UK exports to EU rebound after slump

Trade between the UK and EU partially recovered in February, after a steep drop in January following Brexit.   Official figures show exports to the EU jumped by 46.6%, £3.7bn, to £11.6bn, following January’s 42% slump when firms struggled with new trade rules.   However, the Office for National Statistics said exports were still below […]

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European Parliament approves UK’s post-Brexit trade deal

Two key European Parliament committees have overwhelmingly approved the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, bringing its ratification closer.   The wide-ranging EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement was clinched on 24th December. It is in force provisionally.   The EU still has concerns about the way the UK is implementing the separate protocol for […]

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China’s economy grows 18.3% in Q1 2021

China’s economy grew a record 18.3% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter last year.   It’s the biggest jump in GDP since China started keeping quarterly records in 1992.   However, Friday’s figures are below expectations, with a Reuters poll of economists predicting 19% growth.   They are also heavily […]

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European and US polymers rise, Asian mixed. WTI and Brent Crude fall

European polymer prices rose sharply over the week to 9th April on renewed concerns over tight supplies. There were increases of between 40 and 200 EUR per tonne reported in the prices of HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, Polypropylene, PVC and ABS.   Asian polymers were mixed with increases of 10 USD per tonne reported in the […]

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World Bank warns against ‘high’ global tax minimum

The head of the World Bank has warned world leaders against setting a global minimum tax rate for companies that is too high.   David Malpass said he did not want to see new rules that would hinder poor countries’ ability to attract investment.   The 21% global minimum rate called for by US Treasury […]

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Beijing tops billionaires list

Beijing is now home to more billionaires than any other city in the world, according to the latest Forbes’ annual rich list.   The Chinese capital added 33 billionaires last year and now hosts 100, said the business magazine.   This narrowly beats New York City, which hosts 99 and has held the top ranking […]

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IMF forecasts stronger economic recovery

The International Monetary Fund is now forecasting a stronger economic recovery this year and next.   The IMF has upgraded both its UK and global forecasts compared with what it projected in January.   But the British economy is still predicted to return to its pre-pandemic level of activity only in late 2022.   The […]

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US employment surges in March

The US economy saw a surge in hiring in March as vaccination increased, officials eased restrictions and people pushed to return to their pre-pandemic activities.   Employers added more than 900,000 jobs driven by re-openings at restaurants, bars, construction sites and schools.   The gains were the biggest since August and helped lower the unemployment […]

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