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ForexMart's Forex News


UK Inflation Rate Fell to 3% in December The inflation rate of Britain edged lower for the first time in six months in December, which was driven by the price of airfares and games and toys. The rate went down to 3 percent versus 3.1 percent in November, this is the fastest decline over five years. While the core measure of consumer price growth also decreased to 2.5 percent five-month low. The British pound lost its strength on the back of the data publication and currently trades at $1.3772 as of 10:37, lower by 0.2 percent on the day. The numbers can be regarded to be the inflection point for the inflation due to impact from Sterling depreciation after the dwindling of 2016 Brexit referendum. The Bank of England along with the economists showed some projections for the possible downturn in 2018 and others predicted that the economy will be at the 2.4 percent level at the end of this year. The drop recorded in December was mainly influenced by the technical adjustments of airfares within the inflation basket. However, the Office for National Statistics remains uncertain whether this move signaled for the beginning of a longer-term reduction in the rate. On the same month, services inflation plunged to 2.5 percent, which is the lowest in nine months. The slackening inflation had a positive effect on households, especially those with low incomes as prices continued to rise. Economists polled by Bloomberg foresee some growth improvement in the currently weak household consumption by 2019. But, it will continue to sit below its recent average in both years. While predictions for headline inflations seems cool, but the Bank of England policymakers focused more on the changes in domestic price pressures caused by low unemployment and contraction of supplies. In November 2017, the BoE approved for an interest rate hike for the first time after 10 years and spoken about the further rate hike in the subsequent years. According to experts, the upward pressure on inflation partially comes from the sluggish productivity growth which hit the British economy since the Great Recession. On the other hand, policymaker Silvana Tenreyro had a positive outlook during her speech on Monday. Tenreyro stated that the economy will grow in the medium term which could reverse the forecast for interest rates.

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Eurozone’s Lower Inflation Rate in December Far from ECB’s Target Inflation in the eurozone moved further away from the target of the European Central bank for two months from November, as stated in the revised data published on Wednesday that confirms the previous statement. According to the data from Eurostat, consumer prices increase by 1.4 percent annually in December from 1.5 percent a month before. This was in line with the “flash estimate” published by the start of January which was forecasted by economists on Reuter’s survey. The year-on-year rate remained steadfast, excluding more volatile food, alcohol, and tobacco components and recorded at 0.9 percent in December, which supports the previous reading. ECB chief Mario Draghi mentioned that he anticipates inflations to have a short-lived pullback as the effect of losing momentum for a rebound of energy prices as the economy and the labor market starting to gain its ground. Although, he noted that inflation should start moving in following the ECB target of almost 2 percent in the long run. eurozones.PNG

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Tax Overhaul Supported Increase for US Economy The U.S economy is expected to expand by 2.7 percent in 2018 due to President Trump’s tax reduction that led to growth, as indicated in the new report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday. This further showed positive news in the economy marking a one-year leadership of the president in the White House. However, inequality in the United States remained to be extreme. The initial forecast of the IMF for the American growth was only 2.3 percent but they decided to increase their predictions following the approval of the comprehensive amendment of the U.S. tax code in the past 30 years. The significant corporation tax reduction rate from 35 percent to 21 percent will stir up growth in business investments, based on the recent World Economic Outlook quarter report of the IMF. The United States also gained benefit from the world economic rebound which resulted in additional trade and purchase of some American products. The Washington-based organization mentioned about almost 120 countries that improved in 2017, which can be seen as a synchronized upward shift of economy since 2010. The IMF recently issued a brighter forecast for the US while the Wells Fargo currently projects for a 3 percent growth for this year. However, the IMF warned that the surge appears to be temporary and other organizations, particularly the World Economic Forum coincided with this statement. According to them, the boost is not enough to lessen the inequality issues which shows that top 1 progressed while the income of middle-classes was stagnant for nearly 20 years. The reduction in the rate of tax is basically predicted to grow this year until 2018 and the increase will soon fade after the budget deficit ramp up and the government is obliged to seek further options either reduce expenditures or raise the revenue. In addition to it, the trade deficit could possibly even grow along with the economic improvement and Americans purchase more overseas products. taxoverhaul.PNG

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Uncertainty of Brexit: Puts the Top Financial Center at Risk

 

Trading relations between Britain and European Union is still uncertain, which poses risk to  London being the world’s top financial center based on the business survey on Monday.

