U.S. Business Inventories Flat, Sales Fall

Washington, Safar 29, 1437, Dec 11, 2015, SPA — U.S. business inventories were unchanged in October, while total business sales fell for the second time in the past three months, the government reported Friday, raising concerns about economic growth in the fourth quarter.
The Commerce Department said October business inventories were flat following a tiny 0.1 percent rise in September. It was the weakest performance since July. Business sales fell 0.2 percent in October after being flat in September.
Overall economic activity was limited over the summer partly because businesses worked to align their inventories with weaker sales. Economic growth slowed to a 2.1 percent annual rate in the third quarter.
Many economists believe continued weakness in inventories will dampen fourth-quarter growth as well.

20:02 LOCAL TIME 17:02 GMT

U.S. Producer Inflation Remains Tame

Washington, Safar 29, 1437, Dec 11, 2015, SPA — U.S. producer prices rose unexpectedly in November for the first time in four months as the cost of services increased, the government reported Friday, but the underlying trend continued to point to weak inflation pressures.
The Labor Department said its producer price index (PPI)—which measures price changes before they reach consumers—rose 0.3 percent last month after falling 0.4 percent in October. However, in the past 12 months, producer prices have fallen 1.1 percent, and November marked the 10th consecutive 12-month decrease in PPI.
Energy prices fell 0.6 percent after being unchanged in October. Declines in energy are likely to continue, as oil prices have fallen sharply this week to below $38 a barrel. Wholesale food prices rose 0.3 percent in November after falling 0.8 percent the previous month. The increase was driven by the biggest jump in butter prices in 15 years.
Excluding volatile energy and food costs, core PPI rose 0.1 percent in November after falling 0.1 percent the previous month. Core PPI was up 0.3 percent in the 12 months ending in November.
Modest economic growth and weak wage increases have kept inflation contained more than six years after the Great Recession ended.
Over the past year, price pressures have been dampened by a strong U.S. dollar and continued declines in oil prices amid a supply glut and slowing global growth, leaving inflation persistently running below the Federal Reserve (Fed) 2 percent target.
But due to a strengthening labor market, economists expect the U.S. central bank to raise its short-term interest rate next Wednesday for the first time in almost a decade.

18:22 LOCAL TIME 15:22 GMT

U.S. Retail Sales Rise at Start of Holiday Season

Washington, Safar 29, 1437, Dec 11, 2015, SPA — U.S. retail sales rose slightly in November as the holiday shopping season began briskly, the government reported Friday, suggesting enough momentum in the economy for the Federal Reserve (Fed) to raise interest rates next week for the first time in almost a decade.
The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.2 percent in November as automobile sales fell and cheaper gasoline hurt service stations. Retail sales rose 0.1 percent in October.
Auto sales fell 0.4 percent last month, the biggest decline since June, after falling 0.3 percent in October. While automakers reported strong sales last month, the units sold were slightly below October levels.
Sales at gasoline stations fell 0.8 percent in November after dropping 1 percent the previous month. Sales at clothing stores jumped 0.8 percent, the largest increase since May. Sales at online retailers rose 0.6 percent, as did sales at electronics and appliance stores.
Retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials, and food servicesincreased a strong 0.6 percent in November after a 0.2 percent advance the previous month. Such “core” retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer-spending component of gross domestic product (GDP).
Consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, slowed unexpectedly in October and September. The moderation came despite an improving labor market, which has begun to lift household income.
The latest signs of strength in consumption support expectations the Fed will raise its key interest rate from near zero when policymakers conclude a two-day meeting next Wednesday. The U.S. central bank has not lifted rates since June 2006.

17:56 LOCAL TIME 14:56 GMT

Cross-cultural Communicators to be Honored at Al Arabiya English Forum (PR Newswire)

DUBAI, UAE, December 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Awards honor those who have helped bridge the gap in understanding between the Muslim world and the West Voting has commenced in the inaugural Al Arabiya News (English) ‘Cross-Cultural Communication Award’, which honors those who have done the most to bridge the gap in understanding between the Muslim world…

Borsa Istanbul Goes Live on Nasdaq Technology Suite

BISTECH Transformation Will Give Turkey One of the World’s Most Advanced Exchange Technologies Marks Completion of Phase One Delivery of Nasdaq’s Suite of Technologies and Advisory Services — Borsa ?stanbul, in partnership with Nasdaq, continues to build a world-class capital markets hub for Eurasia region; — Equity market, clearing and settlement launched first with risk […]

Security experts raise concern over ISIS spread (The Nation (Pakistan))

Security experts have raised concern over dangerous spread of ISIS across globe and said that lone wolf terrorist phenomenon has been a new addition in the tactics of ISIS. A two days international conference was held in National University of Modern Language on ‘Emergence of ISIS in Middle East and its Impacts on South Asia’ while…