Trump Waives Iran Sanctions
January 12, 2018
Also, U.S. core consumer prices record largest increase in 11 months in December; U.S. holiday retail sales strongest since Great Recession, up 5.5%.
- Trump waives sanctions against Iran. President Trump will continue waiving sanctions against Iran that were lifted as part of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, according to the White House on Friday. But the Trump administration is imposing new, nonnuclear sanctions in response to Iran’s ballistic missile activity and its crackdown on anti-government protestors. In a background briefing with reporters, senior administration officials also said that this will be the last such waiver, calling on a follow-on deal with Europeans and a legislative fix from Congress. The Obama-era deal between the United States, Iran, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and Germany provided Tehran billions in sanctions relief in exchange for curbing its nuclear program. Even many who objected to the agreement in 2015 say it’s not in the U.S. best interest to withdraw now, as it could put the country at odds with European allies. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- U.S. core consumer prices record largest increase in 11 months in December. The Labor Department reported on Friday that the core Consumer Price Index (core CPI), excluding the volatile food and energy components, rose 0.3 percent in December with strong gains in the cost of rental accommodation and health care and as prices for new motor vehicles, used cars and trucks and motor vehicle insurance increased. This marked the largest advance in the core CPI since January and followed a 0.1 percent gain in November. Core CPI increased 1.8 percent in the 12 months through December, up from 1.7 percent in November. Economists polled by Reuters and expected core CPI to rise 0.2 percent month-on-month and hold steady at 1.7 percent on an annual basis. [CNBC]
- U.S. holiday retail sales strongest since Great Recession, up 5.5%. Holiday sales in November and December increased 5.5 percent compared to last year, marking the largest increase since the end of the Great Recession, according to the National Retail Federation on Friday. Total sales for November and December were $691.9 billion, exceeding the National Retail Federation’s forecast between $678.75 billion and $682 billion, which would have been an increase of between 3.6 and 4 percent. Over the holidays, the strongest performers were building material and supply stores, furniture and electronics. Clothing/accessories and health/personal care were up 2.7 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. [CNBC]