Overseas Headlines- December 10, 2019

December 10, 2019

United States:

U.S. Small-Business Sentiment Climbs Most in More Than a Year

“Sentiment among small U.S. businesses climbed by the most in more than a year as more owners said profit trends are looking up and that it’s a favorable time for expansion, adding to signs that a key part of the economy is holding up in the fourth quarter. The National Federation of Independent Business optimism index rose 2.3 points in November to a four-month high of 104.7, topping all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists that had called for 103. The composition of the report released Tuesday showed that earnings trends were the biggest driver of the gain, posting the biggest increase in almost two years, though the overall rise was broad-based as seven of 10 components advanced.”



U.K. Economy Fails to Grow Ahead of Brexit-Dominated Election

“The U.K. economy unexpectedly stagnated in October, marking three straight months without growth for the first time since 2009. Gross domestic product was unchanged following two consecutive months of decline, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday. Economists had forecast a 0.1% expansion. GDP rose just 0.7% from a year earlier, the smallest increase since June 2012. The services sector grew from September, as did manufacturing as stockbuilding resumed ahead of the now-postponed Oct. 31 Brexit deadline. However, this was offset by lower oil production and the steepest drop in construction output since the beginning of 2018.”




China’s Unexpected Export Drop Shows Why It Wants a Trade Deal

“The unexpected drop in China’s exports in November shows one reason why the nation wants to agree on a phase one trade deal – U.S. tariffs are hurting China’s exports at a time when global demand is already weak. Total exports in November dropped 1.1% from a year ago, and to the U.S. they were down 23%, the customs administration said Sunday. That was the worst result for exports to the U.S. since February and the 12th straight monthly decline. Overall shipments had been expected to rise 0.8%, as retailers and companies stock up before the Christmas shopping season. About 18 months of tit-for-tat tariffs have damaged both economies, with Chinese companies and American farmers selling less to the other side. When the two sides agreed to work on a ‘phase one deal’ in October there was hope that it would lead to a quick resolution of at least some of the underlying issues. However negotiations have stretched out and even if some of the tariffs are removed, both sides will be economically worse off than they would have been without the conflict.”