Finance

As Fed fog lifts, central bankers keep puzzling over China

The world’s central banks are scrambling to assess the risk a slowing China poses to their economies and appear to be no closer than most other observers to working out what is going on in the world’s second largest economy. While the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Bank of Japan have offices in Beijing, the U.S. Federal Reserve and ... Read More »

U.S. House backs permanent tax breaks in massive bill

A massive bill that extends billions of dollars in tax assistance to businesses and expands the budget deficit won U.S. House of Representatives approval on Thursday in the closest thing to a grand bipartisan tax bargain in years. Lawmakers voted 318-109 for the $622 billion measure, which is a step toward avoiding a government shutdown. The bill now goes to ... Read More »

Chinese firms’ profits hit record lows, face harmful deflation – survey

China’s economy was plagued by pervasive weakness in the fourth quarter, results from a private survey of Chinese firms showed, raising questions about the veracity of stronger than expected official activity data released this month. “The government may not be in the mood to acknowledge officially that the slowdown has worsened, but self-reporting from the nation’s powerhouses will be hard ... Read More »

As China’s demand wanes, the golden age of coal comes to an end – IEA

A worker speaks as he loads coal on a truck at a depot near a coal mine from the state-owned Longmay Group on the outskirts of Jixi, in Heilongjiang province, China, October 24, 2015. REUTERS/JASON LEE China faces peak coal demand for the first time as a cooling economy and shifts in industry hit consumption, paving the way for a ... Read More »

World Bank lends Iraq $1.2 billion to face oil, security shocks

Flames emerge from a pipeline at Basra refinery in Basra province, March 1, 2014. The World Bank said on Thursday it would lend Iraq $1.2 billion in emergency support to help it deal with the economic effects of its fight against Islamic State militants and low oil prices. The budget support loan will be disbursed in a single tranche and ... Read More »

Yellen’s “tightening” promises a slow crawl higher

The policy tightening kicked off by the Fed this week promises to be among the longest and slowest of modern times, a crawl forward that may last as long as former fed chair Paul Volcker’s legendary battle against inflation in the 1980s. Janet Yellen faces a different challenge – inflation is low, yet the Federal Reserve aims to bring borrowing ... Read More »

BOJ keeps base money target, fine-tunes stimulus scheme to promote capex

The Bank of Japan maintained its money printing drive at the current rate on Friday, but reorganized its massive stimulus program to advance premier Shinzo Abe’s plans to prod reticent companies into boosting wages and investment. As widely expected, the BOJ kept intact its policy target of increasing or cash and deposits in circulation by 80 trillion yen ($660 billion) ... Read More »

India to stick to 2015/16 fiscal deficit target – finance ministry report

The government will stick to its budgeted fiscal deficit target of 3.9 percent of GDP for the fiscal year ending in March 2016, the finance ministry said in a report on Friday. The government hopes to hit the target without cutting expenditure or deferring tax refunds, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said earlier this week. In the budget in February, ... Read More »

India cuts growth outlook, calls for review of fiscal, monetary targets

India slashed its full-year growth forecast on Friday, citing weak global demand and lower farm output, and called for speedier reforms as well as a review of fiscal and monetary policies to resuscitate economic activity. In a mid-year review, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said the economy would likely expand by 7-7.5 percent in the fiscal year ending in March ... Read More »

Macri scaps currency controls and floats Argentine peso

The new Conservative government in Argentina has wasted little time in making an economic break with the recent past by floating the peso and abandoning currency controls. President Mauricio Macri wants to stimulate exports and investment, and rebuild foreign trust in Argentina’s economic policies. The move could herald a big devaluation. Based on the current blue-chip swap rate used to ... Read More »