PULA (Croatia), Dec 19 — Late wages, mass strikes, scrapped contracts — Croatia’s once-thriving shipbuilding sector is sinking, in one of the last gasps of the region’s communist-era industrial giants. The towering cranes looming over Pula…
PARIS: France will push ahead with its own tax on large internet and technology companies from January 1, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said, as the European Union struggles to finalise a new EU-wide levy. France has been driving hard for a new so-called ‘GAFA tax’ – named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – […]
TOKYO, Dec 18 ― Asian share markets slumped today as heightened concerns about a slowing global economy sent Wall Street stocks skidding to their lowest levels in more than a year. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed…
LONDON, Dec 18 ― he pound edged off 20-month lows yesterday as British Prime Minister Theresa May rescheduled a delayed vote in parliament on her Brexit plan for mid-January. Sterling, trading at US$1.26 (RM5.26), inched higher as May confirmed…
WASHINGTON: The United States has welcomed Chinese concessions since the two declared a trade war truce in early December, but trade experts and people familiar with negotiations say Beijing needs to do far more to meet US demands for long-term change in how China does business. US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi […]
NEW DELHI, Dec 17 — India has held off until end-January 2019 raising tariffs on select goods from the United States, deferring for the fourth time retaliatory action against higher import tariffs imposed by the US on steel and aluminium, the…
TOKYO: Trade frictions between China and the United States are already affecting business confidence and investment in Asia, a senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official said, warning that the fund could further cut its global growth forecasts in January.
Changyong Rhee, director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department, said Japan and South Korea could be among countries in the region hit hardest by the trade war given their reliance on exports to China.
“Investment is much weaker than expected. My interpretation is that the confidence channel is already affecting the global economy, particularly Asian economies,” Rhee told Reuters.
“We see global growth a little bit slower than we forecast in October,” he said today.
Citing the potential fallout from the Sino-US trade war, the IMF cut its global growth forecast in October to 3.7% for both 2018 and 2019, down from 3.9% projected in July.
It expects Asia’s economic growth to slow to 5.4% next year from 5.6% projected this year.
Rhee said there was a chance the IMF could cut further its growth forecasts when it reviews them in January, given signs of slowdown not just in Asia but in Europe and the United States.
“Uncertainty is so large … uncertainty means you have upside potential as well as downside risk. At this moment, we believe the downside risk is a little bit higher,” he said.
On China, Rhee said it was not resorting to big-scale stimulus despite growing external headwinds, given the need to deal with long-term challenges such as curbing excess debt.
“They aren’t accelerating (stimulus) yet but taking the foot from the brake for the time being. But that doesn’t exclude the possibility that if the trade tension escalates, if growth goes down, they are ready to use stimulus,” he said.
“What we’re concerned and what we’re advising them is that the medium-term goals such as deleveraging are still important for financial stability,” Rhee added.
“So when they actually try to use stimulus, we hope they can use more fiscal policy rather than credit expansion.”
PARIS, Dec 17 — France will introduce its own tax on large internet and technology companies from January 1, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said today amid difficulties in finalising a new EU-wide levy. France has been pushing hard for a new…