- Retail Sales in U.S. Rose in September by Most in Three Months
Retail sales climbed in September by the most in three months, showing American shoppers began to spend freely again after shying away from merchants earlier in the quarter.
The 0.6 percent advance followed a revised 0.2 percent decline in August, Commerce Department figures showed Friday. So-called core sales, used to calculate gross domestic product, rose a smaller-than-projected 0.1 percent.
Years of increased hiring and a slow acceleration in worker pay have laid a foundation for steady household spending. While third-quarter purchases will probably fall short of the vigorous pace from April through June, the broad-based pickup across the retail spectrum shows household demand may be gathering pace.
“The combination of solid job growth, while slowing, modest pickup in wages, and pretty good measures of household net worth should continue to push consumer spending up over the next year,” said David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance in Columbus, Ohio.
The median forecast for retail sales in a survey of 77 economists was a 0.6 percent increase. Estimates ranged from gains of 0.2 percent to 1 percent. August was revised from an initially reported 0.3 percent decline.
The small gain in September retail control group sales, the figure that’s used to calculate gross domestic product and which excludes such categories as autos, gasoline stations and building materials, was weaker than the 0.4 percent median forecast and followed declines in the previous two months.
Ten of 13 major retail categories showed gains in September. Motor vehicle dealers, furniture stores, restaurants and building supply outlets were among those showing solid increases.
Receipts at eating and drinking establishments increased 0.8 percent last month, the biggest advance since February.
Sales at car dealers climbed 1.1 percent, in line with industry data. Purchases of cars and light trucks jumped to a 17.65 million annualized rate in September, the second-strongest since November, according to Ward’s Automotive Group figures.
Gasoline service stations registered a 2.4 percent pickup in receipts last month, the Commerce Department figures showed. The cost of gasoline averaged $2.20 a gasoline in September, up from $2.16 in August, according to figures from motoring group AAA.
A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.
Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.
A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.
One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.
However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.
Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday
Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.
Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.
Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.
While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.
According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.
“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”
Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.
“The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.
“I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
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