October FDI net inflows lowest since April

By Beatrice M. Laforga, Reporter

Foreign direct investments (FDI) to the Philippines in October fell to the lowest level in six months, amid a fresh surge in coronavirus infections overseas, according to the central bank.

FDI net inflows shrank by a quarter to $423 million from $561 million a year earlier, the second straight month of yearly decline, according to data sent by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno via Viber on Friday.

The October inflows were the lowest since $314 million in April, when many parts of the country and the rest of the world were locked down at the height of the pandemic.

Restrictions have been eased since the second half of last year, but local quarantine and physical distancing measures remain.

“The slowdown in FDI during the month may be attributed in part to concerns over the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the US, Japan and some European countries,” the BSP said.

Some of the world’s largest economies reported higher infection tallies around October lowering the cases for months.

In the ten months to October, FDI net inflows fell by a tenth to $5.3 billion from a year earlier.

“The decline in FDI net inflows reflected the adverse impact on investor sentiment amid the uncertainties surrounding the effect of a prolonged pandemic on the global economy,” the central bank said.

“The was offset by the increase in consumer spending, which was translated into investment in the last quarter of 2020,” Emmanuel J. Lopez, dean of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Graduate School said in an e-mail.

The expected seasonal uptick in public consumption should temper the losses as these may become investments in the latter part of 2020, he added.

“Whatever FDI shortage we experience in the preceding year can very well be recovered in 2021,” Mr. Lopez said.
“This was optimistically illustrated by the good credit rating the country gets from foreign independent credit rating agencies.”

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Year in pictures: October 2020 | The Canberra Times

news, latest-news,

The sunshine returned, plenty of rain fell, and borders reopened. After a challenging year, the green shoots of hope and relief emerged in October. Our lives became a little bit fuller outside of the restrictions of isolation as families were reunited and events were being encouraged. The ACT had its turn at a pandemic election; Labor returned for a sixth-consecutive term and a record number of Greens claimed seats in the Assembly. The Raiders went deep into the NRL finals once again but missed out on the grand final. Fans are now looking to 2021 for a drought-breaking Green Machine premiership.


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Bulgaria retail sales decrease in October | The Budapest Business Journal on the web

 Regional Today

 Friday, December 11, 2020, 14:30

Bulgariaʼs retail sales decreased by 5.3% year-on-year in October after falling by an annual 6.7% in the previous month, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said on Wednesday, citing preliminary working-day adjusted data. 

Photo by STEKLO / Shutterstock.com

Retail trade of food, drinks, tobacco fell 10.4% while sales of fuel decreased by 16.3% annually in November. On the other hand, sales of non-food product increased by 2.4%. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly comparison basis, retail trade turnover rose by 1.5% in October following a 3.2% increase in September.

In a separate statement, the Sofia-based statistics institute said, citing preliminary data, that Bulgariaʼs industrial output decreased by 3.9% year-on-year in October, following an annual decline of 2.7%. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly comparison basis, industrial production edged up 0.2% in October after a 2.5% rise in September.

Another preliminary report showed that production of Bulgariaʼs construction sector fell by an annual 4.7% in October, following a 1.7% decline in September. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly comparison basis, construction output decreased 1.5% in October after rising by 1.2% in the previous month. 



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Slovakia trade surplus increases in October | The Budapest Business Journal on the web

 Regional Today

 Friday, December 11, 2020, 16:30

Slovakiaʼs trade surplus rose to EUR 807.5 million in October from EUR 304 million in the same month last year, data from the countryʼs statistical office showed on Wednesday. 

In September, the trade surplus was EUR 707.9 million. The latest increase in trade surplus was the highest in the last decade. Exports rose 0.6% annually in October, while imports fell 5.7%. 

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Czech trade surplus increases in October | The Budapest Business Journal on the web

 Regional Today

 Thursday, December 10, 2020, 16:30

Czech Republicʼs trade surplus rose to CZK 33.391 billion in October from CZK 8.967 billion in the same month last year, a report from the countryʼs statistical office showed on Tuesday.

In September, the trade surplus was CZK 35.385 billion. Exports rose 5.6% annually in October and imports fell 1.7%.

On a monthly basis, seasonally adjusted exports and imports increased by 4.7% and 3.4% respectively, in October. 

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Fed Chair Powell held flurry of calls with Mnuchin in October

December 4, 2020

By Ann Saphir

(Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell spoke a dozen times in October with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Powell’s calendar published on Friday shows, more frequent interaction with his key Trump administration counterpart than in any month since July.

Powell’s calendars do not give any details on what the two discussed during the multiple phone calls, including four on Oct. 1 and another held jointly with Republican Senators Mike Crapo and Pat Toomey.

Toomey had been a vocal opponent of extending the Fed’s emergency lending facilities set up early in the pandemic to backstop the economy. Mnuchin and Powell had worked hard on creating those programs; indeed, Powell’s calendar for April reflects 21 chats between the two men.

