Retail Sales Up 0.8 Percent In November, ECB Keeps Rates Unchanged, Disney Acquires 21st Century Fox

U.S. retail sales and food service rose 0.8 percent in November and 5.8 percent above November 2016, according to latest data this morning from the U.S. Commerce Department.

Total sales for the September 2017 through November 2017 period were up 5.2 percent from the same period a year ago and the September 2017 to October 2017 percent change was revised from up 0.2 percent to 0.5 percent.

European Central Bank Keeps Rate Unchanged As Expected

Today the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to keep the interest rate on their main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and deposit facility unchanged at 0.00 percent, 0.25 percent, and 0.40 percent.

The ECB also agreed to maintain their net asset purchases at a monthly pace of €30 billion, until the end of September 2018, or beyond, if necessary until they see a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with its inflation aim.

Real GDP in the 19 member euro currency zone expanded 0.6 percent during the 3rd quarter after increasing 0.7 percent in the 2nd quarter.

ECB President Mario Draghi explained in an opening statement that their monetary policy measures continue to support domestic demand.

Draghi said that their GDP growth estimates were revised up since their last September policy meeting.

The ECB now projects GDP increasing by 2.4 percent in 2017, 2.3 percent in 2018, 1.9 percent in 2019 and 1.7 percent in 2020.

According to Eurostat’s flash estimate, euro area annual inflation was 1.5 percent in November, up from 1.4 percent in October which is still below the ECB’s inflation target of below but close to 2 percent over the medium term.

Based on updated projections, the ECB projects annual HICP inflation at 1.5 percent in 2017, 1.4 percent in 2018, 1.5 percent in 2019 and 1.7 percent in 2020.

Walt Disney To Acquire 21st Century, Fox Inc. After Spinoff Of Certain Businesses For $52.4 Billion In Stock 

According to a press release statement on Thursday morning, the Walt Disney Company reported that they will acquire 21st Century, Fox. Inc. after a spinoff of Fox Broadcasting network along with stations, Fox News, Fox Business, FS1, FS2, and Big Ten Network to its shareholders.

Disney reported that the acquisition “complements and enhances” their ability to provide consumers with more appealing content and entertainment options.

Some of the acquired popular entertainment properties include X-Men, Avatar, The Simpson’s, FX Networks, and National Geographic.

The transaction includes 21st Century’s film and television studios, cable entertainment networks and international TV businesses.

Shareholders of 21st Century Fox will receive 0.2745 Disney shares for each 21st Century Fox share they hold, subject to some adjustment, while Disney assumes approximately $13.7 billion of net debt of 21st Century Fox.

Hulu stake becomes a controlling interest and the new acquisition expands Disney’s direct to consumer offerings with the addition of 21st Century’s entertainment content and foreign reach in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

The acquisition includes extensive international properties, including Star in India and Fox’s 39 percent ownership of Sky across Europe.

Written and Edited By:

John Schweitzer



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