last year's statistics but also shows a 7.8% growth from the pre-pandemic levels of October 2019, highlighting a robust recovery in the tourism sector.

The majority of these tourists came from the United Kingdom, accounting for 1.7 million visitors (12.2% increase), followed by Germany with 1.1 million visitors (8% increase), and France with 990,000 visitors (9% increase). Additionally, there was a significant rise in visitors from the United States (25.7% increase), the Netherlands (19.6% increase), and Ireland (15.1% increase), indicating a growing global interest in Spanish destinations.

Catalonia emerged as the most popular region, attracting 20.4% of the total tourists. Reflecting on the first nine months of 2023, Spain welcomed 74.7 million international visitors, which is 18.2% more than in 2022 and marginally higher (0.2%) than the pre-pandemic figures of 2019. These numbers signify a strong recovery and a positive outlook for Spain's tourism industry, re-establishing its position as a top global destination.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
2,995
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Soybean Futures Hit One-Month Low Amid Brazil Rain Forecast

Soybean futures have recently dipped to their lowest point in a month, falling below $13.2 per bushel. This decline is largely attributed to the forecasted rain in northern Brazil, which brings hope for better crop conditions. Despite Brazil's harvest projections being reduced due to the ongoing drought, there's an anticipation of an overall increase in production compared to last year.

Stonex, an agribusiness consultancy, has adjusted its prediction for Brazil's 2023/24 soybean crop to 161.9 million metric tons, a slight decrease from its earlier estimate of 165.03 million tons. Similarly, Patria Agronegocios, another consultancy firm, estimates Brazil's soybean production at 150.67 million metric tons. This figure is a reduction from the previous season's 154.10 million, mainly due to drought conditions in major producing areas.

On the demand side, the US Department of Agriculture has reported private sales of 132,000 metric tons of US soybeans to China. Additionally, they confirmed the sale of another 198,000 tons to unspecified destinations. These transactions are set for the 2023/24 marketing year, which commenced on September 1.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
2,995
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Canadian Stocks Dip Slightly on Commodity Price Declines

On Monday, Canadian stocks saw a slight downturn. The S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped a bit, staying close to the 20,500 level. This mild decline comes after reaching a ten-week high in the previous session. The fall can be attributed mainly to a significant drop in commodity prices at the start of the week. This decline particularly affected the index, which is heavily influenced by commodities.

Major energy companies felt the impact of falling metal and oil prices. Canadian Natural Resources saw a 1.6% decrease, Suncor Energy went down by 1.1%, Cenovus Energy also dropped by 1.6%, and Imperial Oil experienced a slight 0.2% loss. In the basic materials sector, there were noticeable declines as well. Wheaton Precious Metals led the way with a 1.9% fall, followed by Agnico Eagle Mines with a 1.5% drop, and Barrick Gold losing 0.8%.

However, the banking sector provided some stability. Royal Bank stood out with a 0.3% gain, TD Bank followed with a 0.4% increase, and Bank of Montreal rose by 0.9%, helping to offset further losses in the market.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
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European Stocks Steady as Investors Await Key Data

European stock markets showed little change on Tuesday, pausing after their recent strong performance which saw key indexes reach four-month highs. The STOXX 50 and the broader STOXX 600 both experienced a minor decline of 0.1% during morning trading. Investors are closely watching a range of economic data, including final PMI figures, Eurozone producer prices, and US job openings set to be announced later in the day.

In corporate news across Europe, several developments are drawing attention. Brenntag, the German chemical distributor, is hosting its investor day. Barclays is in the spotlight after Qatar Holding sold around £510 million of its shares at a 1.4% discount compared to Monday's closing price. Additionally, SSP Group, known for operating eateries, has resumed paying out its annual dividend. Meanwhile, pub group Marston's reported a 28% increase in annual profit, lower than expected, although its Christmas bookings have already surpassed last year's numbers.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
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How China’s Banks Support the Yuan Against Moody’s Outlook

The yuan stays the same even though Moody’s lowers China’s credit outlook. The USDCNH did not change much at around 7.15 per dollar, because big state-owned banks in China sold dollars, balancing out Moody’s move to lower China’s credit outlook.

