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Greece sees primary surplus at 3.7 percent, growth 2.5 percent in 2018 budget

Greece on Tuesday said it would post a primary surplus of 3.82 percent of gross domestic product next year and continue 2017’s return to a growth trajectory after years of recession. The final draft of the state 2018 budget submitted to the Greek parliament on Tuesday forecast an expansion in output of 2.5 percent next year, compared to a projected 1.6 percent in 2017. Source: Reuters (Reporting By Athens newsroom)

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Goldman ‘Pretty Optimistic’ for 2018 Despite China Debt Unknowns

The global economy’s synchronized upswing should continue into 2018 but China’s plan to slow borrowing is a key uncertainty, according to Andrew Tilton, chief Asia-Pacific economist for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. “We’re pretty optimistic about the year ahead,” Tilton said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “We think we still have some room to grow in a lot of the world, and in Asia.” But China’s plan to rein in financial risk is one of the biggest unknowns, Tilton said Tuesday. Authorities in Beijing have pledged to focus less on the ...

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China says Shanghai security bloc could soon agree on free trade area

China hopes the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) security bloc will soon be able to set up a long-mooted free trade area, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Tuesday ahead of a summit of the grouping in Russia late next week. China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan formed the grouping in 2001 to battle threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighbouring Afghanistan. India and Pakistan joined this year. The countries have discussed an SCO free trade area for years, but with little apparent progress. “We believe that ...

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Existing-home sales rebound in October even as inventory crunch worsens

The numbers: Sales of previously-owned homes jumped to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.48 million in October. What happened: Existing-home sales ran at a 5.48 million annual rate in October, up 2% to the best monthly rate since June, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 5.45 million pace. September’s pace, originally reported as 5.39 million, was revised down to 5.37 million. The median sales price was $247,000, up 5.5% from 12 months ago, and October marked the 68th-straight month in which ...

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This Central Bank Crisis Tool Might Actually Hurt: Eco Pulse

Benchmark interest rates might bump up against zero from 30 percent to 40 percent of the time in the U.S. going forward, and their neutral setting has fallen the world over. That makes questions about the efficacy of negative rates of utmost importance. Unfortunately for monetary policy makers, Brown University’s Gauti Eggertsson and his co-authors call negative-rate policies “at best irrelevant” in the research leading off this week’s economic roundup. We also take a look at studies on student loan default, prospects for productivity growth and how Federal Reserve rate ...

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India received a ‘surprise’ upgrade, but other ratings agencies may not be quick to follow

After receiving a surprise rating upgrade from Moody’s last Friday, India now has to watch its fiscal health if the country wants similar nods from the other two major agencies, analysts said. The Moody’s upgrade, the first since January 2004, lifted India up a notch to the second-lowest level of investment grade. Standard & Poor’s and Fitch have had the country, the third-largest economy in Asia, at the lowest investment grade level for about a decade. The timing of the Moody’s move was actually surprising given questions around India’s fiscal ...

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Japan All Industry Activity Index Declines More Than Forecast

Japan’s all industry activity decreased at a faster-than-expected pace in September, after rebounding in the previous month, data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed Tuesday. The all industry activity index dropped 0.5 percent month-over-month in September, reversing a 0.2 percent rise in August. Economists had expected a 0.4 percent fall for the month. Construction output contracted 2.3 percent over the month and industrial production slid by 1.0 percent. Tertiary activity registered a moderate decline of 0.2 percent. On a yearly basis, all industry activity growth eased to ...

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UK Manufacturing Order Growth Strongest Since 1988: CBI

UK total orders grew the most since 1988 and export order books reached the joint highest level in more than 20 years in November, the latest monthly Industrial Trends survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed Tuesday. A balance of +17 percent said total order book remained above normal in November, the highest since August 1988. The expected balance was +3 percent. At the same time, the export order book balance came in at 20 percent, which was above its long-run average of -18 percent. A balance of +13 ...

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Japan Ranked Last Choice in Asia for Top Foreign Talent

There’s bad news for Japan as it seeks the talent it needs to compete in the global economy with an aging, shrinking population. Japan ranks last among 11 Asian nations in appeal to highly skilled foreigners, behind countries including Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, according to the 2017 IMD World Talent Ranking released on Monday. Worldwide, Japan ranked 51st among 63 nations. Singapore ranked first in Asia, with Hong Kong second. Recognizing the need to attract outside talent, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has opened the doors to highly skilled foreigners, ...

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Weak pay suggests UK can grow without pushing up inflation – BoE’s Ramsden

Brexit uncertainty may have made British workers more cautious about their pay demands, which suggests that the economy has more room to grow without pushing up inflation, a top Bank of England official said on Monday. Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden, who voted against the decision this month by the BoE to raise interest rates for the first time in 10 years, said he had a “somewhat different” view of the economy to most of his colleagues. While the Monetary Policy Committee overall judged that slack in Britain’s economy was now ...

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BOE Defends Guidance on Way Ahead for U.K. Interest Rates

Bank of England officials said they see no need to change how they communicate the outlook for interest rates after the central bank started tightening monetary policy this month. Michael Saunders, Jon Cunliffe, Ian McCafferty and Gertjan Vlieghe backed the strategy of forward guidance on the likely direction and speed of monetary policy changes, dependent on the economy evolving as the BOE expects. The four men, part of the nine-member Monetary Policy Committee, told Parliament on Tuesday that it would be unwise to be too definite on borrowing costs. “It’s ...

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U.K. Public Borrowing Increased in October

The U.K. government had to borrow more in October than it did a year ago as accelerating price growth pushed up the cost of servicing inflation-linked debt, official data showed Tuesday. Britain’s borrowing increased to GBP8.0 billion in October, GBP0.5 billion higher than in the same month last year, the Office for National Statistics said. This was above the expectations of analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal, who predicted a figure of GBP7.5 billion. The data come ahead of U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s Wednesday speech to ...

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China to step up property market regulation to avoid bubble risk

China will step up financial regulation and crack down on speculation in the property market to stabilise prices and fend off bubble risks, state television CCTV reported on Tuesday, signalling renewed efforts to rein in risks from a rapid build-up in debt in the economy. The remarks from regulators at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MHURD) and the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) during a joint work meeting in central China’s Wuhan laid out short-term tasks to be achieved in real ...

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India Considers Whether Delinquent Owners Can Repurchase Assets

India has set up a panel to review provisions of the 11-month old bankruptcy law including whether to bar defaulting founders from repurchasing assets. The committee set up to improve The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code will have 14 members and includes officials from the finance ministry, Reserve Bank of India and representatives from industry and accountants group, Corporate Affairs Minister P.P. Chaudhary said in an interview on Monday. The code in force since December 2016 aims to accelerate winding up process of loss-making companies or recovering dues. “The government will ...

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Spain Trade Deficit Narrows In September

Spain’s foreign trade deficit decreased in September from a year ago, as exports grew faster than imports, preliminary figures from the Economy Ministry showed Tuesday. The trade deficit dropped to EUR 2.14 billion in September from EUR 2.23 billion in the corresponding month of 2016. Both exports and imports climbed by 8.5 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively in September from last year. During the January to September period, total trade deficit of the country was EUR 18.5 billion versus a shortfall of EUR 13.2 billion in the same period of ...

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