(February 2012) Daily News Digest -- Tues Feb 28, 2012: Key Irish and international news at a glance; Is the UK economy finally looking up? In recent weeks there has been a run of better than expected data - - from export levels to the monthly tax take and high street spending...A Thai man who helped lead anti- government protests was sentenced to seven and half years in jail for insulting the royal family...160 people have already volunteered to form part of the special task force that will be parachuted into Athens to teach the Greeks how to pay their taxes.
(February 2012) Daily News Digest -- Mon Feb 27, 2012: Key Irish and international news at a glance; The richest 70 members of China’s legislature added more to their wealth last year than the combined net worth of all 535 members of the US Congress, the president and his Cabinet, and the nine Supreme Court justices...China's central bank may cut the interest rate in the second and third quarters this year, as the economies in the EU and US slow down further while domestic inflation pressure gradually eases, economists say...The decision by G-20 officials to rebuff European calls for assistance in their crisis-fighting effort pending an increase in its own financial backstop puts the onus on Germany, already the biggest national contributor to bailouts, to overcome its resistance to doing more.
(February 2012) Germany's Dual Economy: This week the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) turned the tables on Germany by highlighting overregulation and weaknesses that could imperil growth in coming years as ageing of the population accelerates. Noting major progress on reforms, the think-tank for mainly developed countries called for reforms to foster domestic demand that should focus on improving competition; enhancing framework conditions for investment; and innovation in Germany’s domestic sector. This includes lowering the strict regulation in some services sectors, notably professional services, and improving innovation support, for example by introducing a tax credit for R&D complementing direct R&D support. Germany also has a problem with low-pay at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
(February 2012) Net borrowing of general government amounted to €25.3bn in Germany in 2011 and the annual budget deficit as a ratio of GDP (gross domestic product) was –1.0% in 2011.
(February 2012) Daily News Digest -- Mon Feb 20, 2012: Key Irish and international news at a glance; The Wall Street Journal reports that China's Vice President Xi Jinping attended cultural and sporting events Sunday in the Irish capital as the heir apparent of the Communist country continued a three-day visit, which the Dublin government says is an exceptional vote of confidence in Ireland's economy...Corriere della Sera, the Italian daily, reports that wrongdoing, corruption and malpractice are “still remarkably present in Italy and their presumable dimensions are far in excess of what, often laboriously, actually comes to light”. The rueful reflection came from the president of the Court of Auditors, Luigi Giampaolino, at the ceremony to inaugurate the judicial year.
(February 2012) Weekly News Summary -- week ending Feb 18, 2012: In Europe, Greece again dominated news this week with both European political leaders and Greeks themselves exasperated with each other amidst mistrust on both sides as they struggle to agree outstanding issues on the planned second international bailout. In the US, weekly initial jobless benefit claims were reported on Thursday to have fallen to a 4-year low last week and on Friday, optimism that the US economic recovery maybe gathering pace coupled with signs of progress in Athens, propelled the Dow to within striking distance of 13,000, a level last hit in May 2008. The S&P rose to a near-4 year high and the Nasdaq hit a peak it hasn't seen since December 2000. Both the Eurozone and Japanese economies were reported to have shrunk in the fourth quarter of 2011; Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping finished off his five-day visit to the US by attending a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game and at home, China's central bank said Saturday it will cut banks' reserve requirement ratio by a 0.5 percentage point, effective next week, in a move to help boost liquidity and the economy. The big news in Ireland this week was the 270-point list of planned actions and aspirations on job creation.
(February 2012) On Tuesday, the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) warned Germany that its economy might decline unless it speeds up reforms. A shortage of skilled labour, an ageing population and high social costs all need urgent attention. Recent economic indicators have been positive. The Ifo Business Climate for trade and industry in Germany improved for the third time in succession in January while on Tuesday, the ZEW index of economic sentiment was reported to have moved into positive territory for the first time since May 2011. Meanwhile a survey by the Allensbach Institute, which has been tracking public opinion since 1949, says 49% polled were hopeful of the future, compared with 17% who were fearful. Two of every three Germans said Chancellor Angela Merkel was doing a good job. Three-quarters say she is taking "correct and decisive action" in the Eurozone crisis. Last week it was reported that new manufacturing orders rose 1.7% on the month in December, after slumping by a downwardly revised 4.9% in November. German industry remains strong but the slowdown in global growth will have an impact.
EU27 exports to China up 21% and imports 5% in first 10 months of 2011; Germany accounts for half of exports
(February 2012) EU27 exports to China were up by 21% and imports by 5% in first 10 months of 2011 while Germany accounted for almost half the exports, followed by Italy and the United Kingdom.
(February 2012) Daily News Digest - - Fri Feb 10, 2012: Key Irish and international news at a glance; German businesses sold more goods abroad in 2011 than ever before. Less solvent countries should take Germany's sustainable policies as an example...The constant delays of the Greek politicians are irresponsible and dishonest, the left-liberal German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung complains: "There are no words for how irresponsible this behaviour is towards their own people and also their partners in the Union. .Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross increased his holdings of Treasuries to the highest level since July 2010, while billionaire investor Warren Buffett called them “dangerous.”
(February 2012) Switzerland is Europe's innovation leader outperforming all EU27 countries. In the EU’s 2011 Innovation Scoreboard (IUS), Sweden leads, followed by Denmark, Germany and Finland. Ireland, benefiting from the strong impact of innovative foreign companies in the economy, gets a 12th ranking, just above the EU average, from a sample of 35 European countries. Comparing the EU27 with a selected group of major global competitors shows that the US, Japan and South Korea have a performance lead over the EU27.