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U.S. construction spending unexpectedly falls in May

U.S. construction spending unexpectedly fell in May as single-family homebuilding stalled, more evidence that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive monetary policy tightening was slowing the economy. The Commerce Department said on Friday that construction spending slipped 0.1% in May after increasing 0.8% in April. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast construction spending would rise 0.4%. Construction spending increased 9.7% on a year-on-year basis in May. Spending on private construction projects was unchanged in May after advancing 1.1% in April. Investment in residential construction rose 0.2%, though spending on both single-family and ...

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China’s improving business environment boosts foreign companies’ confidence

China’s efforts to improve the business environment boosted foreign companies’ confidence and strengthened their determination to expand investment in China, according to the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). Despite the impact of the epidemic, the long-term positive trend of China’s consumer market has not changed, with trends in digitalization, quality, personalization, diversification, and brand upgrading, CCPIT spokesperson Feng Yaoxiang told a Wednesday press conference, citing a survey conducted by the trade council. Many companies surveyed said they would increase investment in innovation to meet the needs ...

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UK manufacturing loses more steam in June -PMI

British manufacturing lost more momentum in June than first estimated as new orders contracted at the fastest rate in two years, according to a survey that adds to signs of a stalling economy. The S&P Global UK manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell (PMI) to 52.8 from 54.6 in May, downwardly revised from a preliminary “flash” reading for June of 53.4. The survey showed factory output barely grew and manufacturers were their gloomiest about the outlook since May 2020. Price pressures, while still elevated, eased further from recent all-time highs. Overall ...

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UK consumers cautious about their borrowing as inflation mounts

British consumers increased their borrowing by less than expected in May in a sign of caution among households as inflation accelerates, Bank of England data showed on Friday. Lending to consumers rose by 844 million pounds ($1.02 billion) in net terms, a lot less than the 1.3 billion-pounds increase which was the median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists and down from 1.377 billion pounds rise in April. “With interest rates rising and the squeeze on households’ real wages from higher inflation set to intensify further, we expect borrowing ...

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U.S. housing hold-ups put thousands of jobs on the line

U.S. mortgage lenders, refinancing companies and real-estate brokers may lay off thousands of employees in the coming months, industry sources said, as many Americans put off buying a home. Low interest rates, stimulus payments and working from home during the coronavirus pandemic had prompted many millennials to hunt for new homes, fuelling a red-hot U.S. housing market. But the market is now cooling amid economic uncertainty resulting from the Ukraine conflict and a jump in mortgage rates as the Federal Reserve raises the cost of borrowing. “We’re seeing a reduction ...

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India’s June factory growth at 9-month low as inflation worries bite

India’s factory output expanded at its slowest pace in nine months in June as elevated price pressures continued to dampen demand and output, according to a private survey, which also showed business confidence was at its lowest in over two years. Although inflation eased in May to 7.04% after touching an eight-year high of 7.79% in April, a meaningful decline is not seen anytime soon even as the Reserve Bank of India is expected to continue with aggressive rate hikes. While the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by S&P Global, ...

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World Bank’s Reinhart ‘skeptical’ global recession can be avoided

World Bank chief economist Carmen Reinhart said she is skeptical that the U.S. and global economies can dodge a recession, given spiking inflation, sharp hikes in interest rates and slowing growth in China. Reinhart, who returns to Harvard University on July 1 after a two-year public service leave, said it was historically a tall order to reduce inflation and engineer a soft landing at the same time, and recession risks are clearly a “hot topic” at the moment. “What worries everybody is that all the risks are stacked on the ...

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ECB’s Holzmann tells paper he would have preferred faster action on rates

European Central Bank policymaker and fiscal hawk Robert Holzmann would have preferred earlier action on interest rates than the ECB’s current plan to raise them in July for the first time in more than a decade, he said in remarks published on Thursday. “From my Austrian point of view, I would have preferred earlier moves on interest rates but I am only one of 25 at the European Central Bank (Governing Council),” Holzmann, who heads the Austrian National Bank, said in an interview with Austrian newspaper Oberoesterreichische Nachrichten. Source: Reuters

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Factory data dampen global ‘soft landing’ hopes

Global factory growth stalled in June as higher prices and a darker economic outlook left consumers wary of making purchases, while China’s strict COVID-19 lockdowns and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added to supply chain disruptions, surveys showed. They were the latest signs pointing to the risk of all-out recession in the global economy, coming after the world’s top chipmakers said they were facing waning demand and as central bankers warned of painful interest rate hikes ahead. “Between central banks digging their heels in to counter inflation and growing fears there ...

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Sovereign Sector Outlook Revised to Neutral on Ukraine War Impact

The deterioration in global sovereign credit conditions this year relative to our expectations at end-2021 has caused Fitch Ratings to change its global sovereign sector outlook to neutral from improving. The impact of the Ukraine war and consequent sanctions on geopolitical risk, trade and capital flows, and economic growth and inflation will not be resolved in 2H22. Policy responses are driving the fiscal effects of inflation, making post-Covid-19 pandemic consolidation that was evident last year less certain. Meanwhile the Federal Reserve and most other major central banks will tighten policy ...

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We’ll be with you on ‘long road’ to membership, EU tells Ukraine

Ukraine now has a “very clear European perspective” but the road to EU membership will take time and require hard work, the president of the EU executive told the country’s parliament on Friday. EU leaders last week granted Ukraine candidate status to join the bloc, formally opening a process that is expected to take years before it becomes a member of the union that now comprises 27 countries. In a speech by video-link to the Ukrainian assembly, Ursula von der Leyen underlined the progress made by the country in its ...

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Any ECB rate hike above zero will depend on data, Panetta says

The European Central Bank is on course to lift its interest rates out of negative territory but any hike beyond that will depend on incoming data as the outlook is uncertain, ECB board member Fabio Panetta said on Friday. The ECB is due to raise rates for the first time in over a decade this month in the face of record-high inflation and unveil a new bond-buying scheme designed to cap borrowing costs for the most indebted members, such as Italy. Panetta, Italy’s appointee to the ECB’s board, backed the ...

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Drop in demand weighs on German manufacturing, outlook darkens -PMI

A sharp fall in new orders weighed on German manufacturing activity in June, darkening the outlook for Europe’s largest economy, a survey showed on Friday. S&P Global’s final Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing, which accounts for about a fifth of Germany’s economy, fell to 52.0 in June from May’s final reading of 54.8, in line with analysts’ expectations and with a flash estimate. An index on new orders came in a 43.3, falling from 47.0 in May to hit the lowest level since May 2020 and dropping further below ...

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Japan Inc. disagrees with BOJ’s view cost-push inflation will be temporary

Japanese companies expect inflation to stay around the central bank’s 2% target for years to come, a survey showed on Friday, disagreeing with Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s view that the recent cost-driven price rise will prove temporary. The BOJ’s “tankan” quarterly survey showed firms expect inflation to hit 2.4% this year, up from 1.8% projected in the previous poll. They see inflation at 2.0% three years from now, also up from the March forecast of 1.6%. Corporate inflation expectations five years ahead stood at 1.9%, the June tankan ...

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China-proposed BRI brings tangible benefits

China welcomes more countries and institutions to participate in the high-quality growth of the Belt and Road Initiative, injecting fresh momentum into global economic development and people’s well-being, said the Ministry of Commerce on Thursday. There is broad space for cooperation in the field of global infrastructure development. China takes an open attitude toward all cooperation initiatives that are truly conducive in promoting connectivity, economic growth, people’s living standards and social progress of all countries, Shu Jueting, the ministry’s spokeswoman, told a news conference. Shu made the remark after being ...

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