Live news: Eurozone retail sales drop as inflation erodes shoppers’ activity

Residents line up for a Covid-19 test in Beijing's Chaoyang District on Sunday

Residents line up for a Covid-19 test in Beijing’s Chaoyang District on Sunday © Wu Hao/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

After a period of chaos, change and mourning in China, Deputy Prime Minister and Covid-19 tsar Sun Chunlan said the fight against the virus has entered a “new phase”. A potential opening, albeit a slow one, of Beijing’s zero-Covid policies should be in the headlines, as will inflation. Government agencies and businesses will continue to face the difficult task of paying tribute to President Jiang Zemin without offending Xi Jinping.

Now that electricity has been restored in some parts of Ukraine, the struggle to increase the production of weapons in the west is focused. Industrialization and global disruption will be the focus of the European Intervention Initiative’s annual conference in Oslo and the European Defense Agency’s annual conference in Brussels. This week could also see Russian President Vladimir Putin respond to his US counterpart Joe Biden, who has said he is open to talks about ending the conflict.

Falling global inflation continues to dampen the Christmas spirit in the UK. Will Wednesday’s Halifax house price figures say the same? News of rising food prices has us looking forward to the figures coming to the British Retail Consortium November and they are set to play a major role in the annual discussions of the Associated British Foods.

It will be a week of sports around the world. The World Soccer World Cup in Qatar will reach its final stage. The Pakistan-England Test cricket matches are underway, and the final of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating will begin in Italy on Thursday.

The Nobel Prizes will be awarded at a ceremony in Oslo on Saturday.

Financial information

Highlights this week include November Halifax house prices and consumer managers’ indexes for the UK, Russia and the EU. Also look at EU sales, German factory orders and industrial production, total EU domestic products in the third quarter of gross domestic product and BRC sales, including trade figures from the US.

Companies

A worker restocks the racks at a Lululemon store in London. The retailer reports results on Monday © Bloomberg

It’s a small selection of results this week, but Costco Wholesale is expected to rise due to demand for fresh food, groceries and fuel, despite a multi-year price hike. Lululemon Athletica reports on Thursday and Carl Zeiss Meditec on Friday.

In UK news, we can hear more about Mulberry’s claims that luxury buyers are turning away from London to Europe since the decision to end VAT purchases in the UK. CEO Thierry Andretta said: “We are losing 45-50 percent of our potential business [at the Bond Street store] due to the end of the tax-free regime [shopping].”

Read the full week’s future calendar here.

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