Business inventories in the U.S. rose by much more than expected in the month of October, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. The report said business inventories rose by 0.7 percent in October following a 0.6 percent increase in September. Economists had been expecting inventories to increase by a more modest 0.3 percent.
Import prices in the U.S. fell for the second consecutive month in November, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday, with the decrease reflecting another sharp drop in prices for fuel imports. The Labor Department said its import price index dropped by 0.6 percent in November, matching the revised decrease reported for October.
After reporting a notable drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the previous week, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing that initial jobless claims rebounded by much more than anticipated in the week ended December 7th.
Suggesting that the holiday shopping season began on an upbeat note, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing that U.S. retail sales rose by slightly more than expected in the month of November. The report said retail sales rose by 0.7 percent in November following an upwardly revised increase of 0.6 percent in October. Economists had expected sales to increase by 0.6 percent.
Eurozone industrial production declined sharply in October, defying expectations for a modest increase, raising concerns regarding the sustainability of the region's feeble recovery. Industrial production fell a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent month-on-month in October, after dropping an upwardly revised 0.2 percent in the previous month, statistical office Eurostat said.
The Swiss National Bank on Thursday decided to maintain the franc ceiling with the exchange staying high and the "vulnerable" external economic situation posing downside risks to Switzerland. In a statement, the SNB said it will maintain the minimum exchange rate of CHF 1.2 per euro. The bank reiterated that it is ready to enforce the franc cap by buying foreign currency in unlimited quantities.
The interest rate decision from Switzerland and industrial output from euro area are due on Thursday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.
The Bank of Korea's monetary policy board on Thursday voted to hold the nation's benchmark interest rate at 2.50 percent - unchanged and in line with expectations.
The BoK had trimmed rates by 25 basis points in May, from 2.75 percent to 2.50 percent after six months of holding steady.
Australia posted a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.8 percent in November, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. That was in line with expectations and up from 5.7 percent in October. The Australian economy added 21,000 jobs in November to 11,659,900 - blowing past expectations for an increase of 10,000 following the addition of 1,100 jobs in the previous month.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand said on Thursday that it was leaving the country's Official Cash Rate unchanged at 2.50 percent.
This was in line with expectations, and it also marked the 23rd consecutive meeting in which the RBNZ had left the rate on hold - dating back almost three years to January...
Food prices in New Zealand fell a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in November compared to the previous month, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday - following the 1.0 percent contraction in October.
Meat, poultry, and fish prices fell 2.1 percent in November, influenced by processed meat (down...
The dollar is adding to recent losses against the Euro and the Japanese Yen on Wednesday, but is gaining ground against the pound sterling. Investors continue to speculate about when the Federal Reserve will begin tapering its stimulus measures and are eagerly anticipating the results of the Fed meeting...
The Asian Development Bank maintained a steady growth estimate for developing Asia, citing an improving outlook in Japan and the United States paired with stronger-than-expected performance in China. In the latest Asian Development Outlook Supplement, released on Wednesday, the Manila-based ADB forecast 6 percent growth for 45-member nations and 6.2 percent in 2014.
The International Energy Agency nudged up its global oil demand growth forecast for the year 2013, citing demand strength.
The IEA, in its monthly Oil Market Report released Wednesday, moved up its global oil demand forecast for the year 2013 and 2014 by 1.2 million barrels per day (mbd) each on...
European finance ministers on Tuesday took one step further in finalizing an agreement on a joint mechanism to deal with failing banks, despite visible divisions among member countries over the key measures of the plan. Though the ministers failed to arrive at a precise agreement on Tuesday's meeting, they appeared keen to finalize the banking resolution plan before the EU leaders meeting.