S Korea inflation disappoints
South Korea’s inflation remained way below the central bank’s target range last month, as low crude oil prices depressed consumer price gains, government data showed yesterday. Inflation stood at 0.5 percent from a year earlier, Statistics Korea said. The rate was marginally higher than the 0.4 percent recorded in April, which was the lowest level since 1999. The South Korean Ministry of Finance said consumer prices should pick up in the second half of this year due to a gradual increase in international oil prices.
German jobless rate dips
German unemployment fell last month to the lowest level in 24 years as the recovery in Europe’s biggest economy continued, data showed yesterday. The number of people registered as unemployed fell by a seasonally adjusted 6,000 to 2.79 million, the lowest level since December 1991, the German Federal Labor Office said. That was slightly fewer than expected, as analysts had forecast a decline of about 10,000.
Brazil’s surplus climbs
A steep decline in imports saw Brazil post a better-than-expected trade surplus of US$2.761 billion last month, trimming its deficit for the year to date to US$2.305 billion, the government said on Monday. In April, Brazil posted a US$491 million trade surplus. Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade figures showed imports dropping 26.5 percent from a year ago, while exports slid 15.2 percent. For the first five months of the year, exports fell 16.2 percent, while imports declined 18.1 percent over the same period.
US consumer spending flat
US consumer spending was unexpectedly flat in April as households cut back on purchases of automobiles and continued to boost savings, suggesting the economy was struggling to gain momentum early in the second quarter. A US Department of Commerce report on Monday also showed no inflation pressures, with a price index for consumer spending recording its smallest gain since late 2009 on an annual basis. The weak data suggest the US Federal Reserve is unlikely to raise interest rates before the end of the year.
Russia outlook improving
The World Bank on Monday said it saw some improvement in Russia’s battered economy, predicting it would shrink by 2.7 percent this year and return to growth of 0.7 percent next year. The IMF has also improved its outlook for Russia, projecting a 3.4 percent contraction this year and growth of 0.2 percent next year. Official statistics showed that Russia’s GDP shrank 1.9 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of the year.
PMI in Spain, Italy rises
Manufacturing in Spain and Italy last month grew more than economists forecast as a weaker euro helped boost export competitiveness. Markit Economics said its purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for Italy rose to 54.8 from 53.8 in April, the highest since 2011, while the Spanish measure jumped to 55.8 from 54.2. Markit’s factory PMI for the entire 19-nation eurozone rose to 52.2 last month from 52 in April. In Germany, the index fell more than initially reported, dropping to 51.1 from 52.1. France’s remained below 50.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into
O2O BICYCLE SHOW: The Taiwan Bicycle Show next year is to be online to offline, with forums, audio-visual conferences and livestreaming of the offline events Local bicycle makers expect demand to continue outpacing supply due to orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies seeing orders back up through next year. “Next year is all full in terms of orders. Our lead time on components is one year,” Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd (巨大機械) chairwoman Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) told a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to announce next year’s Taipei Cycle Show. The pandemic has reduced bicycle supplies and increased demand around the world, Robert Wu (吳盈進), chairman of KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc (桂盟國際), one of the world’s