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Trump’s Tariff Threats Are Tested by Europe’s Record Trade Surplus

Europe’s trade surplus with the U.S. hit a record high in 2019, a rise that risks drawing the ire of President Trump, who recently renewed threats to place tariffs on European Union goods if the bloc didn’t agree to a new deal. The EU’s surplus with the U.S. stood at EUR152.6 billion ($165.5 billion) last year, an 11% increase over 2018. The surplus has been a frequent target of anger from the U.S. president, who said this week his administration would refocus on trade talks with the EU following a ...

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‘Black swan’ coronavirus casts its shadow over the global economy

With the coronavirus outbreak spreading far beyond its source in China, companies are braced for a hit on profits as demand slumps and production is disrupted in the world’s second largest economy and beyond. Executives face weeks of uncertainty over how many people will catch the virus worldwide and what the full impact will be. Daniel Zhang, the boss of China’s biggest listed company, Alibaba, described the coronavirus outbreak as a potential “black swan” event that could derail the global economy. Here are some of the main industries affected so ...

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Xi says China must keep economic, social order while battling coronavirus

China must make every effort to maintain economic and social control as it battles the coronavirus epidemic, and avoid causing panic that could lead to secondary “disasters,” President Xi Jinping told senior officials earlier this month. Reuters reported this week that Xi had warned officials on Feb. 3 that efforts to contain the new coronavirus had gone too far, threatening the economy. Those comments came days before Beijing rolled out measures to soften the blow. The epidemic has become a major test for Xi in how to balance stamping out ...

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China’s economy to slow to worst pace since financial crisis as coronavirus spreads

China could expand at the slowest pace since the 2008 global financial crisis this quarter, as a deadly viral outbreak drags on activity in the second-largest economy, a poll showed. Economic growth is expected to slump to 4.5% in the first quarter from 6% in the previous one, according to the Reuters poll of 40 economists based in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Europe, and the US. The poll was conducted February 7-13. The novel coronavirus has killed more than 1,350 and sickened tens of thousands more in at least ...

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India’s merchandise exports decline 1.7% in January 2020

India’s merchandise exports declined 1.7% to US$ 25.97 billion in January 2020 over a year ago. Meanwhile, merchandise imports fell at slower pace of 0.7% to US$ 41.14 billion. The trade deficit rose 0.9% to US$ 15.17 billion in January 2020 from US$ 14.73 billion in January 2019. Oil imports increased 15.3% to US$ 12.97 billion, while the non-oil imports dipped 6.7% to US$ 28.17 billion in January 2020 over January 2019. The share of oil imports in total imports was higher at 31.5% in January 2020, compared with 27.4% ...

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U.S. Industrial Production Sputtered in January

U.S. industrial output fell in January, driven down by unseasonably warm temperatures and a halt in production at Boeing Co. Industrial production, a measure of factory, mining and utility output, decreased a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in January from the prior month, the Federal Reserve said Friday. Utility production dropped 4% last month, with electric and natural-gas utilities falling 3.2% and 7.7%, respectively, as Americans cut back on their energy consumption during a warmer-than-usual January. Boeing’s woes also held down industrial output. The aircraft company halted production of the 737 MAX ...

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Trump and His Budget Aren’t on the Same Page

The budget that President Trump released this week is a model of mainstream Republican orthodoxy. It asks for more defense money to fend off “rival nation-states” like China and Russia and support allies while decrying “a bloated federal government with duplicative programs and wasteful spending.” Like a traditional fiscal hawk, it sternly warns that mounting debt and deficits are “a serious threat to America’s prosperity” that will “crowd out more productive investments.” The solution: changes to entitlement programs long pushed by conservative policy wonks, such as work requirements. In short, ...

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China finmin says expects fiscal revenues to fall, expenditure to rise

China’s Finance Minister Liu Kun said on Sunday he expects the country’s fiscal revenues to fall and expenditure to rise in the future. The comments were made in the leading Communist Party theoretical journal Qiushi. Source: Reuters (Reporting by Stella Qiu and Kevin Yao; Writing by Engen Tham; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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China’s ‘cowboy capitalism’ must be curtailed – U.S. Senator Romney

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney, who last week voted to convict Donald Trump for abuse of power, said on Friday that the U.S. president was right to challenge China over its trade policies and that Washington and its allies had to act against Beijing. “The president of the United States decided to go after China … It was the right thing to do,” said Romney, a Republican. “But we’ve got a lot further to go … we can do a lot better as an international community,” he said at the Munich ...

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What Brexit fallout? Portugal poised to hit new investment record for export projects

Portugal expects to hit a new investment record for export-focused projects this year, in the face of Brexit and global trade tensions, with authorities already scrutinising plans worth more than 1 billion euros (£843.3 million). The proposals submitted so far this year, the bulk of it foreign investment, almost equals the record 1.17 billion euros of projects contracted in the whole of 2019, according to AICEP, the state agency that promotes investment and exports. “The live pipeline is very strong, which is excellent news … and AICEP will continue to ...

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China sees decline in capital goods prices

Official data showed that China posted a decline in the prices of most capital goods that are monitored by the Chinese government at the start of the current February month in comparison with the earlier 10 days. The National Bureau of Statistics said that 26 out of the 50 main goods that are monitored by the government, such as seamless steel tubes, gasoline, coal, fertilizer and some chemicals, dropped in prices in the period from the 1st of February to the 10th, seven goods saw their prices increase and 17 ...

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U.S. trade coalition calls for removal of tariffs as phase-one deal with China takes effect

Americans for Free Trade, a coalition of more than 150 industry associations, has urged the Trump administration to remove all additional tariffs, as the China-U.S. phase-one economic and trade agreement takes effect. “It’s encouraging to see some of the Phase One Deal come to fruition. American businesses, farmers, consumers, and workers certainly need these (tariff) reductions, as they have been paying the price for these tariffs since the trade war began,” Jonathan Gold, spokesperson for Americans for Free Trade, said in a statement on Friday. As part of the China-U.S. ...

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Coronavirus impact on India’s export sector

Responding to a nominal decline in January exports by 1.66% at USD 25.97 billion during the month, FIEO President, Sharad Kumar Saraf said that global and domestic factors have again pull-down the monthly exports. As the Corona Virus hits China, global and domestic factors again pull down monthly exports. Protectionism & liquidity concerns coupled with spread of the Coronavirus in the world’s second-largest economy. Sharad Kumar m said that situation in China has further worsened the global sentiment and exporters are delaying their shipments. Other key factors including trade war, ...

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Tough times ahead for crude-rich Gulf economies

OIL-RICH Gulf Arab countries owe their eminence to two things: the dependence of the world on them to meet their ‘rising’ energy needs and the accruing petrodollars. Both are now under threat. These petrodollars have transformed the oil-producing Gulf Arab countries into lucrative markets for all sorts of products – from arms and ammunitions to branded items of all kinds. Everyone, from US President Donald Trump to Emmanuel Macron of France, just to name a few, wants a slice of this huge cake. It is also no news that those ...

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Europe can win global battle for industrial data, says EU industry chief

Europe may have lost the battle to create digital champions capable of taking on U.S. and Chinese companies harvesting personal data, but it can win the war of industrial data, Europe’s industry policy chief said on Saturday. Vast troves of data from how fast we drive our cars to how much time a robot needs to churn out products will open a new front in the battle for digital dominance, said Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner in charge of the bloc’s single market. Alarmed by the dominance of U.S. and ...

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