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Thai PM says economic crisis will not go away quickly amid pandemic

Thailand’s prime minister said on Thursday the economic crisis will not disappear quickly amid the coronavirus pandemic as his new cabinet faces the tough task of reviving an economy expected to shrink by a record this year. The entire world is suffering one of the worst economic challenges in modern times, and Thailand is caught up in that global storm because it is dependent heavily on exports and tourism, Prayuth Chan-ocha said in a televised address. “We cannot escape the storm. We are a small boat in a big ocean, ...

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Swedish economy to shrink less than feared in 2020, says think tank

Sweden’s economy will shrink less than previously expected this year due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and measures to control its spread, a leading think tank said on Thursday. Sweden opted against the kind of draconian lockdown adopted across much of Europe and, though its economy has been badly hit, it looks likely to suffer a milder downturn, though still almost as bad as the recession that followed the financial crash in 2008-2009. Economic output is expected to fall by 4.8% this year and expand 3.4% in 2021, ...

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Australian unemployment hits 22-year high

The number of unemployed Australians actively looking for work has surpassed 1 million for the first time. According to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which is in Canberra, on Thursday the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in July – up from 7.4 percent in June – the highest level since November 1998. However, there were signs of Australia’s economy beginning to recover from the coronavirus crisis. The number of people working increased by 114,700 from June and the number of hours worked increased 1.3 percent. The ...

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Taiwan Seeks to Start Free-Trade Talks With U.S. — Update

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said she wants to start talks on a free-trade pact with the U.S., part of a broad effort to deepen her island democracy’s partnership with Washington and resist pressure from Beijing. In an online speech aired Wednesday, Ms. Tsai said starting trade negotiations are among her second-term priorities in strengthening relations with the U.S., a major trading partner and key arms supplier for Taiwan. Ms. Tsai didn’t set a time frame for the talks. Progress toward formal free-trade negotiations have been stalled for roughly two decades ...

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Brazil’s industrial confidence rebounds in August

Brazil’s industrial sector began to shake off some of the pessimism caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic to show a generalized uptick in confidence this month, the National Industry Confederation (CNI) said on Wednesday. Its Industrial Entrepreneurs’ Confidence Index (ICEI) reached 57 points in August, on a scale of zero to 100, after having fallen to 34.5 in April. Anything over 50 is considered to reflect confidence in the sector, while anything under 50 points indicates pessimism, according to the CNI. August’s results show “confidence has returned generally,” the industry ...

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UK economy faces long climb back to health after historic 20% crash

Britain’s economy shrank by a record 20.4% in the second quarter when the coronavirus lockdown was tightest, the most severe contraction reported by any major economy so far, with a wave of job losses set to hit later in 2020. The scale of the economic hit may also revive questions about Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s handling of the pandemic, with Britain suffering the highest death toll in Europe. More than 50,000 UK deaths have been linked to the disease. “Today’s figures confirm that hard times are here,” finance minister Rishi ...

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Dubai’s non-oil businesses expand for the first time since COVID-19

Dubai’s non-oil economy witnessed an expansion in July for the first time in five months, signaling the start of post COVID-19 recovery, according to a recent report. The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Dubai Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 51.7 in July, compared to 50.0 in June. “July PMI data for the Dubai non-oil private sector signaled the start of a post-COVID-19 recovery,” said David Owen, an economist at IHS Markit. “The headline reading of 51.7 pointed to the first month of improvement since February, driven by stronger expansions of ...

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Euro zone industry output rebound disappoints for second straight month

Euro zone industrial production rose in June, official data showed on Wednesday, but the rebound after coronavirus-induced record drops in March and April was below expectations for a second straight month and slowed from May. The manufacturing output increase was driven by a surge in production of durable goods, such as cars or fridges, in what could be seen as a positive sign of consumer confidence as COVID-19 restrictions were eased in the region. However, the month-on-month increase was lower than economists had forecast. It slowed from May, and production ...

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Ghana’s inflation rises to 11.4% in July

Ghana’s consumer price inflation rose to 11.4% year-on-year in July from 11.2% the previous month, driven by higher food and transport prices, the West African nation’s statistics office said on Wednesday. Ghana’s inflation has risen in recent months above the central bank’s targeted range of 8%, plus or minus 2 percentage points due to the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak that has hit the cocoa, gold and oil-dependent economy. Food price inflation continued to dominate during the month, Samuel Annim, head of the statistics service told a news conference, ...

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U.S.-China trade deal in ‘fine’ shape, White House’s Kudlow says

China is continuing to buy U.S. goods, particularly commodities, under its Phase 1 trade deal with the United States, despite rising tensions over Hong Kong and other issues, top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday. Asked if deteriorating ties between the world’s two largest economies on other fronts could result in the trade deal being thrown out the window, Kudlow said, “No, no.” “The one area we are engaging is trade,” he told reporters at the White House. “It’s fine right now.” Top U.S. and Chinese officials ...

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World Bank Approves $75m To Assist Dominica With Digital Economy

The World Bank has approved seventy-five million dollars for the Government of Dominica to assist with the realization of the Digital Economy. Minister for the Digital Economy, Honourable Cassani Laville said transformation to the digital economy is going to change the way in which business is conducted in Dominica. The Dominica Labour Party manifesto in 2019 promised a ‘Dynamic Dominica.’ Following the 2019 elections, a Ministry of Digital Economy was introduced to be in sync with the rapid way in which the world has been utilizing modern technology. Minister Laville ...

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India inflation likely edged up in July on higher food prices: Reuters poll

India’s retail inflation edged up slightly in July due to higher food prices, remaining firmly above the RBI’s medium-term target of 4% for a 10th straight month, a Reuters poll showed. Food prices, which account for nearly half the inflation basket, have soared since April due to supply-side disruptions caused by a nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus which has infected more than 2 million people and killed over 44,000 in the world’s second-most populous country. While the central government gradually eased restrictions in June, regional ...

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South Korea’s August 1-10 exports dive as shipments to major trading partners drop

South Korean exports suffered a major decline in the first 10 days of August, as the coronavirus crisis continued to knock demand at its trading partners, the United States, Europe and China. Exports contracted 23.6% from a year earlier in the period, while imports declined 24.3%, data from the Korea Customs Service showed on Tuesday. Overseas sales to China, its biggest trading partner, dropped 11.3% while that to the United States and Europe contracted sharply by 22.3% and 13.9%, respectively. Full month trade data for August will be released on ...

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Fed’s Evans says vulnerable workers affected by crisis face highly uncertain future

The economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic is falling hardest on the most vulnerable workers, and policymakers need to coordinate to come up with creative policies to help people make it through the uniquely painful downturn, Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said on Monday. “This recession is unique in its swiftness severity and scope,” Evans said in opening remarks for an online forum organized by the Chicago Fed. “Tragically, the most affected are our most vulnerable neighbors – those who don’t enjoy paid sick leave, can’t work ...

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Japan July bank loans rise 6.3% y/y – BOJ

Japanese bank lending in July rose 6.3% from a year earlier, the Bank of Japan said on Tuesday. Outstanding loans held by the country’s four main categories of banks, including “shinkin” or credit unions, stood at 572.706 trillion yen ($5.40 trillion). Source: Reuters (Reporting by Chris Gallagher and Leika Kihara; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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