Overseas Headlines – May 14, 2021

United States:

U.S. Retail Sales Stalled in April After Stimulus-Aided Surge

“U.S. retail sales stalled in April following a sharp advance in the prior month when pandemic-relief checks provided millions of Americans with increased spending power. The value of overall retail purchases were essentially unchanged last month following an upwardly revised 10.7% gain in March, Commerce Department figures showed Friday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 1% April gain.”



How Do ECB Chiefs Invest Their Own Cash? Not Very Sustainably

“When it comes to investing their own money to tackle climate-change or promote better corporate governance, European Central Bank officials are decidedly average. Members of the ECB’s Governing Council and Supervisory Board keep nearly half of their private investments in assets that rank “average” or “laggard” on a sustainability scale devised by MSCI Inc., according to an analysis by Bloomberg News of publicly available declarations of interest.”



China to Tax Dirty Oil Flows From Next Month Citing Pollution

“China will start taxing imports of dirty fuels used to make lucrative but lower quality products from next month, citing pollution concerns and the need to promote fairness in the refining sector. Imports of products such as light-cycle oil — a low-quality fuel that’s blended into diesel or fuel oil — will be subject to the consumption tax from June 12, according to a statement from the Ministry of Finance. Other products that will incur the levy include mixed aromatics and diluted bitumen, the ministry said, and all will be taxed the same as shipments of naphtha or fuel oil.”




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