UK full-time employment drops, job vacancies also decline

Signs that Britain’s long employment boom has come to an end emerged yesterday as official figures showed a drop in the number of people in work, a fall in full-time employment and a decline in the number of job vacancies. After a record-breaking run, the The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported the first fall in employment since the immediate aftermath of last year’s Brexit vote…

U.S. Senate Finance chairman revises tax plan to end Obamacare’s health insurance mandate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee proposed major changes to a Republican tax reform plan, adding a repeal of Obamacare’s health insurance mandate and making corporate tax cuts permanent while ending individual cuts in 2025. In a statement late on Tuesday, committee chairman Orrin Hatch said the proposed changes would also slightly lower some individual tax rates and includes a repeal of the alternative minimum tax but only through 2025, when it would be reinstated…

U.S. core CPI increased in October, clears way for Fed rate hike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumer prices barely rose in October as the boost to gasoline prices from hurricane-related disruptions to Gulf Coast oil refineries was unwound, but rising rents and healthcare costs pointed to a gradual buildup of underlying inflation. Low inflation is, however, helping to underpin consumer spending. Other data on Wednesday showed an unexpected increase in retail sales last month as heavy price discounting by automobile manufacturers lifted purchases of motor vehicles…

UK consumer spending shrinks by 2% in October

UK retailers had a bleak October as shoppers shunned stores and cut back on spending, raising fears over the health of the UK economy. Consumer spending shrank by 2% in October, the fastest year-on-year decline in four years, according to credit card provider Visa. This is the fifth monthly decline in six months, and was driven by a 5% decline in spending on the high street. Clothing and footwear sales slumped by 9%, the biggest year-on-year decline since Visa started its survey in 2009…

OPEC raises its oil demand forecast for 2018

LONDON (Reuters) – OPEC raised its forecast on Monday for demand for its oil in 2018 and said its deal with other producers to cut output was reducing excess oil in storage, potentially pushing the global market into a larger deficit next year. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries also said in a monthly report it had cut its estimate of 2018 supply from non-OPEC producers and said oil use would grow faster than previously thought due to a stronger-than-expected world economy…

Brexit Brain Drain: Professionals Wave Goodbye, Head to Europe

LONDON — After 22 years in Britain, Anna Bea Götz packed up her life and moved back to Germany. She had arrived as a 16-year-old student and always thought that one day she might leave. But it was Britain’s vote to leave the European Union that finally pushed Götz to go. Amid uncertainty about what rights and legal status citizens of 27 E.U. countries will have in the U.K. once it leaves the bloc in March 2019, Götz no longer felt secure enough to pursue her dream of buying and managing apartments…

China media praises tone, outcome of Trump-Xi summit

BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump lauded his Beijing meetings on trade and North Korea as “very productive”, ending a visit which Chinese media declared set a “new blueprint” for handling ties, even as the White House looks set for tougher action on China. Trump pressed China to do more to rein in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and said bilateral trade had been unfair to the United States, but also praised Xi’s pledge that China would be more open to foreign firms…

China lifts foreign ownership limits on financial firms

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will raise foreign ownership limits in financial firms in a step granting access to a tantalizing multi-trillion dollar financial services market, as the world’s second-biggest economy seeks to position itself as a major global finance hub. The move, announced on Friday by vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao, comes a day after U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated calls for better access to Chinese markets in meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping…

Trump faces Asian leaders on trade deficit

President Trump hates trade deficits — and he’s visiting a region where the U.S. has a lot of them. The U.S. runs deficits with all five countries where Trump is spending time on his lengthy tour of Asia, including particularly big ones with China and Japan. Experts say Trump’s fixation on trade balances as a way of viewing economic ties between countries is misplaced and risks undermining the broader relationships. But that’s not stopping him from complaining about the issue during his Asia trip…

IMF’s Lagarde warns protectionism would hurt Asian economies

TOKYO (Reuters) – Protectionist sentiment has not yet gone beyond mere words, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Wednesday, but would hurt Asian economies with open and free markets if it did. Lagarde brushed off the concerns of some investors that the divergent monetary paths of major central banks could disrupt Asian capital flows, stressing that policymakers had the tools and means of communication needed to prevent market upheaval…

IMF, BOJ board member urge Japan to maintain stimulus

TOKYO/MIYAZAKI, Japan (Reuters) – The IMF on Wednesday urged Japan to maintain its massive monetary stimulus to boost consumer prices, a view echoed by a central bank board member, reinforcing expectations policy will remain accommodative. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda was doing the right thing by committing to keep the money spigot wide open until inflation hit his 2 percent target…

U.S. tax-cut doubts overshadows strong data in Asia; dollar edges lower

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Increasing concern that U.S. Republicans’ plans to cut corporate taxes may not win congressional approval as early as expected weighed on American stock indexes on Wednesday, overshadowing strong economic data in Asia that sent the MSCI All World Index to a record high. The dollar edged lower against a basket of currencies .DXY, while European shares dipped, led by a broad decline in bank stocks…

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