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EU Policy. Economics chief cites no regrets despite green deal backlash

With fresh elections looming, senior officials are unrepentant for making climate change a priority of their five-year term. The European Commission’s lead economic official doesn’t regret making climate change a centerpiece of its political agenda, attendees at the Brussels Economic Forum heard today (16 May). With a rising backlash against EU green policies, and polls predicting a swing to the right in upcoming EU elections, some worry if Brussels’ environmental agenda hangs in the balance. Europe has been beset by protests, led by farmers concerned about the impact of EU ...

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Japan inflation likely slowed again, may ease cost pressure

Japan’s core consumer inflation probably slowed for a second straight month in April from a year earlier, a Reuters poll of 18 economists showed on Friday, likely easing cost-push pressure. The core consumer prices index (CPI) is expected to decelerate to 2.2% from 2.6% in March, the lowest level in three months, but still at or above the central bank’s 2% target for more than two years. The data will be key to further decisions on rate hikes by the Bank of Japan (BOJ), which wants to push interest rates ...

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German firm to tap huge silver economy potential in China

Landmark policy is expected to boost the anti-aging industry by technological innovation and high-profile research and development, demonstrating substantial growth potential, said foreign company executives. A guideline on developing the silver economy to enhance the well-being of the elderly, which was issued by the General Office of the State Council, China’s Cabinet, at the beginning of this year, is believed to mark the formal inclusion of China’s silver economy into its national strategy. “The guideline is expected to significantly drive the development of the anti-aging industry. And the measures proposed ...

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Bostic sees ongoing disinflation leading to possible cut, but nothing locked in

Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic welcomed recent economic data pointing to slowing inflation — a trend that he expects to continue, paving the way for a potential rate cut toward the end of the year. While acknowledging that the Fed isn’t yet there on its goal to bring inflation down to 2%, Bostic said that his current outlook is for an ongoing fall in inflation, which would make appropriate to cut rates later in the year, but cautioned that nothing is locked in. The remarks arrive a day after ...

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Despite consumer watchdog’s US Supreme Court win, agency powers still on chopping block

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision safeguarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – the nation’s consumer finance watchdog – earned plaudits from supporters of robust federal regulation. But their praise for the court may prove short-lived. Powered by its 6-3 conservative majority, the court has emerged in recent years as something of an ally in what has been called the “war on the administrative state,” a longstanding conservative effort to weaken federal agencies that regulate key aspects of American business and life. The court on Thursday upheld the CFPB’s funding mechanism ...

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Hong Kong Q1 GDP expands 2.7% y/y, tourism, events to support growth

Hong Kong’s economy expanded by2.7% in the first quarter from a year earlier, the government said on Friday, adding that inbound tourism and major business and entertainment events would support growth for the rest of the year. The economy expanded by 4.3% in the fourth quarter of 2023. “Looking ahead, the Hong Kong economy should record further growth in the rest of the year,”Adolph Leung, a government economist, said in a statement, adding private consumption and government support initiatives should bolster growth. However, Leung also said the changing pattern of ...

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Shanghai compiles data list eligible for faster overseas transfer, document shows

Shanghai has compiled a list of data that can be transferred overseas without security assessments, according to a government document seen by Reuters, a much anticipated move as China tries to lure foreign investment to boost a sluggish economy. Foreign firms including financials and automakers such as Elon Musk’s Tesla (NASDAQ:) have been lobbying the Chinese authorities to allow cross-border sharing of information after Beijing tightened control of data generated domestically in a national security drive. The 2022 rules require all “important” offshore transfer of data related to operations within ...

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BOJ may face more pressure to hike rates as weak yen hits consumer spending

Japan’s weak consumption may heighten, rather than tame, already growing political pressure on the central bank to raise interest rates to slow the yen’s declines blamed for hurting households via higher import costs. Such pressure will likely prod Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda to keep dropping hawkish signals on the policy outlook, but with plenty of caveats to hedge against the chance consumption may take longer than expected to rebound, analysts say. The yen has depreciated by roughly 10% against the dollar so far this year despite the BOJ’s ...

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Goldman Sachs looks to expand private equity credit lines as dealmaking picks up

U.S. investment bankGoldman Sachs GS.N is muscling into the lending market for private equity and asset managers, planning an overseas expansion as it helps filla void left by turmoil at regional banks and the sale of Credit Suisse. The Wall Street bank and rivals JPMorganChase JPM.N and PNCFinancial Services PNC.N are stepping up in this $800 billion to $1 trillion market as private equity deal activity is expected to pick up due to record-high fund-raising. Such loans are asset-based and short-term, lowering their risk. Goldman last year bought a portfolio ...

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Putin, in China, says US sanctions undermine confidence in dollar

President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that U.S. sanctions policy was undermining confidence in the dollar and that Russia and China would find a way to stop the threat of measures against Chinese banks from disrupting their burgeoning trade. Washington has hit Russia with waves of Ukraine-related sanctions and threatened secondary sanctions on foreign banks aiding transactions with Moscow. That has prompted some Chinese banks to limit dealings with Russian companies. In televised comments during a visit to China, Putin said such sanctions were illegitimate unless approved by the U.N. ...

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Private credit wonder drug works in limited dose

Private credit is big and getting bigger. The practice whereby companies borrow directly from specialised funds, bypassing banks and the bond market, has exploded in recent years. That breakneck growth is making global watchdogs fret over risks to financial stability. A more fundamental question, however, is whether it promotes or impedes the ultimate purpose of the financial system: to support real economic growth. Once upon a time companies that wanted to borrow money went to a bank. By the early twentieth century, the largest and most creditworthy corporations began to ...

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Singapore’s April exports fall 9.3% y/y, shipments to US down sharply

Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) fell 9.3% in April from the same month a year earlier, data on Friday showed, weighed down by falls in non-electronic products, primarily pharmaceuticals. The annual fallcompared with a Reuters poll forecast of a 10% drop, and followed a 20.8% contraction in March. On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, NODX increased by 7.6% in April, after an 8.5% decline in March. Non-oil exports to Singapore’s major markets as a whole declined in April. The largest contraction was to the United States, with a 40.6% decline ...

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Global economic growth improves but ‘downsides’ lurk

The world economy is forecast to grow by 2.7 per cent in 2024, up from 2.4 per cent projected at the start of the year. Growth will reach 2.8 per cent in 2025, representing a slight increase. These changes are mainly due to better-than-expected performance in some large developed and emerging countries, notably Brazil, India, Russia and the United States. Inflation down, wages up Inflation is also down from the 2023 peak, said Shantanu Mukherjee of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), presenting the report to journalists ...

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China consumption slows as retail sales and investment data disappoint

China reported data Friday that pointed to slower growth on the consumer side while industrial activity remained robust. Retail sales rose by 2.3% in April from a year ago, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That was less than the 3.8% increase forecast by a Reuters poll, and slower than the 3.1% pace reported in March. Industrial production rose by 6.7% in April from a year ago, beating expectations for 5.5% growth. That was also a marked pickup from 4.5% in March. But fixed asset investment rose by 4.2% for ...

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ECB’s De Guindos sees inflation moving towards 2% goal in 2025

Euro zone price pressures continue to ease, giving European Central Bank policymakers increased confidence inflation will ease back to target next year, ECB Vice-President Luis de Guindos said on Friday. “Headline inflation is there at 2.4%, core inflation below 3%. We believe that in the coming months inflation will fluctuate around these values,” De Guindos told a financial event. “In the medium term, in the year 2025, we will be moving in a stable way towards our price stability objective which is 2%,” he added. The ECB has all but ...

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