Rob Carnell, Chief International Economist at ING, shares his views on the US December retail sales numbers, "Those were not as good as had been expected, with both the headline and control group coming in lower than the consensus had expected."
"But having said that, the consensus was aggressively optimistic, and sales were not particularly weak in an absolute sense, with both main measures showing gains over the previous month. There is, therefore, no good reason why this data should deter the Fed from hiking rates again at their March meeting if they want to do so, which we think they do.
"Markets are still anticipating a very cautious Fed, with only about a 30% chance of a March hike, in contrast to our own forecast that the Fed does hike by another 25bp at the March meeting."
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