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2
Sep
2015
2
Sep
2015

Growth in the global manufacturing sector remained lacklustre during August. The rate of expansion in production volumes eased to the weakest seen in 28 months and the pace of increase in new business stayed close to recent lows. In the US factory output fell to a more than two-year low in August, but strong data on car sales and construction spending suggested the economy remained on a solid footing.

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1
Sep
2015

In the first half of 2015 global trade fell in the worst performance since the first half of 2009 at the height of the financial crisis. Further to World Bank research published in August which showed that devaluations were losing their firepower, this week the Financial Times reported that FT research based on more than 100 emerging market economies (EM) countries showed that "any currency war between developing nations is likely to be even more damaging than previously thought, leading to a reduction in global trade and possibly economic growth, rather than just reapportioning a fixed level of trade between "winners" and "losers."

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1
Sep
2015
31
Aug
2015

To write that the Fed may raise US rates by December is not news but it was the conclusion of the Annual Symposium for central bankers that was held at the weekend at the Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas.

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30
Aug
2015

The governor of the Bank of Japan in a speech this week highlighted the first rise in the price of tomato ketchup in 25 years. However, data issued Friday show that annual inflation in July fell to zero. 

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28
Aug
2015

Profits of China's major industrial firms dipped 2.9% year on year in July, sharply down from a 0.3% decline posted in June, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in Beijing said on Friday. China also announced Friday that restrictions on foreigners investing in property would be eased. With the Federal Reserve's annual symposium for central bankers set to open today in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, concerns about the Chinese economy will be a big issue through the week end. However, despite the focus in recent times on China, there are over twenty economies generally classified as emerging markets (EM) and they are not all in the same sinking boat.

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27
Aug
2015

The scale of the economic challenges facing China is starkly illustrated by the quadrupling of total debt to US$28tn in the period from 2007 to mid-2014.  Fueled by property and shadow banking, China's total debt has nearly quadrupled, rising to $28tn by mid-2014, from $7tn in 2007 according to McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).

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26
Aug
2015

"May you live in interesting times,"* is said to be a Chinese blessing or curse and we are today living through not only interesting times in economics and finance but unique ones in the history of commerce..."At a Parliamentary Committee hearing a few years ago I asserted, boldly, that global interest rates were at their lowest-ever levels. A wise colleague challenged me afterwards: "How do you know they weren't lower in Babylonian times?" Several exhausted research assistants later I can report that, luckily, I was on safe ground. Interest rates appear to be lower than at any time in the past 5000 years."

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21
Aug
2015

At 71%, the vast majority of the world's population remained either poor or low income in 2011 and while the global middle class almost doubled from 7% in 2001 to 13% in the decade to 2011, when compared with the Western standard both the number and level of income are not as high as previously thought. The Washington DC-based Pew Research Center in a recent report said that nearly 700m people emerged from poverty between 2001 and 2011— however, most only barely, with many continuing to live a "low-income existence."

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