Spain Retail Sales Rebound Sharply In March
Retail sales in Spain jumped 14.9 percent from a year earlier in March of 2021, following an upwardly revised 6.1 percent fall in February. It was the first gain in retail activity since February of 2020 and the strongest since at least January of 2001, mainly due to a low base comparison from the previous year at the onset of the pandemic crisis. On a monthly basis, retail sales increased 3.5 percent, after a downwardly revised 4.1 percent gain in the previous month.
Spain Economy Contracts in Q1 on Covid Restrictions
Spain’s gross domestic product shrank 0.5 percent on quarter in the three months to March 2021, after being unchanged in the previous period and in line with market expectations, a preliminary estimate showed. The country has imposed restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19, leading to declines in both consumption expenditure (-1.0 percent vs 0.0 percent) and investment (-1.9 percent vs 1.0 percent).
Lithuania Economy Rebounds in Q1
Lithuanian economy expanded by 1.8 percent on quarter in the three months to March 2021, rebounding from a 0.2 percent decline in the previous period, the preliminary estimate showed. Positive contributions came from wholesale and retail trade, industry, transport, information and communication, and real estate. On a yearly basis, the GDP grew 1.0 percent, reversing from a 1.0 percent contraction in the fourth quarter 2020.
Oil prices declined on Friday, after touching their highest in six weeks, amid concerns over the deterioration of the pandemic situation in India, Brazil, and Japan. Mobility restrictions reportedly widened in India after the nation logged a record daily rise in COVID-19 cases of 386,452 Friday. Meantime, mixed factory activity data in April from China also dented sentiment. Still, the decline was limited on upbeat US data where the economy grew at a solid 6.4% yoy in Q1, with expectations that the current quarter will be even better. In China, the upcoming Labor Day holiday is also expected to boost fuel demand. Meantime, OPEC+ Joint Technical Committee earlier this week raised its global 2021 crude demand forecast to 6 million bpd from last month’s estimate of 5.6 million bpd. At around 07:00 AM GMT, WTI crude fell 0.6% to $66.64 a barrel, while Brent oil dropped 0.4% to $68.29 a barrel.