Germany reports a surge in retail sales; Australia emerges from its recession.
The German Federal Statistical Office reported that retail sales rose higher than expected in October, gaining 8.2 percent (year-on-year) after being at 6.5 percent in the previous month, and surpassing expectations of a 5.9 percent surge. In monthly terms, retail sales rose by 2.6 percent after decreasing by 2.2 percent in the previous month, surpassing forecasts of 1.2 percent.
The rise is mainly attributed to a demand surge in food, household appliances and furnishings.
The figures were published after the German Statistics Office announced that the unemployment rate stood at 6.1 percent in November, lower than the expected 6.3 percent and below the previous month's reading of 6.2. Markit Economics reported a slower expansion of the manufacturing sector, as the Manufacturing PMI stood at 57.8 after being at 57.9 the previous month.
By 9:29 GMT, the euro gained 0.41 percent against the US dollar, hitting the 1.3360 level.
Australian Third-Quarter GDP Contraction Lower Than Expected
According to recently released data, the Australian GDP shrank by 3.8 percent (year-on-year) after declining by 6.3 percent in the previous quarter, surpassing expectations of a 4.4 percent decrease. In quarterly terms, the GDP rose by 3.3 percent after decreasing by 7 percent in the previous month, and surpassed expectations of a 2.6 percent increase.
This means that despite the strong decline the country experienced this year, Australia is now technically out of recession.
"Technically, the recession is over, but the recovery is not," commented the Australian Treasurer. "The economic indicators are positive. That being said, this is a very challenging time and there's a lot of ground to make up.”
By 10:08 GMT, the Australian dollar gained 0.17 percent against the US dollar, hitting the 0.7382 level.