Categories
World News

MEP admits member states could follow Brexit Britain’s lead – European Union ‘struggling’

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

And with the Brexit transition period coming to an end on December 31, Professor Zdzislaw Krasnodebski said he and many of his colleagues fully understood Britain’s reasons for quitting the bloc. Prof Krasnodebski, a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group and the head of the ECR’s EU Reform Working Group, said the bloc was at a dangerous crossroads. He told Express.co.uk: “We now have this pandemic crisis which also makes weaker states weaker and stronger ones stronger.

“I think in many cases Brussels has been struggling to exert pressure on member states.”

Highlighting dissatisfaction within Italy, he warned: “Salvini was very critical of the EU’s immigration policy but also the euro, and some political scientists have said it will be the next country which will leave the union because of the eurozone – but it was controlled by the change of Government.”

Nevertheless, he stressed the importance of wide-ranging reforms to counter the tendency towards centralisation.

Prof Krasnodebski acknowledged the way the bloc had developed, and the push for an “ever closer union”, had been a catalyst for Brexit.

He said: “I always thought that the reasons for Brexit was not just a sudden decision of the British people but also due to the internal problems and evolution of the EU.

“We regret, of course, that our British colleagues left.

“The official line of the Parliament is that Michel Barnier is negotiating on behalf of the whole union, all the countries and all states.

“But I can say in my personal opinion and for us in Parliament, partnership with Britain is important.”

Prof Krasnodebski said he could see “a great amount of rationality” in British determination not to be bound by EU regulations after the end of the year.

The level-playing field argument was also used as an excuse for defending EU interests, he suggested.

DON’T MISS
Furious eurosceptic Italian MEP puts Brussels on alert – Marco Zanni [WARNING]
Brexit row erupts in EU Parliament as MEP begs for access to UK fish [CLASH]
Michael Gove warns Brussels ‘independent’ UK will NOT be shackled EU [COMMONS]

He added: “It is in the interests of the EU, of continental Europe to have a free exchange with Great Britain.

“We should not be inclined to force our laws on Great Britain.”

Prof Krasnodebski said: “I can’t speak for my country but I think there are many colleagues in the same political group, probably when we are talking about it we share this view that they should be more flexible.

“And sometimes we have an impression that maybe this is because of this attitude that no country can be better off outside of the union than inside.”

Speaking last week, Prof Krasnodebski called for a “truly open and fair debate” on the future of Europe.

He said: “We believe that efforts should be made to restore the Union as a European community of sovereign nations, based on a Eurorealistic vision of a confederate Europe that respects the rights and democratic legitimacy of the Member States.

“We must strengthen its spiritual foundations.

“If we are to learn anything from the history of the 20th Century, then it should be to understand how dangerous it can be to attempt to completely rebuild societies.”

He added: “Nations feel that they are slowly being deprived of the right to self-determination.

“And citizens see that the EU is increasingly interfering with their lives.

“The European Union is becoming more and more detached from being European, turning its back on its cultural, philosophical and religious traditions.

“We must make it European again in the proper sense of the word.”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Business

U.S. job growth roars back, but COVID-19 resurgence threatens recovery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy created jobs at a record clip in June as more restaurants and bars reopened, but 31.5 million Americans were collecting unemployment checks in the middle of the month, and a resurgence in COVID-19 cases suggested the labor market could suffer a setback in July.

Record spikes in new coronavirus infections in large parts of the country, including Arizona and the highly-populated states of California, Florida and Texas, have forced several jurisdictions to scale back or pause reopenings, and send some workers back home.

The flare-up in the respiratory illness, which started in late June and hit bars and restaurants hard, was not captured in the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report published on Thursday because the government surveyed businesses in the middle of the month.

“June may be the calm before the storm,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “We cannot be sure the labor market recovery will continue at a speed that is sufficient to put the millions and millions of Americans made jobless in this recession back to work.”

Nonfarm payrolls surged by 4.8 million jobs in June, the most since the government started keeping records in 1939. Payrolls rebounded 2.699 million in May after a historic plunge of 20.787 million in April.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls would increase by 3 million jobs in June. Still, employment is 14.7 million jobs below its pre-pandemic level. The jobs recouped are for workers who were temporarily unemployed.

