Dollar holds gains as Fed stands pat, calls economy strong

According to Kitco, the U.S. dollar clung to gains against a basket of peers on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged but characterized the economy as strong, keeping the central bank on track to increase borrowing costs in September.

“The dollar and broader financial markets were initially little changed following the Fed’s announcement, which does little to change the outlook for two more dollar-supportive rate increases this year and, likely, quarterly hikes in 2019,” said Omer Esiner, the chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.

The Fed said economic growth has been rising strongly and the job market has continued to strengthen while inflation has remained near the central bank’s 2 percent target since its last policy meeting in June when it raised rates.

The Fed currently expects another two rate rises by the end of the year. “It came in pretty much as expected. There were no major surprises,” said Mark Grant, managing director and chief global strategist at the investment bank B. Riley FBR. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, was up 0.14 percent at 94.629.

Meanwhile, fears of an escalation in the trade dispute between the United States and China, and higher U.S. Treasury yields supported the greenback. Worries about what an escalation in the months-long dispute would mean for the Chinese and then the global economy led investors to buy the dollar and sell currencies linked to China’s economic fortunes.

The U.S. administration plans to propose a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports, up from an original 10 percent, to pressure Beijing into making trade concessions, a source familiar with the matter said. China has vowed to retaliate. The offshore Chinese yuan slid more than half a percent on reports of the new tariffs.

Malaysia’s second chance at digital economy

According to The Edge Markets, Malaysia has a second chance of becoming the global hub at the forefront of digital economy with Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s return as the nation’s prime minister, according to Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, the minister of Economic Affairs.

Azmin Ali reminded the crowd in his speech during the launch of the World Bank’s 18th edition of the Malaysia Economic Monitor that the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) was first mooted and expressed by Mahathir back in 1996, which envisaged the creation of special economic zone and high-tech business district.

“It was intended to leapfrog Malaysia into the 21st century and become the global hub at the forefront of the digital economy,” Azmin said.

He highlighted that the recent opening of Chinese conglomerate Alibaba Group’s first country officer in the South East Asia last month, is significant and a strategic stance to take Malaysia into the next level. Jack Ma, Alibaba’s co-founder, has said that his inspiration to start Alibaba came from the MSC.

“This will be a boost to the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) and with nearly 2,000 entrepreneurs registered, the export value of SMEs can potentially increase to US$38 billion, with the creation of 60,000 jobs by 2025,” he noted on the impact from the DFTZ.

It is important to push for the digital economy, as it is the single most important driver of innovation, competitiveness, and growth, he added.

“It holds huge potentials for our SMEs. However, only 62 percent of businesses are connected to the internet and only 28 percent have a web presence. Therefore, various efforts are being undertaken to encourage this utilization of digital platforms,” Azmin Ali said, highlighting the low utilization of digital platforms, despite that the proportion of its population with digital access has increased from around 51 percent in 2006 to more than 80 percent at present.

U.S. Economy Keep on Trucking’ Even Without Drivers

According to Market Watch, if the nine-year-old U.S. expansion finally grinds to a halt, a lack of truck drivers is likely to be a culprit in fouling up the gears of the economy.

A shortage of truck drivers has been building for several years, but now the problem is especially acute. Companies increasingly complain about longer delivery times for supplies and rising transportation costs — costs that could lead to higher prices for consumers and more inflation.

“The supply chain is shuttering because of a lack of drivers and equipment causing delays in multiple modes of transportation,” a wholesale-industry executive told the Institute of Supply Management in its May survey of service-oriented businesses. Another executive said flat-beds are especially in short supply.

The Federal Reserve’s period survey of economic conditions across the country has also pointed to a scarcity of truck drivers. In the mid-Atlantic region stretching from Maryland to South Carolina, for example, the Fed said: “driver shortages have led some trucking companies to turn some business away.” The problem isn’t going away anytime soon, either.

An industry trade group says the U.S. needs at least 30,000 additional drivers to handle all the goods being transported, a number that is expected to increase as older truckers retire. More than half of the nation’s estimated 3.5 million truckers are 45 or older. And almost all are men.

Yet recruitment of new drivers has fallen short owing in part to broad changes in society. More people than ever go to college, fewer and fewer Americans move each year and many are not interested in all the travel involved. Truckers are often away for days or weeks at a time, making it hard for families. Transportation companies are raising wages and benefits to try to attract more drivers, but it’s only a partial panacea.

A Call for Ethical Intervention

According to Crux, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople called on Christians to work together to build a culture of solidarity in the face of growing economic inequality and a lack of respect for the human dignity of the poor and of migrants.

The two leaders met privately May 26 before addressing an international conference sponsored by the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, which seeks to promote the teaching of St. John Paul II’s 1991 encyclical on social and economic justice.

“The current difficulties and crises within the global economic system have an undeniable ethical dimension,” Francis told some 500 business leaders, theologians and proponents of Catholic social teaching.

