Macro snapshot  — UK factory output slows; Germany on cusp of recession; Japan slashes GDP to 2%

Macro snapshot  — UK factory output slows; Germany on cusp of recession; Japan slashes GDP to 2%
British industrial output grew at the slowest pace in over a year in the three months to July. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 25 July 2022

Macro snapshot  — UK factory output slows; Germany on cusp of recession; Japan slashes GDP to 2%

Macro snapshot  — UK factory output slows; Germany on cusp of recession; Japan slashes GDP to 2%

CAIRO: While the UK's factory output steadied at the slowest pace in over a year as inflation continued to rise, Germany's business morale dropped below expectations this month. The economic growth of the US slowed down but was deemed 'necessary' by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen; Japan slashed its gross domestic product to 2.0 percent due to declining global demand. 

UK factory output slows, price pressures come off-peak — CBI

British industrial output grew at the slowest pace in over a year in the three months to July, but there are tentative signs that some challenges around inflation and investment are easing, a Confederation of British Industry survey showed on Monday.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee must decide next week whether to speed up the pace of interest rate rises with a rare half-point rate rise to tackle the highest inflation in 40 years.

Surging inflation has driven consumer sentiment to its lowest since records began in the 1970s, but business activity has been slower to weaken.

Germany on cusp of recession 

German business morale fell more than expected in July, the Ifo business sentiment survey showed on Monday, as the institute that compiles it said high energy prices and looming gas shortages had left Europe’s largest economy on the cusp of recession.

The Ifo institute’s closely watched business climate index dropped to 88.6, its lowest in more than two years and below the 90.2 forecasts in a Reuters poll of analysts. June’s reading was marginally revised down to 92.2.

“Recession is knocking on the door. That can no longer be ruled out,” said Ifo surveys head Klaus Wohlrabe.

Japan slashes GDP growth forecast to 2 percent 

Japan’s government slashed its economic growth forecast for this fiscal year largely due to slowing overseas demand, highlighting the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine, China’s strict COVID-19 lockdowns, and a weakening global economy.

The forecast, which serves as a basis for compiling the state budget and the government’s fiscal policy, included much higher wholesale and consumer inflation estimates as surging energy and food costs and a weak yen push-up prices.

The world’s third-biggest economy is now expected to expand about 2 percent in price-adjusted real terms in the fiscal year ending in March 2023, according to the Cabinet Office’s projections, presented at the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy – the government’s top economic panel.

That marked a sharp downgrade from the government’s previous forecast of 3.2 percent growth released in January. The cut largely stemmed from weaker exports, which the government expects to expand by 2.5 percent compared to 5.5 percent in the previous assessment.

US economy slowing, but recession not inevitable

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Sunday that US economic growth is slowing and she acknowledged the risk of a recession, but she said a downturn was not inevitable.

Yellen, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said strong hiring numbers and consumer spending showed the US economy is not currently in recession.

US hiring remained robust in June, with 372,000 jobs created and the unemployment rate holding at 3.6 percent. It was the fourth straight month of job gains in excess of 350,000. 

“This is not an economy that is in recession,” said Yellen. “But we’re in a period of transition in which growth is slowing and that’s necessary and appropriate.”

(With input from Reuters) 


TRSDC reveals plans for state-of-the-art Marine Life Institute

TRSDC reveals plans for state-of-the-art Marine Life Institute
Updated 13 sec ago

TRSDC reveals plans for state-of-the-art Marine Life Institute

TRSDC reveals plans for state-of-the-art Marine Life Institute

The Red Sea Development Co has disclosed its design plans for the state-of-the-art Marine Life Institute.

The 10,340 square meter institute is set to boost conservation-driven research, in addition to attracting tourists and marine-lovers from all over the world.

Located in the Triple Bay Marina at AMAALA, the three-story structure will be designed to imitate coral formations and reef patterns, integrating nature within its architecture.

Moreover, the one-of-its-kind project will enhance sustainable and innovative methods to reduce water wastage, pollution, and prevent erosion.

The Red Sea Marine life institute will hold a capacity of 650 guests at once, starting their magical journey with a "Grand Reveal" of the world’s largest man-made reefs.

Moving on, the guests will be taken on a plethora of activities—walking through underwater paths, snorkeling with rare species,exploring research labs,  and diving the depth of the Red Sea in a submarine.

“The Red Sea Marine Life Institute will take guests on a vibrant, educational, and awe-inspiring journey that unveils the natural wonders of the Red Sea and blurs the boundaries between the institute and the ocean,” stated Gerard Evenden, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners, the architectural design firm working on the project.

 “With 10 zones that provide everything from augmented reality experiences to night diving, and spaces for the scientific community to effectively progress their environmental projects, the Red Sea Marine Life Institute is undeniably unique,” said John Pagano, Group CEO of TRSDC.


Saudi Arabia leading G20 nations in tourist inflow numbers for 2022: WTO report

Saudi Arabia leading G20 nations in tourist inflow numbers for 2022: WTO report
Updated 11 min 5 sec ago

Saudi Arabia leading G20 nations in tourist inflow numbers for 2022: WTO report

Saudi Arabia leading G20 nations in tourist inflow numbers for 2022: WTO report

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has topped the G20 countries for the flow rating of international tourists in the first seven months of 2022, according to a report released by the World Tourism Organization.