President Donald Trump, whose opinion poll numbers have tanked as he struggles to manage the pandemic, economic crisis and protests over racial injustice four months before the Nov. 3 election, hailed the job gains as proof “our economy is roaring back.”

Though the second straight month of strong hiring added to a stream of data, including consumer spending, in suggesting that the recession which started in February was likely over, that is all history as the coronavirus rages.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell this week said the economic outlook “is extraordinarily uncertain” and would depend on “our success in containing the virus.”

Hiring last month was boosted by the typically low-paying leisure and hospitality industry, which brought back 2.1 million jobs, accounting for about two-fifths of the rise in payrolls.

The return of these workers pushed down average wages 1.2%. Companies are cutting wages and hours. The average workweek dropped to 34.5 hours from 34.7 hours in May.

The measurement of the unemployment rate continued to be biased downward by people misclassifying themselves as being “employed but absent from work” last month. The jobless rate fell to 11.1% from 13.3% in May.

Without the misclassification, it would have been 12.3%. The unemployment rate is 7.6 percentage points above its February level. Unemployment dropped for all gender and demographic groups, though joblessness stayed disproportionately high among Blacks and Hispanics. The number of people who have permanently lost their job increased 588,000 to 2.9 million.

Related Coverage

  • Amid strong June job growth, signs U.S. recovery may be stumbling
  • U.S. trade deficit widens as exports fall to lowest level since 2009

“These workers will likely struggle to regain employment in an economy facing suppressed demand,” said Beth Akers, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Stocks on Wall Street rallied, with the Nasdaq hitting an all-time high. The dollar .DXY edged up against a basket of currencies. U.S. Treasury prices were trading higher.

For a graphic on Rebounding from the COVID-19 crunch:

here

BROAD GAINS

Jobs also returned in the retail, education and health, manufacturing, construction, professional and business services sectors, transportation and warehousing, wholesale trade and financial activities sectors.

Local governments hired teachers and support staff. But state governments, confronting reduced revenues and stressed budgets caused by the pandemic, laid off more workers. There were further job losses in mining.

Hiring has been boosted by the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, which gives businesses loans that can be partially forgiven if used for wages. Those funds are drying up and many companies, including some not initially impacted by lockdown measures, are struggling with weak demand, forcing them to lay off workers.

That has triggered a second wave of layoffs, keeping weekly new applications for unemployment benefits extraordinarily high.

In a separate report on Thursday, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 55,000 to a seasonally adjusted 1.427 million for the week ended June 27.

The claims report is the most timely data on the economy’s health. Including a program funded by the government, 2.3 million people filed claims last week.

The number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid rose 59,000 to 19.290 million in the week ending June 20. There were 31.5 million people receiving unemployment checks in mid-June, up 916,722 from the first week of the month.

With roughly a fifth of the workforce on jobless rolls, economists say the government should extend the extra $600 it pays per week in unemployment compensation when that benefit expires on July 31.

“Failure to take action would severely dent the chances of a rapid recovery,” said James Knightley, chief international economist at ING in New York.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Business

Gap in U.S. Black and white unemployment rates is widest in five years

(Reuters) – The gap between the U.S. unemployment rates for Blacks and whites widened further in June, to its largest in five years, underscoring the uneven nature of the nascent recovery from historic job losses triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jobless rates for both groups fell in June, but the rate for whites came down at a much faster rate. The white unemployment rate fell 2.3 percentage points to 10.1% from 12.4%, while the rate for Blacks dropped 1.4 points to 15.4% from 16.8%.

At 5.3 percentage points, the gap is now the widest since May 2015 and exposes an important economic component of racial inequality at a pivotal moment in U.S. race relations. In recent weeks, the country has witnessed protests over police brutality against African Americans, particularly Black men.

(Graphic: Black vs white unemployment, here)

The coronavirus pandemic brought an abrupt end to the record-long U.S. economic expansion just as it was creating better job opportunities for Black workers and other minorities. Job losses fell hardest on women and workers of color.

The overall drop in the Black unemployment rate in June was driven by a rise in the number of women returning to work as bars, restaurants and retail stores re-opened, reversing some job losses they suffered in March and April.