The crises clearly “are related to a mentality of egoism and exclusion that has effectively created a culture of waste blind to the human dignity of the most vulnerable,” the pope said.

A “growing ‘globalization of indifference’” is seen in the uneven pace of development, “not only in materially poorer countries but increasingly amid the opulence of the developed world,” he said. It also is obvious in people’s reactions to migrants and refugees.

In his speech to the gathering, Bartholomew insisted that Christianity is “essentially social. Faith is not limited only to the ‘soul’ without any interest for the social dimension, but rather, it also plays a pivotal role at the level of society.”

The Orthodox and Catholic churches, he said, promote spiritual values and charitable activity, but they also teach “the principles of the respect of the person, solidarity, subsidiarity and the common good.”

But, he said, the world today – as seen in the global economic system and the continued destruction of the environment – is experiencing a “crisis of solidarity” that threatens humanity’s very existence.

Bartholomew condemned what he described as the “‘fundamentalism of the market,’ the deification of profit, the association of dignity with the property, the reduction of the human being to ‘homo oeconomicus’ and the subordination of the human person to the tyranny of needs.”

Liverpool’s economy

According to City Metric, the first thing to note: that Liverpool result wasn’t a fluke. There’s a huge bounce into 2009, which suggests that the 2008 European Capital of Culture award may have been a big help to the city. But while it falls back as the crash beds in and austerity bites, it’s growing strongly again from 2020 and ends the chart in fourth place. By 2016, its economy had grown by more than a quarter.

What of the rest? It won’t surprise anyone to see that London is in the first place, or that Bristol – the only other southern English city listed – is running it close. Both economies have expanded fairly steadily (although I’d love to know what happened in Bristol in 2014). The great recession barely touched them, and the western city has probably benefited, too, from people and jobs getting priced out of the capital, McDonald’s Customers Survey Guide.

As to the other national capitals, Edinburgh had a wobble in 2009-10 but bounced back fairly strongly. With Cardiff, the story is more interesting. Viewed in terms of its progress since 1998, its economy is one of Britain’s star performers. Starting the clock later, though, and we can see it had a tough recession, and its economy took several years to get back to its 2007 value.

Britain’s largest cities outside London, Manchester, and Birmingham, are in the middle of the pack. The former has expanded fairly consistently, if unimpressively; the latter had a harder crash but a stronger rebound. Both those things probably fit with what we already knew about them. It’s at the bottom of the league table that the other surprise lies: the cities of Yorkshire are in trouble.

It’s no shock that Sheffield should be pulling up the rear – it’s consistently the most economically troubled of Britain’s major cities, struggling not just with industrial decline but also poor infrastructure and physical isolation.

Goldman Sachs on China’s economy reform

According to Nikkei Asian Review, Goldman Sachs has an important part to play as they support the reform of Chinese Economy. CEO and Chairman Lloyd Blankfein revealed this in an interview, which also discussed several topics such as Bitcoin, Toshiba, and the prospect of retirement.

At the moment, Wall Street bank has been up to some China-related business. Announced last fall, this includes their partnership with state wealth fund China Investment Corp as well. Blankfein emphasized the value of the country as a market for Goldman Sachs.

“My predecessor, Hank Paulson, went there a lot. I go there a lot. It is the second-largest economy in the world, and certainly on the way to being the largest,” he said.

“You are going to need rules and regulations that allow companies to go bankrupt in a sensible way so that bad assets can be recycled and redeployed in the economy. You are going to have to reorganize companies to make them more efficient,” he added.

“Those are all ways in which we normally help an economy, and so we think it is very important for us to be there, and I think it is very important for China to have companies like us there helping the economy grow,” he further shared.

Moreover, Blankfein believes China needs his company if they want to continue pursuing the ranks of advanced economies. This goal requires the country to edify their financial and economic reform. He also addressed Goldman Sach’s transaction with Japan and how their operation there is doing for the last four decades.

“Commitment is especially important in Japan, where relationships really matter. It takes a long time, and we have been here a long time. Sometimes it’s frustrating: You want quick results, but Japan gives solid and durable results, but not quick results,” he said.

Midterms: The Real meaning of Economy

According to National Public Radio, despite a wave of controversies, President Trump’s popularity seems to be rising ever so slightly, according to a couple of recent polls. The bump may be linked to the fact that more Americans seem to be crediting Trump for the nation’s healthy economy. And that has raised one of the central questions of the midterm election season: whether the economy will help keep Republicans in control.

Voters like Allen Cowan, a 50-year-old from West Virginia, might offer some clues. Cowan considers himself a socially liberal, fiscally conservative voter, the type of voter who reluctantly chose Donald Trump in 2016.

“I held my nose at the voting booth,” Cowan said. But, these days he’s satisfied with at least one aspect of the Trump era. “Financially speaking, I cannot complain,” he said. “My retirement I have through my employer has shown a remarkable increase.” Still, neither Cowan’s personal finances nor the economic health of the country has changed his overall opinion of the president, find the liquor store.

