Tuesday, February 20

Business

ECB Raises Interest Rates Less Hard in the Fight Against Inflation
Business, Europe, News

ECB Raises Interest Rates Less Hard in the Fight Against Inflation

The European Central Bank (ECB) has raised interest rates again in the fight against high inflation. However, that went less fast; this time, a quarter of a percentage point was added compared to half a percentage point last time. Interest rates are now back at the level of 2008, at the beginning of the financial crisis. Central bank policymakers continue to look to macroeconomic data for subsequent interest rate decisions. However, they are not moving forward on that yet. The ECB introduced this data-driven approach earlier this year. Before that, they often indicated that even more interest rate hikes were needed. But in the meantime, central bankers have become more cautious. This is because the consequences of interest rate increases are not measurable after some time. In...
UPS Drops Pressure on Wall Street After Disappointing Figures
Business, News, US

UPS Drops Pressure on Wall Street After Disappointing Figures

UPS was among the losers on the New York stock exchanges on Tuesday. The large American parcel delivery company booked less turnover and profit last quarter than experts had expected. CEO Carol Tomé said declining retail sales in the United States resulted in lower parcel volumes and continued weakness in Asia. However, UPS expects volume to remain under pressure due to macroeconomic conditions. The stock was down 7.5 percent. In addition to UPS, other large companies such as General Motors, McDonald's, PepsiCo, 3M and General Electric also released figures. Investors are also looking forward to the quarterly reports from software group Microsoft and Google parent company Alphabet, which will be announced after trading on Wall Street. The overall mood on Wall Street remained ...
World Bank: Lost Decade in the Making for Global Economy
Business, News, World

World Bank: Lost Decade in the Making for Global Economy

Nearly all global economic forces that have driven progress and prosperity over the past three decades are fading. "A worrying trend. There could be a lost decade in the making for the global economy," says a World Bank report. As a result, average global economic growth between now and 2030 is expected to decline by about a third compared to the pace of the first decade of this century. This equates to a decrease of more than 2 percent in growth per year. For emerging economies, growth is slowing, from 6 percent a year between 2000 and 2010 to 4 percent a year for the rest of this decade. "These declines would be much stronger in the event of a global financial crisis or recession," the World Bank said. According to the institute, the continued decline in growth has "serious...
UN: World Trade Reached a Record Level in 2022
Business, News, World

UN: World Trade Reached a Record Level in 2022

World trade reached a record high in 2022, although growth slowed in the last quarter of the year. This is reported by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) based on its report. The United Nations organization also predicts that global trade volumes will stagnate in the first half of this year. The total global trade volume amounted to 32 trillion dollars (more than 29 trillion euros) last year, UNCTAD estimates. Trade in goods rose by about 10 percent from 2021 to reach an estimated value of $25 trillion. Global service trade increased even more, growing 15 percent year-on-year to $7 trillion. According to the organization, trade growth was mainly stimulated because the logistical problems in ports have largely been resolved, and the global capacity to transpor...
Volkswagen Sued for Tens of Millions by Former Partner
Business, News

Volkswagen Sued for Tens of Millions by Former Partner

The Russian car manufacturer has sued car group Volkswagen (VW) and former partner GAZ, the Interfax news agency wrote on Monday. GAZ is demanding compensation of 15.6 billion rubles, the equivalent of almost 190 million euros, through the court in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod and has already had the court seize VW's Russian assets. The German company terminated the contract with the car maker after Russia invaded Ukraine last year. Until last year, GAZ built several models of VW and Skoda at the factory in Nizhny Novgorod. The company is owned by oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a businessman with close ties to Russian President Putin and against whom sanctions have been imposed. The German car group, which also includes brands such as Seat, Audi and Porsche, is negotiating t...
Minister: French Shops Will Lower Food Prices Because of Inflation
Business, Europe, France, News

Minister: French Shops Will Lower Food Prices Because of Inflation

The French government has agreed with large retailers that they will significantly reduce the prices of their food products. With this, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire wants to accommodate consumers, who have had to deal with rising costs in recent months. Le Maire says prices will be reduced "to the lowest possible level" until June. He indicates that the companies agreed to bear the price reductions' costs. These would amount to "several hundreds of millions of euros", according to Le Maire. Most major food retailers in France took part in the talks. According to the national statistics agency Insee, food prices in France rose 14.5 percent year-on-year in February. Le Maire thinks he can make an "anti-inflation quarter" with the second-quarter measure. Consumer organization...
Gas Price Falls Further Due to Lower Consumption and Full Storage
Business, Europe, News

Gas Price Falls Further Due to Lower Consumption and Full Storage

The European gas price fell further on Monday to the lowest level in almost a month. The drop follows growing confidence that Europe will get through the winter without fuel rationing due to lower consumption and full storage. On the important Amsterdam gas exchange, the price per megawatt hour fell by 4 percent to 51.79 euros on Monday morning. With a price level of around 50 euros, the gas price is once again close to the lowest levels since September 2021. At the height of the energy crisis at the end of August last year, more than 300 euros per megawatt hour still had to be paid. Fears that Europe could experience gas rationing and power cuts this winter have not materialized due to a combination of factors. First, mild weather conditions limited the demand for gas for heati...
Dell Falls on Wall Street After Major Round of Layoffs
Business, News, US

Dell Falls on Wall Street After Major Round of Layoffs

Dell Technologies was lowered on the New York stock exchanges on Monday. The American computer manufacturer is cutting about 6,650 jobs to cut costs. The company is struggling with a sharp decline in demand for PCs as consumers have become more cautious about spending due to high inflation. The job cuts amount to about 5 percent of Dell's global workforce. The stock lost 2.9 percent. The overall mood on Wall Street remained negative. On Friday, the better-than-expected US jobs report already caused share price pressure. In the largest economy in the world, many more jobs were added in January, causing unemployment to fall to the lowest level since May 1969. Interest rate fears flared up again as a result. However, the strong labour market gives the Federal Reserve more room to r...
Trade Union FNV Threatens to Strike at EasyJet During May Holiday
Business, Netherland, News, UK

Trade Union FNV Threatens to Strike at EasyJet During May Holiday

Trade union FNV threatens a strike among easyJet cabin crew during the busy May holiday. If the British budget airline does not want to talk to the union about more pay raises soon, actions will follow from Dutch stewards, flight attendants and pursers. "We will build the actions step by step until easyJet meets our demands. And we don't shy away from stopping work during the May holidays either," says FNV director Stijn Jansen. According to him, easyJet now refuses to enter into talks with FNV, even though 40 percent of cabin crew would have joined the union. Jansen has given EasyJet until February 16 to respond to the ultimatum. The airline, the largest user of Schiphol after KLM, did try to reach an agreement on a new collective labour agreement with another union, VNC, last ...
Vladimir Putin: Russia’s Economy Likely to Shrink 2.5 Percent
Business, News, Russia

Vladimir Putin: Russia’s Economy Likely to Shrink 2.5 Percent

Russia's economy is likely to shrink by 2.5 percent in 2022. So said Russian President Vladimir Putin. But, according to the president, the economy did better than most experts had expected. Russia's economy has been hit by Western sanctions against the country, including on fossil fuel exports. As a result, many Western companies have also left Russia. Putin had an economic meeting with several top officials, including the finance minister and the head of the central bank. “The current dynamics turned out better than many experts had expected. Some experts in our country, not to mention foreign ones, had predicted a decline of 10 to 15 or even 20 percent," Putin said. Moscow has acknowledged that there are economic difficulties but also states that the economy is resilient. ...