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“Challenging” talks expected as Trump, other G7 leaders meet

Talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world’s rich nations at the G7 summit on Friday were expected to be “robust” and “challenging” after he had lambasted NATO allies and condemned German trade policies a day earlier. Trump’s confrontational remarks in Brussels, on the eve of the two-day summit in the Mediterranean resort town of Taormina, cast a pall over a meeting at which America’s partners had hoped to coax him into softening his stances on trade and climate change. The summit kicked off with a ...

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China’s reforms not enough to arrest mounting debt: Moody’s

China’s structural reforms will slow the pace of its debt build-up but will not be enough to arrest it, and another credit rating cut for the country is possible down the road unless it gets its ballooning credit in check, officials at Moody’s said. The comments came two days after Moody’s downgraded China’s sovereign ratings by one notch to A1, saying it expects the financial strength of the world’s second-largest economy to erode in coming years as growth slows and debt continues to mount. In announcing the downgrade, Moody’s Investors ...

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World’s Major Economies to Come up $400 Trillion Short on Retirement Savings

Longer life spans and disappointing investment returns will help create a $400 trillion retirement-savings shortfall in about three decades, a figure more than five times the size of the global economy, according to a World Economic Forum report. That includes a $224 trillion gap among six large pension-savings systems: the U.S., U.K., Japan, Netherlands, Canada and Australia, according to the report issued Friday. China and India account for the rest. Employers have been shifting away from pensions and offering defined-contribution plans, a category that includes 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts ...

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Now House Prices Are Being Cut in London Hotspots

On the less fashionable fringes of London, home sellers are quickly finding out just what the market can bear. Buyers fleeing the capital’s costly center turned peripheral boroughs into London’s hottest property markets. Now, more sellers in those areas are being forced to cut their prices after values quickly outstripped the spending power of the average buyer. The number of asking-price reductions is growing at the fastest rate in outer London boroughs such as Barking & Dagenham and Newham. Discounts have also increased in areas such as Tower Hamlets in ...

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Japan’s factory output seen jumping in April, led by global demand

Japan’s factory output was expected to rebound in April at the fastest rate in about six years, a Reuters poll found on Friday, boosted by rising exports as global demand recovers. The poll of 20 economists found industrial production was expected to rise 4.3 percent in April from March, which would be its strongest growth since posting a gain of 6.8 percent in May 2011. “The data is expected to confirm production activity is improving on the back of rises in exports and an inventory adjustment coming to an end,” ...

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Taiwan’s Economy Expands In Q1

Taiwan’s economy continued to expand in the first quarter, the latest preliminary estimate from the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting & Statistics (DGBAS) showed Friday. Real gross domestic product grew 2.6 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, which was the fourth straight quarter of expansion. The annual growth was revised slightly from the advance estimate of 2.56 percent published on April 28. Nonetheless, it was slower than the revised 2.79 percent growth seen in the fourth quarter. On a sequential basis, the real growth was 3.82 percent instead of 2.93 ...

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Italy Consumer Confidence Falls To 28-Month Low

Italy’s consumer confidence weakened in May to the lowest level in nearly two-and-a-half years, survey figures from the statistical office Istat showed Friday. The consumer confidence index fell to 105.4 in May from 107.4 in April. Economist had expected the index to drop marginally to 107.3. Moreover, the latest reading was the lowest since January 2015, when it marked 100.9. All components of the climate of consumer confidence showed a decline in May. The opinions about the economic situation of the country remained stable, while expectations worsened. Data also revealed ...

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Higher Energy Costs Nudge Japanese Inflation Up to 0.3% in April

Japan’s core consumer inflation gauge rose for a fourth month in April, the longest run of gains since mid-2015, but it’s far below target and weak underlying price pressures point to limited gains ahead. Highlights of CPI report Consumer prices excluding fresh food increased 0.3 percent in April from a year earlier, the fastest pace since April 2015 (estimate 0.4 percent). Excluding fresh food and energy, prices were flat at 0.0 percent. (estimate 0.0 percent). Overall, prices climbed 0.4 percent (estimate 0.4 percent). Key Takeaways The figures for April offer ...

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U.S. Consumer Sentiment Signals Gains in Spending Remain Likely

U.S. consumer sentiment holding near post-election highs reflects an improved outlook on wages and indicates spending is poised to rebound, though a partisan gap persists, University of Michigan survey data showed Friday. HIGHLIGHTS OF MICHIGAN SENTIMENT (MAY, FINAL) Sentiment index at 97.1 (forecast was 97.5) after 97 in April; preliminary reading was 97.7 Expectations measure improved to 87.7 from 87; preliminary reading was 88.1 Current conditions gauge, which measures Americans’ perceptions of their personal finances, fell to 111.7 from 112.7 in the prior month and the preliminary reading Key Takeaways ...

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UK consumers downbeat on finances as inflation bites

The rise in inflation in Britain after the Brexit vote has made households the most downbeat about their finances in more than two years, and the giant services sector is also feeling the impact, surveys showed on Friday. Consumers – whose spending is crucial to Britain’s economy – are the least confident about their current financial situation since December 2014, and expectations about their finances over the next 12 months also fell, polling firm YouGov said. Perceptions of job security were at a four-year low. “It looks like this may ...

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China’s Monetary Turbocharger Is Running at an All-Time High

For every yuan that the People’s Bank of China injects into the nation’s financial system, it’s up to the banks to decide how far they stretch it in the form of loans to the economy. Right now, they’re working overtime. China’s money multiplier — the ratio between the broadest measure of money in use, M2, and base money created by the central bank — has climbed to the highest on records that date to 1997, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Each yuan of base money is being turned into more ...

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U.S. GDP Growth Revised Up To 1.2% Rate in First Quarter

U.S. economic growth in early 2017 was stronger than initially thought, and broad growth is poised to pick up in the current quarter. Gross domestic product, a broad measure of the goods and services produced in the U.S. economy, expanded at an inflation- and seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.2% in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. The agency last month estimated GDP growth at a 0.7% annual rate during the first three months of 2017. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a more modest ...

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Irritation with Moody’s reflects China’s sensitivity as it seeks foreign investors

China has tried to brush aside a rare cut to its credit rating by Moody’s Investors Service as misinformed, but its reaction highlights its sensitivity to how it is being viewed just as it seeks more foreign capital in its equity and bond markets. The downgrade offered no new revelations on China’s debt problems but effectively challenged Beijing’s economic outlook and raised questions about the impact of its highly-touted reforms, adding to concerns for foreign investors, analysts say. State media did not report Moody’s decision on Wednesday to downgrade China’s ...

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U.S. Durable-Goods Orders Down 0.7% in April

Demand for long-lasting factory goods fell in April, hinting at potential speed bumps for the manufacturing sector and broader economic growth. Orders for durable goods — products designed to last at least three years, such as factory equipment and computers — decreased 0.7% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $231.17 billion in April, the U.S. Commerce Department said Friday. Business capital spending rose sharply in the first quarter, supporting an otherwise lackluster period of economic growth, according to separate Commerce Department data. Steady job creation, a stable dollar, ...

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Germany’s trade surplus “neither good nor evil” – government spokesman

Germany’s trade surplus is “neither good nor evil”, a German government spokesman said on Friday when asked about reports that U.S. President Donald Trump had criticised Berlin for running a high trade surplus. “A trade surplus is neither good nor evil,” government spokesman Georg Streiter told a government news conference. “It is the result of the interplay of supply and demand on global markets.” According to German media reports, Trump condemned Germany for “very bad” trade policies during a meeting on Thursday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, signalling he ...

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