There was a slowed growth in the financial sector based on the quarterly survey from business lobby CBI and consultants PwC for the three succeeding quarters in the last three months of the year. For two year, the flat trend or a decline phase has been prominent in the period of two years, although, the general transaction was steady as a whole.

Majority of the businesses are looking for certainty in Britain regarding its trade relations in the future, based on the survey done. A CBI Chief Economist, Rain Newton-Smith, said that clarity is needed to gain back business confidence which would dictate on the good opportunities against the bad ones as “consequences of failure”.

On Monday, it is anticipated for the European Union to approve criteria on negotiations as a transition period of Brexit until March 2019 that includes new trading rules.

The head of financial services at PwC, Andrew Kail, said that the transition period will probably take place but the financial sector needs to prepare to function outside the bloc.

They needed to have a counter measure to sustain its trading status and business model.

Other cities such as Luxembourg, Paris, and Frankfurt Dublin are attempting to gain financial services from London to proceed with their transactions with EU customers after Brexit. Paris could surpass London as the leading financial center in few years time, according to the French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, a statement on Reuters.

Gains from financial companies proceeds to grow in the final quarter of 2017, which is also anticipated to be similar the first three months of the year, based on the recent survey.

When it comes to the workforce, eighteen percent comes from the eurozone, which increased from 8 percent ten years ago. The municipal officials for the capital’s “Square Mile” financial district, a report says that almost one for every five workers in 2016 was from a European country, which has been the highest figure recorded so far. Meanwhile, around 59 percent of employees came from outside of Europe.

Another survey shows 54 percent out of 02 companies wanted to make it simpler to attract more workers for Britain’s financial technology or fintech sector.

 

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Canadian Free Trade Slow Down its Economy

 

The Canadian economy had an unfavorable situation in the previous year. The trade data was published yesterday that shows a continuous decline in growth and tried hard to gain profits outside the energy sector despite the positive exchange rate and the demand in exports of US non-energy products reduced in terms of volumes. Also, any recorded growth over the past decades was mainly driven by higher prices.

 

The inactivity of the past years is considered an enigma for policymakers which may question Canada’s ability to maintain its growth rate followed by the fastest 3 percent expansion in 2017 over six years. Bank of Montreal Economist Benjamin Reitzes mentioned that the country’s current trade environment remains fragile due to the sluggishness of non-commodity exports. Canadians desire is to become “perennial optimists” of international trading amid uncertainties arises regarding advantages of open economies.

 

According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, trade is the main factor for economic growth, making his Liberal Party lawmakers advocates to preserve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which is currently in the seventh round of talks.

 

The trade performance of the country was dull except for oil and its non-energy trade deficit increased by $8.64 billion (US$6.9 billion) in December and $87 billion for the entire year. Generally, the number of export volumes including oil failed to sustain along with the imports which would mean trade industry was largely driven by the excellent economic performance last year thanks to domestic demand. With this, the Bank of Canada may delay the interest rate hike while evaluating the overall economic condition.

 

The not so strong non-energy trade indicates that Canada is highly dependent on oil in order to keep its trade balance from falling, even though Trudeau strives to turn around from commodities.  Moreover, energy exports came in at 17 percent in 2017 and move higher by 14 percent in the beginning of the year.

 

 

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Soft Brexit will help British Economy to Grow by 1.9% until 2019

 

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) assessed that the British economy could grow by 1.9 percent this year and in 2018 in the condition that ministers will impose a soft Brexit. Niesr mentioned that the relatively acceptable forecasts were based on projections that Britain will maintain a full access to the European markets in 2019, in response to the continuous payments of the EU budget together with the fixed levels of net migration from the country.

 

The tink thank further stated that the accompanying strong GDP estimate for the United Kingdom depends on the strength of the world economy, instead of the progress in the Brexit negotiations. However, the recent talks improved the projections for business investment, as the net trade could support the economic growth of UK in the next couple of years and help the rebalancing of the economy.

 

Niesr Director Jagjit Chadha said that the growth in the previous year seems higher due to improved overseas growth. The GDP forecast of the research institute is more advanced compared with other forecasters. In November last year, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation predicted for a 1.1 percent growth for the UK in 2019, while the latest reading of the International Monetary Fund outlined an estimate of 1.5 percent.