The report, released during the G20 tourism ministers’ meeting held in Bali, Indonesia, did not detail the exact number of travelers who visited the Kingdom, but claimed the sector saw a growth rate of 121 percent in the first half of 2022.

During the event Saudi Arabia’s tourism minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb said the surge in tourist inflow aligns with the Kingdom’s economic diversification policies and aims to increase tourism’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product, as outlined in Vision 2030, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Calling Saudi Arabia one of the fastest growing markets for tourism, Al-Khateeb said the Kingdom’s tourism sector is accelerating at a rate of 14 percent compared to the pre-coronavirus pandemic period. 

The tourism minister stressed that G20 countries need to collaboratively work together to build a more resilient and sustainable future for the sector.

According to Al-Khateeb, collective action is necessary to revive the tourism sector which has been negatively impacted due to the outbreak of the pandemic.

He also stressed the necessity of partnerships between the public and private sectors and multilateral cooperation in order to shape an efficient tourism sector for the future.

“Collaboration is key as we strive to secure a more resilient and sustainable future,” Al-Khateeb said.

He added: “Let us continue working together across sectors to drive our continued growth. Let us continue to support one another to take collective action to shape a more resilient sector and let us build sustainability into the core of every decision we make.”

Earlier in June, Al-Khateeb said that Saudi Arabia has allocated $100 million to provide training for 100,000 people to work in the tourism and sustainability sector.

He added that 90 hotels were launched in the Kingdom as a part of its tourism strategy, and more hotels will be opened soon, with 70 percent being funded by the private sector.

Al-Khateeb, in June, told AFP that the Kingdom is hoping to attract 12 million foreign visitors in 2022, up from the 4 million tourists who visited Saudi Arabia in 2021.

“Saudi Arabia will change the tourism landscape globally. The destinations that Saudi will offer by 2030, it’s something completely different,” he said.


OPEC+ supply cut essential to buoy oil prices, UBS says

OPEC+ supply cut essential to buoy oil prices, UBS says
Updated 27 September 2022

OPEC+ supply cut essential to buoy oil prices, UBS says

OPEC+ supply cut essential to buoy oil prices, UBS says

RIYADH: An oil production cut by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies is vital to break the negative momentum in prices amid recession fears and a stronger dollar, analysts at UBS said on Tuesday.

“A lack of action by the group to remove barrels from the market is likely to spur further downside pressure on oil prices,” UBS said in a note.

“The group has to announce a production cut of at least 0.5 million barrels per day over the coming days.”

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers known as OPEC+, is scheduled to meet next on Oct. 5.

Crude is falling on fears that a recession will lead to weaker demand and a better supplied oil market, UBS said, adding that the broader risk-off environment caused by aggressive monetary policy tightening in the US and Europe was also weighing on prices.

Oil prices on rose more than 1 percent on Tuesday, after plunging to nine-month lows a day earlier, amid indications that producer alliance OPEC+ may enact output cuts to avoid a further collapse in prices. 


Saudi Islamic finance firm Nayifat appoints new CEO

Saudi Islamic finance firm Nayifat appoints new CEO
Updated 27 September 2022

Saudi Islamic finance firm Nayifat appoints new CEO

Saudi Islamic finance firm Nayifat appoints new CEO

RIYADH: Nayifat Finance co. has named Bandar Al-Baiz as CEO and managing director of the company following a formal approval by its board, a bourse filing shows.

This follows the resignation of CEO Abdulmohsen Musaed Al-Sowailem in May and the appointment of Chan Kok Veng as its acting chief in June.

The Islamic finance firm has also announced the appointment of Saleh Al Omair as a chairman and Abdulmohsen Al-Saleh as a vice chairman.

The firm’s shares increased 0.17 percent to SR22.98 ($6), as of 10:08 a.m. Saudi time.


TASI regains some momentum after dropping below 11k points: Opening bell

TASI regains some momentum after dropping below 11k points: Opening bell
Updated 27 September 2022

TASI regains some momentum after dropping below 11k points: Opening bell

TASI regains some momentum after dropping below 11k points: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main index gained momentum after dropping below 11,000 points on Monday on fears of a global recession sparked by aggressive monetary tightening around the world.

The Tadawul All Share Index gained 1.04 percent to reach 11,022 in early trade on Tuesday, while the parallel market Nomu started almost flat at 19,723, as of 10:08 a.m. Saudi time.

Saudi oil giant Aramco started with a 0.29 percent gain, while Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. added 1.05 percent.

The Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s largest lender, increased by 0.98 percent, while Saudi British Bank increased by 0.95 percent.

The Kingdom’s most valued bank Al Rajhi rose 1.15 percent, while Alinma Bank gained 0.58 percent.

Anaam International Holding Group continued to lead the gainers since yesterday’s trading session with a 6.83 percent gain, after it turned into profits of SR1.6 million ($425,599) in the first half of 2022.

Abdulmohsen Alhokair Group for Tourism and Development rose 4.52 percent after signing two contracts totaling SR94 million with a company specializing in establishing and operating international brands.

Saudi Paper Manufacturing Co. gained 1.38 percent, after it invited its shareholders to vote on raising its capital to SR337 million, following approval by the Capital Market Authority.

Nayifat Finance Co. added 0.17 percent, after it named Bandar Al-Baiz as managing director and CEO, as well as Saleh Al Omair as chairman and Abdulmohsen Al-Saleh as vice chairman.