The unemployment rate for Black men rose in June to 16.3%, the highest level since the fall of 2011, from 15.5% in May. In contrast, the unemployment rate for Black women dropped to 14% from 16.5% in May. (Graphic: The African American jobless rate, here)

The widening spread between racial group jobless rates in the last two months has undone years of gains that slowly narrowed the gap in unemployment rates between Blacks and whites.

Last August, the unemployment rate for Black workers dropped to a record low of 5.4% and the gap between Black and white workers narrowed to 2 points, the narrowest since the Labor Department retooled its measurement of employment by race in 1972.

Black workers now have the highest unemployment rate compared to other racial or ethnic groups. The unemployment rate for Hispanic workers dropped to 14.5% in June from 17.6% in May. The unemployment rate for Asian workers dropped to 13.8% from 15%.

(Graphic: Job loss and gains by race Job loss and gains by race, here)

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Business

U.S. job growth roars back, but COVID-19 resurgence spells trouble ahead

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy created jobs at a record clip in June as more restaurants and bars reopened, but 31.5 million Americans were collecting unemployment checks in the middle of the month, and a resurgence in COVID-19 cases suggested the labor market could suffer a setback in July.

Record spikes in new coronavirus infections in large parts of the country, including the highly-populated states of California, Florida and Texas, have forced several states to scale back or pause reopenings, and send some workers back home.

The flare-up in the respiratory illness, which started in late June and hit bars and restaurants hard, was not captured in the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report published on Thursday because the government surveyed businesses in the middle of the month.

“June may be the calm before the storm,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “We cannot be sure the labor market recovery will continue at a speed that is sufficient to put the millions and millions of Americans made jobless in this recession back to work.”

Nonfarm payrolls surged by 4.8 million jobs in June, the largest gain since the government started keeping records in 1939. Payrolls rebounded 2.699 million in May after a historic plunge of 20.787 million in April. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls would increase by 3 million jobs in June. Still, employment is 14.7 million jobs below its pre-pandemic level.

President Donald Trump, whose opinion poll numbers have tanked as he struggles to manage the pandemic, economic crisis and protests over racial injustice four months before the Nov. 3 election, hailed the job gains as proof “our economy is roaring back.”

Though the second straight month of strong hiring added to a stream of data, including consumer spending, in suggesting that the recession which started in February was likely over, that is all in the rear-view mirror as COVID-19 cases soar.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell this week said the economic outlook “is extraordinarily uncertain” and would depend on “our success in containing the virus.”

Hiring last month was boosted by the typically low-paying leisure and hospitality industry, which brought back 2.1 million jobs, accounting for about two-fifths of the rise in payrolls. But the return of these workers pushed down average wages 1.2% in June. Companies also cut wages and hours. The average workweek dropped to 34.5 hours from 34.7 hours in May.

The measurement of the unemployment rate continued to be biased down by people incorrectly misclassifying themselves as being “employed but absent from work” last month.

Related Coverage

  • Amid strong June job growth, signs U.S. recovery may be stumbling
  • U.S. trade deficit widens as exports fall to lowest level since 2009

The jobless rate fell to 11.1% in June from 13.3% in May. The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, which compiles the employment report, said the unemployment rate would have been 12.1% without the misclassification problem. The rate is 7.6 percentage points above its February level.

Stocks on Wall Street rallied, with the Nasdaq hitting an all-time high. The dollar .DXY edged up against a basket of currencies. U.S. Treasury prices were mixed.

BROAD JOB GAINS

Jobs also returned in the retail, education and health, manufacturing, construction, professional and business services sectors, transportation and warehousing, wholesale trade and financial activities sectors.

Local governments hired teachers and support staff. But state governments, confronting reduced revenues and stressed budgets caused by the pandemic, laid off more workers. There were further job losses in mining.

Economists have attributed the burst in job gains to the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, giving businesses loans that can be partially forgiven if used for wages. Those funds are drying up and many companies, including some not initially impacted by lockdown measures, are struggling with weak demand, forcing them to lay off workers.

Economists and industry watchers say this, together with the exhaustion of the PPP loans, has triggered a new wave of layoffs, that is keeping weekly new applications for unemployment benefits extraordinarily high.

