Saturday, 15 January 2011

China raises reserve requirement, US retail sales and industrial production rise

China tightened monetary policy again on Friday. AFP/CNA reports:

China's central bank said Friday it would raise the amount of money that banks are required to keep in reserve, the latest in a series of such hikes aimed at reining in high inflation.

The bank reserve requirement ratio would be raised by 50 basis points beginning on January 20, the People's Bank of China said in a statement.

The Fed won't be following anytime soon, Friday's economic reports notwithstanding. From Bloomberg:

Retail sales and industrial production both rose in December, indicating that the U.S. economic recovery is picking up as the new year begins.

Purchases climbed 0.6 percent, capping the biggest annual increase in more than a decade, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Output at factories, mines and utilities increased 0.8 percent, the most in five months, according to data from the Federal Reserve.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment for this month dropped to 72.7, the lowest since November, from 74.5 in December. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a gain to 75.5, according to the median forecast...

The cost of living climbed 0.5 percent in December, led by higher fuel and food prices, figures from the Labor Department also showed today. For all of 2010 the consumer-price index rose 1.5 percent compared with a 2.7 percent increase the prior year.

The so-called core rate of inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel costs, rose 0.1 percent for a second month. That held last year’s increase to 0.8 percent, the smallest annual gain since records began in 1958.

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