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The Times (January 11)

2018/ 01/ 12 by jd in Global News

Driven by the cheap pound, UK factory growth hit a seven-year high. “Factories are growing at the fastest pace in almost seven years after a solid three months to November that beat all forecasts and put Britain on track to start 2018 on a firm footing.” Still, the manufacturing sector “accounts for only a tenth of output in Britain, with four fifths generated by services.”


Financial Times (February 18)

2016/ 02/ 20 by jd in Global News

The conditional deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia delivered “maximum rhetorical impact for the minimum genuine commitment.” Ultimately, it “will not take a single barrel of oil off the market to ease the glut that has driven crude prices down about 70 per cent since the summer of 2014.” The deal reveals “nervousness among the world’s two largest oil producers. But the fact that Saudi Arabia is not already cutting its output, in spite of mounting signs of financial strain, shows that while its strategy might be painful, it is still rational.”


Bloomberg (September 28)

2015/ 09/ 30 by jd in Global News

“Something a little worrying has happened to the global economy: Trade is slowing down…. Trade has stopped growing as a percentage of output, the way it had in the past. A few years isn’t necessarily enough to establish a trend, but the slowdown in trade is unprecedented in the postwar era.”


Financial Times (August 11)

2015/ 08/ 13 by jd in Global News

Fears are growing of a meltdown in the aluminum market as Chinese output soars and, much like the oil market, supply outstrips demand. “China now accounts for more than half of global supply, up from 18 per cent in 2003 thanks to cheap power and the world’s most efficiently built smelters. Established producers from North America to Russia and the Middle East—facing the lowest prices since the financial crisis, reduced margins and profits—are anxious but do not want to cut capacity for fear of losing market share.”


The Economist (July 4)

2015/ 07/ 05 by jd in Global News

“Shale matters. The industry has become huge—listed firms have invested over half a trillion dollars of capital…. Shale firms owe almost as much debt as Greece. After drilling beneath much of Texas and North Dakota, they account for 5% of global oil output. The health of shale firms affects people around the world, from Western drivers and Saudi Arabia’s sheikhs to Asia’s consumers.”


Financial Times (May 19)

2015/ 05/ 19 by jd in Global News

“More than $100bn of spending on new projects by the world’s energy companies has been slowed, postponed or axed following the oil price plunge, evidence of the drastic industry action that will curb output in coming years.” The revisions affect 26 major projects worldwide and, taken as a whole, will “delay future production” by up to 1.5 million barrels a day, the equivalent of nearly 2% of global oil production in 2013.


New York Times (February 2)

2015/ 02/ 03 by jd in Global News

“Modest growth has never been enough to overcome the damage of the Great Recession and, from there, to reach new levels in terms of output, employment and wages.” Unfortunately, the U.S. is still stuck with modest growth. “For all the talk about accelerating growth, the economy grew last year at a rate of 2.4 percent, basically in line with growth over the past several years.”


Financial Times (November 3)

2013/ 11/ 04 by jd in Global News

“Some kinds of public investment bring very high returns for the rest of the economy–such as spending on basic scientific research or fixing infrastructure bottlenecks–and they are under grave threat from today’s swingeing spending cuts in the US.” Austerity is reigning in public sector capital investment, which “has dropped to just 3.6 per cent of US output compared with a postwar average of 5 per cent.”


The Economist (July 6)

2013/ 07/ 07 by jd in Global News

“Good economic news has begun to fall on Britain like drops of rain in the midst of a drought. The country is parched: revisions to GDP estimates released last week suggest that output is still 3.9% lower than its 2008 peak, a worse performance than any other G20 country except Italy. As confidence returns, it seems almost impolite to point out that the British economy still has a sickly core of weak investment, productivity and wages, and that hard policy decisions lie ahead.”


The Economist (February 23)

2013/ 02/ 25 by jd in Global News

“With short-term interest rates still stuck near zero and their balance-sheets stuffed with government bonds, the central banks of America, Britain and Japan are experimenting with a shift in approach: coupling monetary action with commitments designed to alter the public’s expectations of interest rates, inflation and the economy…. A more doveish stance would entail tolerating higher inflation, at least temporarily, in pursuit of higher output.” But there is “a question-mark over what this wave of central-bank experimentation can achieve: since bond yields are already so low, the marginal return to coaxing them even lower may be scant. For now, though, buoyant stockmarkets are giving the activists the thumbs-up.”


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