“A quarterly leading indicator of world merchandise trade slumped to its lowest reading in nine years on Tuesday, which should put policymakers on guard for a sharper slowdown if trade tensions continue, the World Trade Organization said on Tuesday.
“The WTO’s quarterly outlook indicator, a composite of seven drivers of trade, showed a reading of 96.3, the weakest since March 2010 and down from 98.6 in November. A reading below 100 signals below-trend growth in trade.
““This sustained loss of momentum highlights the urgency of reducing trade tensions, which together with continued political risks and financial volatility could foreshadow a broader economic downturn,” the WTO said in a statement…
““Indices for export orders (95.3), international air freight (96.8), automobile production and sales (92.5), electronic components (88.7) and agricultural raw materials (94.3) have shown the strongest deviations from trend, approaching or surpassing previous lows since the financial crisis,” the WTO said.”
“Japan reports its exports tumbled 8.4 percent in January from a year earlier, as slowing Chinese growth pushed its monthly trade deficit to the highest level in nearly five years.
“Exports to all of Asia dropped 13 percent year-on-year, largely due to the 17 percent plunge in shipments to China, where growth recently has fallen to its slowest pace in three decades.”
“China’s slowdown is troubling U.S. companies that have enjoyed strong exports to that giant economy. Caterpillar missed earnings estimates partly because of China.
“3M warned of a sales slowdown related to weak China business. Apple and NVIDIA warned about consumer sales being weaker than expected in China, and automakers see slower car sales in the country.”
“The U.S. economy lost a lot of momentum during the fourth quarter and suffered a serious wobble in December, which should give policymakers pause before doing anything that could unsettle fragile sentiment further.
“Freight movements by road, rail, air, barge and pipeline fell more than 3 percent in December compared with November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Freight shrank by the most in any one month since March 2009…”
“The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) recently downgraded its forecasts for Australian economic growth this year. It also acknowledged that downside risks have increased in recent months, especially from downturn in Australia’s housing market spilling over into other parts of the economy…
“Based on recent leading economic indicators, those downside risks appear to be already materialising.”
“South Africa’s Finance Minister Tito Mboweni faces a balancing act with his maiden budget if he is to reassure investors in the country’s troubled public electricity company without alienating union allies ahead of national elections.
“He is under pressure to bail out the state power utility Eskom – along with its $30bn mountain of debt – which is at the centre of the country’s mounting economic troubles.”
“Kenya’s government faces increased refinancing or roll-over risks as more domestic bonds mature within the next year than in the past year, the Finance Ministry said.
“The International Monetary Fund bumped up the East African nation’s debt distress risk to moderate from low in October, citing rising external commercial borrowing and growing interest payments on public debt.”
“Official statistics on Turkish gross domestic product won’t be out until March 11, but three economic indicators suggest the economy slipped into recession at the end of 2018, according to research by Bloomberg Economics.
“While the magnitudes differ, gauges for industrial production, banking credit and manufacturing PMI all point to a contraction in the fourth quarter.”
“Saudi Arabia’s annual consumer price index fell 1.9 per cent in January from a year earlier as housing, water and energy prices all dropped. Deflation returned to the Middle East’s biggest economy for the first time since 2017…
“Housing, water, electricity and gas prices fell 7.7 per cent in January from a year earlier, the data showed. The consumer price index dropped 0.3 per cent from December 2018, according to data from the General Authority for Statistics.”
“Tariq Bajwa, the Governor of Pakistan’s central bank, yesterday said that Pakistan has come out of the financial crisis with the help of friendly countries and the economy has been set on the right path.
“However, the numbers tell a different story… Inflation galloped to a four-year high…”
“India is struggling to sell its bonds at recent auctions, and that’s even before Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarks upon a record borrowing program. Underwriters rescued a longer-tenor bond sale on Friday following poor buying support that’s seen the bid-to-cover ratio — a gauge of demand — drift lower in the last two auctions from levels seen in January.”
“Vehicle sales opened 2019 with a 15-percent drop in January, following the 16-percent slump in 2018, data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. and the Truck Manufacturers Association Inc. show…
“Both passenger and commercial car sales suffered slower sales in January. Sales of passenger cars dropped 13.3 percent… while sales of commercial vehicles declined 15.8 percent…”
“The world is cooling off its love affair with cars, and that is a factor pushing the global economy toward recession, according to two economists at HSBC.
“”Parts of the world are already in industrial recession,” Henry and Pomeroy said in a note to clients seen by Business Insider.”
“The Swedish krona fell to its lowest level against the US dollar in 16 years on Tuesday…
“A lower-than-expected inflation rate on Tuesday saw the Swedish krona slump to its worst levels against the US dollar in 16 years, fuelling fears that Sweden’s Central Bank will be unable to flip the country’s negative repo rate into positive territory any time soon.”
“The Dutch consumer confidence index has fallen to -2 in February, the first time in four years the index has been in negative territory. The index has been falling steadily since July last year.
“The national statistics office CBS says consumers are more unhappy about the economic climate and are less willing to make major purchases.”
“The question is very simple: How much longer can the average dairy farmer endure their on-going financial crisis that the majority of dairy farmers are continuing to live with?
“Pennsylvania dairy farmers are being shortchanged at least $550 million dollars each year, and New York dairy farmers are facing a $650 million dollar shortfall, which should make everyone anxious to do something to correct these criminal prices that dairy farmers are facing every day. Our figures indicate that the total underpayments to all the US dairy farmers each year are approximately 12 Billion dollars.
“Time is running out, and with spring around the corner, and with nothing being done for dairy farmers, you may witness hundreds, maybe even thousands of dairy farmers being forced out of business. With all these problems facing dairy farmers, it is having an adverse effect on our beef farmers.”
Btw, my apologies for the brutal national stereotyping in the pictures, lol. I always tend to be in a tearing hurry when pulling together these threads and finding new pictures that fit at least somewhat is hard.