In a separate report on Thursday, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 55,000 to a seasonally adjusted 1.427 million for the week ended June 27. Including a program funded by the federal government, 2.3 million people applied for benefits last week.

The number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid rose 59,000 to 19.290 million in the week ending June 20. These so-called continued claims, which are reported with a one-week lag.

There were 31.5 million people collecting unemployment checks in mid-June, up 916,722 from the first week of the month.

With the measurement of the unemployment rate continuing to be distorted since March, economists recommend focusing on continuing claims and data on the total number of unemployment checks recipients to get a better view of the labor market.

“The risks to the labor market are clearly tilted to the downside,” said Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. financial economist at Oxford Economics in New York.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Business

U.S. job growth accelerates; layoffs remain elevated

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy created a record 4.8 million jobs in June as more restaurants and bars resumed operations, but layoffs remained elevated and raging COVID-19 cases across the country threaten the fledgling recovery.

The flare-up in coronavirus infections, which started in late June, was not captured in the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report published on Thursday as the government surveyed businesses in the middle of the month.

The reopening of businesses after being shuttered in mid-March has unleashed a wave of coronavirus infections in large parts of the country, including the populous California, Florida and Texas. Several states are scaling back or pausing reopenings, and sending some workers back home.

Still, the rebound in hiring added to a stream of data, including consumer spending, in suggesting that the recession which started in February was likely over.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell this week acknowledged the rebound in activity, saying the economy had “entered an important new phase and (had) done so sooner than expected.” But Powell cautioned the outlook “is extraordinarily uncertain” and would depend on “our success in containing the virus.”

The jump in nonfarm payrolls in June was the largest since the government started keeping records in 1939. Payrolls rebounded 2.699 million in May after a historic 20.787 million plunge in April. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing by 3 million jobs in June.

President Donald Trump at a press briefing after the data said the jobs report “proves that our economy is roaring back.”

But despite the better-than-expected increase, employment remains 14.7 million jobs below its pre-pandemic level.

The measurement of the unemployment rate continued to be biased down by people incorrectly misclassifying themselves as being “employed but absent from work” last month.

The jobless rate fell to 11.1% last month from 13.3% in May. The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, which compiles the employment report, said the unemployment rate would have been 12.1% without the misclassification problem.

Hiring last month was boosted by the typically low-paying leisure and hospitality industry, which added 2.1 million jobs, accounting for about two-fifths of the gains in payrolls. The return of these workers pushed down average wages 1.2% in June.

Some companies are cutting wages and reducing hours.

Stocks on Wall Street rallied on the employment data. The dollar was steady against a basket of currencies. U.S. Treasury prices fell.

BROAD JOB GAINS

There were strong job gains in the retail, education and health, manufacturing, construction and professional and business services sectors. Government employment rose modestly as local governments hired teachers and support staff. State governments, confronting reduced revenues and stressed budgets caused by the pandemic, laid off more workers in June.

Employment is increasing largely as companies rehire workers laid off when non-essential businesses like restaurants, bars, gyms and dental offices among others were closed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Economists have attributed the burst in job gains to the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, giving businesses loans that can be partially forgiven if used for wages. Those funds are drying up and many companies, including some not initially impacted by lockdown measures, are struggling with weak demand forcing them to lay off workers.

Economists and industry watchers say this together with the exhaustion of the PPP loans has triggered a new wave of layoffs, that is keeping weekly new applications for unemployment benefits extraordinarily high.

In a separate report on Thursday the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 55,000 to a seasonally adjusted 1.427 million for the week ended June 27. Though claims have declined from a record 6.867 million in late March, progress has stalled.

Related Coverage

  • Amid strong June job growth, signs U.S. recovery may be stumbling
  • U.S. trade deficit widens as exports fall to lowest level since 2009

The claims report also showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid rose 59,000 to 19.290 million in the week ending June 20. These so-called continued claims, which are reported with a one-week lag, have dropped from a record 24.912 million in early May.

There were 31.5 million people collecting unemployment checks in mid-June.

