January 08, 2020
The U.S. Trade Deficit Is Narrowing for Reasons That Aren’t All Good
“On the surface, the latest numbers show President Donald Trump may be poised to deliver on one of his biggest economic promises: reducing the annual U.S. trade deficit with China and the world. Dive into the numbers, though, and that accomplishment comes with plenty of caveats and even some worrying signs for the U.S. economy. November trade data released Tuesday showed that the U.S. goods and services deficit decreased by 0.7%, or $3.9 billion, in the first 11 months of 2019 from the same period a year earlier. That puts the annual shortfall on track to shrink for the first time since Trump took office.”
No-Deal Brexit Remains a Possibility in 2020, Warns ECB’s Knot
“European Central Bank policy maker Klaas Knot said having “a deep and comprehensive trade deal” that covers financial services would be preferable as the U.K. prepares to the leave the European Union. Speaking in Amsterdam on Wednesday, the Dutch governor warned that a no-deal Brexit remained a possibility in 2020 if future arrangements are not agreed. Such a scenario could lead to trade between between the EU and Britain falling by an average of 20% in the following years. “In short, even though we have now avoided a no-deal Brexit at the end of this month, we still face continuing uncertainty well into 2020,” Knot said. “We still do not know what the relationship between the U.K. and the EU will look like from next year onwards.”
China Says Rush to Boost Pork Supplies Raises Risk of Outbreaks
“China’s race to boost pork supplies by increasing hog breeding has raised the risks of worsening the swine fever crisis, the government said. The African swine fever situation “is still severe and complex,” Vice Agriculture Minister Yu Kangzhen said during a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday. “The risk of outbreaks will rise with the rapid increase in the number of live hogs.” The rare show of candor by the Chinese government on a disease that’s roiled the industry follows months of comments tamping down speculation that the situation was out of control. It also affirms concerns that restocking herds when the disease is endemic could further delay a recovery.”
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