Ferrero suspends purchase of palm oil from Malaysia’s Sim Darby over labor issues
IMF chief calls inflation ‘current risk’ for world; Economic growth is likely to slow – macro snapshot
Riyadh: The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have forecast slow growth in the world economy and the Mena region.
The war in Ukraine is pushing the International Monetary Fund to lower global growth expectations for both 2022 and 2023, due to high food and fuel price pressures and fragile economies, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday.
Speaking at the “Curtain Riser” for the IMF and World Bank spring meetings next week, Georgia said the fund would downgrade its growth outlook for 143 economies, which represent 86 per cent of global economic output, while most countries would continue to grow positively.
Georgia, which had previously warned that the war would drag on this year, said Russia’s attack on Ukraine was “sending shockwaves around the world” and a major setback for countries still struggling to recover from the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
She described high inflation as a “clear and current threat” to the global economy.
Mena growth ‘uneven and inadequate’
Economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is expected to be “uneven and inadequate” this year as oil exporters benefit from rising prices, while higher food prices have hit the entire region, the World Bank said on Thursday.
He said the war in Ukraine was also disrupting supplies and was already fueling high inflation.
GDP in the region is projected to grow 5.2 percent this year after a 3.3 percent expansion last year and a 3.1 percent contraction in 2020, with its own and others’ expectations for the past decade very promising, the World Bank said in a report. .
Gasoline lifts US retail sales
U.S. retail sales rose in March, largely due to higher gasoline and food prices, but amid high inflation consumers are showing signs of cutting prudent spending.
Retail sales rose 0.5 percent last month, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Data for February was largely revised to show that sales increased by 0.8 per cent instead of 0.3 per cent as previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters forecast retail sales to rise 0.6 percent, while forecasts rose 0.3 percent to 2.2 percent.
While rising prices are reducing consumer purchasing power, rising wages are helping to reduce some of the losses from high inflation.
The unemployment rate hit a two-year low of 3.6 percent and by the end of February nearly 11.3 million jobs had been created, economists said, making it easier for some cash-strapped Americans to find a second job or additional jobs. Shifts.
Improved job security is also making some consumers more indebted. Another buffer against inflation is also coming from the huge savings accumulated during the epidemic.
The ECB adheres to strict plans
The European Central Bank on Thursday adhered to plans to finally end its stimulus program in the third quarter, but did not provide further evidence on its schedule, stressing the uncertainties surrounding the war in Ukraine.
The non-mimetic tone of its announcement cut eurozone bond yields and single currency as markets cut expectations for a rate hike later this year.
“We will continue to be optional, orderly and flexible in the conduct of our monetary policy,” ECB President Christine Lagarde told an online news conference from her home recovering from a coronavirus infection.
The Turkish lira has losses
The Turkish lira was not shaken by the central bank’s decision on Thursday to keep its policy rate at 14 percent, but the Russian ruble slipped beyond the planned easing of capital controls next week.
Although annual inflation is expected to rise above the current 61 per cent, the lira fell 0.2 per cent to 14.61 after the widely-anticipated central bank move.
Rising energy costs and supply shocks have driven up the rise in price pressures, but the central bank said inflation should start declining due to the measures.
Economy of Ukraine
The Central Bank of Ukraine said on Thursday that the economy could shrink by at least a third in 2022 and inflation could exceed 20 percent, reflecting the impact of the Russian invasion.
The central bank said in a statement that it was postponing a decision on its key interest rate for the second time since the start of the war on February 24.
He said maintaining a stable exchange rate was important for the time being, but as soon as the currency market was able to balance it would return to a floating rate.
Nepal has lost its growth target
A senior government official said on Thursday that Nepal was falling short of its growth target, stressing the plight of the economy with pandemic-induced tourism damage, widening trade deficit and rising commodity prices.
Earlier this month, the Himalayan nation of 29 million imposed restrictions on imports of luxury goods in an attempt to contain its declining foreign exchange reserves and suspended its central bank governor, raising concerns about a potential financial crisis.
Nepal’s gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to grow at 7 percent from mid – July to mid-July, a senior government official with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The officer did not have the authority to speak to the media and refused to identify.
China GDP growth
A Reuters poll has shown that China’s economic growth will slow to 5.0 percent in 2022 amid renewed COVID-19 outbreaks and a weakening global recovery, putting pressure on the central bank to further ease policy.
2022 forecast growth will be lower than the 5.2 per cent forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll in January, indicating that the government will face an uphill battle in reaching its target of almost 5.5 per cent this year. Growth is projected to reach 5.2 percent in 2023.
According to the median estimates of 41 economists polled by Reuters, GDP rose 4.4 percent in the first quarter, up from 4.0 percent in the fourth quarter due to a solid start to the first two months.
South Korea has escalated the inflation fight
South Korea’s central bank raised its benchmark rate to its highest level since Thursday, August 2019, in a surprise move as it accelerated its fight against strong inflation threatening its economic recovery.
In the first rate review conducted without a governor, the bank’s monetary policy board raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point to 1.5 percent, with less than half of economists estimating the outcome, according to a Reuters poll.
Xu Song-yong, interim chairman of the six-member policy board, said the bank could not wait for the official appointment of a new governor to continue its efforts to reduce inflation and warned that a rise in prices could reach 4 per cent for some time. 3.1 percent from its February estimate.
Singapore has tightened policy
The Central Bank of Singapore tightened its monetary policy on Thursday as the city-state escalates its war against prices worsened by the Ukraine war and global supply snags, slowing widely-anticipated action to slow inflation.
The third policy tightened in the last six months, with special data showing that Singapore’s economic slowdown in the first quarter.
“The door is definitely not closed yet,” said Selena Ling, head of treasury research and strategy at OCBC, referring to another potential clamp in October.
The Australian unemployment rate hit a 13-year low in March as job growth slowed after months of strong gains, while record-breaking vacancies suggest that it will only take some time for unemployment to fall further.
Statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed a 4.0 per cent unemployment rate on Thursday, with analysts looking for a 3.9 per cent drop and the lowest reading since 1974.
This came as a disappointment to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who had hoped the sub-4 number would strengthen his financial credentials amid the upcoming election campaign.
This could ease pressure on the Reserve Bank of Australia to lift interest rates next month, but markets will still see the first hike in a decade in June.