Overseas Headlines-March 02, 2020

March 02, 2020

United States:

Fed Ready to Cut Rates Despite Doubt They Can Offset Virus

“The Federal Reserve is now prepared to reduce interest rates this month even though it recognizes monetary policy cannot completely shelter a U.S. economy increasingly threatened by the coronavirus. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell opened the door to a rate-cut at the Fed’s March 17-18 meeting by issuing a rare statement Friday pledging to “act as appropriate” to support the economy.”



One Brexit, Two Systems: U.K. Manufacturers Brace for More Costs

“Whenever Mike Ashmead builds a new motorcycle model, he pays about 120,000 pounds ($154,000) for a certificate proving it complies with European Union standards. Once Britain leaves the bloc’s regulatory orbit in 2021, the founder of Herald Motor Co. fears he will have to pay the charge twice. “If you have a different one for the U.K., that’s another 120,000 pounds,” said Ashmead. That could be 10% of parent firm Encocam Ltd.’s annual profit. “It’s quite a significant amount because it comes off the bottom line.” ”



China’s Push to Jump-Start Economy Revives Fake Data Worries

“The pressure to get China back to work after the coronavirus shutdown is resurrecting an old temptation: doctoring data so it shows senior officials what they want to see. This phenomenon is playing out in Zhejiang province, an industrial hub on the east coast, in the form of electricity usage. At least three cities there have given local factories targets to hit for power consumption because they’re using the data to show a resurgence in production, according to people familiar with the matter. That’s prompted some businesses to run machinery even as their plants remain empty, the people said.”


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