Factory output declines
The country’s factory output turned down in July as manufacturers cut back on inventory stockpiles, government data showed yesterday. Industrial production slipped 0.8 percent month-on-month after a revised 2.2 percent rise in June, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said. The fall was bigger than expected, with the median forecast by economists coming in at a drop of 0.3 percent in a Bloomberg survey. However, the ministry kept its view that manufacturing activity is on the path to recovery and said the July drop was “small” considering the robust growth in June.
Factory activity improves
The nation’s factory activity gathered steam last month, official data showed yesterday, beating expectations, but not dispelling concerns about the headwinds facing the world’s second-largest economy. The latest purchasing managers’ index, a gauge of factory conditions, came in at 51.7 last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said, up from the 51.4 reading in July. Anything above 50 is considered growth while a figure below points to contraction. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected a reading of 51.3.
Economy rebounds in spring
The economy rebounded sharply in the spring, growing at the fastest pace in more than two years amid brisk consumer spending on cars and other goods. GDP grew at an annual rate of 3 percent in the April-to-June quarter, the Department of Commerce reported on Wednesday. It was the best showing since a 3.2 percent gain in the first quarter of 2015.
Number of poor increases
The government on Wednesday said that about 53.4 million of the nation’s 122 million people were poor last year, compared with 53.3 million in 2012. However, population growth meant the percentage dropped from 45.5 percent in 2012. The number living in extreme poverty who cannot buy even basic items dropped from 9.8 percent of the population in 2012 to 7.6 percent last year. The government’s poverty-measurement agency said that 17.5 percent of people did not have sufficient income to buy enough food, down from 20 percent in 2012.
Lukoil mulls selling unit
Russian oil giant OAO Lukoil is considering selling its Swiss unit Litasco SA because new US sanctions on Russia will make it harder for the Geneva, Switzerland-based energy trader to raise new funds, industry sources said. Lukoil chief executive Vagit Alekperov later confirmed the company was considering selling Litasco. A senior industry source told reporters that Litasco could be sold later this year, possibly as a first step toward divestment of other overseas assets by Lukoil to enable it to focus on tapping fields in Siberia.
HNA sues businessman
HNA Group Co (海航集團) is seeking at least US$300 million from Chinese businessman Guo Wengui (郭文貴) for making defamatory statements tying the company to corruption and alleging it has secret ties to the family of a high-ranking Chinese Communist Party official. In HNA’s complaint, filed on Wednesday with the New York state Supreme Court, the company said Guo’s false allegations are causing harm to the group’s reputation and financial standing.
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) plans to reopen its guestrooms in December to take advantage of a boom in domestic travel. The reopening would come six months after the five-star facility suspended room operations to cut costs as countries across the region impose border controls to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, diminishing demand for business travel. “We are delighted to share that Mandarin Oriental Taipei will resume room operations on December 1,” the hotel said in a statement yesterday. The hotel in Songshan District (松山) said it would adopt stringent health and safety practices to ensure the well-being of its guests and employees. It
India’s COVID-19 economic gloom turned into despair this week, on news that its per capita GDP for this year might be lower than that of Bangladesh. “Any emerging economy doing well is good news,” Kaushik Basu, a former World Bank chief economist, said on Twitter after the IMF updated its World Economic Outlook. “But it’s shocking that India, which had a lead of 25% five years ago, is now trailing.” Ever since it began opening up the economy in the 1990s, India’s dream has been to emulate China’s rapid expansion. After three decades of persevering with that campaign, slipping behind Bangladesh hurts
When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down bars and concert halls in the US in March, a new phenomenon was born: the vacation-rental nightclub. Professional party promoters started scanning Airbnb, Vrbo and other short-term rental sites for mansions and luxury condos for hire. Tickets were going for US$90 on Eventbrite and TikTok for soirees with bottle service and DJs. “People were looking to escape from their own homes and came into our tiny neighborhood to party all day, every day,” said Kristen Robinson Doe, a resident of a quiet suburban Dallas neighborhood, where a party pad was being rented out for more than
HSBC Bank (Taiwan) Ltd (匯豐台灣商銀) has approved two sustainability-linked loans totaling NT$450 million (US$15.55 million) for Taya Group (大亞集團) and Sinbon Electronics Co (信邦電子), the bank said yesterday, adding that interest rates would fall if the borrowers’ sustainability performance improves. Those marked the first sustainability-linked loans granted by HSBC Taiwan, it said. While HSBC Taiwan has experience providing green loans for the nation’s developers of renewable energy sources to support their projects, the bank began focusing on sustainability-linked loans to meet rising demand from companies in other sectors planning to undertake sustainability programs, it said. “As we reward our clients who reach their