 

Niesr further conducted a representation that shows projections in case that Britain crashed out EU to the basic World Trade Organisation rules due to some advocate of prominent Brexiteers, then the UK will fell off into recession while the GDP level would be lower than 6 percent in the year 2030 due to declining exports and poor productivity growth.

 

The official policy of the government is to deal with the expected two-year Brexit transition period to dole out after March next year. Hence, the country certainly continues to be in the single market and its customs union. Aside from that, Theresa May expressed her desires to work on a comprehensive free trade agreement with the European Union. However, there are some ministers on the other hand that hopes to create a new long-term customs union with other members of the group.

 

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More Pressure Besets Chinese Local Government with New Bond Rules

 

Local governments of Beijing were pressured to settle their financial problems while a new rule on are issued on lending companies.

 

Chinese firms have to confirm publicly that funds gained in selling bonds should not add to local government debt and they are not siding on any government financing sector based on the given notice from the country’s top planning agency.

 

Moreover, corporations should not demand or accept any assurance from local governments on debt financing, as stated by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

 

Regulators are looking for means to have a better control in the midst of a wider systemic risk on the high local government debt and their transparent financing.

 

Authorities are trying to separate financial actions as part of their restriction, which is often related to stand-alone companies in a technical perspective. In particular, credit rating agencies should not associate the financial reports and project data in credit ratings work with the local government credit ratings, according to the NDRC.

 

The Chinese government is trying to instill on investors that actions will be taken if they did wrongfully.

 

It means that the government is not responsible on increase in debts by these firms but they are still expected to intercept to provide support for these companies, referred as local government financing vehicles (LGFV) in settling compensation concerns.

 

The local debt of China’s government increased by 7.5 percent to 16.47 trillion yuan or $2.56 trillion at the end of 2017, based on the calculations by Reuters, which is still within the target figure of the government.

 

Outstanding corporate debt amounted to 165 percent of GDP, which has been the highest among major economies and is mostly owned by the state.


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France Faces Structural Unemployment Issues

 

The jobless rate in France had decline generally, but there are no immediate solutions for skill shortages. French unemployment lowered down by double figures during the third quarter last year and resumed to drop until the fourth quarter. According to Bloomberg, the country’s unemployment rate in December 2017 was 8.9 percent while the fastest acceleration in employment creation since 1996. On the other hand, unemployment in 2017 plunge to 1.9 percent which is a major downturn in a decade.

 

Meanwhile, President Emmanuel Macron promised to lessen the unemployment by 7 percent in the year 2022. Structural unemployment is also one of the largest shortcomings during the Hollande administration in which Macron performed as the Minister of the Economy.

 

Nevertheless, France is also known for its issue regarding the country’s increasing skills gap. As mentioned by the Financial Times, there are about two million French workers with less qualification which became the underlying factor for structural unemployment. According to estimates, the job market of France was unable to appease the demand of 200,000- to-330,000 posts due to failure finding the appropriate candidate.

 

Moreover, the current administration plans to have a €15bn investment programme to improve employability skills especially for the below average job seekers and long-term unemployed. In case of the approval of the project, it will take two-to-three years to take effect.

 

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South Korea’s BOK Prepares for Possible Scenario In Sudden Fed Rate Hikes

 

The Bank of Korea is ready to face any unfavorable outcome following the policy tightening in the U.S. at a faster rate, according to the chief of South Korea’s central bank, Lee Ju-yeol.

If the Fed acted earlier than expected, it will have an effect on the global financial market, as well as local market. Hence, they prepared beforehand in possible scenarios, as told by Lee Ju-yeol to reporters in Zurich.

He also said that the central anticipated the U.S. Federal Reserve to increase their rate thrice in 2018.

Another factor that will be faced by Korea is the protectionist moves of the U.S. against South Korea, he added.

 

 

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Fall of Taiwan’s Export Orders Growth In January

 

Export orders of Taiwan are predicted to reach an 18th consecutive month high in January but at a slower pace compared in December. Moreover, the demand for the technology products remains strong for the country, according to the Reuters poll.

 

The forecast rose to 16.1 percent in January than the previous year, based on the median forecast of 15 analysts in the survey. Contrarily, growth for the month of December was 17.5 percent than 11.6 percent in November.

