SWEET: Starbucks said it listened to customers and brought back its much loved much-loved red-colored cups and holiday favourites such as peppermint mochas and gingerbread lattes during the final three months of 2018. Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS
SWEET: Starbucks said it listened to customers and brought back its much loved much-loved red-colored cups and holiday favourites such as peppermint mochas and gingerbread lattes during the final three months of 2018. Picture: BLOOMBERG/WALDO SWIEGERS

Starbucks exceeded Wall Street forecasts for quarterly sales last Thursday, led by the popularity of its holiday-themed drinks in the US, where its growth has been cooling in an increasingly crowded market for coffee houses.

Globally, the company’s same-restaurant sales rose 4% during the December quarter, topping analysts’ average estimate of a 2.8% increase, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Global shipping rates slump

Freight rates for dry-bulk and container ships, carriers of most of the world’s raw materials and finished goods, have plunged over the past six months.

The Baltic dry index, a measure of ship transport costs for materials like iron ore and coal, has fallen 47% since mid-2018. Dry-bulk commodities are taken as a leading economic indicator, because they are used in core industrial sectors, and analysts say the recent declines in activity point to a serious global economic slowdown.

Reuters