The Week in Numbers: Target misses, Elon jokes

STORY: From Target’s big miss, to why Elon was just joking, this is the Week in Numbers. First up…

90% was the plunge in quarterly earnings at U.S. store chain Target as shoppers battle a cost-of-living crunch.

Walmart beat forecasts though, leading some to hope consumers will keep spending.

Summit Place Financial Advisors President Liz Miller isn’t so sure:

"We don't have to see a consumer stop spending to have a slowing economy. We just have to see their spending habits change and that's what we've heard so clearly in the earnings reports of the last couple days.”

17% was the jump at one point for shares in English soccer club Manchester United. That after Elon Musk tweeted that he planned to buy the team.

The billionaire soon said he was only joking. Club fans and Wall Street regulators may not be amused though.

$174 billion was the record first-half loss at Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest. Its huge holdings of stocks and bonds were hit by global recession fears and rampant inflation.

10.1% is the new 40-year high hit by UK inflation in July. Price rises hit a record in the euro zone too, driven up by soaring energy costs, and few economists think the numbers have yet peaked.

And just 12.6 inches was the waterline level at one point on Europe’s Rhine river as a drought drags on.

That’s hindering cargo vessels from getting supplies to industry.

Economists think the low water could knock a half point off German growth this year.