Thursday, January 20

Economics

Economics

Analysis: High U.S. meat prices: packer profiteering or capacity crunch? – Reuters
Economics

Analysis: High U.S. meat prices: packer profiteering or capacity crunch? – Reuters

WASHINGTON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - The Biden administration is targeting a small group of meat packers for high beef, pork and poultry prices that it says are squeezing consumers and fueling inflation, arguing that they are abusing their market power.The U.S. meatpacking industry is dominated by a few global companies which say prices reflect a surge in demand, pandemic-constrained supplies, and rising costs for labor and transportation. They deny the administration's pandemic profiteering allegations.Agricultural economists say that pandemic-stoked meat demand has exposed a shortage of slaughterhouse capacity, especially in beef, a supply-chain problem similar to those of other industries.Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comRegister"I think there's probably some truth on both...
Now You Can Rent a Robot Worker—for Less Than Paying a Human
Economics

Now You Can Rent a Robot Worker—for Less Than Paying a Human

Polar Manufacturing has been making ​metal ​hinges, locks, and brackets ​in south Chicago for more than 100 years. Some of the company’s metal presses—hulking great machines that loom over a worker—date from the 1950s. Last year, to meet rising demand amid a shortage of workers, Polar hired its first robot employee.The robot arm performs a simple, repetitive job: lifting a piece of metal into a press, which then bends the metal into a new shape. And like a person, the robot worker gets paid for the hours it works.​Jose Figueroa​, who manages Polar’s production line, says the robot, which is leased from a company called Formic, costs the equivalent of $8 per hour, compared with a minimum wage of $15 per hour for a human employee. Deploying the robot allowed a human worker to do different wo...
China stocks rise on GDP data, policy loan rate cut – Reuters
Economics

China stocks rise on GDP data, policy loan rate cut – Reuters

SHANGHAI, Jan 17 (Reuters) - China stocks rose on Monday after the country's economy grew faster than expected in the final quarter of 2021 but the growth was still at its weakest pace in one-and-half years, prompting the central bank to unexpectedly cut loan rates.The CSI300 index (.CSI300) rose 0.9% to 4,767.59 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index (.SSEC) gained 0.6%, to 3,542.03 points.The Hang Seng index (.HSI) dropped 0.6%, to 24,240.11 points. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index (.HSCE) lost 1.0%, to 8,470.22.Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comRegister** China's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 4.0% in the October-December period from a year earlier, and the economy grew 8.1% in 2021, faster than a forecast 8.0%. read m...
Breakdown of Chinas Dec retail sales – Reuters
Economics

Breakdown of Chinas Dec retail sales – Reuters

BEIJING, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Following is a breakdown of China's retail sales for December,published by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday.(Percent change from a year earlier):Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comRegisterDec Nov Oct Sep Aug Jul Jun May Apr Mar Jan-Feb Dec Overall 1.7 3.9 4.9 4.4 2.5 8.5 12.1 12.4 17.7 34.2 33.8 4.6 Garments -2.3 -0.5 -3.3 -4.8 -6.0 7.5 12.8 12.3 31.2 69.1 47.6 3.8Cosmetics 2.5 8.2 7.2 3.9 0.0 2.8 13.5 14.6 17.8 42.5 40.7 9.0 Jewellery -0.2 5.7 12.6 20.1 7.4 14.3 26.0 31.5 48.3 83.2 98.7 11.6Personal care 18.8 8.6 3.5 0.5 -0.2 13.1 14.0 13.0 17.2 30.7 34.6 8.0 Home appliances -6.0 6.6 9.5 6.6 -5.0 8.2 8.9 3.1 6.1 38.9 43.2 11.2Office supplies 7.4 18.1 11.5 22.6 20.4 14.8 25.9 13.1 6.7 22.2 38.3 9.6 Furniture -3.1 6.1 2.4 3.4 6.7 11.0...
Biden seeks to reshape Fed with historically diverse slate – Reuters
Economics

Biden seeks to reshape Fed with historically diverse slate – Reuters

A view of the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, September 16, 2008. REUTERS/Jim YOUNGRegister now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comRegisterWASHINGTON, Jan 14 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday nominated former Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin for the Fed's key regulatory post and two Black economists - Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson - to serve on its board in what would represent a landmark demographic overhaul of the world's most powerful central bank.The appointments - if confirmed by the Senate - would fill out the ranks of a seven-member panel that wields tremendous influence over the world's largest economy, and would make the Fed's top leadership the most diverse by race and gender in its 108-year history.The appointments, which follow Biden's ear...
Factbox: Cook, Jefferson, Raskin tapped for Fed board seats – Reuters
Economics

