Money Minute Friday 15 November: a big day for the US

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The main focus in terms of economic data today will be the US.

First, there’s the latest report on retail sales. In September, US retail sales fell by 0.3%. That unnerved investors – the US consumer is the main driving force behind the US economy, so when sales weaken, it bodes ill for the broader outlook. Sales for October are expected to have risen by 0.2%. Another disappointment would give markets a nasty surprise.

Meanwhile, the latest figures for US industrial production are out, too. The manufacturing sector around the world is struggling and the US is no exception.

The figures for October will also be hit by last month’s strike at vehicle manufacturer GM. Markets expect production to have shrunk by around 0.5% during the month.

If figures are much worse than expected, the odds of another Federal Reserve rate cut in December might rise. But for now, a further cut before the end of the year seems unlikely.