Overseas Headlines – March 10, 2021

March 10, 2021

United States:

U.S. Recovery Sustains Positive Momentum as Economy Reopens

 A year after the coronavirus pandemic first drove the U.S. economy into the deepest downturn in generations, high-frequency economic indicators illustrate a strong rebound — yet there’s still a ways to go. Bloomberg Economics’ weekly dashboard of high-frequency, alternative and market-based data showed a weekly measure of retail sales accelerated for a third week, as gauges of mobility, consumer confidence and restaurant bookings all improved.”



U.K. Revives Thatcher-Era Freeports in Bid to Stimulate Trade

Nothing saps British trade experts’ enthusiasm like freeports. U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak revealed the eight English ports that will become low-tariff zones. He failed to mention that former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s version of the policy was quietly dropped almost a decade ago in the U.K. so Brexit wasn’t a prerequisite for reviving the idea. Richard Ballantyne, chief executive of the British Ports Association, warned that among the deprived coastal towns that didn’t make the cut, “there will be losers” as a result of the policy. A study from the U.K. in a Changing Europe think tank concluded that freeports offer no “magic bullet” for economic transformation.”



China’s Credit Better Than Forecast Despite February Holiday

“China’s credit expansion slowed in February during a traditionally slow month for lending because of the Lunar New Year holidays, but the drop was less than economists forecast. Aggregate financing was 1.71 trillion yuan ($263 billion), the People’s Bank of China said Wednesday. That compares to 5.17 trillion yuan in January and 873.7 billion yuan in the same month last year. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists was 910 billion yuan ”



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