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Thursday, June 22, 2017

USA: There are Trump's claims about jobs. And then there are the numbers - by Chris Isidore

"We've ended the war on clean beautiful coal. And we're putting our miners back to work," he said. "Last week a brand new coal mine just opened in the state of Pennsylvania. First time in decades. Decades. We've reversed it. And 33,000 mining jobs have been added since my inauguration."
"We've ended the war on clean beautiful coal. And we're putting our miners back to work," he said. "Last week a brand new coal mine just opened in the state of Pennsylvania. First time in decades. Decades. We've reversed it. And 33,000 mining jobs have been added since my inauguration."
"We've ended the war on clean beautiful coal. And we're putting our miners back to work," he said. "Last week a brand new coal mine just opened in the state of Pennsylvania. First time in decades. Decades. We've reversed it. And 33,000 mining jobs have been added since my inauguration."
"We've ended the war on clean beautiful coal. And we're putting our miners back to work," he said. "Last week a brand new coal mine just opened in the state of Pennsylvania. First time in decades. Decades. We've reversed it. And 33,000 mining jobs have been added since my inauguration."

Trump has regularly claimed that the United States has added more jobs during his tenure than it actually has.

On June 1 he claimed that there had been "more than 1 million private sector jobs" created since he took office. His chief economic adviser Gary Cohn explained he was using an estimate from payroll service ADP, which said 1.2 million jobs were added from January through May.

But that figure is questionable for a couple of reasons. First, it includes January, when President Obama was in office for most of the month. Without January the number of jobs added slips to under 1 million.

Read more: There are Trump's claims about jobs. And then there are the numbers - Jun. 22, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Structure of EU Debt shows debt mainly held by non - residents in half of the EU Member States

In order to analyze the debt structure in European countries, Eurostat collects additionally results from an annual survey containing Member States' information on government gross debt by sector of debt holder, by instrument, by initial and remaining maturity and by currency of issuance.

The survey also contains information on (one-off) guarantees granted by the general government to non-government units as well as the market value of the Maastricht debt instruments and the apparent cost of government debt. One-off guarantees are contingent liabilities which are not included in general government gross debt.

For the complete report on the EU debt structure click here

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

US Economy: US current account deficit expands to $116.8 billion

The U.S. deficit in the broadest measure of trade rose to the highest level in a year during the first quarter.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday the deficit in the U.S. current account rose to $116.8 billion in the January-March period, up 2.4 percent from $114 billion in the last three months of 2016. The deficit was the largest since a $119.2 billion gap a year earlier.

The deficit in goods rose to $200.3 billion from $195.1 billion in October-December 2016 as imports grew faster than exports in the first quarter. Leading the increase in imports were industrial supplies, mostly crude oil. The goods gap was partly offset by a slightly higher surplus in trade in services.

The current account is the most complete measure of trade because it includes investment flows in addition to trade in merchandise and service. A deficit means the U.S. is consuming more from overseas than it is selling abroad.

President Donald Trump has pledged to reduce the U.S. trade deficit, contending that it costs U.S. factory jobs and reflects unfair practices by America's trading partners. He has promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada to get a better deal for American manufacturers and workers.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Global Warming: A third of the world now faces deadly heatwaves as result of climate change - by Oliver Milman

Nearly a third of the world’s population is now exposed to climatic conditions that produce deadly heatwaves, as the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere makes it “almost inevitable” that vast areas of the planet will face rising fatalities from high temperatures, new research has found.

Climate change has escalated the heatwave risk across the globe, the study states, with nearly half of the world’s population set to suffer periods of deadly heat by the end of the century even if greenhouse gases are radically cut.

“For heatwaves, our options are now between bad or terrible,” said Camilo Mora, an academic at the University of Hawaii and lead author of the study.

The proportion of people at risk worldwide will grow to 48% by 2100 even if emissions are drastically reduced, while around three-quarters of the global population will be under threat by then if greenhouse gases are not curbed at all.

“Finding so many cases of heat-related deaths was mind blowing, especially as they often don’t get much attention because they last for just a few days and then people moved on,” Mora said.

High temperatures are currently baking large swaths of the south-western US, with the National Weather Service (NWS) issuing an excessive heat warning for Phoenix, Arizona, which is set to reach 119F (48.3C) on Monday.

The heat warning extends across much of Arizona and up through the heart of California, with Palm Springs forecast a toasty 116F (46.6C) on Monday and Sacramento set to reach 107F (41.6C).

