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Boston Globe (January 10)

2019/ 01/ 12 by jd in Global News

“Many investors had expected department stores to enjoy robust sales over the holidays in light of a U.S. economy buoyed by low unemployment, higher wages, strong consumer confidence and cheap gas.” Lackluster results from Macy’s and Kohl’s sent “retail stocks into a tailspin… calling into question whether such mall-based chains can compete in a changing landscape where shoppers are shifting more of their spending online.”

 

The Independent (April 28)

2017/ 05/ 01 by jd in Global News

“There can be no doubt that the UK’s economic situation is much more likely to deteriorate than improve in the next few years.” Higher taxes and/or lower benefits will be essential to strengthening the Treasury. “All of this adds to stagnant or declining living standards…. No wonder, then, that consumer confidence is likely to become weaker as the uncertainties crowd in.” But the biggest economic hurdle will be crimped investment. “Business does not want to invest in Britain unless they can be sure of a return on those funds after the UK loses its easy access to the single market.”

 

The Economist (January 23)

2016/ 01/ 25 by jd in Global News

Oil price slumps usually do “the world a power of good. The rule of thumb is that a 10% fall in oil prices boosts growth by 0.1-0.5 percentage points.” This time, however, the abrupt 75% drop in the price of oil is testing the old paradigm. “Producers are suffering grievously. The effects are spilling into financial markets, and could yet depress consumer confidence. Perhaps the benefits of such ultra-cheap oil still outweigh the costs, but markets have fallen so far so fast that even this is no longer clear.”

 

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