world economy


China’s ‘unicorn’ startups exceed US number for first time

BEIJING, Oct 21 — China now has more privately-held start-ups valued by investors at over US$1 billion (RM4.2 billion) than the US, a report said today. There were 206 Chinese firms out of a global total of 494 ultra-valuable start-ups — known…

China’s central banker says yuan level ‘appropriate’, trade tensions risk to global economy

WASHINGTON, Oct 20 — China’s top central banker said yesterday that potential escalation of trade tensions and policy uncertainty were the major risk factors facing the world economy, and market forces were keeping China’s yuan at an…

At IMF, US urges action to spur global economy; avoids talk of trade war

WASHINGTON, Oct 19 — Washington called yesterday for action from other major world powers to spur economic growth, avoiding mention of the US-China trade war and blaming the current global slowdown on excess savings, flagging investment in China…

Brexit deal ‘good news’ but global growth key for BoE rates too, says BoE governor

WASHINGTON, Oct 19 — Bank of England (BoE) Governor Mark Carney said Britain’s planned Brexit deal would help the country’s economy, but “almost existential” worries about global trade wars might prevent the BoE from raising interest…

IMF members put off voting change; agree to boost lending capacity

WASHINGTON, Oct 19 — Global finance ministers agreed yesterday to double a key pool of money that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can use to aid distressed countries but again put off giving more votes to major emerging economies. The IMF…

Ringgit ends lower against US dollar on global uncertainties

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — The ringgit ended on a lower note today due to global uncertainties as well as declining oil prices. At 6pm, the local note was quoted at 4.1850/1880 against the greenback compared with yesterday’s close of 4.1780/1830….

IMF chief hopes ‘the will holds’ for a Brexit deal

WASHINGTON, Oct 17 — IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva welcomed news that Britain has reached a deal to leave the European Union but cautioned today the details remain to be seen. “This, of course, is welcome,” she said of the Brexit deal…

US firms say near-term outlook dimming amid slow growth: Fed

WASHINGTON: Less than stellar US growth in recent weeks has caused many businesses to lower their outlooks and they now expect the economy to weaken, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

The Fed later this month is widely expected to cut interest rates for the third time this year as policymakers work to provide support for an economy that has begun to sag — even though for the moment it continues to outshine the rest of the industrialized world.

“The US economy expanded at a slight to modest pace… as business activity varied across the country,“ the central bank said in its beige book report on the economy.

“Business contacts mostly expect the economic expansion to continue; however many lowered their outlooks for growth in the coming six to 12 months.”

Most economists do not expect a recession in the next year but forecasting models still show the risk is increasing.

The hardships that manufacturing and agriculture face, according to the report, have not eased.

And elsewhere the picture has been uneven, though household spending has remained “solid,“ according to the Fed’s report, which gathers anecdotal accounts from around the country.

The mood was generally better in the southern and western regions of the country, while the Midwest and Great Plains — regions key to President Donald Trump’s election upset in 2016 — were gloomier, according to the Fed.

Hard to find workers

Oxford Economics said in a client note that the report was “lackluster” and pointed to more rate cuts from the central bank.

“We still expect two more rate cuts this year, in October and December,“ the firm said.

While US economic expansion is in a record 11th year and unemployment remains at 50-year lows, Fed members at their most recent meeting said they had become “more concerned” by mounting risks.

As the world economy begins to sputter, policymakers in recent weeks have said a clearer picture has emerged of the threat from President Donald Trump’s trade wars: Skittish companies, unsure of markets and prices, have held back on investment and could soon reduce hiring, which could then eat into consumer spending and growth.

But according to the beige book, for many employers the main barrier to more steady hiring remains the lack of available and qualified workers.

A major New York employment firm said “almost all job candidates are merely jumping from other jobs,“ the report said, while pressure to fill open positions in the Philadelphia region remained “acute.”

But among manufacturers, the labor shortage had a different effect. Rather than lay off employees who could be hard to replace, some firms reduced worker hours instead.

In the Boston region, “signs of slowing have become more widespread,“ while growth in the New York area “slowed to a subdued pace.”

Conditions improved in the Chicago and St Louis regions.

The early fallout from a month-long nationwide strike by UAW workers at General Motors plants “was limited,“ the Fed said.

Wall Street was largely unmoved by the report, finishing slightly lower after Commerce Department data showed weakening consumer demand in September. -AFP

US Fed: Firms say near-term outlook dimming amid slow growth

WASHINGTON, Oct 17 — Less than stellar US growth in recent weeks has caused many businesses to lower their outlooks and they now expect the economy to weaken, the Federal Reserve said yesterday. The Fed later this month is widely expected to cut…

Apec finance ministers express 'moderate' hope over US-China trade deal

SANTIAGO, Oct 16 ― Apec finance ministers expressed “moderate optimism” yesterday that the United States and China will end their trade war and sign an agreement during the forum's summit in Santiago next month. For the last 18 months the…