Euro area’s unemployment edges down slightly, Korea’s growth decelerates: Economic wrap

Euro area’s unemployment edges down slightly, Korea’s growth decelerates: Economic wrap
Image: Shutterstock
Short Url
Updated 03 December 2021

Euro area’s unemployment edges down slightly, Korea’s growth decelerates: Economic wrap

Euro area’s unemployment edges down slightly, Korea’s growth decelerates: Economic wrap

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the Euro area recorded a slight decrease of 0.1 percent to hit 7.3 percent in October, according to data by the Eurostat. 

In addition, the EU’s unemployment rate remained unchanged from September’s level of 6.7 percent, meaning a 0.8 percent fall compared to the same period last year. 

Italy jobs

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate in Italy rose by 0.2 percent from a month earlier to reach 9.4 percent in October, based on data from Italy’s National Institute of Statistics. This signalled a 0.6 percent decline from last year’s October. 

Korea’s economy 

Korea's gross domestic product grew by 0.3 percent in the third quarter compared to the previous period, decelerating from a 0.8 percent increase in the second quarter, a report by the Bank of Korea showed. 

This was also lower than the corresponding period’s growth last year when it stood at 2.2 percent.

On an annual basis, the expansion rate turned to 4 percent in the third quarter from negative 1 percent in the same period of 2020, the Bank of Korea said. 

Monthly consumer prices in Korea rose in November by 0.4 percent compared to the previous month, according to official data. Meanwhile the yearly inflation rate recorded a reading of 3.7 percent.

Brazil’s output 

Brazil’s output growth also slowed in 3Q, as the economy expanded by an annual rate of 4 percent compared to 12.3 percent in the previous quarter, data released by the country’s official statistics agency revealed.

On a quarterly basis, Brazil’s economy shrank by 0.1 percent. This is a somewhat improvement from the second quarter’s decline of 0.4 percent

Japan’s consumer confidence

The seasonally adjusted series for the consumer confidence index of Japan remained unchanged from October’s level of 39.2, according to the country’s Cabinet Office.


France urges producers to cap oil price over Ukraine

France urges producers to cap oil price over Ukraine
Updated 26 June 2022

France urges producers to cap oil price over Ukraine

France urges producers to cap oil price over Ukraine

ELMAU, Germany: France on Sunday urged oil producers to cap the price of the commodity in order to put the squeeze on Russia which is benefiting from soaring energy prices.

Paris backs a US proposal for a maximum oil price, but said that “it would be much more powerful if it came from the producing countries,” said the French presidency.

To make such a measure work, it was “necessary to get into a discussion with OPEC+ and with the world’s oil producers,” said the source.

The US had suggested a price cap decided by consuming countries, a proposal that is due to be discussed by G7 leaders meeting in the Bavarian Alps on Sunday.

But Germany believes that the measure would be too difficult to put in place.

A senior German official said: “We are still intensively discussing how this would work and how that can fit in with the American, British, European and Japanese sanction regimes.”

EU President Charles Michel also said discussions were ongoing but “we want to go more into the details.”

“We want to make sure that ... the goal is to target Russia and not to make our life more difficult and more complex,” he said.


US aims to raise $200bn as part of G7 rival to China’s Belt & Road

US aims to raise $200bn as part of G7 rival to China’s Belt & Road
Updated 26 June 2022

US aims to raise $200bn as part of G7 rival to China’s Belt & Road

US aims to raise $200bn as part of G7 rival to China’s Belt & Road

WASHINGTON: The US aims to raise $200 billion in private and public funds over five years to fund needed infrastructure in developing countries under a G7 initiative aimed at countering China’s multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road project, the White House said on Sunday.
US President Joe Biden will unveil the plans, flanked by other Group of Seven leaders, some of whom have already unveiled their own separate initiatives, at their annual gathering being held this year at Schloss Elmau in southern Germany.

Partnership
Increasingly worried about China, G7 leaders first floated plans for the project last year, and are formally launching it now under a fresh title, “Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment” while dropping the moniker “Build Back Better World” first coined by Biden during his presidential campaign.
Biden will unveil several specific projects at a G7 side event, joined by leaders from Britain, Germany, Japan, the European Union and Canada, vowing to focus on projects that help tackle climate change as well as improve global health, gender equity and digital infrastructure. Notably absent will be French President Emmanual Macron who had formally joined the Chinese infrastructure program.
“The president’s not thinking that we need to spend dollar for dollar versus China ... though if you add up what the US and the G7 partners are going to be announcing, it comes pretty close to the number,” one senior US official told reporters.
The funds would be raised through grants and federal funds, and by leveraging private-sector investments, the White House said, adding that hundreds of billions of additional dollars could come from multilateral development banks, development finance institutions, sovereign wealth funds and others.