“I can look at President Trump and be like ‘okay, his policies in regards to the economy and stuff are good for the nation.’ But I’m still going to think President Trump the whole kit and caboodle is a bitter pill to swallow,” he said.,Granted, research by Mary Stegmaier, a professor at the University of Missouri, has shown there’s generally a lag in how the public perceives who’s responsible for the economy. “The first year of a presidency is quite different than later years … because when a president is inaugurated he has inherited the economy from his predecessor,” she said. “It takes a while for the public to start holding the new president responsible for the economic conditions.”

And recent polls suggest the political winds may be shifting, as an increasing number of Americans begin crediting Trump over former President Obama for the current economic conditions.

What could hurt the US Economy

According to CNBC survey, 63 percent say Trump trade policies negative for growth. The Fed will likely upgrade its view of the economy when it meets this week, but it’s unlikely to publicly discuss one of the bigger risks for the economy — potential trade wars.

The Trump administration is reportedly prepared to impose $60 billion in annual tariffs against China on Friday, punishing it for intellectual property infringement, according to The Washington Post. The president has already signed an order imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from most countries.

At the Fed’s two-day meeting, which begins Tuesday, policymakers are expected to announce a quarter-point interest rate hike and release new economic and interest rate forecasts Wednesday afternoon.

But economists say the central bank will probably not even mention the trade issues that are worrying markets and could potentially become a bigger issue for the economy if President Donald Trump continues to take actions against trading partners, the liquor store near me.

This week’s Fed meeting is also the first to be led by Jerome Powell, and he will hold a press briefing following it. But Fed watchers expect him to stay away from the topic of tariffs, even if asked.

“It’s a land mine, and we don’t know all the details yet. This is one of those things, especially for Powell. He has made it clear the colors within the lines,” said Grant Thornton chief economist Diane Swonk. She said Powell will stick to the Fed’s dual mandate on inflation and employment and not veer into fiscal policy.

“It will be in the minutes. We’ll find out in three weeks what they think. He will be asked about it, and if I were him I would say we don’t know the full extent,” she said.

Capitalism economy without growth

John Maynard Keynes predicts in 1930 that growth ends within a century. However, he was not sure if post-growth capitalism was possible. At the moment, the mainstream economic perspective still considers the growth to be a vital policy objective. They believe this kind of thinking is essential to the health of the capitalist economy. Therefore, the concern remains that a capitalist is set to collapse without the growth.

According to The Conversion, a latest published research suggest a different view, which says a post-growth economy could actually be more stable and bring higher wages. It is safe to say that capitalism is indeed unstable. In fact, it is prone to the crisis even during the period of an established growth. Take it from the great financial crash from 2007 to 2008.

Meanwhile, the studies of post-growth economics in the past passionately aimed to find the perfect spot where the economy is steady enough to catch up. Unfortunately, the constant change in theory along the way has failed to address the question whether the end to growth would make the economy more or less stable.

The Conversion revealed a study where a novel mathematical macroeconomic model was developed based on American economist Hyman Minsky theory of financial stability. The said study believed that the financial crisis should be expected in capitalists systems due to the period of economic prosperity, which encourages the borrowers and lender to be more reckless. Sadly, Minsky’s masterpiece was overlooked prior to the 2008 crash. Since then, it received more attention.

Moreover, the model includes a banking sector that charges businesses interest on loans. Through this, the concern that the key feature of capitalism might create the need for growth itself will be addressed. Aside from this, the model also includes the basic labor market and dynamic wages. Check out Papa Survey official website for more inquiries.

UAE Ministry of Economy tops economy indices

The UAE Ministry of Economy achieved the top position in nine economic indices and global competitiveness reports for years 2017 and 2018. The ministry revealed the rankings were part of the efforts to obtain the “Number One Challenge” by UAE federal government. It aims to place the country at the top of its game, the reports, and entire global competitiveness indices.

World Economic Forum in 2017 and 2018 declared the ministry as the first in five tourism indices. The indices related to the following:

  • Effectiveness of marketing aimed at tourists
  • Governmental travel and tourism priorities
  • Sustainability and development of the tourism sector
  • Quality of tourism infrastructure and presence of car rental companies

Moreover, the ministry also received three top-spots in the Global Competitiveness Yearbook, which Institute for Administrative Development issued in Switzerland last year. Again, this includes the following:

  • Implementation of technology.
  • Index of technological cooperation between companies
  • Public-private partnerships and the development

They also achieved the top rank in development of economic blocs in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2017. INSEAD, also known as European Institute of Business Administration, issued the said title.

Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri said the ministry commits to keeping work and launching initiatives, as well as the development programs that aim to expand the country’s leadership on main and sub-indices identified in cooperation with the UAE Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA).

Furthermore, Minister of State for International Cooperation and the Chairperson of The Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA) Reem Bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy said the UAE marks its leading presence in the global competitive arena. She attributed this success to the unified efforts of federal and local entities working together as one. According to Gulf News, she also acknowledged the Ministry’s working team, which she believes has the major contribution to the country’s progress.