Ifo institute slashes Germany's 2021 growth outlook. The Germany economy is likely to recover at a slower pace than predicted earlier, thanks to curbs to slow a second wave of coronavirus infections, think tank ifo institute said on Wednesday. In its winter forecast, the institute lowered its growth forecast for Germany for next year to 4.2 percent from 5.0 percent predicted in its autumn forecast. Europe’s largest economy is expected to contract by 5.1 percent this year, which is slightly smaller than the 5.2 percent contraction seen earlier. On the other hand, ifo raised the growth outlook for Germany for 2022 to 2.5 percent from 1.8 percent. "Production of goods and services won't reach pre-crisis levels until the end of 2021," ifo said.
UK inflation falls as clothes prices sink. UK inflation slowed more-than-expected in November due to falling clothing prices, data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed on Wednesday. The ONS said the consumer prices index fell to 0.3 percent in November from 0.7 percent a month earlier. Economists had forecast an inflation rate of 0.6 percent. Retailers are under renewed pressure as the rapid growth in Covid-19 infections discourages consumers from going to the shops and amid fresh restrictions imposed in England, alongside tough measures in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Falling food and drink prices also dragged down the inflation rate by the most since 2017, driven by goods such as vegetables and confectionery.
US retail sales slump more than expected amid renewed lockdowns. Reflecting renewed lockdowns in some US states as a result of the recent spike in new coronavirus cases, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing that US retail sales fell sharply in November. Sales fell by 1.1 percent in the review month — more than economists had predicted — as spending on categories like automobiles, electronic stores, clothing and restaurants and bars softened, according to the report. The Commerce Department also revised its retail sales figures for October to a 0.1 percent decline, from an increase of 0.3 percent that had been previously reported. Economists said the declines are “warning signs” that the economy was entering a rough patch and in need of a jolt from another round of government stimulus.
Australia’s jobless rate falls to 6.8 percent. Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 6.8 percent in November from seven percent the previous month, after the economy gained 90,000 new jobs as Victoria’s Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. The improvement was more than double economists’ expectations of just 40,000 extra jobs in November and an overall seven per cent unemployment rate due to higher participation. The numbers show more than 740,000 jobs have been added to the economy in the past six months. Full-time employment increased by 84,200 to 8.7 million people, and part-time employment increased by 5800 to 4.1 million people. Employment in Victoria made up the majority of the gains. Jobs there increased by 74,000 people in November, following the previous month’s increase of 82,000 people.
Malta inflation falls in November. Malta's harmonised measure of inflation eased in November, data published by the National Statistics Office showed on Thursday. The EU measure of consumer prices, known as HICP, rose by 0.2 percent year-on-year in November, after a 0.6 percent increase in October. In September, the index rose by 0.5 percent. Education cost gained 4.8 percent yearly in November. Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages, and health care grew by 2.6 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, prices for clothing and footwear, and furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance decreased by five percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. On a monthly basis, the HICP fell 3.4 percent in November.