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Economic Indicators

Biden to give remarks on inflation Tuesday, contrast plan with Republicans

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden arrives to deliver remarks during a visit at United Performance Metals in Hamilton, Ohio, U.S., May 6, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – President Joe Biden will draw a contrast between his economic plans and those of Republicans in remarks on Tuesday focused on inflation, a White House official said.

Biden, a Democrat who is suffering from low approval poll numbers ahead of the November midterm elections, has sharpened his rhetoric against Republicans in recent weeks, dismissing, for example, former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” MAGA movement as extreme.

On Tuesday Biden will lay out his plan to fight inflation and “contrast his approach with Congressional Republicans’ ultra-MAGA plan to raise taxes on 75 million American families and threaten to sunset programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,” the official said.

Last week Biden took aim at Republican U.S. Senator Rick Scott’s economic plan, saying it would raise taxes on 75 million Americans, most of whom make less than $100,000 a year. Scott, who said he planned to cut taxes, is leading Republican efforts to get Republicans elected to the Senate.

Economic Indicators

Ukraine removes fuel price restrictions to increase supply – economy minister

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Drivers stay in line outside a petrol station as they try to buy fuel, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 11, 2022. REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s government has lifted restrictions on fuel prices to enable traders to import more and make up the shortage Ukraine is experiencing after Russian forces destroyed many storage facilities and logistics chains, the economy minister said on Tuesday.

“We … suspended price regulation in order to enable market operators to saturate the market … so that they will be able to deliver all the resources available on the European market, and not only from the European market,” Yulia Svyrydenko said in an online interview with Ukrainian television.

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Economic Indicators

Motor vehicles boost U.S. business inventories in March

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An assembly worker of Ford Motor works on an F-series pickup truck at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S., January 26, 2022. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. business inventories increased slightly more than expected in March, lifted by a jump in motor vehicle stocks, government data showed on Tuesday.

Business inventories rose 2.0% after increasing 1.8% in February, the Commerce Department said. Inventories are a key component of gross domestic product. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast inventories rising 1.9%.

Inventories surged 14.7% on a year-on-year basis in March. Retail inventories increased 2.3% in March, instead of 2.0% as estimated in an advance report published last month. That followed a 1.6% increase in February.

Motor vehicle inventories rose 1.6% instead of 1.2% as estimated last month. They increased 1.4% in February. Retail inventories excluding autos, which go into the calculation of GDP, shot up 2.5%, rather than 2.3% as estimated last month.

Inventory investment slowed in the first quarter from the October-December period’s robust pace. That, together with a record trade deficit, weighed on gross domestic product, resulting in the economy contracting at a 1.4% annualized rate in the first quarter.

Wholesale inventories increased 2.3% in March. Stocks at manufacturers gained 1.3%.

Business sales rose 1.8% in March after climbing 1.2% in February. At March’s sales pace, it would take 1.27 months for businesses to clear shelves, unchanged from February.

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Economic Indicators

U.S. Retail Sales Kept Up Strong Growth in April, Keeping Fed Rate Hikes on Track

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© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith

Investing.com — The U.S. consumer kept spending in April, shrugging off concerns that high inflation and the looming prospect of an economic slowdown might act as a brake.

Retail sales grew 0.9% from March, and March’s data were revised up to show a gain of 1.4% from February, double the 0.7% initially reported. That left the annual rate of retail sales growth at a robust 8.2%.

Nor was that all down to rising prices for groceries and gasoline. Excluding food and energy costs, core retail sales grew 0.6%, more than the 0.4% predicted. Here, too, March sales were revised up to a gain of 2.1% from an initial 1.4%.

Financial markets took the data as a sign that the Federal Reserve will persevere with a string of hefty interest rate hikes over the course of the next few months. The yield on the interest-rate sensitive 2-year Treasury note rose 8 basis points to 2.64%, while the benchmark 10-Year yield rose 6 basis points to 2.94%.

S&P 500 futures, meanwhile, edged down 3 points but were still posting solid gains of over 1% for the overnight session.

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