China overtakes Germany as UK’s top import market

China has overtaken Germany to become the UK’s biggest single import market for the first time since records began. Goods imported from China rose 66% from the start of 2018 to £16.9bn ($24bn) in the first quarter of this year, the Office for National Statistics said. Imports from Germany fell by a quarter to £12.5bn in the same period. The change came as trade with the European Union was disrupted by Brexit and the pandemic boosted demand for Chinese goods. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) report aimed to assess the impacts of Brexit and the coronavirus on the UK’s … Continue reading China overtakes Germany as UK’s top import market

IMF continuing Chad debt restructure talks after Deby death

The IMF is continuing meetings to restructure Chad’s debt, the fund spokesman said Thursday, despite the country being run by a military junta after the death of President Idriss Deby Itno in battle.Former President Idriss Deby Itno “I can tell you the creditor committee had a technical meeting earlier this week, and a follow-up meeting is planned for next week,” Gerry Rice told reporters at the IMF headquarters in Washington. Chad in January became the first country to request debt restructuring under a new mechanism established last year by the G20 as it dealt with a heavy debt burden exacerbated … Continue reading IMF continuing Chad debt restructure talks after Deby death

Developing Story: China suspend Australia economic dialogue in latest retaliation

China announced that it was suspending a regular economic dialogue with Australia, in a largely symbolic move intended to signal Beijing’s growing frustration with Canberra. The National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement Thursday it was indefinitely halting all activities under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue. While the two sides have held three rounds of talks under the mechanism since 2014, it hasn’t convened since September 2017. The Australian dollar fell as much as 0.6% to 77 U.S. cents. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade didn’t immediate respond to a request for comment. Australia decided last month to … Continue reading Developing Story: China suspend Australia economic dialogue in latest retaliation

Breaking News: Hong Kong ends longest recession in decades

Hong Kong’s economy jumped back into growth in the first quarter of the year, official figures showed Monday, ending the city’s most pronounced period of recession in its modern history. The international financial hub has been battered the last 18 months by a triple whammy of the US-China trade war, months of social unrest and then the coronavirus pandemic. It recorded six consecutive quarters of negative growth, a more prolonged downturn than during both the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the 2007-08 global crash. That came to an end on Monday when the government announced the economy grew 7.8 percent … Continue reading Breaking News: Hong Kong ends longest recession in decades

A Failed State: Nigerians shun naira for foreign currencies to protect wealth

Nigerians have been accumulating foreign currencies to protect their wealth from naira volatility and surging inflation, according to a research paper in a journal published by the Central Bank of Nigeria. “Higher real-exchange rate volatility is associated with an increased level of currency substitution,” central bank economists including Isaiah Ajibola, Sylvanus Udoette, Rabia Muhammad and John Anigwe said in the paper available on the central bank’s website. There is a need to contain “exchange-rate volatility and inflation as a way of curbing the spate of currency substitution in the country,” they said. One measure of currency substitution, the ratio of … Continue reading A Failed State: Nigerians shun naira for foreign currencies to protect wealth

Australia provokes China anger over scrapped deals

Australia has scrapped agreements tied to China’s Belt and Road initiative, prompting anger from Beijing and adding further strain to tense relations between the countries. The federal government used new powers to rip up two deals made between the state of Victoria and China. Canberra said it was backing away from the agreements to protect Australia’s national interest. The Chinese embassy in Australia branded the move “provocative”. It said the action by Canberra was “bound to bring further damage to bilateral relations, and will only end up hurting itself.” “It further shows that the Australian government has no sincerity in … Continue reading Australia provokes China anger over scrapped deals

China’s economy grows 18.3% despite Covid-19

China’s economy grew a record 18.3% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter last year. It’s the biggest jump in gross domestic product (GDP) since China started keeping quarterly records in 1992. However, Friday’s figures are below expectations, with a Reuters poll of economists predicting 19% growth. They are also heavily skewed, and less indicative of strong growth, as they are compared to last year’s huge economic contraction. As a baseline, they use the first quarter of 2020, when China’s economy shrank 6.8% due to nationwide lockdowns at the peak of its Covid-19 outbreak. Other key … Continue reading China’s economy grows 18.3% despite Covid-19

Chinese economy continues its pandemic bounce back

Key economic data in China surged dramatically in the first two months of 2021, pointing to a continued recovery for the world’s second largest economy. China’s industrial output grew 35.1% in January and February compared to the same months last year. The strong numbers are distorted because they are compared to 2020, when most of China’s factories were in pandemic lockdown, but Monday’s slew of economic data still beat analysts’ expectations. Looking back to 2019 before the pandemic hit may give a more accurate picture of what is happening to economic activity in China. Industrial output was up 16.9% compared … Continue reading Chinese economy continues its pandemic bounce back

Asian stocks soar as inflation concerns ease after US report

Asian stocks extended their rebound from a two-month low on Thursday after a report on United States consumer prices calmed concerns about inflation and lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a record close. An index of regional stocks excluding Japan rose 1.7 percent, led by a 2.3 percent surge in South Korea’s KOSPI, and was on track for its first three-day advance in three weeks. China’s Shanghai Composite rallied 1.9 percent and the CSI 300 index rallied 2.5 percent, the most in about two months, helped by strong local lending data. Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.5 percent. E-mini futures … Continue reading Asian stocks soar as inflation concerns ease after US report

Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala becomes first woman, African to lead WTO

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was appointed Monday to head the leading international trade body as it seeks to resolve disagreements over how it decides cases involving billions in sales and thousands of jobs. Okonjo-Iweala, 66, was appointed director-general of the World Trade Organization by representatives of the 164 member countries, according to a statement from the body. She said in a statement that her first priority would be to quickly address the economic and health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and to “implement the policy responses we need to get the global economy going again.” “Our organization faces a great many … Continue reading Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala becomes first woman, African to lead WTO

US economy shrinks 3.5 percent in 2020, worst decline since 1946

The United States economy continued to rebound in the final three months of 2020, but the weaker-than-expected boost was not enough to offset a contraction in the first quarter and an historic plunge in the second, leaving the world’s largest economy in the red for the year. US gross domestic product (GDP) which measures the total output of goods and services- grew 4 percent on an annualized basis in the final three months of 2020, the US Department of Commerce said on Thursday. The figure was lower than many analysts were expecting and reflects the drag of surging COVID-19 infections … Continue reading US economy shrinks 3.5 percent in 2020, worst decline since 1946

Oman bars expatriates from certain jobs as pandemic bites

Oman’s labour ministry has said it will bar expatriates from certain jobs in the private sector, in an attempt to create more jobs for its citizens amid an economic downturn. Expats in the Gulf country make up about 40 percent of its 4.5 million-strong population. “A number of jobs in the private sector will be nationalised,” the ministry announced on Twitter on Sunday. It added the work permits of foreigners in those professions will not be renewed after their expiry date. Various jobs in insurance companies, shops and car dealerships, including finance, commercial and administrative positions, will be “limited to … Continue reading Oman bars expatriates from certain jobs as pandemic bites