Overseas Headlines – April 04, 2017


Trade Deficit in U.S. Narrows in February to Four-Month Low
The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in February to a four-month low as imports declined and exports improved amid a brighter outlook for global manufacturing, Commerce Department data showed Tuesday.

Key Points

· Gap decreased 9.6 percent to $43.6 billion from a revised $48.2 billion in January
· Compares with $44.6 billion median estimate of economists; January gap was originally estimated at $48.5 billion
· Merchandise-trade deficit shrank to $65 billion from $69.5 billion; advance February figures showed $64.8 billion last week


Top EU budget contributors do not want to fill gap left by UK -Austria
Some of the European Union’s top net contributors want the bloc to make savings in response to Britain’s secession rather than for Brussels to demand more funding from them, Austria’s finance minister said in comments broadcast on Tuesday. "Most of the finance ministers I have spoken to have no desire of any kind to fill this gap," Austrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling told ORF radio, adding that Austria was in talks with countries including Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands. "Of course, they all take the view that there should first be (savings) measures on the EU level," he added.


China’s new economic zone to focus on technology, innovation
China’s newly approved economic zone in heavily polluted Hebei province will focus on building clusters of high-tech and innovative businesses and take over some "non-capital functions" from Beijing, a government adviser was quoted as saying. Beijing on Saturday announced plans to build Xiongan New Area, modeled on the Shenzhen special economic zone next to Hong Kong that helped kickstart China’s economic reforms in 1980. Xiongan, about 100 km (60 miles) southwest of Beijing, will draw large state-owned companies but the process will be phased in, Wu Hequan, deputy team leader for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei integration project, told financial publication Caixin on Monday.