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Taiwan central bank set to raise policy rate as inflation hits 10-year high- Reuters poll

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A staff member stands beside the Taiwanese Central Bank logo in Taipei, Taiwan February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s central bank is likely to raise its policy rate again this week, according to all economists polled by Reuters, to help fend off inflation now at an almost 10-year high.

The central bank is likely to raise its benchmark discount rate by 12.5 basis points to 1.5% at its quarterly meeting on Thursday, according to the median forecast of 19 economists surveyed. The central bank unexpectedly raised the rate by 25 basis points to 1.375% at its last meeting, in March.

Nine of the economists surveyed said they expected stronger action – a second 25-basis-point rise, to 1.625%.

The central bank has repeatedly said it will tighten monetary policy this year, as its counterparts elsewhere are doing, and that it sees inflation as a key criteria for interest rate moves.

Taiwan’s consumer price index was 3.39% higher in May than a year earlier. That inflation rate was the highest since August 2012 and exceeded the central bank’s 2% target for the 10th month in a row.

Inflation is still slower than in the United States and Europe, however.

The central bank said last month it expected economic growth to decline and inflation to rise this year and that it would take appropriate, timely steps to respond to economic uncertainty.

MasterLink Securities Investment Advisory analyst Anita Hsu said she expected a 25-basis-point rate hike on Thursday.

“Before inflation starts cooling, there’s no rationale for an increase less than that seen in March,” she said, adding that the central bank might ease off at the September quarterly meeting, applying only a 12.5-basis-point rise.

Taiwan’s export-reliant economy has been supported by a global shortage of semiconductors that has filled order books of chip-makers on the island. Exports have continued to perform strongly.

While the economy last year grew 6.45%, the fastest rate since it expanded 10.25% in 2010, it is expected to grow more slowly this year, hit by COVID-19 lockdowns in China and the impact of the war in Ukraine.

Taiwan’s statistics agency last month lowered its gross domestic product forecast for 2022 to 3.91%, down from 4.42% growth forecast in February, even as it raised its export outlook for the year.

The central bank will give its revised forecast for 2022 economic growth on Thursday; in March it predicted 4.05% expansion.

(Poll compiled by Devayani Sathyan, Anant Chandak and Carol Lee; Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Emily Chan; Editing by Bradley Perrett)

Economy

South Korean exports dropped 14% in November, the highest in 2.5 years

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exports South Korea

South Korea’s exports fell 14 percent year-on-year to $51.91 billion in November, preliminary data from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy showed. The November drop was the biggest in 2.5 years since May 2020 and was caused both by the deteriorating global economy, which even a Google price chart showed, and a truckers’ strike in the country.

South Korea exports 2022 – reasons for the drop

Exports fell for the second month in a row. Analysts on average expected an 11% decline, according to Trading Economics. Respondents to MarketWatch predicted a 10.5% decline.

Shipments of semiconductor products overseas, the country’s top export item, fell 29.8%; petrochemicals fell 26.5% and steel exports fell 10.6%. Meanwhile, exports of automobiles jumped 31% and petroleum products 26%.

Exports to China, South Korea’s largest trading partner, fell by 25.5%, and to Asian countries – by 13.9%. Below, supplies to the USA grew by 8% and to the European Union – by 0.1%.

In January-November exports rose by 7.8% on the same period last year and reached a record $629.1 billion.

South Korean imports rose 2.7% to $59.2 billion in November, marking the 23rd consecutive month of gains, but the current rate of growth is the lowest since November 2020. Experts had predicted an increase of only 0.2%.

South Korea’s trade deficit last month was $7.01 billion, compared with a surplus of $2,973 billion a year earlier.

The negative balance was recorded for the eighth month in a row. As a result, by the end of 2022, the country may record a foreign trade deficit for the first time since the financial crisis in 2008.

Earlier we reported that the UN estimates the cost of humanitarian aid in 2023 at a record $51 billion.

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The UN estimates humanitarian aid costs in 2023 at a record $51 billion because of an impending humanitarian crisis

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a humanitarian crisis

Joint humanitarian operations will require a record $51.5 billion in 2023 to address urgent problems.

The UN Office for the OCHA estimates that 339 million people will need urgent aid in 2023. At the same time, OCHA called on donor countries to provide funds for assistance in 2023 to the 230 million people most in need, living in 68 countries.

Griffiths explained that aid is needed not only for people experiencing conflicts and disease outbreaks. but also for those suffering the effects of climate change, such as people in peninsular Somalia facing drought and those in Pakistan experiencing severe flooding. For the first time, the growing humanitarian crisis has brought the number of displaced people worldwide to the 100 million mark. Also worsening an already bad situation is the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, which affects the poor. Note that the general economic crisis has begun to negatively affect even the Netflix price chart.

Earlier we reported that house prices in the UK fell by 1.4% in November.

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Economy

Average house prices in the UK fell 1.4% in November

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average house prices in the uk

Average house prices in the UK fell 1.4% in the previous month in November to 263,788 thousand pounds (about $319,000), according to the British mortgage company Nationwide Building Society.

The decline was recorded at the end of the second consecutive month and was the most significant in almost 2.5 years – since June 2020. Analysts on average had forecast a decline of only 0.3%, according to Trading Economics.

Are house prices in the UK going to fall even more?

Residential real estate prices in November compared to the same month last year increased by 4.4%. At the same time, experts expected a larger increase of 5.8%. The growth rate slowed down significantly compared with 7.2% in October. Because of the difficult economic situation, British investors are investing in other instruments. The Microsoft price chart, for example, is showing potential for growth, so many are interested in the U.S. stock market. 

“The market looks set to remain under pressure in the coming quarters. Inflation will remain high for some time, and interest rates are likely to continue to rise,” believes Nationwide Senior Economist Robert Gardner. – The outlook is unclear, and much will depend on how the overall economy behaves, but a relatively soft landing is still possible.”

Earlier we reported that Sanctions Circumvention was included in the EU’s list of criminal offenses.

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