- Annual inflation rate in the US unexpectedly accelerated to 8.6% in May, the highest since December of 1981, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a gain of 8.3%. Energy prices rose 34.6%, the most since September of 2005, due to gasoline (48.7%), fuel oil (106.7%, the largest increase on record), electricity (12%, the largest 12-month increase since August 2006), and natural gas (30.2%, the most since July 2008).
- Luxury home sales fell 17.8% yearly in the three months to April, the most significant fall since the Covid-19 struck, Redfin data showed. Sales of non-luxury homes dropped by 5.4%. According to the report, while interest rates are soaring, the luxury market is slowing down with inflation and economic uncertainty putting pressure on the sector.
The Central Bank of Russia cut its key interest rate by 150bps to 9.5% on Friday, bringing borrowing costs back to levels prior to the Ukraine conflict, and compared to market forecasts of a 100bps drop. It follows a 300bps cut during an extraordinary meeting two weeks earlier. “Monetary conditions generally remained tight, easing unevenly across different financial market segments,” the bank noted, adding that “operational indicators indicate that the decline in business activity after a sharp fall in April has halted in May… Pro-inflationary risks continue to decline, but remain significant,” it concluded.
South Africa’s current account surplus widened to ZAR 143 billion in the first quarter of 2022 from ZAR 132 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021, data published by the South African Reserve Bank showed on Thursday.
China’s annual inflation rate was at 2.1% in May 2022, unchanged from April’s five month high figure and compared with market forecasts of 2.2% the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday. Prices of food rose the most since September 2020, up for the second straight month (2.3% vs 1.9% in April), as consumption strengthened following an easing of COVID-19 restriction.