World economy

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Friday’s German chart: business sector feel euro unease

The IFO business index fell to 106.9 from 109.9 in April, only slightly above its recent low in October 2011 of 106.5. This was worse than the consensus expectations, which fell to 100.9 from 102.7, while the assessment of the current situation dropped to 113.3 from 117.5 in April. The IFO index is a monthly economic report, it surveys over 7,000 companies in Germany to obtain their opinion of the…


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Chinese and Mexican rain of investments come to Spain

By Julia Pastor, in Madrid | China and Mexico made Spain’s day on Friday. Both countries announced several contracts with Spanish companies in very different sectors, injecting some movement in foreign investment flows into the lately much battered euro economy. While China signed agreements for an amount of €500 million, the Mexican oil company Pemex reported it will invest €247 million in Galicia’s naval sector. In his official trip to…


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The end of the Arab Spring effect on Spain’s tourism industry

More tourists so far than last year, but a downward move in traditionally important markets for Spain’s tourism sector. The accumulate figures this year from January to April indicate a rise of 1.1 percent in foreign tourists, with a total of 13.7 million, coming to Spain comparing to the same period in 2011. But April brought a fall in numbers by 4.5 million or 1.7 percent less foreign tourists in contrast…


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Obama’s three counter-austerity darts

NEW YORK | U.S. President clearly sided with pro-growth Europeans remarks in his final NATO summit remarks on Monday, urging the Old Continent to strenghten its defenses against financial market turmoil and recapitalize its banks. In a nutshell, these were his three darts. Yes to a monetary policy “We’ve got to make sure that there is a growth strategy to go alongside the need for fiscal discipline, as well as a monetary…


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Highly tax-charged: it’s personal in Sweden, corporative in France

Taxpayers may be under the impression that their pockets have suffered an increasing attention from their countries’ administrations. They are right to complain. The average standard VAT rate in the EU has risen strongly since 2008. In 2012, the standard VAT rate varies from 15.0% in Luxembourg and 17.0% in Cyprus to 27.0% in Hungary and 25.0% in Denmark and Sweden,  data from the 2012 edition of taxation trends in the European…


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G8 leaders push Merkel into the growth strategy

NEW YORK | There was a final statement, yet not a consensus about how to tackle the euro zone turmoil. Everyone in Camp David hoped that Greece will remain in the euro. For the first time, the argument that Europe cannot face more spending cuts gained widespread support. G8’s final communiqué showed a big push to German Chancellor Angela Merkel: it is urgent to bring deficits down through austerity measures…


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Threadneedle warns fears of austerity destabilises US bond market

LONDON | Investment company Threadneedle told clients that the market has increasingly moved its US economic forecasts towards more conservative views. Threadneedle explained in a technical note that, although it had updated its forecast for US economic growth in 2012 from 1.5% to 2% after some strong first quarter data, it too remained of the view that the US economy will slow in the second half of the year. Analysts said some…


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Weekend ongoing coverage (1) | G8’s Camp David: austerians vs growthers

NEW YORK | In the idyllic setting of the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland 63 miles from the White House, world leaders gathered on Friday for the G8 summit. This time, the agenda has real economic substance. Will the intimacy of the lodges in the wilderness help to solve the eurodrama? The pressure is expected to be high on Mrs Merkel. She is the only one representing the “austerians” versus the…


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Euro zone exporters should look beyond Chinese demand for growth

LONDON | The euro area continued to run a small trade surplus up to March. This is encouraging on account of stronger import prices, led by energy, in the first quarter of the year. But a closer look into the volumes suggests that import volumes are weakening. Estimates from Barclays Capital analysts put the declining at around 1% in January to March 2012 from the same period in 2011, after a…


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Chinaempleo bridges Chinese labor market and Spanish speaking countries

BEIJING | In a rather competitive environment like China, the Spanish CEO Pedro Fajardo managed to be the very first one in his field by identifying a  niche with a big market such the Spanish language. With 100% Spanish capital and without relying in external financial sources, he built Chinaempleo.com by using savings, bank lending as well as revenues from their site and advertising. In less than 2 years the site…