What's going on?
Original American jeans company Levi Strauss is set to make a stock market comeback 30 years after going private – at a $6 billion valuation.
What does this mean?
Levi’s previously spent 14 years as a public company before being bought back by descendants of its founder in 1985. Now, after a few difficult years battling the athleisure trend, the 166-year-old blue jean baby is capitalizing on a recent surge in denim sales. According to papers filed this week in the US, Levi’s owners plan to sell around 10% of the company for a cool $600 million later this year.
Levi’s timing could, perhaps, be better. Data out on Monday showed US retail sales rose slightly in January – but December was even worse than previously thought. More than half of Levi’s sales are currently made in America, although that may soon change: the money raised from a stock market listing could help the company grow its brand in emerging markets.
Why should I care?
For markets: Investors’ jeans aren’t getting tighter.
Hot off the heels of last week’s US jobs data, which showed fewer new jobs but higher wages than expected in February, fresh inflation figures out Tuesday revealed the prices of US goods and services rose at a slower pace than predicted last month – indeed, at their slowest in 30 months. With the American economy weaker than it’d like, the Federal Reserve is now even less likely to raise interest rates anytime soon – a.k.a. “tightening” its policy purse strings, as it does to quell too-fast consumer price rises.
For you personally: Your pockets are getting deeper.
Lower inflation should be good for your wallet: slower price increases make your money go further (unless you live in the Bay Area, where they’re twice the US average). But slower inflation could also be the result of consumers choosing to save more – as suggested by both a rising savings rate in December and the 50% of Americans planning to stash their imminent tax refunds.