Front Page

  • 2020-02-25 10:08


    By Brooke Migdon

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday said China has taken a number of steps in implementing its agriculture-related commitments under the U.S.-China Phase One trade deal that took effect this month.

    China has lifted the ban on U.S. poultry imports and begun to roll back restrictions on imported U.S. products like feed additives and seafood spices, they said in a statement. It has also updated lists of facilities approved for exporting animal protein, pet food and dairy, among other products. China announced tariff exclusions for imported U.S.

  • 2020-02-24 15:53


    By David Robinson

    LONDON (MNI) - Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane said Monday the lifting of UK political uncertainty and companies' strong balance sheets should boost investment.

    Haldane said there were already signs in business surveys of improving investment. He was one of seven Monetary Policy Committee members who voted in favour of unchanged policy rather than a rate cut at the January MPC meeting. He made no direct reference to monetary policy.

    "Towards the tail end of last year and the early part of this ... a lot of political uncertainty has dissipated in the UK.

  • 2020-02-24 15:38


    --Resolution May Limit Canada GDP Hit to February

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said police needed to clear protesters from a railway blockade on Monday to protect the economy from further damage and because negotiations had broken down.

    Ontario police started moving to make arrests just after 8am EST and around 130pm workers were testing signals on the main rail line between Montreal and Toronto, according to scenes shown on local TV stations. Protesters ignored Trudeau's call Friday to end the dispute immediately and other warnings from police to leave.

    Shipments that manufacturers say are worth hundreds of millions of dollars a day have been suspended for more than two weeks.

  • 2020-02-24 04:21


    BEIJING (MNI) - The People's Bank of China will lower the reserve ratio requirement for targeted banks further and adopt more tools to support small and medium enterprises impacted by the coronavirus epidemic, Deputy Governor Chen Yulu said on Monday.

    Commercial banks are being encouraged to sell more special financial bonds to boost capital to increase lending to small firms, Chen said at a press conference.

    Here are other takeaways:

    - Non-performing loan ratios for SMEs are "a bit" higher than the overall 1.86%, but still below the regulatory standard 5%, according to Chen.

  • 2020-02-21 16:17


    By Brooke Migdon

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The OECD will work to advance digital tax guidelines at a G20 meeting this weekend, a senior official told MNI Friday, warning an impasse could stoke trade tensions.

    "No one wants to see the alternative," Grace Perez-Navarro, a deputy director of tax policy, said Friday in an email. "A slew of unilateral, uncoordinated digital services taxes and the trade war that would ensue."

    Leaders are convening in Saudi Arabia and one panel focused on tax and digitalization is expected to include U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. France shelved plans to collect a tax on digital services earlier this year until a larger solution is reached at the OECD. The U.S.

  • 2020-02-21 10:29


    By Brooke Migdon

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Existing home sales retreated slightly in January, declining 1.3% to a 5.46 million annualized pace after hitting the strongest pace in nearly two years a month earlier, according to data released Friday by the National Association of Realtors.

    From one year ago, sales were higher by 9.6%, marking the seventh consecutive month of y/y gains. If sales continue to hold at January's pace through the rest of the year, 2020 sales would surpass total 2019 figures, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun told reporters Friday.

    But despite "solid" home sales, a nationwide inventory shortage continues to push up prices, dampening prospects for a stronger 2020.

  • 2020-02-21 04:41


    By Les Commons and Laurie Laird

    LONDON (MNI) - A robust increase in self-assessment tax receipts boosted Treasury coffers into surplus in January, although a government spending spree and falling corporate tax receipts continue to strain fiscal finances.

    The following are the key points from public sector finance data published by the Office for National Statistics Friday.

    - The Treasury received a payment of GBP9.813 billion in January, courtesy of a 9.8% surge in self-assessment tax receipts to the highest level on record. However, the increase in self-assessment receipts was lower than the 15.8% gain recorded in January 2019.

  • 2020-02-21 01:30


    TOKYO (MNI) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Friday that he sees no need to review either the policy framework and the 2% price target now.

    "I think the proposals by the IMF (International Monetary Fund) is rational but I don't think it is necessary for the BOJ to review the policy framework now," Kuroda told lawmakers.

    He added that it is premature to discuss an exit of the easy policy as Japan hasn't yet achieved the 2% price target.

    "The BOJ will review as needed, including an exit strategy from the easy policy.

  • 2020-02-20 20:06


    By Hiroshi Inoue

    TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's core consumer price index accelerated in January but Bank of Japan officials are little moved in their outlook as they are still concerned that sluggish private spending will slow corporate price hikes, MNI understands.

    Japan's core CPI rose 0.8% y/y in January, a 37th straight gain, with the pace accelerating from 0.7% in December but lower than the 0.9% seen in April 2019.

    The gain was boosted by higher energy prices (+0.8% y/y in January vs. -0.6% in December) and solid service prices.

    The contribution from energy turned positive (+0.07 percentage point) in January from negative (-0.05 pp in December).

    Prices for goods rose 1.3% y/y in January, slowing from +1.5% in December.

    But prices for goods excluding peris

  • 2020-02-20 19:16


    --Japan Jan Core CPI +0.8% Y/Y; MNI Median +0.7%; Dec +0.7% Y/Y
    --Japan Jan Core-Core CPI +0.8% Y/Y; Dec +0.9% Y/Y
    --Japan Jan CPI Energy Costs +0.8% Y/Y; Dec -0.6% Y/Y

    TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's annual core consumer inflation rate climbed on a monthly basis in January on the back of higher energy prices, according to data from the Ministry of International Affairs and Communication released on Friday.

    The key points from the latest CPI data:

    -- The national average core consumer price index (excluding fresh food) rose for a 37th straight month in January, rising 0.8% y/y and accelerating slightly from a gain of 0.7% recorded in December and also projected by the MNI median forecast.

    -- Energy costs edged up 0.8% y/y, wiping off the 0.6% y/y fall seen over the previous m