“Dying in a heatwave is like being slowly cooked, it’s pure torture. The young and elderly are at particular risk, but we found that this heat can kill soldiers, athletes, everyone.”

The study, published in Nature Climate Change, analyzed more than 1,900 cases of fatalities associated with heatwaves in 36 countries over the past four decades. By looking at heat and humidity during such lethal episodes, researchers worked out a threshold beyond which conditions become deadly.

This time period includes the European heatwave of 2003, which fueled forest fires in several countries and caused the River Danube in Serbia to plummet so far that submerged second world war tanks and bombs were revealed. An estimated 20,000 people died; a subsequent study suggested the number was as high as 70,000.

A further 10,000 died in Moscow due to scorching weather in 2010. In 1995, Chicago suffered a five-day burst of heat that resulted in more than 700 deaths.

Read more: A third of the world now faces deadly heatwaves as result of climate change | Environment | The Guardian

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Germany: Aldi fires $3.4 billion shot in U.S. supermarket wars

One of the several Aldi's in Fort Lauderdale
German grocery chain Aldi Inc said on Sunday it would invest $3.4 billion to expand its U.S. store base to 2,500 by 2022, raising the stakes for rivals caught in a price war.

Aldi operates 1,600 U.S. stores and earlier this year said it would add another 400 by the end of 2018 and spend $1.6 billion to remodel 1,300 of them.
The investment, which raises Aldi's capital expenditure to at least $5 billion so far this year, comes at a time of intense competition and disruption in the industry.

German rival Lidl will open the first of its 100 U.S. stores on June 15. In May, Lidl said it would price products up to 50 percent lower than rivals.

The furious pace of expansion by Aldi and Lidl is likely to further disrupt the U.S. grocery market, which has seen 18 bankruptcies since 2014. The two chains are also upending established UK grocers like Tesco Plc (TSCO.L) and Wal-Mart's UK arm, ASDA.

In May, Aldi Chief Executive Jason Hart told Reuters the chain intended to have prices at least 21 percent lower than rivals and would focus on adding in-house brands to win over price-sensitive customers.

"We're growing at a time when other retailers are struggling," Hart said in a statement. Hart added that Aldi's prices were also up to 50 percent lower than traditional grocery chains, a move that appeared to follow rival Lidl's announcement on prices

Read more: Aldi fires $3.4 billion shot in U.S. supermarket wars | Reuters

Saturday, June 17, 2017

European Aircraft Industry: Airbus A380 upgrade waits in the wings at Paris Airshow

The Airbus A-380
Airbus is preparing to roll out a novel A380 wingtip design to rally support for the world's largest passenger jet by improving its fuel efficiency, according to a prototype seen on Saturday.

A Reuters photographer got up close to the roughly three-meter-high split wingtip which has been installed on an A380 belonging to the Air and Space Museum at Le Bourget airport, where the Paris Airshow opens on Monday.

It confirms an upgrade reported by Reuters and Usine Nouvelle on Friday. Airbus declined comment.

Drag-reducing 'scimitar' split wingtips have been used on Boeing's medium-haul Boeing 737 MAX, but never on a jetliner the size of the A380, which has a 79.9-metre (262-foot) wingspan.

The aircraft sporting the prototype 'winglet' will be towed out to join others on display at the June 19-25 air show, giving airlines a glimpse of an improvement that Airbus hopes will turn around the present weak sales of its flagship double-decker

Read more: Airbus A380 upgrade waits in the wings at Paris Airshow

Friday, June 16, 2017

Greece Economy: A positive agreement for Greece

On 15 June, Greece’s creditors, Eurogroup, acknowledged the achievements of the Greek government on the implementation and outcome of fiscal policy measures.

The release of the next bailout tranche was agreed; more clarity was provided on the debt relief roadmap as well as next steps towards boosting growth.

These developments have delivered a positive signal to the markets and the Greek people, indicating that the Greek economy is steadily exiting the final stages of a longstanding and harrowing financial crisis.

For the first time since 2010, Greece’s creditors have pledged to prioritize a growth-oriented model that entails the participation of the European Investment Bank in medium- and large-scale investment projects, as well as the creation of a Greek Development Bank – a proposal that the Greek government has made since 2015.

The reluctance of the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, to accelerate the conclusion of the bailout review was significantly addressed after the Greek government, the European Commission, the French government and the progressive forces in the European institutions pressured the Eurogroup to agree to Greece’s bailout review.

The French played a mediating role for the need to develop growth policies, so that the Greek economy can start warming its engines.

Read more: A positive agreement for Greece