 

The export orders of the country signal the demand for Asian exports, including high-technology gadgets, that steers actual exports by two to three months.

 

 

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Fed’s Tighter Policy Risk in Higher Rates

 

More demand for safe-haven assets and low productivity growth induce the Federal Reserve to keep their rates low, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve President, James Bullard, on Monday.

 

If the Federal Reserve will proceed with the rate hikes, a tighter policy would be ideal for the current economy. The goal of the federal funds would be around 1.25 and 1.5 percent and current rates still fall between this range as recommended with following a neutral rate that is kept at bay by various factors moving at a slower pace.

 

If rates have substantially increased without changes in the data, monetary policies would then become restrictive. There is a worry that the FOMC might go on “too fast”, added by Bullard. There must be support from the data to continue with the rate hike.   

 

The Federal Open Market Committee is anticipated to increase its interest rates in March meeting at least twice a year, in reference to the latest December forecast of policymakers.

Bullard is known to be the most cautious among Fed officials when talking about rate hikes while the U.S. is deemed to have a low growth following a low-inflation policy and the rate should not be too high unlike there are clear indications that the economy has changed.

 

The term “neutral” was discussed during the National Association of Business Economists conference following the remarks of Bullard denoting that the monetary policy is a way to determine the positivity and negativity of economic activity.

 

Vague as it may be, the neutral rate is sufficient for the Fed in gauging the policy rates. Authorities see the present policy rates have to continue its accommodative monetary policies while inflation is still under composure.   

 

 

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PBOC’s Lent 105.5 B Yuan in Rollover of MLF Due in March

 

The People's’ Bank of China lent 105.5 billion yuan or $16.67 billion to various banks on Wednesday under its medium-term lending facility for a year, according to released reports.

 

The new MLF loans have a similar rollover value in the 1-year batch of MLFs that are due on the same day. Adding 189.5 billion in the same tenor to be expired on March 16.

 

Moreover, the central bank added that they will avoid reverse repos on Wednesday morning.

 

On December 14 last year, the PBOC augmented their interest rates on liquidity tools to 3.25 percent, as well as, the one-year MLF.


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The Release of Government's EU Exit Analysis

 

The EU free trade agreements still expected to cost the UK by 4.8 percent of its projected economic growth for the next 15 years, based on the confidential government ‘EU exit analysis’ released yesterday. The decline in growth amounted to £55 billion of the British government debt by 2033, which could further negate the expected ‘Brexit dividend’ by the supporters of the EU exit. The report was issued by the department of Exiting the EU committee. Moreover, Brexit Secretary David Davis stated that the published document should be kept confidential but some parts of the material were already leaked to the media last month.

 

The alternative option led by Theresa May’s team is the “Membership of the single market” but was ruled out due to the possible drop in GDP by 1.6 percent. On one hand, the ‘no deal’ Brexit would return the UK trading with the EU-27 under the standards of the World Trade Organisation and would cost 7.7 percent of the GDP based on the government numbers. This could result in a surge of government borrowing by £20 billion and £80 billion, respectively. With this, there are assumptions that approximately 40,000 to 90,000 EU migrants are planning to leave the United Kingdom.

 

Included in the analysis is the projected economic benefits from the reducing regulations. The government of Britain would likely create its original version of impact assessment, however, some of the think tanks are expected to see potential gains around zero and 2 percent only of the GDP. Nevertheless, the report does not mainly evaluate the short-term economic effect of Brexit.

 

It further shows that the free trade deal with the United States would benefit the UK GDP by 0.2 percent in the longer term. While another concession with countries under the trans-Pacific and south-east Asia regional group such as Australia, China, India and New Zealand is expected to add 0.1 to 0.4 percent of GDP. Ministers of Britain are hoping to start the talks prior to the Brexit scheduled in March 2019, but this plan seems to be already abandoned.



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UK Economy Lag Behind Other G20 Countries

 

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the British economy is expected to grow at a gradual pace compared with other major advanced or emerging countries. Prior the publication of the Spring Statement, the Paris-based organization revised upwards its economic outlook for Britain by 1.3% this year along with the strong global recovery. The forecast is higher than the initial estimate of 1.2% but remains to be the weakest in the Group of Twenty (G-20).

