News Desk

The Week in Review: Jobless Claims, GDP Projections, Inflation

Date: 13 May 2016

The week yielded a mixed bag of economic data indicating some strength in America’s recovery. A new Department of Labor study showed unemployment claims rose 20,000 to 294,000, ahead of economists’ expectations. As wages have risen and job openings continue to soar, economists expected more employers to find qualified workers and boost both incomes and the employment rate.

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About 2% of Global Economic Output Is Tainted by Bribery, IMF Says

Date: 13 May 2016

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a report on global corruption this week. In it, the international finance organization reported that almost $2 trillion worth of public works projects, permits for private work, and other transactions in countries around the world are tainted each year by bribery. That amounts to about 2% of the world’s total economic output.

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Small Businesses Struggle in Italy: Eurozone Threatened

Date: 13 May 2016

Due to anemic growth and an unstable world economy, Italy’s small business sector woes grow worse, according to The Wall Street Journal. Small businesses are vital to Italy’s economy, and the European Union (EU) relies on Italy and other EU nations to strengthen Eurozone GDP. The Italian prime minister has yet to instill policies that would bolster the economy.

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Weak Commercial Real Estate Signal Delayed Rate Hikes

Date: 12 May 2016

Dramatic declines in commercial real estate soured GDP growth in the first quarter, leading to speculation that the Federal Reserve will delay raising interest rates. Analysts are growing increasingly confident that the Fed will delay its rate hike, with a new report by Goldman Sachs calling for the next hike to be delayed until December.

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OECD and IEA May Separate After Years of Dispute

Date: 12 May 2016

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is the parent organization for the International Energy Agency (IEA). The two bodies have apparently been locked in an internal feud for years, and this dispute has finally led the two bodies to consider a full and formal legal split. Of course, such a split could come with a complicated morass of funding and governance issues.

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Norway Uses Oil Wealth Fund Again to Stay Afloat

Date: 12 May 2016

The Norwegian government will tap into its wealth fund once again to sustain government operations, as the sting of a low-priced oil market burdens the Scandinavian country, according to Reuters. Officials have used the fund once before as a rainy day fund and may continue to do so as the economy lacks the necessary revenue. The economy is expected to expand 1.0% in 2016.

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GDP Projections Gain on Small Businesses, Housing Market

Date: 11 May 2016

The Federal Reserve has boosted one estimate of second quarter GDP as housing and small business data improves. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow indicator rose 50 basis points to 2.2% as Fed economists cited expectations for higher consumer spending and fixed investment.

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India Revises Tax Treaty with Mauritius to Curb Tax Evasion

Date: 11 May 2016

India recently revised its tax treaty with the island nation of Mauritius. The revisions should help close loopholes that allowed investors to use the island nation as a tax shelter. The move comes after the infamous “Panama Papers” revealed similar tax sheltering and thrust the issue to the forefront of the public consciousness around the world.

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France Extends State of Emergency to Combat Terrorism

Date: 11 May 2016

In a 309-30 vote, the French parliament extended a state of emergency allowing police to detain people in their homes, among other measures, according to AFP. The latest version of the emergency declaration restricts police raids on homes, but the overall plan violates civil liberties and human rights. The state of emergency will extend until May 26.

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Niger Looks to Europe to Solve its Migration Crisis

Date: 10 May 2016

Nigerien leaders have asked the European Union for one billion euros to tackle a wide-scale migration problem, according to Reuters. Niger is using a transit route by many West African migrants in order to reach the EU. Niger is one of the world’s poorest countries and has been the target of repeated attacks by terrorist organizations.

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World Bank Announces Plans to Advocate for LGBTI Rights

Date: 10 May 2016

Concerned about protecting the rights of long ostracized groups that are, just now, beginning to gain legal and cultural recognition around the world, the World Bank Group announced plans to protect the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals.

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Federal Reserve Urges Ignoring Inflation

Date: 10 May 2016

As job growth remains extremely weak and labor market indicators stay negative, the Federal Reserve is considering ignoring inflation in the short-term as it sets monetary policy. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said in a conference in London that the central bank might need to ignore high inflation in setting its monetary policy.

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Fed's Confidence Not Shaken by Plummeting Jobs Numbers

Date: 9 May 2016

Total nonfarm payrolls rose 160,000 in April, far short of the 202,000 consensus expectations from economists and a steep decline from the 208,000 jobs gained in March. "Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and financial activities. Job losses continued in mining,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In total, professional and business services added 65,000 jobs in the month, the biggest contributor to job gains. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5%.

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OECD Discusses Prices with World’s Biggest Diamond Producing Nations

Date: 9 May 2016

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has called a special summit of the world’s leading diamond producers to take place on May 23 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the issue of rough diamond valuation, which is an issue that has plagued the diamond trade for many years.

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Central Bank Warns Angola to Clean up Its Act: Economy Remains Stagnant

Date: 9 May 2016

Central Bank Governor Valter Filipe da Silva stated that Angola needs to rid the banking sector of money laundering and terrorist financing, according to Reuters. To Angola’s credit, the globally operated Financial Action Task Force removed the Southern African state from its blacklist after officials instilled various reforms, but additional policies are necessary.

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World Bank: Fresh Water Scarcity could Shrink Global Economy

Date: 6 May 2016

On Tuesday, the World Bank reported that fresh water scarcity could be the biggest problem facing the economies of the world. Economies across large portions of the planet could shrink dramatically by 2050 as climate change causes fresh water scarcity issues.

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Spanish King Approves June Election as Fractured Parliament Continues

Date: 6 May 2016

By official decree, King Felipe VI approved a new election for June 26 after December elections resulted in a fractured parliament, according to the Associated Press. The June election marks the first reelection since Spain was under dictatorship and the southern European nation will remain under a caretaker government as political parties fail to reach a consensus. Experts warn that Spain’s economic gains could be in jeopardy if the next election fails to bring a resolution.

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IMF Tells Zimbabwe “Bold Economic Reforms” Needed

Date: 5 May 2016

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has weighed in on the deepening economic crisis in Zimbabwe. The African nation, already one of the poorest countries in the world, has been plagued by drought, suffered from deflation, and struggled with falling commodity prices around the world. Given the nature of Zimbabwe’s economic output, the IMF fears there is very little relief in sight for the African nation, according to a report it released on Wednesday.

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Singapore Increases Military Spending as Geopolitical Tensions Rise

Date: 5 May 2016

Singaporean authorities have increased military expenditures to upgrade its military while presenting a strong front during the South China Sea territorial dispute, according to Reuters. Contractors, such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, value Singapore’s business due to the city-state’s lucrative economic growth and timely payment history. Many nations in Asia have increased military spending because of higher economic growth and increased nationalism.

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