Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The global economy faces a multitude of risks in 2017, ranging from rising protectionism spearheaded by Donald Trump to a severe slowdown in China, the International Monetary Fund has warned. The Washington-based fund used an update to its economic forecasts to highlight popular antipathy towards international trade and a widening in the gap between rich and poor. It called on governments to tackle inequality by helping people find work in fast-changing jobs markets shaken up by technology and globalization.  The IMF made no changes to its October forecast for global economic growth to edge up this year after a sluggish 2016. But it upgraded its outlook for the UK economy, bringing the IMF more in line with other forecasters following signs that the British economy grew at a solid pace in the second half of 2016, despite the Brexit vote. The UK outlook for 2018 was cut, however.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Britain could suffer from having no access to the European Union’s markets after Brexit and "will not take it lying down", Philip Hammond has admitted.
The Chancellor admitted in an interview with a German magazine that the “UK we could suffer from economic damage at least in the short-term” if it is left with no access to the EU.  But he suggested that Britain could cut taxes to encourage companies to move to the UK if it were shut out from trading with the EU...The Telegraph disclosed Mrs May is preparing to set out plans for a ‘clean’ Brexit’ when she delivers her major speech at Lancaster House on Tuesday.  This would see the UK pulling out of the single market and the customs union in order to regain control of immigration and end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.  A government source told The Sunday Telegrpah: “She's gone for the full works. People will know when she said 'Brexit means Brexit', she really meant it.”  The comments alarmed pro-Remain MPs. Former education secretary Nicky Morgan, who was sacked by Mrs May, said the Prime Minister should put "maximum participation" in the single market at the heart of her negotiating strategy and warned her not to do anything to damage the economy.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Persoanele fizice care vor să-şi izoleze termic locuinţa vor putea cere de la stat o sumă nerambursabilă de până la 40.000 de lei, în cadrul programului „Casa verde Plus”, se arată într-un act normativ al Ministerului Mediului, Apelor şi Pădurilor (MMAP), ce a fost publicat ieri în Monitorul Oficial. Totuşi, pentru a putea beneficia efectiv de bani, cetăţenii trebuie să aştepte stabilirea sesiunii de înscriere.  Regulile pentru participarea în programul denumit, pe scurt, „Casa verde Plus” sunt incluse în Ordinul MMAP nr. 2.425/2016 pentru aprobarea Ghidului de finanţare a Programului privind efectuarea de lucrări destinate eficienţei energetice, beneficiari persoane fizice. Acesta a fost publicat astăzi în Monitorul Oficial, Partea I, nr. 34 şi se aplică deja. Însă înscrierea cetăţenilor va fi posibilă abia după ce autorităţile vor stabili o perioadă anume în acest sens.
Prin intermediul programului „Casa verde Plus”, statul vrea să încurajeze folosirea materialelor izolatoare organic-naturale pentru a reduce consumul energetic al clădirilor, cu scopul de a îmbunătăţi calitatea mediului. Banii nerambursabili vor fi acordaţi persoanelor fizice atât pentru casele aflate în construire, cât şi pentru cele deja existente, însă, aşa cum reiese din actul normativ, numai dacă acestea au cel mult parter şi două etaje.  Concret, persoanele fizice vor putea cere o sumă de până la 40.000 de lei (dar nu mai mult de 120 de lei pe metru pătrat izolat şi finisat), care va fi acordată sub forma unei prime de eficienţă energetică. „Finanţarea se acordă sub forma unei prime de eficienţă energetică în valoare de maximum 40.000 de lei, aferentă cheltuielilor eligibile, dar nu mai mult de 120 lei/mp izolat şi finisat, pentru izolarea locuinţelor aflate în faza de construcţie şi pentru izolarea locuinţelor existente”, scrie în ordinul recent publicat, citat de avocatnet.ro.
Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. For more than a year now, it has been scarcely possible to think or read about anything else. Seemingly all other economic discourse has been eclipsed by this over-riding prospect.  In the circumstances, it’s an understandable obsession. Yet the fact is that far bigger challenges lie ahead for the UK economy than leaving the European Union, a point that the Governor the Bank of England, Mark Carney, seemed to acknowledge this week in admitting that Brexit was no longer the main domestic risk to financial stability. As it happens, it never was. Since the Brexit vote, the economy has continued to motor, and so far there seems to have been zero impact on financial stability...Over the last five years, the FTSE 100 has closed lower on seven of the 10 Friday 13ths.  It could be a coincidence – or is there something else at play?
