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%.

Friday, April 3, 2015

McDonald's Raises Wage by $1 an hour, Workers say not Enough

McDonald, McDonald wages, McDonald slave

Ronald McDonald won't happy about this news. McDonald's announced that they will be increasing the wages for their 90,000 employees of about at least $1 an hour more than the minimum wage. However, workers and labor groups are not happy about the increase they say that the pay-increase plan is too little for too few people. Since the pay hike will not cover the employees at franchises, which make up 90% of McDonald's roughly 14,000 U.S. stores. The pay hike will start July 1.

Organizers are planning a massive rally scheduled on April 15, they are fighting for a $15 hourly minimum wage.

The company said that by the end of 2016, the average hourly wage for McDonald's workers at those stores will be more than $10 an hour, up from $9 an hour.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Gold at 2 and half week high, Euro Gains Against Dollar

Hong Kong Gold

Gold prices surge ended lower on Wednesday after surging in a 5 day rally and ended close to 2 and a half week high Tuesday as a result of expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates until September. Also the U.S. dollar index has been weak recently that prop up the prices of precious metals.

Both Gold and silver have gained some momentum, the April Comex gold was last up $5.10 at $1,192.80 an ounce, it peaked at $1,195.30. May Comex silver was last up $0.049 at $16.94 an ounce. The Gold's 5-day rally that started when the U.S. Federal Reserve last week warn about the U.S. economy and the pace of any rate-hike.

Analyst expects the price of Gold could go up to $1,200 in the immediate future and $1,240 in the next quarter.

The demand for gold which do not pay interest had been hurt by expectations of a near-term rate hike, however it all change when the U.S. Federal Reserve surprised investors by indicating that they won't rush raising the interest rates. They may hold it to current level up to at least September.

A weaker dollar also makes bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies, and increases its appeal as a hedge.

The Euro has edged out the US dollar early Wednesday. It went up sharply against the dollar about 0.5% in early European trade to $1.0966, well above its recent 12-year low of under $1.05.

The euro also gained against the yen and the British pound. Brent crude oil rose 0.1% to $55.14 a barrel.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ericsson To Downsize 2,200 Swedish Jobs to Cut Cost

Ericsson, business, finance

Ericsson AB will be downsizing their workforce and about 2,200 jobs in Sweden will be cut to cut cost which is part of the company's cost-reduction plan to improve profitability as a result of slowing sales. The majority of it will be in the research and development and supply functions, it is about 2% of the company's workforce. The plan was announced back in November to lessen spending by 9 billion kronor ($1 billion) over three years.

Ericsson is the world’s largest manufacturer of wireless networks. Their goal is to boost earnings since their main rivals Nokia Oyj and Huawei Technologies Co. are beating them out in sales growth amid a prolonged period of slow industry wide expansion. The company predicts that the wireless-network gear market will grow at an average 2 to 4% a year through 2017.

About half of the positions affected by the cutbacks are in Stockholm, while Ericsson will shut its operations in Katrineholm, according to Ericsson. They have also axed 1,550 jobs in the Sweden back in 2012. Fourth-quarter sales per worker totaled about $77,500, compared with $87,000 at Finnish rival Nokia, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

U.S. Economy Slows Down to 2.2%

The U.S. economy growth is slower than what was initially thought in the 4th quarter of 2014, since decrease in stockpiling by businesses and a weak trade balance affected the economy.

The country's economic output is up at the rate of 2.2% in the 4th quarter of 2014, last month the initial estimate of was 2.6%. The revision also represented a steep deceleration from the blistering 5% annual rate of growth reported in the third quarter of 2014.

Economists on Wall Street has already expecting the revision even before the announcement, they even expected that it should be at 2%. The Commerce Department released the revision on Friday, it is the 2nd of 3 estimates that are revised as more data comes in. The final estimate will be out by late March.

The cause of the revision is due to slow additions to inventories by businesses than first estimated, removing 0.7% from the headline number for growth even though other underlying components like demand from consumers remained healthy.

Friday, February 20, 2015

US Dollar Holds Ground as Federal Reserve Set for Another Rate Hike

US dollar, greenback, economy, finance

The US Dollar continue to stay strong while the Federal Reserve is set to raise interest rates this year. On Thursday, the greenback is up for more than a week versus other currency as a result of dropping jobless claims and belief that the U.S. economic growth is outpacing other developed nations.

Against the Euro the U.S. dollar is $1.1365 per euro as of 8:46 a.m., it gained 0.3% when the German Finance Ministry rejected Greece’s proposal for an extension to its rescue loans before adopting the stance that the approach stood as the basis of negotiations. The U.S. dollar gained 0.1% against the Yen at 119.03.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index added 0.5 percent to 1,167.35 on Thursday, its biggest gain since Feb. 11.

The jobless claims were down by 21,000 to 283,000 in the week ended February 14, from 304,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 290,000.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Philippines is now the Call-Center Capital of the World - LA TIMES

Philippines, Call-Center, BPO, data entry, call center

Presently, the outsourcing industry in the Philippines is the number 1 choice for employment among young Filipinos. More than 1 million strong Filipinos are now now working for a call center or other outsourcing business, which serves mostly US companies.

Philippines has cheap labor, highly skilled labor market, and can speak and understand English well which are invaluable to a growing list of U.S. companies. US Companies use them to perform customer service for their company, generate sales leads, data entry, format documents and read medical scans and legal briefs.

Filipinos work the nightshifts and handles angry Americans, they earn about $700 a month, more than many general physicians earn in the Philippines.

Philippines call-center industry has already overtaken India as the call-center capital of the world, though India is still the top information technology outsourcing destination.

By the year 2016, experts said that the Philippines BPO industry will be able to achieve $25 billion in revenue, that will be about 10% of the Philippines economy and as much as the total amount expected to be sent home by the 11 million Filipino nurses, sailors, musicians and others working overseas.