 

The OECD projected that the most rapid growth from 2011 was led by US tax reductions and German expenditure. The think tank stated that the world economy stayed on course to boost its annual momentum to 3.9% in the next couple of years. The figure is relatively higher than the recent forecast in November 2018 of 3.7% and 3.6% in 2019. However, there are warnings that the recovery risk may subside due to the expansion of trade barriers and could further affect the growth and jobs. The OECD mentioned that increased in UK inflation would continue to squeeze the household income. Also, the sluggish business investment could affect growth for the following years until 2020 due to risks caused by the Brexit talks.

 

The forecast for UK economic growth in 2019 was left unchanged at 1.1%, which recorded to be the slowest progress next to Japan. Economists predicted that the British economy will grow by 1.5% on an annual basis, while Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to issue an optimistic outlook of the revised official forecasts on Tuesday.

 

Overall, the latest projection of the OECD showed that the entire G20 countries, except for Russia, will expand at a faster pace for the current year versus the November forecast.

 

 

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British Chambers of Commerce Upgrade UK Economic Outlook

 

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) lifted its forecast for the UK economic growth, however, showed warning that UK will be the worst performing economy among other G7 countries in 2020. The GDP outlook of the BCC is 1.1 to 1.4 percent for this year and 1.3 to 1.5 percent in 2019.While, the initial growth forecast is 1.6 percent for 2020, as the revision was steered by the slightly stronger than anticipated consumer expenditure. Moreover, exports from Britain is predicted to remain stable amid robust global growth. On the other hand, imports could possibly resume its expansion and the net trade contribution to the country’s GDP in the short term appears to be limited, as the pound support Britain’s overall net trade position. In spite of the increases, the UK GDP is expected to remain below the historical average during the forecasting period.

 

The non-profit organization stated that productivity is projected to have slight improvement compared over its estimated outcome but continued to be weak restrained by the underlying issues within the country, such as skills shortages and failure in infrastructure investment. The BCC expects that inflation will pick up and start to ease in the near term since the impact of the post-Brexit toned down upon the weakening the Sterling. Furthermore, there are assumptions that the next hike in UK official interest rates will reach 0.7 percent in the second quarter of 2018, which could be followed by another rise in Q1 next year. The business body foresees that public sector borrowing in Britain will come in over £13.4bn for the next three years compared with the projection issued at the Spring Statement by the Office for Budget Responsibility last week.

 

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March Fed Rate Hike Marks an Optimistic Outlook for 2018. Full story at: 

https://goo.gl/b2M3WW

#economicnews #thinkbigtradeforex #forexmart

 

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US Factory Growth Hit Lower in March

 

The factory activity in the United States had slowed down for the month of March alongside the downturn in new orders. While growth in manufacturing industry continued to be supported by strong global and domestic economies. Further data showed on Monday the marginal increase in construction expenditure for February. The figures coincided with the economists’ forecast that the economic growth will slacken in January to March. Economic growth in the first quarter of 2018 appears to be weak due to seasonal quirk.

 

According to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), the national factory activity index declined to 59.3 in the previous month versus 60.8 in February. If the reading in the ISM index is above 50, it indicates expansion in manufacturing which accounts more or less than 12 percent of the American economy. While the survey's production sub-index drop to 1.0 point from the reading of 61.0 last month. The estimate of new orders fell to 61.9 in March against 64.2 in February. The gauge of factory labor reduced by 2.4 points to 57.3 in the previous month.

 

There are 17 sectors that reported growth in March, which involves computer and electronic products, fabricated metal products and machinery and chemical products. On the other hand, the Apparel, leather and allied items showed a downswing. Machinery manufacturers told that imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports led to panic buying, pushing short-term costs higher, and further caused scarcity for non-contractual clients. The tariffs set by US President Donald Trump is intended to protect domestic industries from the so-called unfair competition against other countries.

 

The report slightly influenced US financial markets. As shown in a separate report, construction spending gained 0.1 percent in February following a steady stance in January. The Reuters poll indicates that economist projected that construction spending grew by 0.5 percent in February and expected to increase by 3.0 percent on an annual basis. February’s marginal increase in construction spending presents a growth estimate for the GDP in Q1, which is predicted to be lower than the 2 percent annualized rate.