USDCNH-Daily.png


Chinese banks swapped yuan for US dollars in the onshore market and then sold those dollars in the spot market. This action helped keep the yuan steady and reduce the worries caused by Moody’s about slower economic growth and possible risks in China’s property sector. Also, a survey showed that China’s services activity increased the most in three months in November.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
2,995
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October 2023: A Challenging Month for German Factory Orders

In October 2023, Germany witnessed a noticeable decrease in factory orders, marking the first decline in three months. This drop was unexpected, especially since orders had slightly increased by 0.7% in September, and there were predictions of a modest 0.2% growth. However, the actual figures showed a significant 3.7% fall. This sudden decline points to ongoing instability in Germany's industrial sector.

A closer look at the data reveals that the most significant reduction was in the machinery and equipment sector, which plummeted by 13.5%. This was a major setback, as this sector is usually a strong contributor to industrial growth. Other areas like fabricated metal products, basic metals, electrical equipment, and the automotive industry also experienced downturns. These sectors are crucial for Germany's economy, and their decline can have broader implications.

Interestingly, not every sector faced a downfall. The transport equipment sector, for instance, saw a substantial increase of 20.2%. This surge was largely due to some large-scale orders, highlighting the variability in different industrial segments.

When examining the source of the orders, foreign demand showed a significant decrease of 7.6%. This drop was consistent across the board, with orders from the Euro Area and the rest of the world declining by 7.6% and 7.4%, respectively. However, domestic orders within Germany painted a different picture, registering a 2.4% increase. This suggests that the domestic market still has some resilience, even as international demand weakens.

Another interesting observation is that when excluding large-scale orders, there was actually a 0.7% increase in new orders in October. This indicates that the overall decline might be somewhat influenced by fluctuations in big-ticket orders.

To provide a broader perspective, it's useful to look at the three-month trend. Comparing the August to October 2023 period with the previous three months, there was a 4.6% decrease in new orders. This longer-term view offers a clearer picture of the industrial sector's health, beyond the monthly ups and downs.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
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A Pause in Spain’s Stock Rally: Eyes on US Jobs Report

On Thursday, Spain's IBEX 35 took a slight step back, dropping to 10,160. This shift came after reaching 5-year highs, marking a moment of underperformance compared to its European counterparts. The market's pause is attributed to investors cautiously waiting for the crucial US jobs report due on Friday, while also digesting some discouraging economic data from Europe.

The decline was primarily driven by the financial and tourism industries. Notable decreases were seen in shares of Banco Sabadell, which fell by 4.4%, IAG with a 3.3% drop, and CaixaBank, which dipped by 2.2%. In another development, Cellnex's shares went down by 1.4% even though it received a target price boost from Barclays.

On the brighter side, there were a few stocks that bucked the trend. Iberdrola saw a modest increase of 0.3%, following their recent announcement of securing a 5-year contract to exclusively supply renewable energy to the Madrid Metro. Meanwhile, Repsol's shares remained relatively stable amid ongoing discussions about a potential agreement with Venezuela.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
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Cotton Futures Reach New Heights Amid Supply Concerns

Cotton futures recently hit a high not seen in over a month, climbing above 82 cents per pound. This surge, the most significant since late October, comes as traders face concerns over the short-term availability of cotton. Recent data from ICE reveals a sharp decline in certified cotton stocks. On December 5th, stocks available for delivery against futures contracts were at just 6,325 bales, a significant drop from the two-year high of 87,770 bales recorded on December 1st.

Adding to these supply worries, the Cotton Association of India (CAI) has lowered its forecast for the 2023/2024 cotton season's production to 29.4 million bales. This downward revision is due to the impact of the pink bollworm infestation in Haryana and the fact that many farmers have been forced to uproot their plants.

In other developments, Brazil reported its cotton export figures for November. The country shipped 253.71 thousand tons of cotton, indicating a 12% increase from October 2023. However, this figure represents a 5.5% decrease when compared to the exports in November 2022.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
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Post-Strike Surge: US Adds 180,000 Jobs in November

In November 2023, it's expected that the US economy experienced a notable upturn in job growth, primarily due to the conclusion of strikes in the automotive and entertainment sectors. It's estimated that around 180,000 jobs were added, a significant increase from the 150,000 jobs in October. This change can be largely attributed to the return of workers from the United Automobile Workers (UAW) and the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) after strike settlements.