With the measurement of the unemployment rate continuing to be distorted since March economists recommend focusing on continuing claims and data on the total number of unemployment checks recipients to get a better view of the labor market.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Business

U.S. private payrolls miss expectations; layoffs persist as demand weakens

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. private payrolls increased less than expected in June and employers announced more than 170,000 layoffs, strengthening views that the labor market and broader economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic would be a long slog.

The recovery is also under threat from surging coronavirus cases across large parts of the country, including the densely populated California, Florida and Texas. This has prompted authorities to scale back or pause reopenings, which could unleash a new wave of layoffs.

The economy slipped into recession in February.

The ADP National Employment Report on Wednesday showed private payrolls increased by 2.369 million jobs last month. Data for May was revised up to show payrolls surging 3.065 million, in line with a surprise rebound in job growth reported by the government, instead of tumbling 2.76 million as previously estimated.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast private payrolls increasing by 3.0 million in June. (Graphic: Rebounding from the COVID-19 crunch, here)

Job growth has rebounded mostly as companies rehired workers laid off when businesses were shuttered in mid-March to control the spread of the respiratory illness. But some companies are struggling with weak demand forcing them to lay off workers.

A separate report from global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas on Wednesday showed employers announced 170,219 job cuts in June. Though layoffs last month were down 57% from May, they jumped 306% compared to June last year.

“We are beginning to see the impact of the recession spreading to companies that were not directly impacted by the virus,” said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president at Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “At the same time, companies that attempted to reopen but were only able to attract a fraction of their pre-COVID customers are closing down again. Meanwhile, a number of high-profile companies are filing for bankruptcy.”

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, layoffs totaled an all-time high of 1.238 million in the second quarter, up 257% from the January-March period.

Stocks on Wall Street opened lower. The dollar was steady against a basket of currencies. U.S. Treasury prices fell.

DEEP HOLE

The ADP report, jointly developed with Moody’s Analytics, was published ahead of the government’s more comprehensive employment report for June scheduled for release on Thursday. U.S. financial markets and the government will be closed on Friday in observance of Saturday’s Independence Day holiday.

The ADP report has a poor track record forecasting the private payrolls component of the government’s employment report because of methodology differences. It failed to predict the rebound in job growth in May. The government nonfarm payrolls count is compiled from a survey of businesses while the ADP figures are derived from ADP payroll data and other inputs.

According to a Reuters survey of economists, the employment report will likely show private employers hired 2.9 million workers in June. That would lead to nonfarm payrolls increasing by 3 million on top of the 2.5 million created in May.

Still, payrolls would be about 16.6 million below their pre-pandemic level. The jobless rate is forecast dipping to 12.3% from 13.3% in May.

Employment gains in the ADP report last month were led by the leisure and hospitality industry, reflecting the reopening of restaurants and bars. There were strong job gains in the healthcare and construction sectors. But mining payrolls fell and manufacturing employment increased moderately. (Graphic: Where the jobs are and aren’t returning, here)

“While the jobs recovery is encouraging, it’s disconcerting that it’s solely based on the rehiring of workers by businesses reopening,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “Mass layoffs continue. The hiring related to businesses reopening will dry up and we might see a weakening in job growth.”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Business

Asia's factory pain eases as region emerges from pandemic

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asia’s factory pain showed signs of easing in June, as a rebound in China’s activity offered some hope the region may have passed the worst of the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

But sluggish global demand and fears of a second wave of infections will tame any optimism on the outlook and keep pressure on policymakers to support their ailing economies.

China’s factory activity grew at a faster clip in June after the government lifted coronavirus lockdown measures, a private sector survey showed on Wednesday.

Manufacturing activity also expanded in Vietnam and Malaysia, pointing to a slow but steady recovery ahead.

Japan and South Korea continued to see manufacturing activity shrink, underscoring the heavy blow the pandemic dealt to their export-reliant economies, although the pace of their declines slowed.

“The chance of a V-shape recovery in the manufacturing sector appears slim at this stage,” said Joe Hayes, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.

“We’re still awaiting signs of meaningful improvement in Japan’s manufacturing sector, with the PMI for June failing to stage a substantial recovery.”

China’s Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 51.2 in June from 50.7 in May, marking the highest reading since December 2019. That followed a similarly upbeat reading from the Chinese government’s own PMI on Tuesday.

