US weekly jobless claims fall to the lowest level since the pandemic began: Economic wrap

US weekly jobless claims fall to the lowest level since the pandemic began: Economic wrap
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Updated 14 October 2021

US weekly jobless claims fall to the lowest level since the pandemic began: Economic wrap

US weekly jobless claims fall to the lowest level since the pandemic began: Economic wrap

New Department of Labor data show that initial weekly jobless claims in the US fell to 293,000 in the week ending 9 October. This is the lowest level since the pandemic began in 2020.

This reflects the economy's continued recovery as firings and layoffs slowed last week.

More US news

Producer prices increased by 0.5 percent month-on-month in September. This is the lowest rise in 2021 according to the US Bureau of Statistics, and 80 percent of the increase was accounted for by a 1.3 percent rise in prices of final goods. 

This was accompanied by an annual increase in producer prices by 8.6 percent, the highest since 2010.

German output

Germany's leading economic institutes decreased their shared estimate growth for 2021 to 2.4 percent from the previously forecasted 3.7 percent as supply bottlenecks slow recovery in the manufacturing sector.

On the other hand, they raised the expected growth rate for 2022 to 4.8 percent rather than 3.9 percent and said that the German economy will reach normal capacity utilization in 2022.

Moreover, the institutes said that inflation will increase in 2022 by 2.5 percent and by 1.7 percent in 2023.

India’s balance of trade 

India’s trade deficit increased significantly to $22.6 billion in September, up from the much-lower gap of $2.7 billion in September of last year, official data showed.

Imports soared by 84.8 percent year-on-year to $56.4 billion, mainly due to crude oil imports which almost tripled in value, as oil prices nearly doubled compared to a year earlier.

Exports also rose, but at a much lower pace, as it grew by 22.6 percent to reach $33.9 billion. Coffee and cashew exports led much of this increase.

Swedish inflation

Sweden’s inflation rate gained pace in September as it rose to 2.5 percent up from 2.1 percent in the previous month, data from Statistics Sweden revealed.

This is the highest rate since November of 2011. The new inflationary pressures were mainly fuelled by jumps in the housing & utilities index and the electricity & transport index as they rose by 5.1 percent and 6.2 percent respectively.

Turkey’s reserves

Changing by $2.2 billion, Turkish foreign exchange reserves increased to $85.4 billion on October 8, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey said.   


Gulf countries to establish integrated industrial strategy: Bahraini minister

Gulf countries to establish integrated industrial strategy: Bahraini minister
Updated 13 sec ago

Gulf countries to establish integrated industrial strategy: Bahraini minister

Gulf countries to establish integrated industrial strategy: Bahraini minister

Countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are planning to set up an integrated industrial strategy, Bahraini Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Zayed Alzayani said.

This will be done by creating a unified “Gulf strategy for industry,” Asharq Al-Awsat reported, citing him.

The Gulf countries are also trying to increase dependence on each other instead of importing raw materials from abroad, which Alzayani said could create jobs, diversify economies, and expand their exporting values. 

He added the region is heading towards the formation of a customs and economic union by 2025, and the integrated industrial system will help the Gulf to stand among global conglomerates as a single bloc.

When combined, Gulf countries are the 12th largest economy globally, the minister said, adding their aim to be among the top 10 biggest economies in the world.

 


Lebanon launches second licensing round for 8 offshore oil, gas blocks 

Lebanon launches second licensing round for 8 offshore oil, gas blocks 
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 24 min 10 sec ago

Lebanon launches second licensing round for 8 offshore oil, gas blocks 

Lebanon launches second licensing round for 8 offshore oil, gas blocks 
  • The US is mediating between Lebanon and Israel, who are technically at war, to resolve the dispute

RIYADH: Lebanon has launched the second licensing round for eight offshore oil and gas blocks after two years of delay.

The government had agreed to launch the second round in April 2019 but it was postponed due to the pandemic, Bloomberg reported.

The US is mediating between Lebanon and Israel, who are technically at war, to resolve the dispute over about 860 square kilometers of water.

The deadline for applications is June 15, according to the Lebanese Petroleum Administration.


Doha Bank looks to borrow a 3-year $350m loan

Doha Bank looks to borrow a 3-year $350m loan
Updated 33 min 27 sec ago

Doha Bank looks to borrow a 3-year $350m loan

Doha Bank looks to borrow a 3-year $350m loan
  • Banks that finance more than $100 million will receive an interest rate of 108 basis points on the total tranche

RIYADH: Doha Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in Qatar in terms of assets, is looking for a 3-year loan of $350 million, following a financing it obtained earlier this year.

The loan also includes a one-year extension option and an interest rate of about 85 basis points above LIBOR, a global benchmark interest rate, Alarabiya reported.

Banks that finance more than $100 million will receive an interest rate of 108 basis points on the total tranche.

Those offering to lend less than $100 million will receive a total interest rate of 106 basis points.


Chinese NetEase’s music business raises $422m in Hong Kong IPO 

Chinese NetEase’s music business raises $422m in Hong Kong IPO 
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 52 min 52 sec ago

Chinese NetEase’s music business raises $422m in Hong Kong IPO 

Chinese NetEase’s music business raises $422m in Hong Kong IPO 
  • The listing comes as China tightens up control over its data

Chinese gaming giant NetEase’s music streaming platform, Cloud Village has raised $422 million in its Hong Kong initial public offering.

The company priced its shares at HK$205 ($26.30), to start trading on Dec. 2, Bloomberg reported.

The listing comes as China tightens up control over its data, by issuing a draft law that requires Hong Kong IPO candidates to do a cybersecurity review. 

The music streaming platform, founded in 2013, generates most of its revenue through subscriptions, virtual gifting and advertising, providing online karaoke, live-streaming and lyrics sharing.

Bank of America Corp., China International Capital Corp. and Credit Suisse Group AG are joint sponsors for the offering.


Egypt’s tourism investments to grow 64% to $540m: minister

Egypt’s tourism investments to grow 64% to $540m: minister
Updated 28 November 2021

Egypt’s tourism investments to grow 64% to $540m: minister

Egypt’s tourism investments to grow 64% to $540m: minister
  • Minister Hala El-Said estimated investments will reach around 8.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($540 million)

Egypt’s minister of planning and economic development expects investments in the tourism and antiquities sector to rise 64 percent in the fiscal year 2021/22. 

Hala El-Said estimated investments will reach around 8.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($540 million) up from 5.2 billion Egyptian pounds in the fiscal year 2020/21.

The tourism sector occupies a special significance for the Egyptian economy due to its high growth rates and its large sectoral contribution to the country’s GDP growth, the minister said. 

The ministry’s report included the tourism sector’s targets in the 2021/22 plan. 

The sector’s production level is expected to reach about 120 billion Egyptian pounds at current prices, compared to 93 billion Egyptian pounds during 2020/21, a growth rate of nearly 29 percent. 

It is aimed to extend the tourism sector’s GDP share to 91.4 billion Egyptian pounds in the next fiscal year, compared to 69.5 billion Egyptian pounds in the previous year.