UK agrees free trade deal with New Zealand

The UK has agreed a free trade deal with New Zealand which it says will benefit consumers and businesses. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the deal will cut costs for exporters and open up New Zealand’s job market to UK professionals. The government hopes it is a step towards joining a trade club with the likes of Canada and Japan. The New Zealand deal itself is unlikely to boost UK growth, according to the government’s own estimates. Overall, only a tiny proportion of UK trade is done with New Zealand, less than 0.2%. Labour and the National Farmers Union (NFU) … Continue reading UK agrees free trade deal with New Zealand

Asian shares slide as Chinese growth data disappoints

Asian shares were mostly lower on Monday after China reported its economy grew at a meager 4.9% annual pace in July-September.People pass by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.4% to 3,559.96 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong declined 0.4% to 25,246.38. Chinese growth is under pressure from government controls meant to curb energy use and reduce financial risks from reliance on debt-fueled property developments. Manufacturing also has been hampered by shortages of processor chips and other components due to the pandemic. Compared with the previous … Continue reading Asian shares slide as Chinese growth data disappoints

The global supply chain nightmare is about to get worse

With ongoing computer chip shortages, epic port congestion and a serious lack of truck drivers, the world’s delicate supply chains are under extreme stress. The supply chain nightmare is jacking up prices for consumers and slowing the global economic recovery. Unfortunately, Moody’s Analytics warns supply chain disruptions “will get worse before they get better.” “As the global economic recovery continues to gather steam, what is increasingly apparent is how it will be stymied by supply-chain disruptions that are now showing up at every corner,” Moody’s wrote in a Monday report. Indeed, the IMF downgraded its 2021 US growth forecast on Tuesday by … Continue reading The global supply chain nightmare is about to get worse

UK on course to drop from Germany’s top 10 trading partners

The UK is expected to drop out of the list of Germany’s top 10 trading partners by the end of this year, official German statistics suggest. Germans spent £13.8bn, or nearly 11%, less on British goods in the first six months of 2021, according to data from the Federal Statistics Office. The UK has been in Germany’s top 10 trading partners since 1950. But with Brexit-related hurdles taking a toll, it looks set to drop to the 11th spot by the end of 2021. The UK left the European Union’s (EU’s) single market – which allows frictionless trade and the … Continue reading UK on course to drop from Germany’s top 10 trading partners

China set to open new stock exchange in Beijing

China has announced plans to set up a third stock exchange to serve small and medium-sized businesses. President Xi Jinping said the new share market will be in the capital Beijing, during a speech to the International Fair for Trade in Services. Mainland China currently has two major markets based in the Shanghai financial hub and the southern city of Shenzhen. The move comes as Chinese companies are coming under intense pressure at home and in the US. While President Xi did not elaborate on the plan, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) published a statement shortly after his speech … Continue reading China set to open new stock exchange in Beijing

Sri Lanka declares food emergency as forex crisis worsens

Sri Lanka has declared a state of emergency over food shortages as private banks run out of foreign exchange to finance imports. With the country suffering a hard-hitting economic crisis, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Tuesday said he has ordered emergency regulations to counter the hoarding of sugar, rice and other essential foods. The regulations give wide powers to officials to seize food stocks held by traders, arrest people who hoard essential food and for the government to fix controlled prices. Rajapaksa has named a top army officer as Commissioner General of Essential Services to coordinate the supply of paddy, rice, … Continue reading Sri Lanka declares food emergency as forex crisis worsens

South Korea becomes first major Asian economy to raise interest rates

South Korea has become the first major Asian economy to raise interest rates since the coronavirus pandemic began. The Bank of Korea increased its base rate of interest from a record low of 0.5% to 0.75%. The move is aimed at helping curb the country’s household debt and home prices, which soared in recent months. Central banks around the world are trying to balance the impact of ongoing Covid-19 infections against economic risks such as high inflation. It is the first time the Bank of Korea has raised its main interest rate for almost three years. The decision comes as … Continue reading South Korea becomes first major Asian economy to raise interest rates

Spain to invest 4.3 billion euros in electric vehicle production

Spain will invest 4.3 billion euros ($5.11 billion) in the production of electric vehicles as part of a major national spending program financed mostly by European Union recovery funds, a government presentation showed on Monday.Workers assemble vehicles on the assembly line of the SEAT car factory in Martorell The government-run plan will include the whole production chain from extracting lithium to assembling battery cells and manufacturing electric vehicles, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said at an event to present the project. This is a developing Story… Continue reading Spain to invest 4.3 billion euros in electric vehicle production

Well Done: China is injecting $150 billion into the economy

The NIO Inc. ES6 electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) stands on display at the Auto Shanghai 2019 show in Shanghai, China. China’s move to cut the amount of funds banks need to hold in reserve could boost market sentiment and that could be good news for stocks in certain sectors, according to investment bank UBS.  The Peoples Bank of China said Friday it would cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 50 basis points for all banks, effective from July 15. The move is expected to release around 1 trillion yuan (or $154 billion) in long-term liquidity into the economy. The reserve requirement represents … Continue reading Well Done: China is injecting $150 billion into the economy

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