THE GREEK DRAMA NEARS ENDING, BUT HOW?
Greece’s finance minister headed for Brussels to try to clinch a new aid deal with European partners after all-night talks in Athens stumbled over demands for deep cuts in pension benefits.
Greek Jobless Rate Jumps to 20.9% Greece’s unemployment rate soared in November to 20.9% compared with an 18.2% rate just a month earlier and up sharply from one year ago. The total number of unemployed reached 1.029 million, up by 126,062 from October. Greece also reported that industrial output fell 11.3% in December compared with the year-earlier period, after declining by 7.8% in November.
Debt revised higher to 89.1% of GDP this year
STIMULUS GALORE CONTINUES
The Bank of England said it will buy another $79.1 billion of U.K. government bonds in an effort to shore up the fragile economy. The central bank’s key interest rate remains unchanged at a record low of 0.5%.
Indonesia cuts rates to protect growth Move raises fears that inflation could accelerate
CHINA WILL ALSO INCREASE STIMULUS SOON
Exports in January “cannot make us optimistic” and are “expected to have negative growth due to Chinese New Year and other factors,” Chen said today in a written response to questions from Bloomberg News.
“The January numbers aren’t pretty, but they’re still normal” because of the fewer working days, Dong Yang, deputy head of CAAM, said at a briefing in Beijing today. “We haven’t yet spotted anything special or abnormal.”
We will see what was the real seasonal effect only in February. Some calculated that car sales per working day were actually very strong. Hmmm..
Due to the early arrival of the Chinese New Year, there were only 17 working days in January this year, compared to 21 in January of 2011. Considering actual holiday is longer than statutory holidays, there were even fewer working days this month. Given both OEMs and dealers, and government vehicle registration offices, are closed during the holiday, sales of sedan, MPV and SUV declined by -20% M/M and -15% Y/Y in January. However, we calculated that daily sales of Sedan, MPV and SUV reached 58,000 units, the highest in history. Looking forward to February, the number of work days is 30% more than last year. As a result, Y/Y growth of passenger cars is expected to turn positive and also rise significantly. (CEBM Research)
CHINA INFLATION PICKED UP BUT THAT WAS SEASONAL.
The consumer-price index rose 4.5% from a year earlier in January, up from a 4.1% rise in December. Food prices were up 10.5% from a year earlier, compared to a 9.1% rise in December. Non-food prices rose 1.8%, compared to 1.9% in December. Meanwhile, the producer price index continued to moderate. The PPI rose 0.7% from a year earlier in January, down from a 1.7% rise in December. (Chart from CLSA)
CHINESE WAGES RISING
- Employers in China to increase employees’ salaries in 2012 More than 80 percent of employers in China have planned to increase employees’ salaries by more than 6 percent year-on-year in 2012, according to a survey conducted by Hays PLC released on Thursday.
Among the 291 surveyed employers from the Chinese mainland, 29 percent said they will increase salaries by at least 10 percent, while another 29 percent will add between 5 and 10 percent, and 13 percent of respondents will increase salaries by between 3 and 6 percent.
- Govt aims to close income gap with steady wage hike The government aims to raise its minimum wage at least 13 percent each year from 2011 to 2015, according to a national employment promotion plan released on Wednesday.
China raised its minimum wage by an average of 12.5 percent annually during the 2006-10 period, official figures showed. The plan issued by the State Council stipulates that the minimum wage should be lifted to at least 40 percent of the average Chinese citizen’s salary by 2015.
The government plans to extend collective bargaining to cover 80 percent of corporate work units in the country by 2015. The figure was 50 percent at the end of 2010, according to Xinhua News Agency.
Bespoke Investment updates the beat rate of all listed U.S. companies:
After another week, the beat rate this earnings season has increased slightly from 60.7% to 61%. As shown in the chart below, 61% is still not a great beat rate, but it’s a lot better than the reading in the 50s that we saw a couple weeks ago.
U.S. HOTELS FARING WELL
For the week ended February 4, Smith Travel Research reported that U.S. hotel RevPAR increased a strong 8.7%. The trailing-four-week pace of RevPAR growth now stands at 8.9%.
RISING U.S. RATES along with the better economy