Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Greek Crisis Weigh Upon German Business Morale

German business, economy, business, finance

German business morale is down again for a 2nd straight month in June according to a survey. Concerns about the Greek debt crisis has been affecting them negatively. The survey which is called the Ifo business climate index was conducted by Ifo Institute for Economic Research. It is based on a monthly survey of some 7,000 firms, it dropped to 107.4 in June from 108.5 in May.

Greece needs cash to save them from defaulting their loan from the IMF next week. Fears about the risk of a default have prompted savers to withdraw billions from Greek banks, forcing the European Central Bank to increase emergency liquidity assistance to keep them afloat.

German economic growth slowed to 0.3% in the first quarter, with no improvement is sight.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

China's stock market Keeps on rising worth over $10 trillion

China stock market, finance, market, economy

Right now China's stock market is worth over $10 trillion with the Shanghai Stock Exchange had a total market cap of $5.9 trillion while the Shenzhen Stock Exchange is at $4.4 trillion (World Federation of Exchanges), meaning there is $10.3 trillion in China's stock market since both the Shanghai and Shenzhen has been surging this year. The benchmark Shanghai Composite is up nearly 60% since January 1, and the Shenzhen Composite has skyrocketed by 120%, easily making it the world's best-performing market.

The crazy rise has pushed the Shanghai Stock Exchange up the ranks to become the world's third-biggest by market cap, behind the New York Stock Exchange at nearly $20 trillion and Nasdaq at $7 trillion.

81% of retail investors in China trade at least once a month, according to a State Street survey published earlier this year. American investors traded just 53% while French investors traded 32% monthly.

Top stock exchanges by market cap:
  1.     New York Stock Exchange - $19.7 trillion
  2.     NASDAQ OMX - $7.4 trillion
  3.     Shanghai Stock Exchange - $5.9 trillion
  4.     Japan Stock Exchange - Tokyo - $5 trillion
  5.     Shenzhen Stock Exchange - $4.4 trillion
  6.     Hong Kong Stock Exchange - $3.96 trillion
  7.     Euronext - $3.5 trillion

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Job Growth is Up by 5.5% in the US

Job Growth, employment, US data

There are concern about US economy is slowing, but this has not affected the job market as the government announce last Friday that businesses 280,000 jobs in May. The unemployment rate is up by 5.5% from 5.4%.

However, wages is barely rising above inflation, because of a limited the economy’s growth. Education and health has contributed an additional 592,000 jobs (2.8% gain). Healthcare has been boosted by the medical demands of aging population and the expansion of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

People who were surveyed said they had to skip some medical care for lack of money, and could not cover an unexpected emergency that cost $400.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Customer Satisfaction Ratings for Cable TV and Internet are not Good

Customer Satisfaction Ratings, cable tv, internet

Almost all the Cable TV providers got the lowest scores possible for value. Customers seems always dissatisfied with pay TV and Internet providers, they consistently receive poor ratings. Most of the complaint are rising monthly bills, poor customer service and little flexibility in packages. It has plagued major players like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and others.

In the latest Consumer Reports survey, it asked customers to rate TV, Internet, and phone services, as well as bundled packages, and the ratings for value was so bad 38 out of the 39 Internet services, and 20 out of the 24 TV providers, received the lowest possible scores possible and 19 out of the 20 bundles have also received poor scores.

Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications are in the bottom of the pack along with Comcast.

Here's the report

Thursday, May 21, 2015

U.S. jobless claims Up to 274,000

U.S. jobless claims, jobless, claims

US citizens who are filing new claims for unemployment benefits went up last week. The initial jobless claims went up by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 274,000 in the week ended May 16 according to the Labor Department. The forecast was 271,000.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Fed rate hike likely in June According to Policymakers

- Fed have 2 more months of data before next meeting
- Williams: Don't want to be locked into set pace of rate hikes
- Markets are discounting June rate hike, see December likely

The Federal Reserve is likey to raise interest rates this coming June, according to 2 top US central bankers last Friday. As long as economic data strengthens as expected from a dismal first quarter. It came from the hawkish-leaning chief of the Cleveland Fed and from the centrist head of the San Francisco Fed.

The Fed has maintained the interest rates near zero since December 2008. The key, both Loretta Mester, president of the Cleveland Fed, and John Williams, president of the San Francisco Fed, said, is that by a quirk of the calendar there will be two more months of data for many of the key gauges the Fed follows, including the US jobless rate, jobs gains, retail sales and others. All scheduled Fed policy meetings, including the next one, in June, are "on the table," Mester told reporters in Philadelphia. "There are a whole bunch of data releases that will come out between now and June. But to me the employment reports will be indicative of a lot."

The US economy's weak winter performance, including near-zero growth in gross domestic product, has pushed back market expectations for a policy tightening to September or December, when key Fed meetings are also scheduled. Yet the Fed has telegraphed a rate hike this year, and unemployment, at 5.5 percent, is not too far from what many economists believe represents full employment.

"I agree with the way my colleague Loretta Mester put it," Williams told reporters after a speech at Chapman University, repeating Mester's phrase that all meetings are "on the table." "Really positive data trends, improvement in the labor market, signs that improve the confidence and the expectation that inflation will move back to 2 percent - I mean could imagine that constellation of data coming in, whether before June or meetings right after that too," Williams said. "But that would require the data to be good."

Both Mester and Williams pointed to recent data showing inflation may be firming, suggested they are gaining confidence it is heading toward the Fed's 2 percent target. Looking beyond the Fed's first rate hike, Williams said the US central bank should put some "space" between the start of policy normalization and the decision to allow the Fed's giant balance sheet to shrink.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

China's Foreign Direct Investment is Up by 2.2% in March at $12.4 billion

China has gained $12.4 billion of foreign direct investment in March which is up by 2.2% from a year earlier according to the Ministry of Commerce. Last February they have tallied $8.56 billion FDI which is  0.9% higher than a year earlier. China first quarter (January-March) FDI for the year 2015 is up by 11.3% at $34.88 billion.

This is good news considering a series of bad news about China economy, like slowing industrial activity and decreasing GDP.

Investment from European countries posted large year-on-year gains in the 1st quarter of 2015, with France and UK investment up 40% and 259% respectively. In aggregate, European Union countries invested $2.02 billion, up 30.5%.