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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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U.S. Durable-Goods Orders Rise on Jetliner Demand

U.S. sales of big-ticket manufactured goods rose at the quickest pace in nearly three years in June, driven by surging demand for civilian aircraft. Orders of durable goods — products designed to last at least three years, such as cars and refrigerators — grew a seasonally adjusted 6.5% from a month earlier, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal projected a 3.8% increase. Outside of transportation goods, orders rose 0.2%, reflecting a dip in demand on a range of goods such as cars and computers. ...

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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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German Consumer Sentiment Set to Rise in August

German consumer confidence is set to continue improving in August, reflecting Germans’ positive view of the economy and of their own finances, market researcher GfK’s monthly survey showed on Thursday. GfK’s said its forward-looking consumer sentiment index is set to rise to 10.8 points in August from 10.6 points in July. Economists in The Wall Street Journal’s survey expected a 10.6 point reading. “Consumers are expecting that the domestic economy can even pick up a notch over the course of the remaining year,” GfK said. GfK uses three sub-indexes for ...

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Jobless claims rise from three-month low

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rebounded from a three-month low last week, but remained below a level consistent with a tightening labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 244,000 for the week ended July 22, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 241,000. It was the 125th straight week that claims remained below 300,000, a threshold ...

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China industrial profits jump most in three months, weather higher financing costs

Earnings for China’s industrial firms in June rose at the fastest pace in three months in the latest sign economic momentum in the country remains solid, though analysts expect growth to slow later this year as tighter policies begin to bite. Profits surged 19.1 percent in June from a year earlier to 727.78 billion yuan ($107.83 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Thursday, accelerating from May even as rising borrowing costs have raised concerns about pressure on margins. Statistics bureau official He Ping said in a statement ...

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