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Elvira Nabiullina, Russia's central bank governor.

Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Elvira Nabiullina, Russia’s central bank governor.

Russia’s central bank held its key interest rate at 7.75 percent on Friday in line with market expectations, but said it could consider cutting rates as early as June.

Analysts polled by Reuters this month had unanimously expected the central bank to hold the rate for a third consecutive board meeting this year.

“If the situation develops in line with the baseline forecast, the Bank of Russia admits the possibility of turning to cutting the key rate in Q2-Q3 2019,” the central bank said in a statement.

The bank had initially predicted that inflation would peak at 5.5 percent before slowing to its 4 percent target next year. But inflation, the main economic indicator it tracks, has been slightly lower than expected, hitting 5.3 percent last month.

The central bank, which has said that two rate hikes last year seemed sufficient to curb rising consumer prices, said that inflation had passed its peak last month.

Expectations that the central bank will cut rates later this year have fuelled demand for OFZ government bonds in recent months because investors are eager to purchase the papers before their prices increase proportionally to a potential future cut.

The rouble was unchanged against the dollar from a level of 64.83 seen just ahead of the central bank’s decision.

The April rate decision is considered as interim because it is not followed by a news conference by Elvira Nabiullina, governor of the central bank.

The next rate-setting meeting, scheduled for June 14, will be followed by a news conference at which Nabiullina will shed more light on the central bank’s monetary policy.

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Uber launches retail app with Cargo for buying AirPods, Away luggage



Starting on Wednesday, Uber riders in cars with Cargo consoles already installed will be able to download the new Cargo app to make purchases on items that include travel accessories, movies and trendy tech gear.

Source: Uber

The next time you’re sitting in an Uber on the way to the airport, wishing you had better luggage or had thought to download a movie to your phone, you’ll be able to do just that.

Uber on Wednesday announced the launch of a new shopping app with Cargo, a start-up that aims to be an on-the-go convenience store.

About a year ago, Cargo struck a deal with Uber to become the ride-sharing service’s exclusive, in-car commerce provider globally. They have already been working to put consoles selling snacks into cars — about 30,000 Uber drivers in 10 U.S. cities have them.

Now, they’re rolling out the Cargo app, which will be curated with Uber’s help to sell items like the Amazon Echo, Apple AirPods, Away Luggage, Glossier make-up and Oculus Go devices, Neal Watterson, the head of guest products at Uber, said in a blog post.

Here’s how it will work:

Uber riders in cars with Cargo consoles will now be able to download the app to make purchases on items that include travel accessories, movies and trendy tech gear. More brands will be added over time, and more drivers are adding the boxes to their cars.

By buying something, customers will also receive an extra 10% back in Uber Cash, which can be redeemed on future rides or on future Cargo purchases.

The Cargo app will work only during an Uber trip. After a purchase is complete, Cargo will ship items directly to a rider’s home, free of charge, Watterson said. The items should arrive within two to five business days.

The Cargo app will also include in-ride entertainment via a partnership with Universal Studios, selling movies for $5 and $10 apiece, or in bundles for $15 and $20. Watterson said they’re doing this because many people taking Uber trips are riding longer distances to and from airports.

The move shows the company is trying to make the riding experience more appealing over its competitors like Lyft and Via. It’s also another way for drivers to make money if they have Cargo boxes installed — drivers make $1 per purchase and pocket 25% of the cost of each item sold via the app. The upstart brands, like Glossier and Away, that end up on the Cargo app are also likely to gain more exposure.

Uber has equity in Cargo but declined to comment on the amount. Cargo has raised nearly $30 million to date, according to Crunchbase.

Uber went public on May 10, when the stock started trading at $42. Its shares are up about 4.9% since then.

Disclosure: Universal Studios and CNBC are owned by Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit.

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UK retail sales jump in June in much-needed lift for economy: ONS



Promotional signs display the price of merchandise as shoppers browse goods inside an Asda supermarket, operated by Wal-Mart Stores in London.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

British retail sales rebounded unexpectedly in June, according to official data that may raise hope the economy will sidestep a downturn in the second quarter.

Monthly retail sales volumes jumped 1.0%, the Office for National Statistics said, well above all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists that had pointed to a 0.3% drop.

Compared with June 2018, sales were up by 3.8%, again stronger than all forecasts.

Many economists think Britain’s economy is in danger of shrinking in the second quarter, a hangover from the stockpiling boom that took place ahead of the original Brexit deadline in March.

But the unexpected strength of retail sales in June could help to reduce that risk. Still, retail sales over the three months to the end of June grew by just 0.7%, the weakest reading since the three months to February.

“Retail as a whole saw a return to growth in the month of June, mainly due to growth in non-food stores with increased sales in second-hand goods, including charity shops and antiques,” ONS statistician Rhian Murphy said.

The figures clashed with a British Retail Consortium survey that showed sales fell in the year to June at the fastest pace on record for that month.

Some sectors did not enjoy a rebound last month, the official data showed. Department store sales declined for a sixth consecutive month, the worst such run in records that date back to the late 1980s.

Until recently, consumers have so far largely taken Brexit in their stride, helped by modest inflation and stronger growth in wages.

That has helped the world’s fifth-biggest economy at a time when many companies have been cutting back on investment because of uncertainty about Brexit.

Stable inflation, a steady rise in wages and the lowest unemployment since 1975 have continued to boost household incomes, although after inflation wages are still below their peak before the financial crisis.

But there have been other signs consumers are turning more cautious as Britain’s political crisis drags on.

The two contenders to become prime minister next week have both said they are willing to take Britain out of the European Union without a transition deal, if necessary.

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Korean Air spending $10 billion on 30 Boeing Dreamliners



Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice President Ihssane Mounir, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Kevin McAllister, Korean Air CEO Walter Cho and Air Lease corporation CEO John Plueger pose with models of Boeing 787 Dreamliner at a commercial announcement during the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France June 18, 2019.

Pascal Rossignol | Reuters

Korean Air confirmed it will spend a reported $9.7 billion on new Boeing aircraft to overhaul its aging fleet.

The Asian carrier has approved a budget of $6.3 billion to spend on 10 787-9 and 10 787-10 Dreamliner planes. A further 10 Dreamliner aircraft are to be leased at a cost of $3.4 billion.

The figures quoted are based on Boeing’s commercial list pricing and a discount can be expected. Confirmation of the purchase came after the close of Thursday trade in the South Korean Kospi index.

The deal was first announced in June at the Paris Air Show but has now been signed off by the board of Korean Air, according to Reuters. The investment will be made between now and 2025.

Boeing’s Dreamliner series, or 787, is a long-haul wide-body commercial plane that can seat up to 335 passengers. First introduced in 2011, the plane was considered a step up for fuel efficiency, range, and passenger comfort.

At present Boeing has delivered 859 of its 1,441 Dreamliner orders.

Korean Air Chairman Walter Cho has previously said the aircraft will become the “backbone” of the airline’s mid and long-haul fleet strategy and will replace its existing Boeing 777s, 747s and its Airbus A330s.

Korean Air wants to modernize its fleet to save on fuel costs and quell criticism that its planes are particularly bad for the environment.

Research from the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) in March this year identified the firm as the worst-performing major airline for emitting carbon particles into the atmosphere.

In a ranking of 20 airlines, stretching back to 2014, TPI found that Korean Air flights emitted between 170 and 200 grams of CO2 per passenger-kilometer.

By comparison Delta, Southwest and Qantas were calculated as closer to 100 grams of CO2 per passenger-kilometer.

Now watch: Boeing facing ‘nothing but bad news’

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