Overseas Headlines – July 13, 2017


U.S. weekly jobless claims drop; producer prices unexpectedly rise

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week for the first time in a month and producer prices unexpectedly rose in June, likely keeping the Federal Reserve on track for a third interest rate increase this year. Persistently low layoffs point to a buoyant labour market that is sustaining economic growth, while the uptick in producer prices suggests a recent moderation in inflation was likely temporary. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 247,000 for the week ended July 8, the Labour Department said on Thursday Claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labour market, for 123 straight weeks. That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labour market was smaller. The labour market is near full employment, with the jobless rate at 4.4 percent. The drop in first-time applications for jobless benefits came on the heels of data last week showing the economy created 222,000 jobs last month, the second biggest payrolls increase this year.




German economy to grow at accelerated pace in Q2 – EconMin

The German economy will continue to enjoy solid growth in the second quarter, driven by soaring private consumption and higher construction activity while net foreign trade is unlikely to add to the expansion, the Economy Ministry said in Thursday. Europe’s biggest economy grew by 0.6 percent in the first quarter – faster than in the prior quarters – and analysts expect gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at least by the same rate in the April-June period. “The German economy is continuing its accelerated upswing – in the second quarter too,” the ministry said in its monthly report. “German exports are currently benefitting from a revival of world trade. But they are likely to grow less sharply in adjusted terms than imports, which are also heading upwards,” the ministry added. This showed how the current account surplus was continuing its slow downward trend, which started in mid-2016, it said. Industrial output has risen for five months in a row since the beginning of the year and sentiment indicators such as the closely watched Ifo index suggest that business morale has reached record highs, the ministry said.




China economy to grow 6.6 percent in 2017, topping government target despite policy curbs: Reuters poll

China’s economic growth is expected to top the government target to reach 6.6 percent in 2017, tempering initial worries of a sharper slowdown as Beijing walks a policy tightrope with its quest to crackdown on financial risks and limit damage to the economy. An upturn in global demand for Chinese goods could cushion the impact on growth from curbs on property and debt risks, which have seen a modest tightening in monetary conditions, economists said. The government has targeted annual growth of around 6.5 percent this year, down from the 6.7 percent pace clocked in 2016 – the slowest in 26 years – as authorities stepped up their campaign to wean the economy off its reliance on years of cheap credit. Growth in the world’s second-biggest economy is projected to continue cooling to 6.3 percent in 2018, the Reuters poll of 65 economists showed. The forecasts for this year and in 2018 were both more optimistic than the polling results three months prior, as a slew of official data in recent months eased worries about a sharper downturn in China’s economy. “We raised our forecast because the economy has fared much better than expected in the first half of the year,” said Betty Wang, a Hong-Kong based senior economist with ANZ Research.