Factbox: Cook, Jefferson, Raskin tapped for Fed board seats – Reuters

Flags fly over the Federal Reserve Headquarters on a windy day in Washington, U.S., May 26, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File PhotoRegister now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.comRegisterJan 13 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden has picked Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson to fill seats on the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, two Black economists whose appointments would bring a historic measure of diversity to the U.S. central bank's leadership.Biden also nominated former Fed Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin to be the Fed's vice chair for supervision, the top U.S. banking regulatory role. The White House sent the nominations to the Senate late on Thursday.The choices, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, would put a record four women on the seven-member Fed board, who along with the heads...
Business Updates: German Utilities Secure Funding Amid High Energy Prices
Economics

Business Updates: German Utilities Secure Funding Amid High Energy Prices

ImageAn RWE power plant in Neurath, Germany. RWE is among several energy companies ensuring they have enough credit to weather the volatility in the European energy market.Credit...Wolfgang Rattay/ReutersAs natural gas prices in Europe continue to hit record highs, utility companies in Germany are scrambling to secure millions of euros in extra liquidity to ensure they can meet future contracts.Steag, Germany’s fifth-largest utility, said on Wednesday that it had organized financing in the “low triple-digit-million euro” range through an investing partner.“We needed to gain more liquidity to secure future contracts,” said Daniel Mühlenfeld, a spokesman. He stressed that the financing was not a credit from a bank, but had been organized through another business partner. Steag operates sever...
China hopes U.S. can enable more trade amid Phase 1 deal uncertainties – Reuters
Economics

China hopes U.S. can enable more trade amid Phase 1 deal uncertainties – Reuters

Chinese and U.S. flags flutter outside the building of an American company in Beijing, China January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File Photo/File PhotoBEIJING, Jan 13 (Reuters) - China said on Thursday that it hopes the United States can create conditions to expand trade cooperation, after Chinese purchases of U.S. goods in the past two years fell short of the targets in a Trump-era trade deal.China has been behind in its promises in a "Phase 1" trade pact to boost purchases of U.S. goods by $200 billion during 2020 and 2021 compared to 2017 levels, reaching only about 60% of the target through November 2021, according to data compiled by the Peterson Institute for International Economics."Since the agreement came into effect, China has worked hard to overcome multiple adverse factors ca...
EMERGING MARKETS-Brazils real jumps as strong inflation boosts rate hike bets – Reuters.com
Economics

EMERGING MARKETS-Brazils real jumps as strong inflation boosts rate hike bets – Reuters.com

* Brazil 2021 inflation at six-year high * Chilean central bank seen raising rates this month * EM FX nonplussed by Powell testimony (Updates with Powell testimony) By Susan Mathew and Ambar Warrick Jan 11 (Reuters) - Brazil's real rose the most among Latin American currencies on Tuesday after a bigger-than-expected spike in annual inflation strengthened expectations for another strong interest rate hike by the central bank. The real added 1.5% after data showed annual inflation ended 2021 at a six-year high of 10.06%. That exceeded expectations and was well above the central bank's target range of 3.75% and the 5.25% limit of its tolerance range. "While inflation has now passed its peak and is likely to fall further, (Brazil's central bank) will continue t...
Canadian dollar recovers from 1-week low as exports climb – Reuters
Economics

Canadian dollar recovers from 1-week low as exports climb – Reuters

Canadian dollar rises 0.2% against the greenbackEarlier touched weakest level since Dec. 29 at 1.2813Canada posts trade surplus of C$3.1 billion in NovemberCanada's 10-year yield touches its highest since Nov. 26TORONTO, Jan 6 (Reuters) - The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday as the sell-off in stocks on the prospect of faster U.S. interest rate hikes subsided and data showed Canadian exports climbing to a record high.The Canadian currency was trading 0.2% higher at 1.2723 to the greenback, or 78.60 U.S. cents, after earlier hitting its weakest level since Dec. 29 at 1.2813."The loonie has largely tracked the progress of the recovery in the S&P 500 index in today's trading session," said Simon Harvey, Head of FX analysis for Monex Europe and Monex C...