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U.S. Consumer Sentiment Fell in July

American consumers’ confidence in the current state of the economy is at a 12-year high, but their optimism about the future is deteriorating. The University of Michigan on Friday said its final reading on overall consumer sentiment during July was 93.4, up from a preliminary reading of 93.1 but down from 95.1 in June. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a final July figure of 93.1. An index that tracks expectations about the future declined to 80.5, its lowest level since last October. But an index tracking ...

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Euro zone sentiment unexpectedly rises for third straight month

Euro zone economic sentiment rose slightly for a third consecutive month in July to a new 10-year high, against expectations of a dip from June, data released by the European Commission on Friday said. The sentiment indicator in the 19-country currency bloc rose to 111.2 in July from 111.1 in June and 109.2 in May, driven up by more optimism in the services sector. The average forecast in a Reuters poll of 29 economists was for a decline to 110.8 after a surge in June to its highest level in ...

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Hammond sees no sharp change to migration rules after Brexit

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said on Friday there should be no immediate change to immigration or trading rules when Britain leaves the EU in March 2019, and that a shift to new arrangements could last until mid-2022. Hammond – who opposed leaving the EU in last year’s referendum – has been one of the loudest voices among Prime Minister Theresa May’s ministers in calling for a smooth, business-friendly Brexit. On Friday Hammond said he wanted to avoid a cliff-edge on March 29, 2019, and stressed that British hospitals ...

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China factory sector seen maintaining solid growth in July

Activity in China’s factory sector is expected to have grown again in July, with only a slight slowdown from June’s three-month high suggesting momentum in the economy remains strong despite a tighter policy environment. Analysts and government think tanks expect the economy to slow in the second half of the year as higher borrowing costs and a cooling property market begin to weigh. But the broad consensus among China watchers is that any slowdown would likely be modest and avoid a sharper deceleration given steady domestic demand and rising exports, ...

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Analysis: Asian economies better prepared for crisis compared to 1997, but risks remain

In the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, countries in the region have put efforts into beefing up preparations for possible financial meltdown by expanding multilateral cooperation. Risks of crises remain in the region, however, as these countries are still likely to be affected by the monetary and financial policies of major economies such as the United States. Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso told a news conference this past May after a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and ...

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Germany Tightens Grip on EU Posts as Draghi Succession Nears

Germany’s grip over the euro area’s financial institutions is getting firmer. With the reappointment on Thursday of Werner Hoyer as president of the European Investment Bank, Germany’s hold over three key roles for the region’s economy was reaffirmed. A fourth one — by far the most important — could follow. Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann is a frequently mentioned candidate to replace Italy’s Mario Draghi when his term as European Central Bank’s president runs out in October 2019, and Chancellor Angela Merkel may be prepared to back him if she is ...

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China economic outlook bright, prudent monetary policy to continue – senior official

China’s economic outlook is bright and the country will not fall into the middle-income trap, Yang Weimin, a senior economic official with the ruling Communist Party, said. China also will maintain proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy in the second half of the year, Yang said. China reported faster-than-expected GDP growth of 6.9 percent in the first half of the year, but analysts expect growth to slow in the second half as regulators crack down on riskier types of financing. Source: Reuters (Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by ...

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Europe seeks to set global trade rules after Trump steps back

If Donald Trump’s ditching of a U.S.-led trade alliance with Pacific Rim nations wasn’t a gift to the European Union, then it must be the next best thing. The president’s decision on his first day in office effectively pulled the United States out of the race to frame global trade rules. With Washington preoccupied by an attempt to renegotiate its existing NAFTA treaty with Canada and Mexico, the EU has an opportunity to become the top setter of common business standards in a series of new deals. Still the world’s ...

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Second-Quarter Rebound Obscures Same Old Reality for U.S. Growth

Consumers probably spent enough last quarter to help U.S. growth rebound from a tepid start to the year. The rest of the economy is giving less of a lift, and the pickup is unlikely to last. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5 percent annualized rate from April to June, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey ahead of figures due Friday. While that would be an improvement over the first quarter’s 1.4 percent, some of the upswing owes to the dissipation of temporary factors such as low ...

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Japan Doesn’t Need Fiscal Stimulus, Economic Adviser Says

With the Japanese economy growing above its potential rate, the nation needs structural reforms rather than a big dose of government spending, according to Susumu Takahashi, a member of the government’s economic and fiscal policy council. Strong exports and resilient domestic demand have set the economy on the longest run of expansion since 2006. And upcoming data for the quarter through June 30 are likely to show the effect of a previously approved fiscal stimulus package is already trickling in, Takahashi, 64, said in an interview. “The economy doesn’t need ...

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Spain’s Jobless Rate Declines In Q2

Spain’s unemployment decreased in the second quarter, data from the statistical office INE showed Thursday. The unemployment rate fell to 17.22 percent in the second quarter from 18.75 percent a quarter ago. The number of unemployed decreased by 340,700 or 8.01 percent in the second quarter. Job creation in services and industry climbed by 272,400 and by 65,700, respectively. Likewise, employment grew 52,100 in construction. Meanwhile, employment in agriculture fell by 15,200. Source: RTT

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Eurozone M3 Growth Rises Slightly In June

Eurozone monetary aggregate rose at a slightly faster pace in June, the European Central Bank reported Thursday. The M3 broad monetary aggregate climbed 5 percent annually, slightly faster than the revised 4.9 percent growth logged in May. Economists had forecast M3 growth to remain unchanged at May’s initially estimated increase of 5 percent. The narrower aggregate M1, which includes currency in circulation and overnight deposits, increased 9.7 percent in June versus 9.3 percent in May. Annual growth rate of credit to the private sector increased to 3.1 percent in June ...

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Consumer Comfort Gain Reflects Steady U.S. Labor-Market Progress

More favorable attitudes about personal finances and the economy helped bolster Americans’ confidence last week, according to Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index figures released Thursday. HIGHLIGHTS OF BLOOMBERG CONSUMER COMFORT (WEEK ENDED JULY 23) Weekly consumer comfort measure rose to 48.6 from prior week’s 47.6 Gauge of national economy climbed to 45 from 44.1 Index of personal finances advanced to 58.1 from 57.4 Index of buying climate increased to 42.6 from 41.4 Key Takeaways The results, including six-week highs in comfort about finances and the buying climate, reflect a labor market ...

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EU’s top negotiator warns of possible delays to Brexit talks

Talks between Britain an the European Union on their future relationship are now less likely to start in October, the EU’s top negotiator has said, because of lack of progress on Brexit divorce issues so far, EU officials said. The EU’s top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on Wednesday briefed ambassadors from the 27 countries that will remain in the EU after Britain leaves in March 2019 on the outcome of the July round of the monthly divorce talks with London last week. “He said the likelihood of starting the future ...

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The Fed May Not Be the Master of Its Balance-Sheet Fate

The Federal Reserve signaled on Wednesday that it intends to kick off the long-awaited reduction in its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in September, although a final decision to go ahead may not be entirely its to make. A looming deadline for raising the government’s debt ceiling could end up complicating the Fed’s plans if it significantly disrupts financial markets, particularly for U.S. Treasury securities. “September is the most likely outcome” for the launch of the balance-sheet drawdown, said Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP LLC in Jersey City, New ...

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