WASHINGTON, March 12- The United States and Japan made some progress on resolving a deadlock over tariffs on farm and industrial exports which is dragging on a wider Pacific trade deal, a senior Japanese official said on Wednesday.» Read More
China on Monday posted a record trade surplus for October, but the total was smaller than expected, as climbing raw material costs and strengthening domestic demand gave a boost to imports.
Japanese wholesale prices rose slightly more than expected in October from a year earlier on rising oil prices, but investors, preoccupied with global markets, stuck to the view that the Bank of Japan will wait until next year to lift rates.
The House on Thursday passed a free trade pact with Peru, bringing President Bush to the brink of his first trade victory since Democrats took control of Congress.
Japanese machinery orders rose in the July-September period and are forecast to keep going this quarter, supporting the growth outlook for the economy, but financial market turmoil looks set to keep a lid on interest rates for the next few months.
The dollar, which is hitting new lows against the Euro and other currencies today, is sparking considerable debate. Gold and oil are hitting new highs, partly on the dollar's weakness. The weak dollar has been a big help to U.S. exports and definitely helped corporate earnings of U.S. multinationals. That is the standard line, and it's true.
The Bank of Japan left its policy rate unchanged at 0.5 percent on Wednesday, as widely expected, reflecting caution among central bankers over market uncertainty and the economic fallout from U.S. subprime woes.
Unemployment in Japan rose to 4.0 percent last month, reinforcing expectations the Bank of Japan will delay its next rate rise, but household spending jumped.
Japanese retail sales rose unexpectedly in September from a year earlier, government data showed on Monday, suggesting consumer spending may be picking up in accordance with moderate improvement in workers' income conditions.
The Bank of Japan is seen cutting its growth and inflation forecasts and stressing more the downside risks, as markets push back still further into next year expectations of when the central bank will next increase rates.
Japanese core consumer prices fell from a year earlier in September, as expected, marking the eighth straight month of decline and doing little to change expectations that the Bank of Japan's monetary policy will be on hold for now.
In their interview this morning with my colleague Dylan Ratigan, President Bush's economic advisers emphasized all that was going right with the American economy: low inflation, a strong job market, continued growth and booming exports, whether those exports are driven by a weaker dollar or not.
Japanese exports to the United States fell in September from a year earlier at the fastest pace in four years but overall exports rose, pushing the trade surplus up to a record high.
While the markets are concerned today about the poor quality of financial earnings, Bank of America’s Joe Quinlan tackles a different—but equally important—subject: the rising tide of protectionism in the U.S., which is threatening the profits of now-global U.S. corporations. Quinlan notes that U.S. firms are enjoying a global boom in trade, earnings, capital inflows.
Trade between New Zealand and China is expected to receive a boost next year as both countries are likely to seal the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by April 2008 at the latest.
Surprisingly positive retail sales data changed the course of stocks this morning as Wall Street once more put its faith in the resilience of the U.S. consumer. Stocks opened higher after futures pointed lower much of the morning.
Citizen Bill Clinton just came back from Europe and he says, "It was expensive over there."I asked the former president if he were he still in the White House, would he be concerned about the weakening dollar, and he said he certainly would. "At this level, it's alright, but if it keeps falling it could become precarious," he said.
Trade policy emerged as the hot-button issue among the nine Republican presidential hopefuls squaring off on Tuesday, but taxes, economic growth and the health of the American middle class also got their fair share of attention in the debate.
So, what does this rising anti-trade sentiment mean for Republican politicians--and Democratic ones, for that matter? It's tricky because, rhetoric aside, most economists and elected officials in both parties in fact DO believe free trade offers the best path to economic growth in a global economy.
So why has this decline in GOP free trade sentiment occurred? Think back to 1992, with Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot both ran for president as populists from the right. Since then, "there’s been a steady erosion in Republican support for free trade," says former Rep. Vin Weber, now an adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
I've seen a lot of opinion polling, but my jaw dropped when I saw this result from our special NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll of Republicans in advance of next week's presidential candidate debate sponsored by CNBC, MSNBC and the WSJ.