Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Merkel says no to shared liability as Italian retail sales fall

One avenue for solving the European debt crisis appears to have closed after German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly told members of her government coalition that Europe would not share total debt liability “as long as I live”.

This could be bad news for troubled Italy, already reeling from an economic contraction that saw retail sales fall 1.6 percent in April, according to a report on Tuesday.

Other reports on Tuesday, though, showed that the consumer spending picture looked better elsewhere in Europe. Insee's French consumer confidence index was unchanged at 90 in June while GfK's German consumer confidence index will rise to 5.8 in July from 5.7 in June.

However, in the US, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index fell to 62.0 in June from 64.4 in May, the fourth consecutive decline.

On a more positive note, home prices in the US rose 0.7 percent in April, matching the prior month’s gain, based on the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index.

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