On Friday 13th July 2012, China’s GDP growth dropped to a three-year low of 7.6pc, marking a new stage for the country’s economic slowdown....Superstitious beliefs run so high in the UK that some people refuse to fly on Friday 13th, stay in hotel rooms bearing the unlucky digits or buy houses that bear the number 13.  In fact, the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in North Carolina estimates that businesses lose up to $900m (£585m) in sales and productivity when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday as customers refrain from activities such as flying and anxious employees stay home from work.  The phenomenon even has a name: paraskavedekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday 13th, while triskaidekaphobics are scared of the number 13 more generally.  More than a quarter of Britons admit that they consider Friday 13th to be unlucky, according to a survey of 500 adults conducted by the conference call provider Powwownow.  One in 10 people avoid travelling by train on Friday 13th, 11pc refuse to stay in hotel room number 13 and 16pc of people won’t take flights on this inauspicious day, the survey found.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Germany - Inflation rage is coming to the boil in Germany. Leaders of the country's prestigious institutes warn that the economy is hitting capacity constraints and risks spiraling into a destructive boom-bust cycle.  In a series of interviews with The Telegraph they said that the ultra-loose monetary policy of the European Central Bank is now badly out of alignment with German needs. It has begun to threaten lasting damage, and is fast undermining political consent for monetary union.  "The ECB wants to inflate away the debt of the southern European countries. This is a clear conflict of interest with net creditors like Germany," said Clemens Fuest, president of the IFO Institute in Munich....Governments in the rich world are now the biggest debtors globally, piling up debts even as financial firms, other businesses and households moderate their borrowing. Total global debts have hit a new record high, driven largely by government borrowing, according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF). The organisation is warning that the borrowing spree comes at a dangerous time, as debts increase sharply as the era of low interest rates comes to an end, leading to substantially higher borrowing costs....Total global debts rose to more than $217 trillion (£175 trillion) at the end of the third quarter last year, the IIF said, amounting to a record high of more than 325pc of GDP.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

LONDON - Three of the City’s most powerful figures face a grilling from MPs over suggestions banks and other financial services firms exaggerated the threat posed by Brexit. Douglas Flint, chairman of HSBC, London Stock Exchange boss Xavier Rolet, and Elizabeth Corley, vice chairman asset manager Allianz Global Investors, will appear before the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) on Tuesday.  The influential panel of MPs has launched an inquiry into the future of Britain’s economic relationship with Europe once it leaves the EU. It is understood MPs’ will investigate whether City firms have embellished the likely impact of Brexit on the Square Mile, in an attempt to pressure the government into prioritising the financial services industry during negotiations with Brussels....It comes after the chief economist of the Bank of England conceded last week that the warnings of an economic downturn forecasters sounded before the EU referendum had been a “Michael Fish” moment - the infamous episode in 1987 when the BBC weatherman said there would be no hurricane the night before the Great Storm.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The surge in public borrowing has several important effects, exposing governments to higher interest rates as well as constraining their options at a time when economists would like extra fiscal stimulus from some countries.
“Higher borrowing costs could raise concerns about debt sustainability,” warned the IIF. “With the focus in 2017 likely to be on prospects for fiscal stimulus, already-high levels of mature market debt may act as a constraint.”. Borrowers in Britain have been working hard to pay down their debts, slashing the total debt to GDP ratio by 65 percentage points between 2011 and 2015. That is now in reverse, as the government keeps borrowing and banks stop deleveraging – in the first nine months of the year, debts rose by 15 percentage points to more than 465pc of GDP. Governments in emerging markets have increased their debt more slowly – debt to GDP increased by only two percentage points. Those nations could be particularly hit by higher interest rates in the US, however, as investors looking for yield in riskier markets may be tempted back to the States, as they were in the so-called taper tantrum of 2012.  The biggest emerging market borrower in 2016 was China – it accounted for $710bn of the total $855bn of bond issuance from the governments.
UK consumer credit is rising at its fastest pace since 2005 - Highcharts CloudYear on year growth, %Chart context menuUK consumer credit is rising at its fastest pace since2005UK consumer credit is rising at its fastest pace since 2005Source: Bank of EnglandAnnual consumer credit growth20022004200620082010201220142016-505101520Highcharts.comFriday, Oct 31, 2014 Annual consumer credit growth: 6.4
The country’s households were also keen borrowers in the nine-month period. Individuals took on loans amounting to an additional 3pc of GDP, while overall emerging market household debt hit a new high of 35pc of GDP.
“This suggests that for some households, debt service capacity could be challenged in a rising interest rate environment,” the IIF warned.