European Economics Preview: UK Retail Sales Data Due

Yamaha Recalls Golf Cars To Fix Brake-fail Issue

Japanese motor vehicle manufacturer Yamaha has recalled about 5,000 golf cars due to a brake failure hazard.

According to the statement issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the vehicles can have brake failure which can cause serious injury or even death to the driver or bystanders. However, the company has not reported any cases.

The company has asked customers to stop using the PTV and schedule a free repair from a Yamaha Golf Car dealer.

The recall involves Yamaha model-year 2021and 2022 Golf Car and Personal Transportation vehicles, including Drive Models YDRA (electric and gas) and Drive Models DR2E (electric and gas). The vehicles were sold in various colors including white, blue, green and orange. The consumers can find the model names on the left and right side of the vehicle while the serial number is on the frame under the driver’s seat.

The vehicles were manufactured in Japan and were imported into the US by Yamaha Golf-Car Company, of Kennesaw, Georgia, and sold at the exclusive golf car dealerships through August 2021 for between $6,000 and $9,500.

Australia Capital Expenditure Rises Less Than Expected

Australia’s private capital expenditure grew less than expected in the fourth quarter but firms plan to raise their investment in 2022-23, data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Thursday.

Total capital expenditure grew 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter, but slower than the economists’ forecast of 2.6 percent.

Investment in buildings and structures was up 2.2 percent, while equipment, plant and machinery investment fell 0.1 percent.

On a yearly basis, total capex expanded 9.8 percent in the fourth quarter.

According to the fifth estimate for 2021-22, total capital expenditure was A$140.8 billion, up 1.6 percent from the fourth estimate.

At the same time, capex for 2022-23 was 10.8 percent higher than the first estimate for 2021-22.

The key point is that while firms may not have grown investment in Q4, they plan to lift capital spending in the years ahead, said Ben Udy, an economist at Capital Economics.

The business mood was generally upbeat throughout 2021, albeit with brief setbacks when virus case numbers spiked, Andrew Hanlan, a senior economist at Westpac said. Firms have been increasing investment spending, particularly on equipment.

They are responding to underlying strength in demand, limited spare capacity, mainly in the goods sectors, and generous government tax incentives, the economist added.

Enerplus Corporation Q4 Earnings Summary

Below are the earnings highlights for Enerplus Corporation (ERF.TO):

Earnings: $176.9 million in Q4 vs. $161.6 million in the same period last year.
EPS: $0.71 in Q4 vs. -$0.73 in the same period last year.
Excluding items, Enerplus Corporation reported adjusted earnings of $130.0 million or $0.52 per share for the period.

Biden Announces Additional Sanctions Against Russia

Responding to the all-out invasion of Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden has announced additional economic sanctions against Russia.

Biden said the “devastating” package of sanctions will “impose severe cost on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time.”

“We have purposefully designed these sanctions to maximize a long-term impact on Russia and to minimize the impact on the United States and our allies,” Biden said from the East Room of the White House.

The president said the new sanctions will limit Russia’s ability to do business in dollars, euros, pounds and yen, stop Russia’s ability to finance and grow their military and impair their ability to compete in high-tech 21st century economy.

The U.S. will also sanction additional major Russian banks, which Biden said would freeze “every asset they have in America.”

The new package does not include cutting Russia off from SWIFT, a global network that connects financial institutions around the world, or direct sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin, although Biden said sanctions against Putin are still “on the table.”

Biden said the U.S. is also taking steps to defend NATO allies, particularly in the east, but stressed U.S. forces will not be engaged in the conflict with Russia in Ukraine.

“It’s going to take time and we have to show resolve, so [Putin] knows what is coming,” Biden said. “So the people of Russia know what he’s brought on them. That’s what this is all about.”

European Economics Preview: UK Retail Sales Data Due

Retail sales data from the UK is due on Friday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

At 1.00 am ET, Statistics Finland is scheduled to release consumer price figures for January.

At 2.00 am ET, the Office for National Statistics releases UK retail sales for January. Sales are forecast to grow 1 percent month-on-month, reversing a 3.7 percent fall in December.

In the meantime, consumer price data is due from Statistics Sweden. Inflation is forecast to ease to 3.6 percent in January from 3.9 percent in December.

At 2.30 am ET, Swiss industrial production for the fourth quarter is due.

At 2.45 am ET, France statistical office Insee releases final consumer and harmonized consumer price data for January. According to flash estimate, consumer prices grew 2.9 percent on a yearly basis in January, after climbing 2.8 percent in the previous month.

At 4.00 am ET, the European Central Bank is set to issue euro area current account data for December. Also, industrial production and producer prices are due from Poland.

At 10.00 am ET, the European Commission issues euro area flash consumer confidence survey results. The consumer sentiment index is forecast to rise to -8 in February from -8.5 in January.