A pedestrian carries a Ross Dress For Less shopping bag on March 2, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP
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When oil prices began to slide last June, bringing global inflation down across the world, economists faced a conundrum.The halving of crude prices since the summer has brought US and eurozone inflation below zero. Prices in the UK are rising at the slowest rate in decades. While US retail sales growth in December and January was somewhat disappointing, the recent strengthening of the labor market suggests activity may have rebounded in February, with Morgan Stanley forecasting a 0.5 per cent month-on-month rise.After rising by a healthy 1.5 per cent in October and November, retail sales accelerated even faster in the following two months, growing at an average annual rate of 3.4 per cent.Eurozone retail sales were buoyed in January by German sales jumping 2.9 per cent month-on-month and 5.4 per cent year-on-year. Retail sales fell 1.3 per cent in January compared with December and consumption was predicted to fall sharply next year.
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