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German business confidence is expected to continue its downward trajectory after dropping to the lowest level in more than five years in July, when the outlook for the upcoming six months was the worst in a decade.
Ifo said in July that the confidence indicator for the manufacturing sector was “in freefall”.
This month’s polling period follows the announcement less than a fortnight ago that German GDP contracted by 0.1pct in the second quarter, and with optimism about German growth on the wane, this month business leaders are likely to yet again express increased concern about their prospects, according to economists.
The spectre of a hard Brexit and the ongoing Sino-US trade war are also weighing on the minds of German executives. (LiveSquawk – Continue Reading)
Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) has issued a long wish list of requirements for any new government coalition during talks with President Sergio Mattarella, after the center-left Democratic Party (PD) extended its own set of demands for any tie-up with the populist group it has criticized and bitterly opposed for the best part of a decade.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned earlier this week as a fragile coalition between the anti-immigration Lega party and the M5S finally cracked. The country’s future is now in the hands of Mattarella who is holding consultations to see whether any parties can form a majority — with an M5S-PD pact looking the most likely at this stage.
The unlikely alliance would in theory enjoy a relatively comfortable majority in the parliament’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, but would rely on a handful of sympathetic but unaligned senators if it were to win votes in the upper legislative chamber. (CNBC - Continue Reading)
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will face his most serious test in the job yet when he speaks Friday at the annual economic powwow in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He is facing tremendous political pressure from President Donald Trump, and expectations from many investors, to deliver more rate cuts.
Powell will need to assure markets — which appear to have already assumed another rate cut will come in September — that the Fed will do whatever it can to support the economy amid growing fears of a US slowdown. At the same time, he can't overpromise and risk further turmoil.
"He has to be careful," said Nathan Sheets, chief economist at PGIM Fixed Income and a former Treasury Department official in the Obama administration. "On one hand, he's has to say, 'If things go bad, we'll be there.' On the other hand, he can't promise more than he can deliver right now." (CNN - Continue Reading)
Manufacturing activity is falling in most of the world’s advanced economies, another sign that a deepening global slowdown is weighing on the U.S. expansion.
An index of factory activity in August declined in the U.S., Japan, Germany and the eurozone, IHS Markit said Thursday. The U.S. decline marked the first manufacturing contraction there since September 2009, according to the firm’s surveys of purchasing managers. The gauges fell in Italy and the U.K. in July, the firm said recently.
The IHS manufacturing indexes are imprecise because they are based on surveys and combine figures including product sales, inventory levels and commodity prices to come up with an index of factory “activity,” designed to broadly assess the sector’s health. (WSJ -Continue Reading)
U.S. refineries have cut the volume of crude processed so far this year, but stocks of gasoline and distillates remain ample, highlighting the slack demand for transportation fuels.
Fuel consumption has stalled, part of a worldwide slowdown in oil demand associated with the slackening of manufacturing and freight activity.
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