Vietnam and Malaysia also saw their PMIs crawl back above the 50-mark separating growth from contraction, a welcome sign for policymakers struggling to combat the pandemic’s fallout.

But analysts expect any recovery in the region to be slow.

While China’s export orders shrank at a slower pace, its employment contraction worsened, the PMI showed, underscoring the fragile recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.

“Overall manufacturing demand recovered at a fast clip, but overseas demand remained a drag,” said Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group.

Japan’s PMI rose to a seasonally adjusted 40.1 in June, while South Korea’s PMI ticked up to 43.4 – both remaining far below the boom-or-bust threshold of 50.

Separately, a Bank of Japan survey showed big manufacturers’ confidence sinking to levels last seen during the 2009 global financial crisis, reinforcing expectations the country was sinking deeper into recession.

“If demand doesn’t rebound fast enough, companies will have to shed jobs,” said Shinichiro Kobayashi, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting. “That will delay Japan’s economic recovery, which could end up in a L-shape.”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Business

Asia's factory pain eases as region emerges from pandemic

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asia’s factory pain showed signs of easing in June, as a rebound in China’s activity offered some hope the region may have passed the worst of the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

But sluggish global demand and fears of a second wave of infections will tame any optimism on the outlook and keep pressure on policymakers to support their ailing economies.

China’s factory activity grew at a faster clip in June after the government lifted coronavirus lockdown measures, a private sector survey showed on Wednesday.

Manufacturing activity also expanded in Vietnam and Malaysia, pointing to a slow but steady recovery ahead.

Japan and South Korea continued to see manufacturing activity shrink, underscoring the heavy blow the pandemic dealt to their export-reliant economies, although the pace of their declines slowed.

“The chance of a V-shape recovery in the manufacturing sector appears slim at this stage,” said Joe Hayes, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.

“We’re still awaiting signs of meaningful improvement in Japan’s manufacturing sector, with the PMI for June failing to stage a substantial recovery.”

China’s Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 51.2 in June from 50.7 in May, marking the highest reading since December 2019. That followed a similarly upbeat reading from the Chinese government’s own PMI on Tuesday.

Vietnam and Malaysia also saw their PMIs crawl back above the 50-mark separating growth from contraction, a welcome sign for policymakers struggling to combat the pandemic’s fallout.

But analysts expect any recovery in the region to be slow.

While China’s export orders shrank at a slower pace, its employment contraction worsened, the PMI showed, underscoring the fragile recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.

“Overall manufacturing demand recovered at a fast clip, but overseas demand remained a drag,” said Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group.

Japan’s PMI rose to a seasonally adjusted 40.1 in June, while South Korea’s PMI ticked up to 43.4 – both remaining far below the boom-or-bust threshold of 50.

Separately, a Bank of Japan survey showed big manufacturers’ confidence sinking to levels last seen during the 2009 global financial crisis, reinforcing expectations the country was sinking deeper into recession.

“If demand doesn’t rebound fast enough, companies will have to shed jobs,” said Shinichiro Kobayashi, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting. “That will delay Japan’s economic recovery, which could end up in a L-shape.”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Business

China's factory activity expands, but job losses quicken amid weak exports: Caixin PMI

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s factory activity grew at a faster clip in June after the government lifted coronavirus lockdown measures and ramped up support steps, but the health crisis continues to pressure exports and jobs, a private business survey showed on Wednesday.

The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 51.2 last month, the fastest pace of growth since December, and up from May’s 50.7. The 50-mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a reading of 50.5.

China’s economy is gradually emerging from a sharp 6.8% contraction in the first quarter, with much of the country reopened after weeks of disruptions early in the year due to strict lockdown measures.

But demand remained subdued, as many manufacturers are still struggling with reduced or cancelled overseas orders amid faltering global demand.

While some of China’s trading partners are easing curbs and re-booting their economies, many are still grappling with the pandemic while a surge of worldwide infections over the past week has raised the risk of a deeper and prolonged global recession.

Consumers have also remained cautious amid job losses and fears of a fresh wave of infections in China as a cluster emerged in Beijing last month.

New export orders stayed firmly in contractionary territory, the survey showed, although the downturn eased from the sharp slump in May.