In mid-November, Mnuchin abruptly pulled the plug on some of those facilities, saying the law required they sunset by Dec. 31. Powell said he would have preferred to have kept the backstops available for an economy under siege from a renewed viral surge.

In October, Powell and Mnuchin also held a joint call with U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose talks with Mnuchin over fiscal aid had stalled. He also lunched with President Donald Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who often expressed the view that the economy was in a “self-sustaining” recovery and didn’t need more government help.

Powell has been and remains a big advocate of fiscal relief as a “bridge” for unemployed Americans and hard-hit businesses to the post-pandemic world.

The Fed chair has made outreach to senators and members of Congress a key aspect of his tenure.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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November was busier than October in terms of business activity in India: Nomura

November proved to be a busier month than October in terms of business activity as India’s pace of business resumption touched another post-lockdown high, according to Nomura.

The Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI) came in at 89.2 for the week ended November 29, up from 88.7 recorded in the previous week, the brokerage said in a note on Tuesday.

“November was a busier month than October; the NIBRI picked up by 4.6pp (percentage points) m-o-m compared to a 2.1pp gain in October, reflecting ‘residual’ festive mobility and demand,” said the firm’s economists, Sonal Varma and Aurodeep Nandi.

The development came despite increased threats of pandemic resurgence and the revival of lockdown restrictions in various states, it said.

Experts were concerned that a second wave of infections post the festive season could further impact consumption demand amid the ebbing of the festive and pent-up demand phase.

While earlier improvements to the NIBRI were mobility-driven, the latest increase comes along with week-on-week declines in the Apple Driving Index and Google’s retail & recreation mobility index, which recorded its first fall in eight weeks.

On the other hand, Google’s workplace mobility posted positive growth during the week after declining through most of November.

Another indicator being tracked by the weekly index that broke a declining trend was the labour participation rate, which nched up to 41.1% from 39.3% the previous week, although it is still below pre-pandemic levels.

Similarly, power demand also recovered by 1.5% week-on-week after a 0.1% decline in the week earlier, the note said.

Nomura had raised its forecast of FY21 growth for India to -8.2% against -10.8% earlier “despite downside risks from a potential local resurgence in virus cases, ebbing pent-up demand, weaker global growth and a latent fiscal drag from ongoing expenditure compression,” the note said.

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Brazil loan defaults fall to record low in October

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask and a face shield waits to change the 200 hundred reais note after Brazil’s Central Bank issues the new note in Brasilia, Brazil September 2, 2020. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

November 27, 2020

By Jamie McGeever

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Loan defaults in Brazil fell to historic lows in October, figures showed on Friday, in further evidence of the economy’s recovery and that the central bank’s steps to loosen financial conditions were working.

Key measures of household and business loan defaults were their lowest since the central bank’s data series began in 2011, although lending spreads widened slightly from the previous month’s record lows.

A broad 90-day default ratio covering households and businesses fell to 3.1% in October from 3.2% in September, the central bank said, the lowest since the bank’s data series began in 2011.

(Graphic: Brazil loan defaults https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/nmopadrqrva/DEFAULTS.png)

The default ratio for non-financial companies fell to a record low 1.5% from 1.6%, while the broad measure of household defaults, including borrowing such as auto loans and overdrafts, also fell to a series low of 4.5% from 4.6% the month before.

Lending spreads, however, widened to 21.5 percentage points from September’s record low 21.2 percentage points, the central bank said. That was still significantly down from 29 percentage points in February before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The central bank has made available more than 1.2 trillion reais worth of credit and liquidity to businesses, banks and financial markets to cushion the economic shock of COVID-19.

Central bank president Roberto Campos Neto said this week that these measures are “here to stay”, although they will be modified. Their implementation marks a “structural change”, he said.

The government has also provided direct cash transfers to tens of millions of Brazil’s poorest people. These measures appear to have helped revive lending and economic activity, and stave off loan defaults.

The stock of outstanding loans in Brazil rose 1.4% in October to 3.9 trillion reais ($730.3 billion), the central bank said. Corporate loans rose 1% on the month to 1.7 trillion reais, and personal loans increased 1.7% to 2.2 trillion reais.

Loan growth over the last 12 months accelerated 14.5%, the central bank said.

($1 = 5.34 reais)

(Reporting by Jamie McGeever; editing by John Stonestreet and Chizu Nomiyama)

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Bosniaʼs Federation annual deflation slows in October | The Budapest Business Journal on the web

 Regional Today

 Thursday, November 26, 2020, 16:30

Bosniaʼs Federation consumer price index (CPI) fell by an annual 1.3% in October, after decreasing by 1.4% in September, figures from the entityʼs Agency for Statistics (BHAS) show.

The prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 1.7% year-on-year in October, while prices in the sector of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels were down by an annual 1.9%.

On a monthly comparison basis, the CPI edged up 0.4% in October, after adding 0.2% in September, according to the Sarajevo-based statistics agency.

The Federation is one of two autonomous entities that form Bosnia and Herzegovina. The other one is the Serb Republic. 



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