Despite this improvement, there's an observable trend of deceleration in the job market. For the second month in a row, the number of jobs added has been below the average monthly increase of approximately 258,800 seen over the previous year, indicating a slowdown. Nevertheless, it's important to recognize that job growth is still surpassing the monthly requirement of 70,000 to 100,000 jobs necessary to keep pace with the growing working-age population.

On another note, the unemployment rate is projected to be around 3.9%, which is the highest it has been since January 2022. Additionally, there's an anticipated decrease in annual wage growth, possibly dropping to 4%, the lowest since June 2021. This suggests a complex scenario in the labor market, where job growth persists amidst a backdrop of declining wage increases and a slight rise in unemployment.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
2,995
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Wall Street Recovers, Positive Data Eases Inflation Concerns

Wall Street experienced a rebound in the early trading hours, with the primary indexes showing a 0.3% increase. This positive shift comes after recent data indicated a strong US economy paired with a deceleration in inflation rates. Notably, the US job market outperformed expectations in November, with the unemployment rate declining to 3.7%. Additionally, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index in the US rose to 69.4 in December, a significant improvement. Interestingly, this survey also showed that inflation expectations for the coming year dropped to 3.1%, marking the lowest figure since March 2021.

In the corporate sector, there were noteworthy developments. Qualcomm received a rating change from Morgan Stanley, shifting from "overweight" to "equal weight." Meanwhile, Lululemon Athletica, a high-end apparel retailer, projected its fourth-quarter results to fall short of initial expectations.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
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China Experiences Steepest Food Price Fall Since 2021

In November 2023, the cost of food in China experienced a notable decrease, dropping by 4.2% compared to the same time last year. This decrease in food prices was more significant than the 4.0% drop observed in the previous month. In fact, this trend of falling food prices has been ongoing for five consecutive months, marking the most rapid decline since September 2021.

A key factor in this decline was the dramatic fall in pork prices, which went down by 31.8%, surpassing the 30.1% decrease seen in October. This larger drop in pork prices was unexpected and is thought to be due to a combination of unusually warm winter weather and a continued adequate supply following the Golden Week holiday in early October. In addition to pork, other food items also saw price reductions, including cooking oils (down by 4.1%), eggs (decreasing by 8.8%), and milk (a slight decrease of 0.3%).

However, not all food categories followed this downward trend. Fresh vegetables, for example, saw a slight increase in price (0.6%), reversing the previous month's decline of 3.8%. Similarly, the cost of fresh fruit accelerated, with prices rising by 2.7% compared to a 2.2% increase in the previous month.

In terms of the economic impact, this trend of falling food prices can have mixed effects. On one hand, lower food prices can benefit consumers by reducing their living expenses, potentially increasing their disposable income and encouraging spending in other sectors. On the other hand, for producers and farmers, falling prices can reduce income and profitability, possibly leading to challenges in the agricultural sector. Overall, the impact on the economy would depend on the balance between these consumer and producer effects.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
2,995
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Egypt's Inflation Eases, Food Prices Slow Down

In November 2023, Egypt saw its annual urban inflation rate decline for the second consecutive month, reaching a six-month low at 34.60%. This decrease from October's 35.8% rate follows a record peak in September of 38.0%. The current rate remains well above the Egyptian central bank's target range of 5-9%, yet it still surpasses the anticipated market forecast of 34.8%. A contributing factor to this development is the reduced pace of food inflation, which fell to 64.5% from 71.3% in October. On a monthly basis, consumer prices experienced a 1.3% increase, a slight acceleration compared to October's 1.0% rise, which was the most modest in over a year.​
 

SOLIDECN

Master Trader
Nov 16, 2021
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Turkey Sees Lowest Unemployment Rate in 11 Years

Turkey’s unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent in October 2023, the lowest level in 11 years. It was 9.1 percent in September 2023. More people found jobs in October 2023, as the number of employed people increased by 246 thousand to 31.835 million. At the same time, the number of people without jobs decreased by 163 thousand to 2.961 million. The jobless rate was lower for men (7.0 percent) than for women (11.3 percent). More people also joined the labor force, as the labor force participation rate rose slightly to 53.1 percent from 53.0 percent in September 2023. The employment rate also improved to 48.5 percent from 48.2 percent. Moreover, the unemployment rate for young people aged 15-24 years went down to 16.3 percent from 16.7 percent.​