“Overall manufacturing demand recovered at a fast clip, but overseas demand remained a drag,” said Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group.

The government has already rolled out a raft of easing steps this year, including reserve requirement cuts and targeted lending support and tax breaks for virus-hit firms. It has also ramped up local bond issuance in the hopes of spurring infrastructure growth.

Despite a pick-up in domestic orders, the uncertain outlook forced factories to cut payrolls for the sixth consecutive month, with the pace of job shedding accelerating. Avoiding mass unemployment is a top government priority, with a target to create over 9 million urban jobs this year.

“We should still pay attention to the pressure on employment. Top policymakers have repeatedly stressed the importance of expanding employment channels. For some time to come, increasing employment will remain an arduous task,” Wang said.

Given the uncertain outlook, the government said in late May it was not setting an annual growth target, for the first time since 2002.

An official survey on Tuesday also showed China’s factory activity grew at a quicker pace in June but smaller firms were still suffering and exporters struggled with shrinking orders, pointing to an uneven recovery.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Politics

Brexit breakthrough: Farmers reassured by new protection in post-Brexit talks

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, said that free trade deals with nations such as the United States “must be fair and reciprocal”. Ms Truss, has repeatedly said that Britain will keep EU curbs on produce such as chlorinated chicken after leaving the EU.

She revealed the commission in an attempt to calm anxieties that national farms could be damaged by more affordable imports.

The advisory board will suggest policies to ensure that farmers “do not face unfair competition and that their high animal welfare and production standards are not undermined”, she said.

Farming, trade and food authorities are also expected to analyse consumer tendencies and how Britain can increase its agricultural exports.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has been asking for such a commission for 18 months.

The union celebrated the “concrete action” from the government “to address the challenges of safeguarding our high food and farming standards”.

The UK started official trade discussions with the US last month and with Japan three weeks ago, via video call meetings.

Negotiations with Australia and New Zealand are set to commence soon.

Senior Conservatives have voiced their concerns over the idea of agricultural import guidelines being relaxed under trade deals and more than a dozen backbenchers disputed in a parliamentary vote in May.

READ MORE: Coronavirus horror: Global cases surpass devastating new milestone

Theresa Villiers, the former environment secretary, said up to 50 Tory MPs were experiencing unease over the subject.

She said: “We have legislated to prevent the importation of chicken that has been washed in chlorine or other substances, and I very much hope that stays on statute book.

“But I would imagine there will be significant pressure from the US to lift that restriction because they have had a longstanding dispute with the EU as to justification of that as a restriction.”

Last week Waitrose said that any relapse from current guidelines would result in an “unacceptable backwards step”.

DON’T MISS:
Title to be made EXTINCT instead of going to Princess Beatrice [REVEALED]
India-China: Britons demand West intervene to STOP Beijing aggression [UPDATES]
New book claims first lady could be ‘the end’ of Trump [INSIGHT]

It added that it would be “simply wrong” to import meat obtained under less strict guidelines than on British farms.

It referred to hormone-treated beef and the “extensive” use of antibiotics as consistent models of US farming standards “well below our own”.

Yesterday Ms Truss promised to “work constructively” with the British agricultural industry to create new export circumstances.

“I wholeheartedly agree that any trade deal the UK strikes must be fair and reciprocal to our farmers, and must not compromise on our high standards of food safety and animal welfare,” she stated in a letter to the NFU.

“I have been very clear on both these points and will continue to fight for the interests of our farming industry in any and all trade agreements we negotiate.”

The Trade and Agriculture Commission would be “strictly time-limited” and its suggestions “should be advisory only,” she added.

Minette Batters, president of the NFU, branded the move as a “hugely important development,” adding that she will certify the board’s work will be “genuinely valuable”.

But critics said the move was “actually unacceptable” and argued it would hinder the opportunities for post-Brexit trade talks.

Matt Kilcoyne, deputy director of Adam Smith Institute, a free market think tank, said: “This commission is a kick in the teeth for consumers and it is a conspiracy by a powerful few against the public good.”

The Trump administration insisted last year that it would aim to overthrow trade differences that “unfairly” stop American farmers from exporting to Britain.

Source: Read Full Article