BRI scheme
China’s Belt and Road Initiative scheme, which Chinese President Xi Jinping launched in 2013, involves development and investment initiatives in over 100 countries, with a range of projects including railways, ports and highways.
White House officials say Xi’s plan to create a modern version of the ancient Silk Road trade route has provided little tangible benefit for many developing countries, with top jobs going to Chinese workers, while increasing rates of forced and child labor.
Biden will highlight several flagship projects, including a $2 billion solar development project in Angola with support from the Commerce Department, the US Export-Import Bank, US firm AfricaGlobal Schaffer, and US project developer Sun Africa.
Together with G7 members and the EU, Washington will also provide $3.3 million in technical assistance to Institut Pasteur de Dakar in Senegal as it develops an industrial-scale flexible multi-vaccine manufacturing facility in that country that can eventually produce COVID-19 and other vaccines.

Childcare Incentive Fund
The US Agency for International Development will also commit up to $50 million over five years to the World Bank’s new global Childcare Incentive Fund, a project aimed at address the gap in suitable childcare infrastructure.


Saudi-Italian forum to explore opportunities to boost bilateral trade

Saudi-Italian forum to explore opportunities to boost bilateral trade
Updated 26 June 2022

Saudi-Italian forum to explore opportunities to boost bilateral trade

Saudi-Italian forum to explore opportunities to boost bilateral trade

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment will host a high-level Italian business delegation led by Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio on Monday.

With the aim of exploring mutually beneficial investment opportunities, the Saudi-Italian Investment Forum will see participation by a range of private sector representatives from both countries, according to a statement. 

The forum will focus on finance, infrastructure and mobility, tourism and culture, and renewable energy. 

It will conclude with bilateral business meetings. It will serve as a platform for Italian investors to explore the support services available from Invest Saudi, the Kingdom’s investment promotion platform.


Egypt’s chemical industry exports rise by 33% to $3.5bn 

Egypt’s chemical industry exports rise by 33% to $3.5bn 
Updated 26 June 2022

Egypt’s chemical industry exports rise by 33% to $3.5bn 

Egypt’s chemical industry exports rise by 33% to $3.5bn 

CAIRO: Egypt's chemical and fertilizer industries’ exports have increased by 33 percent to a record $3.5 billion during the first five months of 2022, compared to $2.6 billion during the same period last year, the latest official data revealed.

According to the Chemical Industries and Fertilisers Export Council, the sector ranked first in terms of the volume of its exports from Egypt's total non-oil exports.

The chemical and fertilizer sector accounted for around 22 percent of Egypt’s total non-oil exports. This was followed by the building materials sector, which accounted for 20 percent of the total exports, with a value of about $3.2 billion.

According to official data, most of the sector's exports witnessed increases in varying proportions.

Fertilizers ranked first, with an estimated export volume of $1.16 billion, compared to $768 million during the same period last year, with a growth rate of 51 percent.

Plastics exports came in second place, with exports estimated at $1.09 billion, an increase of 12 percent over the same period last year when exports amounted to about $970 million.

In third place came the inorganic chemicals, which witnessed a noticeable increase in the volume of their exports by 144 percent, rising from $225 million to $550 million. 


Egypt In-Focus — Fintech startups raise $167m; deal signed to import 180K tons of wheat from India

Egypt In-Focus — Fintech startups raise $167m; deal signed to import 180K tons of wheat from India
Updated 26 June 2022

Egypt In-Focus — Fintech startups raise $167m; deal signed to import 180K tons of wheat from India

Egypt In-Focus — Fintech startups raise $167m; deal signed to import 180K tons of wheat from India

RIYADH: Fintech startups in Egypt have raised $167 million in the first half of 2022, according to a report published in Fintech Galaxy. 

According to the report, the amount was collected in 31 transactions of which series A and B funding accounted for around 90 percent. 

The growth of the fintech sector in Egypt is primarily driven by the Central Bank of Egypt’s Sandbox and the recent launch of Nclude Fintech fund, the report added. 

Egypt to import 180,000 tons of wheat from India

The Egyptian government has successfully closed a deal to import 180,000 tons of wheat from India, Reuters reported citing Supply Minister Aly Moselhy.

The minister said that the contracted wheat will be shipped once it reaches the Indian ports. 

Strategic reserves

Egypt has strategic reserves of wheat sufficient for 5.7 months, the supply minister said in a news conference on Sunday, adding that the country has procured 3.9 million tons of wheat in the local harvest so far.

Egypt is one of the world’s biggest wheat importers.

He added that the strategic reserves for sugar were sufficient for more than six months and those for vegetable oils are sufficient for 6.2 months, while the country is self-sufficient for rice for 3.3 months.

 

(With input from Reuters)