 

The costs on private construction projects were up by 0.7 percent on the back of its 0.7 percent decline in January. While nonresidential structures expenditures had rebounded by 1.5 percent in February after it plummeted to 1.7 percent in the past month.

 

 

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Italy’s Industrial Output Unexpectedly Decline in February

 

The industrial output of Italy suddenly weakened in February which further showed signs that growth in the Euro area may exceed its peak. The production declined by 0.5 percent since January after it dropped to 1.8 percent, according to the Istat in Rome yesterday. While economists predicted an expansion of 0.8 percent in February based on the median of 24 forecasts in the poll by Bloomberg. In the previous year, the working-day adjustment industrial output increase by 2.5 percent.

 

The manufacturing of consumer goods fell to 2.4 percent in February which had a major contribution to the monthly tightening. The manufacturing index of the country showed a lower than expected results in March after the failure in general elections to have a clear winner. This triggered concerns for the possible lengthy process prior to forming a new government.

 

Italy is the third largest economy in the European region and grew in 2017 at its fastest pace from 2010 since weaker consumption was outweighed due to increasing investments and exports. However, the national output hovered below its pre-crisis level where most of the major EU economies were able to recover from its sluggishness.

 

The German industrial production softens in February because construction shrank as well as the investment goods. The major downturn was 1.6 percent recorded in August 2015. While the research firm Sentix had a pessimistic outlook towards the Italian economy as indicated in their monthly report since July 2016.

 

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Optimistic UK Economy as Article 50 Triggered by PM May. Read full article at:
https://goo.gl/q6vSD1 #economicnews #thinkbigtradeforex #forexmart

 

 

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China’s Economic Growth Slacken in Jan-Mar Period

 

Chinese economy slowed down gradually in Q1 due to government struggle over credit and financial hazards, while  U.S. trade frictions are showing signs of restricted growth based on AFP survey. China is projected to expand by 6.7 percent during the first quarter but remains to be lower than 6.8 percent in the last quarter of 2017 according to 13 economists prior the publication of official numbers. Analysts see that the decline was linked to the country’s massive pile of debt, financial risks, and slackening property market.

 

The trade war issues with the United States brought a negative impact towards the markets in the past few weeks, as Beijing and Washington appears to have equal retaliations with regards the bilateral trade. However, the fears triggered by US  President Donald Trump to have an additional $100 billion in Chinese imports would cause solid damage to the economy, experts said.

 

The trade data was issued by Beijing on April 13 which supported the news that trade surplus in China with the US increased for the fifth time after the first quarter of the current year. There are indications that growth will reach higher than 6.7 percent based on AFP poll, with numbers greater than the official target of the government at 6.5 percent for this year.

 

On Thursday, Yi Gang, People's Bank of China (PBOC) Governor, stated that China is scheduled to issue its economic quarterly data exceeding its expectations, which further shows an optimistic outlook in 2018.

 

President Xi Jinping had a propitiatory note on trade last week and pledged to reduced tariffs on cars and other goods which triggered anger of the United States. Also, to open up the economy which had a warm response from Trump. However, the commerce ministry of second largest economy in the world restated that there are no ongoing talks between the two capital cities due to insincerity showed by Washington.


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US Economy Strengthen, says Barkin

 

The American economy showed unexpected strength but the robust labor market did not trigger major wage pressures, according to the newest Fed Reserve’s regional President on Monday during his first major speech about monetary policy.

 

Richmond Fed president Thomas Barkin stated that the US economic health was really strong, showing a higher trend growth with low jobless rate and inflation at target. The statement was made at  George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and Barkin served as a voting member for the rate-setting committee of the Fed this year.

 

The Federal Reserve has a unanimous decision whether to approve interest rate hike in March, as there are speculations for another two increases in the current year while more policymakers assumed three hikes.

 

 

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Sluggish Q1 Growth Breaks The Longest Growth Since 1991

 

The largest economy cooled down sharply in the first quarter despite the onset of flu and strikes, which occurs simultaneously for the region that affecting negatively good growth rates.

The annualized growth rate of Germany slowed down to 1.2% from 2.5% in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the record of the Federal Statistics Office on Tuesday. Although, a sharp slowdown is already anticipated as it did not meet expectations on the U.S. growth rate of 2.3% in the same period.

