China overtakes the US as foreign investment top spot

China has overtaken the US as the world’s top destination for new foreign direct investment, according to UN figures.   New investments into America from overseas companies fell by almost half last year, leading to the loss of its number one status.   In contrast, UN figures show direct investment into Chinese firms climbed 4%, […]

Read More

Covid vaccine lifts IMF’s global growth forecast

Hopes of a “vaccine-powered” pick-up in activity later this year have led the International Monetary Fund to upgrade its forecast for global economic growth in 2021.   The IMF’s new global forecast is for growth of 5.5% this year and 4.2% in 2022.   For the UK, the growth forecast for this year has been […]

Read More

Chinese economy set to overtake US by 2028

China will overtake the US to become the world’s largest economy by 2028, five years earlier than previously forecast, a report says.   The UK-based Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said China’s “skilful” management of Covid-19 would boost its relative growth compared to the US and Europe in coming years.   Meanwhile India […]

Read More

China falls behind on import commitments

China is falling short of its commitment to buy an extra $200bn worth of US goods over 2020 and 2021.   China agreed to buy the goods in a trade deal with the US agreed last January in exchange for reduced tariffs on $120bn worth of goods.   The agreement was seen as phase one […]

Read More

China’s economy bucks global trend, reporting growth

China’s economy grew at the slowest pace in more than four decades last year, official figures show, but remains on course to be the only major economy to have expanded in 2020.   The economy grew 2.3% last year, despite Covid-19 shutdowns causing output to slump in early 2020.   Strict virus containment measures and […]

Read More

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

European polymer prices rose over the week to 15th January with increases of between 20 and 100 EUR per tonne reported in the prices of HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, PET, Polypropylene, PVC, ABS and Polystyrene. In the UK region of Europe, prices rose less sharply as the pound gained value against the Euro.   Asian polymers […]

Read More

German economy shrinks by 5% in 2020

The German economy shrank by 5% last year as the Covid-19 pandemic took its toll, according to official figures.   The country’s national statistics office said that most sectors of the economy were “markedly affected” by the health emergency.   It was a sharp decline, although many economists had expected the contraction to be even […]

Read More

Biden unveils $1.9tn economic stimulus package

President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled a $1.9tn stimulus plan for the coronavirus-sapped US economy before he takes office next week.   If passed by Congress, it would include $1tn for households, with direct payments of $1,400 to all Americans.   The relief proposal includes $415bn to fight the virus and $440bn for small businesses.   […]

Read More

US job losses increase

The US economy lost jobs last month for the first time since April as rising coronavirus cases took a toll.   Employers shed 140,000 positions, leaving the jobless rate unchanged at 6.7%.   Restaurants and bars led the payroll declines, as new restrictions in some places and cold weather sapped enthusiasm for outdoor dining.   […]

Read More