Tue, Oct 03, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Confidence best in 10 years

Confidence among the country’s biggest manufacturers has jumped to its highest level in a decade, a key central survey showed yesterday, as the world’s No. 3 economy picks up pace. The Bank of Japan’s Tankan report — a closely watched quarterly survey of more than 10,000 companies — showed a reading of 22 among major manufacturers in its latest report, the highest since its September 2007 reading when the headline figure sat at 23. The latest survey handily beat market expectations for a reading of 18. The mood among major manufacturers has now risen for a fourth straight quarter. The upbeat survey underscores how Japan’s prospects have been improving on the back of strong exports, with investments linked to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics also giving the economy a shot in the arm.


PMI reading improves

A purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the EU’s manufacturing industry last month rose to 58.1 from 57.4 the previous month, London-based IHS Markit said yesterday. That compares with a preliminary reading of 58.2 and is the highest level in more than six-and-a-half years. A gauge for employment rose at the fastest pace since the survey began in 1997. The bloc’s economy is on track to expand 2.2 percent this year, the strongest pace in a decade as global trade, central bank stimulus and political risks all combine to support growth.


GDP growth loses steam

The country’s economic growth was slowing even before a Saudi Arabia-led bloc severed diplomatic and transport links in early June, as the world’s biggest exporter of natural gas felt the impact of lower energy prices. GDP grew 0.6 percent in the second quarter ended June 30 from a year earlier, the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics said on Sunday, compared with 2.5 percent in the January-to-March period. The data show the country was suffering due to lower oil prices, which weighed on growth across the region. The country’s non-oil economy grew 3.9 percent in the second quarter, the ministry said. Its mining and quarrying sector shrank 2.7 percent.


Home prices snap decline

Home prices rose for the first time in four years, snapping a record decline and adding to signs that the property market is rebounding. An index tracking private residential prices gained 0.5 percent in the three months ended Saturday from the previous quarter, according to preliminary data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority released yesterday. Before the latest data, a 15-quarter decline in prices was the longest since the index was first published in 1975.


Brexit threatens sectors

A hard Brexit could be a lot more painful for the country than for the EU. The country’s automotive, technology, healthcare and consumer goods sectors might lose £17 billion (US$22.8 billion) a year in export revenues when the nation leaves the single market and customs union, according to a report released yesterday by Chicago-based law firm Baker & McKenzie LLP and consultancy Oxford Economics Ltd. The sectors account for 42 percent of the country’s manufacturing GDP. The report said that the British-EU trading relationship is sometimes heavily tilted in Europe’s favor.

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