 

However, various factors such as the strike of flu and numerous strikes on metals and engineering sectors, which causes slow down and most of the private sectors anticipate the recovery of economic activities in the second quarter or more.

 

Since 1991, Germany undergoes the longest growth recorded for the fifteenth consecutive quarter, according to the Statistics office. The momentum on investment spending has overshadowed the economic growth in the first three months of the year. On the other hand, exports slid down in the fourth quarter in the previous year.

 

A calm activity for the first quarter due to the more sickly staff at a higher level in ten years in February in reference to the BKK association of company health-insurance funds in Germany. A recorded of 500,000 workers in the metals and electrical engineering sectors contributed to the warning strikes in the latter weeks of January and early February, as stated by the IG Metall labor union of Germany. They were able to get a solid pay deal from the members.

 

However, economic indicators reflect that other European economies are also affected by the cold diseases and strikes. Later this Tuesday, the European Union's statistics agency will release the eurozone gross domestic product, which measures the economic output of goods and services. An increase was seen in the first quarter with 1.7% at an annualized rate, which is less than the 2.7% growth in the last quarter of 2017.

 

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NZ Retail Sales Recorded Slowest Growth in Q1

 

The retail sales volume in New Zealand had expanded during Jan-Mar period but also recorded its slowest rate after five years, this further indicates the possible slackening of economic growth in the following years. On an annual basis, the official data showed that retail sales volume grew by 3 percent on Monday,  which also imply a sharp decline versus the 5.4 percent rise in the previous quarter and the weakest growth from July-September 2012.

 

Sales gained 0.1 percent only based on a quarterly growth, which is lower than the rough estimate of 1 percent increase projected by the economists. Footwear and clothing had decreased by 5.1 percent while motor vehicles are down to 1.1 percent. The figures led to speed-bumps in the economy, whereas, many developed countries in the past years envied but it begins to deal with some headwinds due to weak immigration and expansion in the housing market.

 

The administration was able to secure strong economic growth because of immigration levels and stable price of dairy products at 3 percent per year despite the slight decline to 2.9 percent in 2017.

 

New Zealand's new Labour-led government took control in October and pledged to settle the housing crisis in the country along with some plans to improve property investment tax and officially ban foreigners to purchase residential properties in NZ. On Thursday, the expanded government investment declared in the annual budget would likely negate the sluggish consumption expenditure, with the 3.8 percent GDP growth outlook from the Treasury forecast in 2019. In addition to it, the GDP data for the first quarter is scheduled on June 21.


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German’s Strong Economic Upswing Despite Weak Growth in Q1, says Finance Ministry

 

Germany’s economy had a strong growth amid weak data from the largest economy in Europe earlier in 2018, according to the finance ministry on Tuesday. Moreover, economic output expanded by 0.3 percent in Q1 after the 0.6 percent growth in the last quarter of 2017. The finance ministry also mentioned that the downturn was caused by temporary factors such as ill-health conditions and strikes that affect industrial output alongside the above-average number of public holidays during the quarter.

 

In addition to it, the ministry stated that industrial orders continued to be at an extremely high level and that export activity at German companies could take advantage of the strong development of the world economy.

 

Reportedly, the combination of moderate inflation, agreed raise in pensions, robust labor market and wage hikes led to the possible solid income development and continuous support in private consumption. The government of Germany believes that the economy will grow by 2.3 percent this year.


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EU Bloc Negotiates with Australia and New Zealand

 

The European bloc confirmed yesterday the start of free trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand in order to establish new relations against the increasing trade tensions with the United States. The European Commission represents the 28 EU countries and negotiates about its plans and agreement towards the AU and NZ despite the warnings on opening the EU markets to generate farm products like beef and butter.

 

According to forecasts from EU, its exports towards Australia and New Zealand may expand by a third in case that trade agreements were finalized. Considering the fact that its trade partnership with the US was suspended by the presidential election victory of Donald Trump, the EU shifted its focus to build allies with open markets and struck agreements with countries on the same mind.

 

The bloc also deals with the result of steel and aluminum tariffs set by the US and the sanctions they would impose against Iran, which could lead to restriction of certain foreign businesses. The EU closed the deal with Japan, Mexico and Singapore and currently working with the Mercosur bloc of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.


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