Thu, Sep 12, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



US firms pessimistic

US businesses are increasingly pessimistic about their prospects as a bilateral trade dispute rumbles on, with growing numbers of companies expecting their revenues and investment to shrink, the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai said yesterday in its annual China Business Report. The report said that 75 percent of US firms opposed Washington’s use of punitive tariffs to force Beijing into a trade deal and market-access reforms. About half of companies surveyed said they expect this year’s revenues to increase year-on-year, while just over a quarter expect them to fall — compared with just 6.1 percent in the previous year’s survey.


University slams Foxconn

The University of Wisconsin says it has received just US$700,000 of the US$100 million that Foxconn Technology Group (富士康) pledged to fund engineering and innovation research at the school’s Madison campus. The Wisconsin State Journal on Tuesday reported that progress has been slow since the company made the promise in August last year. University spokesman John Lucas said that there had been “no significant progress in discussions” on the investment that was touted at the time as the largest research partnership in the university’s history. The official partnership agreement did not mention a specific dollar figure or when the company would provide the funds. Foxconn declined to confirm how much money it has invested in the university, but said it remains committed to engineering and research there.


Public housing planned

Supply of public housing could increase next year as the city-state on Tuesday introduced measures aimed at making such homes more affordable. Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong (黃循財) said the measures would help more citizens from lower to upper-middle income households buy their first homes. The Housing & Development Board would probably have to increase supply next year to meet the additional demand expected to stem from the changes, the Ministry of National Development said. The new measures, which do not apply to the private sector, took effect yesterday.


Fiscal stimulus ruled out

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday said that the government is sticking to its balanced budget policy, tempering expectations for fiscal stimulus in Europe’s largest economy. “As a federal government, we take seriously the responsibility for a solid budget policy,” Merkel told an event organized by the taxpayers’ federation. “I can assure you that we are sticking to the goal of a balanced budget.” Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz earlier in the day said that the government was ready to pump “many, many billions of euros” into its economy to counter any significant slowdown in growth.


Trade surplus grows

The nation’s trade surplus last month widened dramatically from July, backed by a strong increase in smartphone shipments, as its surplus with the US continued to increase, Customs Department data released yesterday showed. The surplus came in at US$3.435 billion, up from US$43 million in July and beating a government forecast for a surplus of US$1.7 billion, the department said. Exports rose 12.6 percent from the July to US$25.885 billion, while imports fell 2.1 percent to US$22.450 billion, it said.

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