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Mayor Watson asks province to consider local reopening of economy – Ottawa Citizen

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Mayor Jim Watson has asked Premier Doug Ford to consider reopening the City of Ottawa’s economy as part of a regional approach to relaxing COVID-19 restrictions.

“Mayor Watson spoke to Premier Ford last night and expressed his support for a more regional approach given our city is doing better than many other parts of the province,” Watson’s press secretary Patrick Champagne said Wednesday morning.

“As you know, we also have the added challenge of being a border city, creating an unlevel playing field, as businesses like hair salons and barber shops have reopened in Gatineau but not in Ottawa. Premier Ford fully understood our dilemma and committed to keeping the Mayor’s perspective in mind as they consider a regional approach to reopening the Ontario economy.”

Ford last week expressed interest in a regional approach to reopening Ontario’s economy based on COVID-19 testing and results, rather than tweak provincial emergency orders and have the rules apply to the entire province.

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Resurging coronavirus biggest threat to euro zone economy: economists – The Journal Pioneer

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By Shrutee Sarkar

BENGALURU (Reuters) – The resurgence in coronavirus cases is the biggest threat to the recovering euro zone economy, according to a Reuters poll of economists, who say growth and inflation are more likely to create negative surprises over the coming year than positive ones.

Around 30 million people have been infected by the virus globally, and more than 900,000 have died, triggering some of the deepest recessions on record and breaking up supply chains around the world. COVID-19 global tracker https://www.reutersagency.com/en/coverage/covid-19-global-tracker

While a strong euro zone rebound is underway as lockdown restrictions have been eased and businesses reopened, France and Spain among others in the 19-member bloc are grappling with a virus resurgence.

That is raising the possibility of renewed restrictions and lockdowns.

“A flaring in the number of COVID-19 infections over the summer months has made it very clear that if there is no effective vaccine, growth will be handicapped,” said Peter Vanden Houte, chief economist at ING.

“There is also the fear of negative second-round effects once the current recession starts to be reflected in a swelling number of unemployed…(and) we cannot exclude higher precautionary savings dampening consumption.”

A return to where the economy was before the outbreak earlier this year is not expected until at least end-2022.

That comes despite the European Central Bank’s planned 1.35 trillion euros of pandemic-related additional asset purchases and an historic 750 billion euro recovery fund from the European Union due to kick in next year.

But the concern is that no new stimulus is on the horizon, other than national governments extending worker furloughs put in place early this year as they struggle with soaring debt.

Euro zone unemployment, which finally declined just before the coronavirus struck to where it was before the last financial crisis more than a decade ago, is already rising.

Ninety percent of economists, or 37 of 41 who responded to an additional question in the Sept. 15-17 Reuters poll, said a further surge in infections was the biggest risk to the euro zone economy over the coming year.

The remaining handful of respondents cited a strong euro, and no trade deal reached between the EU and United Kingdom when the Brexit transition period expires at the end of the year.

For a graphic on Reuters Poll: Euro zone economic outlook:

https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/polling/jznpnlbqopl/Reuters%20Poll-%20EZ%20economic%20outlook%20-%20September%202020.PNG

The Reuters poll of over 80 economists pointed to 8.1% quarterly growth this quarter, by far the strongest on record, following an historic 11.8% contraction in Q2. That forecast was unchanged from the August poll.

Quarter-on-quarter growth is then set to slow sharply to a still-strong 2.5% in Q4, but down from 3.0% predicted last month.

In a worst-case scenario, the economy was forecast to grow 4.5% in Q3, compared to 4.0% in the last poll. The worst-case for Q4 is now just a 0.4% contraction versus a 2.0% fall in the August poll.

But over 80% of respondents said the risks to both their euro zone growth and inflation forecasts were skewed more to the downside over the coming year.

“The virus is making new waves and the economy is still far from operating at pre-COVID levels in most sectors,” said Elwin de Groot, head of macro strategy at Rabobank, who expects no growth in the final three months of this year.

“But as governments are likely to shift towards more targeted measures – rather than blanket ones – the ‘true’ economic damage may only reveal itself in the next quarters.”

Most economists have remained pessimistic about the bloc’s growth outlook since the pandemic struck, and some have lowered their inflation views even further from last month.

The consensus for this quarter was 0.1% versus 0.3% predicted a month ago, followed by stagnation the next quarter. On a full-year basis, results were broadly in line with the ECB’s staff projections, at 0.4% for 2020, 1.0% for 2021 and 1.3% for 2022.

For a graphic on Reuters Poll: Euro zone economic growth and inflation outlook:

https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/polling/yzdvxqdjgpx/Reuters%20Poll-%20ECB%20and%20EZ%20outlook.PNG

(For other stories from the Reuters global long-term economic outlook polls package:)

(Reporting by Shrutee Sarkar and Richa Rebello; Polling by Hari Kishan and Nagamani Lingappa; Editing by Ross Finley and Alexandra Hudson)

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Indian Economy Heads for Double-Digit Plunge as Virus Spikes – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Indian Economy Heads for Double-Digit Plunge as Virus Spikes

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(Bloomberg) — India’s economic recovery prospects have gone from bad to worse after the nation emerged as a new global hotspot for the coronavirus pandemic with more than 5 million infections.

Economists and global institutions like the Asian Development Bank have recently cut India’s growth projections from already historic lows as the virus continues to spread. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now estimates a 14.8% contraction in gross domestic product for the year through March 2021, while the ADB is forecasting -9%. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development sees the economy shrinking by 10.2%.

