Overseas Headlines – May 12, 2021

United States:

U.S. Consumer Prices Jump Most Since 2009, Outpacing Estimates

“U.S. consumer prices climbed in April by the most since 2009, topping forecasts and intensifying the already-heated debate about how long inflationary pressures will last. The consumer price index increased 0.8% from the prior month, reflecting gains in nearly every major category and a sign burgeoning demand is giving companies latitude to pass on higher costs.”



European Economic Outlook Upgraded on Fiscal Fund, Vaccines

“The euro-area economy will grow more quickly this year than previously forecast as the region’s vaccination campaign gathers speed, fiscal support is rolled out and a strong global rebound helps exports. The European Commission upgraded its growth outlook for the currency bloc this year to 4.3% from 3.8% after taking account of the European Union’s 800 billion-euro ($971 billion) joint recovery fund for the first time. Total output by the EU’s 27 member states is now expected to reach its pre-pandemic size by the end of this year, earlier than initially thought.”



China’s Soaring Factory Costs Send Inflation Signal to the World

“Bryant Chan’s factory in Heyuan, in China’s Guangdong province, turns out Nerf guns, LeapPad toy tablets, and other playthings for major U.S. brands, as well as electronics, such as a gadget that can capture data on golf swings. The president of Hong Kong-based Wynnewood Corp., Chan has seen prices for paint, screws, springs, solvent, metal, batteries, and packaging rise as much as 15% this year. Plastic resin has climbed up to 40%. “To put it very simply, everything has gone up in price,” he says. “This increase has been much steeper and across a broader range of categories than we have typically experience.”



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