“Chinese factories have suffered the swiftest drop in export orders since the financial crisis a decade ago, fuelling concerns that the country’s economy has weakened.
“Fresh economic data show that manufacturing activity in China shrank in February, for the third month running, at the fastest rate in three years.
“This dragged the official manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) down to just 49.2, from 49.5 in January (any figure below 50 shows a contraction).”
“Growth in disposable income slowed in China last year while living costs rose, highlighting the increasing strains Chinese households are facing as the economy cools.
“Beijing is counting on the nation’s vast consumer base to cushion the broader slowdown. But as the outlook grows more clouded Chinese are tightening their belts…”
“The plunge in auto sales in China has made its way to the US heartland. Nearly 1,400 autoworkers in Belvidere, Illinois, will lose their jobs as a result of weak demand in China for the Jeep Cherokee.
“Fiat Chrysler announced it is eliminating the third shift at the Illinois plant in May. It said that the layoffs are needed to “better align production with global demand.” The company also cut its sales outlook for 2019 because of the slowdown in the Chinese auto market.”
“The US economy is slowing and the rest of the world is highly exposed, meaning a serious slump could spread quickly to other nations, economists have warned.
“At the same time China has little room to launch any major stimulus, as it did in the financial crisis, and other leading economies are unlikely to help. Analysts at Citi have chopped their forecasts for the world’s largest economy…”
“British car production declined by 18.2% in the first month of 2019, sparked by a significant fall in demand from China and Europe… It is the eighth consecutive month in which production has declined in the UK.
“While the number of cars manufactured for the domestic market fell by 4.8%, the bulk of the decline came from the export market, which fell by 21.4%. Demand for British-built cars in China declined by 72.3%…”
“UK house price growth remained sluggish in February, as property experts warned the housing market is “on its knees”
“…prices actually slumped month on month, falling 0.1 per cent from January to an average of £211,304, down from £211,966, Nationwide’s house price index found.”
“Economic sentiment in the UK plummeted in February to its lowest level in six years as Brexit uncertainty intensified, according to an EU survey.”
“Norway’s $1tn oil fund suffered its worst performance since the depths of the global financial crisis as weak equity markets weighed on the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund.”
“Italian banks had a deterioration in “liquidity and capital adequacy indicators”, the central bank said in November.
“…large sovereign debt positions a crisis in the fiscal arena can spill over into the banking arena…”
“Australian private sector credit growth remains anaemic, especially for housing and personal purposes. In January, housing credit grew by the smallest amount since 1984. Over the year, growth was the weakest on record.
“The weakness in housing credit reflects a steep slowdown in both investor and owner-occupier categories.”
“Former Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Janet Yellen warned on Tuesday that America’s corporate debt binge could end up sparking a deeper recession when the next downturn hits. Rock-bottom rates and easy lending standards have allowed US companies to pile on record levels of debt, sparking concern from regulators about the risk the credit markets may pose to the U.S. economy.
“When asked about asset bubbles and potential fallout when the current US economic expansion cools down, Yellen singled out high corporate debt levels as a worry…”