US initial jobless claims falls; a mixed inflation performance among countries: Economic wrap

US initial jobless claims falls; a mixed inflation performance among countries: Economic wrap
US initial jobless claims falls; a mixed inflation performance among countries: Economic wrap

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Initial jobless claims in the US fell to 184,000 in the week ending Dec. 4 after it rose in the previous week, data from the country’s Department of Labor showed. This was the lowest level since 1969.

Additionally, the advance insured unemployment rate hit 1.5 percent in the week ending Nov. 27, up by 0.1 percent from the previous week.

The insured unemployment rate is an indicator of joblessness which measures the number of people receiving unemployment insurance as a share of the labor force.

Germany’s trade

German exports increased by a yearly 8.1 percent in October to hit €121.3 billion ($137.3 billion) while imports went up 17.3 percent to reach €108.5 billion, provisional data from the country’s Federal Statistics Office revealed.

Exports were now 3.8 percent greater than pre-pandemic levels while imports were 13.5 percent higher.

Exports to the EU were higher by 11.6 percent when compared to the same month last year but sales to the UK dropped by 11.5 percent

Inflation and interest rates

Annual inflation in Russia hit 8.4 percent in November as it reached its highest level in six years, data from the country’s official statistics agency showed. 

A hike in the country’s interest rate is now expected to control inflation, according to Bloomberg. The bank might raise the rate by more than the usual 25 basis points.

The inflation rate in November was slightly higher than the previous month’s 8.13 percent. Food prices went up by 10.8 while costs of non-food items were 8.32 percent higher.

In addition, tighter government control triggered a slowdown in Chinese producer prices as they went up by an annual rate of 12.9 percent in November, easing from the previous month’s 26-year high of 13.5 percent, official data showed.

The loss of steam reflects the efficacy of the government’s policies of controlling commodity prices and supply shortfalls in the previous period. Also, consumer prices went up by a yearly rate of 2.3 percent, up by 0.8 percent from a month earlier, to hit its highest level since August 2020. 

In other inflation-focused news, a drop in vegetable prices helped slow Egypt’s inflation in November, with the rate dropping from 7.3 percent to 6.2 percent, data by the country’s official statistics agency, Capmas, showed.

The cost of the foodstuff declined by 12.6 percent compared to the 22.8 percent surge it experienced in the previous month.

Mexico’s yearly inflation rate surged to a 20-year high, hitting 7.37 percent in November, official data showed. In October, consumer prices rose by a lower 6.24 percent. 

This could push the country’s central bank to lift its interest rate again, Reuters reported. The rate currently stands at 5 percent, following four hikes in a row.

Moreover, Brazil decided to raise its borrowing costs by 150 bps to stand at 9.25 percent. The central bank said that it made this decision due to the rise in inflation expectations.

Meanwhile, Canada’s central bank maintained its interest rate at 0.25 percent. The bank expects the inflation rate to be high in the first half of the next year before falling to 2 percent in the second half.

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