The failure to get infections under control will set back business activity and consumption — the bedrock of the economy — which had been slowly picking up after India began easing one of the world’s strictest and biggest lockdowns that started late March. Local virus cases topped the 5 million mark this week, with the death toll surpassed only by the U.S. and Brazil.

“While a second wave of infections is being witnessed globally, India still has not been able to flatten the first wave of infection curve,” said Sunil Kumar Sinha, principal economist at India Ratings and Research Ltd., a unit of Fitch Ratings Ltd. He now sees India’s economy contracting 11.8% in the fiscal year, far worse than his earlier projection of -5.8%.

Goldman Sachs’s latest growth forecast came last week after data showed gross domestic product plunged 23.9% in the April-June quarter from a year ago, the biggest decline since records began in 1996 and the worst performance of major economies tracked by Bloomberg.

While there are some signs that activity picked up following the strict lockdown, a strong recovery looks uncertain.

“By all indications, the recovery is likely to be gradual as efforts toward reopening of the economy are confronted with rising infections,” Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das told a group of industrialists Wednesday.

Lower Potential

The central bank will likely release its own growth forecast on Oct. 1 when the monetary policy committee announces its interest rate decision. In August, the RBI said private spending on discretionary items had taken a knock, especially on transport services, hospitality, recreation and cultural activities.

The plunge in GDP, as well as ongoing stress in the banking sector and among households, will curb India’s medium-term growth potential. Tanvee Gupta Jain, an economist at UBS Group AG in Mumbai, estimates potential growth will slow to 6% from 7.1% year-on-year estimated in 2017.

What Bloomberg’s Economists Say

India went into the Covid-19 pandemic already suffering a downward trend in growth potential. We expect a 10.6% contraction in fiscal 2021, rebound in 2022, and slower path for growth as scars from the virus recession drag on the remaining years of the decade.

Click here to read the full report.

Abhishek Gupta, India economist

In addition to that, corporate profits have collapsed, putting a brake on investments, which in turn, will curb employment and growth in the economy.

India is “likely to see a shallow and delayed recovery in corporate sector profitability over the next several quarters,” said Kaushik Das, chief economist at Deutsche Bank AG in Mumbai, who has downgraded his fiscal year growth forecast to -8% from -6.2%. That will “reduce the incentive and ability for fresh investments, which in turn will be a drag on credit growth and overall real GDP growth,” he said.

Still, foreign investor sentiment will likely return once the pandemic eases, said Todd Buchholz, a former White House economist and now author.

“The virus is seen as a temporary phenomenon,” he said in an interview. “Those investors who were lining up to invest in India in January 2020 will do so in 2021 also, and deregulation has to continue.”

(Updates with comment from economist in last paragraph.)

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Bangladesh economy shows early signs of pandemic recovery – News 1130

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DHAKA, Bangladesh — A rebound in garment orders after demand crashed during spring shutdowns is helping to revive the Bangladesh economy.

Apparel makers, the country’s main export industry, say they are looking ahead to Christmas orders from the U.S. and other major markets.

Remittances from Bangladeshi workers employed overseas have also recovered, helping to relieve pressures from a pandemic quasi-shutdown during the spring.

The Asian Development Bank reported this week that the economic comeback was encouraging. It is forecasting the economy will grow at a robust 6.8% annual pace in the fiscal year that ends in June if current conditions persist.

That’s a much brighter outlook than in April-May, when global clothing brands suspended or cancelled orders worth more than $3 billion, affecting about 4 million workers and thousands of factories.

“At the moment we can say that the ready-made garment industry has been able to regain its growth trajectory upward compared to March-May,” Rubana Huq, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, or BGMEA, told The Associated Press.

“As economies in the West were turning around we were successfully able to get the buyers back to the negotiating table, which is why 80% to 90% of the $3.18 billion in cancelled orders have been reinstated,” she said.

Bangladesh earns about $35 billion annually from garment exports, mainly to the United States and Europe. The industry is the world’s second largest after China’s.

Bangladesh’s exports rose 0.6% to $3.9 billion in July, after plummeting 83% to $520 million in April. Imports, which are reported on a quarterly basis, began recovering earlier, rising 36% in May-June.

In August, exports rose 4.3% from a year earlier, to $2.96 billion, mostly driven by apparel shipments, according to the government’s Export Promotion Bureau. Garment shipments totalled $5.7 billion in July and August.

“The garment sector is making a good comeback. Our agriculture is doing well. Remittances are coming. These all are good signs for the economy,” said Ahsan H. Mansur, executive director of the Policy Research Institute, a think-tank in Dhaka.

“The pace of the recovery is clearly visible. But challenges have been there too. The pace of the recovery will depend on how the pandemic behaves in the West over the next few months,” Mansur said.

That’s the inestimable question facing everyone.

As of Thursday, Bangladesh had reported more than 342,000 confirmed coronavirus infections and 4,823 deaths. The country confirmed its first positive case on March 8.

Some experts say the actual number of infections is higher than the official count. The garment industry says few workers in its factories have fallen ill thanks to precautions such as employing fewer people on the production lines and imposing safety guidelines. The government imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 26, and the garments sector was closed for nearly three months, reopening only gradually.

The country director for the ADB, Manmohan Parkash, said the government has managed the crisis well, “with appropriate economic stimulus and social protection measures.”

“We are encouraged by the increase in exports and remittances, and hope the recovery will be sustained, which will help in achieving the projected growth rate,” Parkash said.

Julhas Alam, The Associated Press

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