Monthly Archives: July 2012

Senate Clears Bill to Detail Automatic Spending Cuts

The Senate Wednesday evening approved a bill giving the Obama administration 30 days to describe its plans for implementing the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to go into effect beginning in January. The measure had broad support, passing the Senate unanimously after having passed the House 414-2 last week. Republicans, concerned that half of the automatic cuts will come from defense spending, have pushed the bill as a way to highlight what they say will be a devastating reduction to the military budget resulting from the so-called sequester. But Democrats also backed the proposal as a way to highlight what the cuts would mean, including the portion...
Read moreComments are closed

Fed Leaning Closer to New Stimulus if No Growth Is Seen

WASHINGTON — A growing number of Federal Reserve officials have concluded that the central bank needs to expand its stimulus campaign unless the nation’s economy soon shows signs of improvement, including job growth.

The question is expected to dominate the agenda when the Fed’s policy-making committee meets next week, with some members pushing for immediate action while others seek to delay a decision at least until the committee’s next meeting in September, so they can see a few more weeks’ worth of economic data.

The Fed’s chairman, Ben S. BernankeRead moreOne comment

Housing Starts Are Up, but Building Permits Decline

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Builders began work on the most new homes in June in well over three years, providing some support to an economy that has shown worrisome signs of cooling. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that housing starts rose 6.9 percent last month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 760,000 units — the highest rate since October 2008. “Housing is clearly in recovery mode, although the sector is much less important than it used to be,” said Jim O’Sullivan, an economist at High Frequency Economics. The housing market, which collapsed during the 2007-9 recession, has shown signs...
Read moreComments are closed

Points of Light: amid the gloom there are unexpected signs of boom, especially in energy

THE half-finished Shanghai Tower is a hulking concrete wedding cake, rising out of a dusty building site in the central business district. But when it is finished in 2015 the glittering spiral tower will be China’s tallest building and one of its most striking, with two exterior glass skins enclosing nine different climate zones. It will, the developer boasts, “symbolise the dynamic emergence of modern China.” Less obviously, it also symbolises modern America. The tower owes its design to an American firm of architects, Gensler. Its structural engineer is another American firm, Thornton Tomasetti. Indeed, American companies have left their mark all over Shanghai’s skyline. Ray Yu,...
Read moreComments are closed

Comeback Kid: America’s economy is once again reinventing itself

ALMOST the only thing on which Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger, agree is that the economy is in a bad way. Unemployment is stuck above 8% and growth probably slipped below an annualised 2% in the first half of this year. Ahead lie the threats of a euro break-up, a slowdown in China and the “fiscal cliff”, a withering year-end combination of tax increases and spending cuts. Mr Obama and Mr Romney disagree only on what would make things worse: re-electing a left-wing president who has regulated to death a private sector he neither likes nor understands; or swapping him for a rapacious...
Read moreComments are closed

Chinese FDI in the United States: Q4 2011 Update

Chinese direct investment in the United States dipped to $69 million in Q4 2011, dragging down the full year figure to $4.5 billion. This is a slight drop from last year’s $5.2 billion and significantly lower than figures for Europe, where Chinese investment surged to a new record high of almost $10 billion. This note summarizes the trends of Chinese U.S. investment in Q4, analyzes key transactions, and discusses the most important policy developments impacting US-China investment relations. Slow momentum in Q4: Chinese investment in FDI projects in the United States plunged to only $69 million in Q4 2011, a 3-year low. The weak deal flow in Q4...
Read moreComments are closed