News Desk

Australia in Danger of Credit Downgrade

Date: 8 July 2016

Australia received a warning from Standard & Poor's (S&P) this week that it is on downgrade watch. Although the nation presently enjoys a AAA rating, the downgrade warning signals that Australia will likely soon receive a reduced rating.

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Initial U.S. Job Data Strengthens

Date: 8 July 2016

Initial previews of America’s job market indicate resurgence for workers, but economists remain wary. Jobless claims fell to their lowest point in three months last week, falling to 254,000 versus 270,000 the previous week. That is far below consensus expectations of flat jobless claims, as more Americans find new jobs and return to work.

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Russian Economy Shows Little Sign of Improvement

Date: 8 July 2016

Russia’s GDP failed to improve as lower oil prices and Western sanctions hamper growth. Oil prices increased in the past year, but not enough for Russia to secure economic prosperity. The Moscow Times notes that the ruble strengthened to over 60% compared to the dollar, but has failed to enhance the economy thus far.

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Is Chinese Push for Innovation Just a New Economic Bubble?

Date: 8 July 2016

The Chinese government has put a heavy focus on innovation as a means of driving its economy and improving its recent, flagging performance. Local governments have heard the call and have rushed to erect new infrastructure and buildings designed to support this movement.

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Trade Balance Expands as Fed Turns Soft

Date: 7 July 2016

Federal Reserve chiefs are reversing course on America’s economy as the country’s trade deficit widens with foreign nations. In May, the trade balance deficit rose 9.9% to $41.1 billion, far above expectations as exports fell and imports rose. Total imports were up 1.6% from the prior month, indicating America’s continued dependence on foreign production to meet domestic demand.

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Indian Prime Minister Visits Mozambique

Date: 7 July 2016

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will begin a four-day tour throughout Africa, with his first stop in Mozambique, according to The Tribune. The prime minister has agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding with the southern African country to double the amount of legume imports by 2021. Mozambique’s economy has struggled due to such factors as corruption and decreased donor aid from the international community.

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U.S. Economy Weakens: GDP Estimates Chopped, Factory Orders Fall

Date: 6 July 2016

Lower factory orders and a lower growth expectation show cracks in America’s already slow recovery. Factory orders for manufactured goods fell 1% in May, according to a new report by the Census Bureau. That is a sharp reversal of April’s 1.8% growth for new orders of manufactured goods. Meanwhile, shipments were almost flat, down from the 0.4% increase in April.

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Argentine Business Community Remains Nervous as Economy Recovers

Date: 6 July 2016

Manufacturing companies in Argentina have postponed investments in the second half of the year, as the economy takes longer than expected to recover, according to Reuters. President Mauricio Macri has sought to reform the economy through market-oriented reforms and settling Argentina’s debt with creditors. In addition, the economy is threatened by higher living costs and decreased consumption.

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Canada and Ireland Economic Treaty Strengthens Cultural and Financial Ties

Date: 6 July 2016

Ireland has been slowly recovering from a long economic roller coaster that started with the global financial crisis in 2008 and has not improved as quickly as the rest of the world has. Canada, on the other hand, is also facing economic uncertainty thanks to a significant downturn in the commodities trade around the world.

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Low Growth Fears Hit Global Bond Yields

Date: 5 July 2016

The problem of negative returns on sovereign bonds may be spreading. U.S. Treasuries are seeing yields fall on all parts of the curve, with 10-year and 30-year yields reaching historical lows. The 10-year Treasury fell to 1.38% in early morning trading Tuesday, a historic low as fears about growing global uncertainty hit growth expectations both in America and globally. The 30-year Treasury fell to 2.15%, a 101 basis point decline from a year ago (10-year yields fell 100 basis points over the same period).

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U.S. Government Questions Uzbekistan's Commitment to Eliminate Forced Labor

Date: 5 July 2016

A report from the U.S. State Department called Trafficking in Persons (TIP) highlights Uzbekistan’s failure to address forced labor within the agricultural sector, according to The Diplomat. The Central Asian country made strides in reducing forced child labor, but has since used adults as a source of work fodder. Uzbekistan is the fifth-largest cotton exporter in the world.

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OECD: Britain Won’t be a New Tax Haven as it Wishes

Date: 5 July 2016

Following its vote to leave the European Union (EU), its vote also known as “Brexit,” the United Kingdom (UK) has been searching for ways to attract new businesses. One proposal that has gained traction in the government is the idea of becoming a new tax haven for foreign corporations by slashing corporate taxes. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), however, has put in its opinion on the matter, and it says such an act is unlikely to entice foreign investment.

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Europe Suffers Loss of Confidence on Brexit Result

Date: 4 July 2016

The European Union's collective credit rating was downgraded as mounting fears that the union will break up. Credit rating agency Standard and Poor's, which maintains credit ratings on companies and countries, slashed the EU's credit rating to AA. It fears that the EU may lose more members in the future.

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Venezuela Enters Point of No Return as Oil Revenue Plummets

Date: 4 July 2016

State-oil firm PDVSA reported a 41% drop in oil income when compared to 2015, according to Reuters. The South American country has suffered under a lower-priced oil market as Saudi Arabia contributed to a market glut. Venezuela also has a history of corruption and overspending, causing further damage to the economy.

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IMF Suggests More Lenient Lending Policies in Ireland

Date: 4 July 2016

Ireland has been dealing with a mortgage crisis for some time. To find ways out of this situation, it has turned to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for guidance and possible financial assistance. In a rather unusual move for the IMF, rather than suggesting that Ireland needs to tighten its lending policies, as has been the case in most countries with similar problems, the IMF has proposed liberalization.

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IMF Warns of Uncertain Future for Global Economy in Wake of Brexit

Date: 1 July 2016

Just days after praising the central banks of the world for preventing any notable cash shortfalls, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a warning that the effects of the United Kingdom’s (UK) decision to sever its relationship with the European Union (EU) will have far-reaching consequences for the world economy.

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Precious Helium Reserve Discovered in Tanzania

Date: 1 July 2016

A team of overseas researchers discovered 54 billion cubic feet of helium gas in Tanzania’s Rift Valley, according to The Guardian. Helium is a rare gas used for research and medical purposes, and its scarcity has sent prices skyrocketing over 500% in the past decade. Norwegian firm Helium One has three extraction licenses pending with the Tanzanian government.

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Obama Presses for Trade with Mexico, Canada as Jobless Claims Rise

Date: 1 July 2016

American policymakers are pressing for more trade with Mexico and Canada as more Americans lose their jobs. Jobless claims rose 10,000 last week, above expectations and a 3.5% jump from the prior week. The Department of Labor study saw more Americans looking for work, causing the four-week moving average of jobless claims to remain steady.

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World Bank to Bring Water to Some 40,000 Farmer Households in Pakistan

Date: 30 June 2016

Pakistan’s province of Balochistan is one of the least water-secure provinces in Pakistan. Not only does this make farming difficult, it makes life itself quite uncertain. That is why the World Bank today announced that it had approved a $200 million credit to help Pakistan bring community-based water management to this region.

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Tensions Reach Boiling Point in Burundi as Political Upheaval Continues

Date: 30 June 2016

In a recent report, UN chief Zeid Ra-ad al-Hussein outlined rampant human rights violations in Burundi, according to Voice of America. Political violence has ensued since July 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza won a third term despite constitutional term limits. Burundi has a history of ethnic strife between Hutus and Tutsis.

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