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Posts Tagged ‘WSJ’

China Overtakes U.S. as World’s Leading Destination for Foreign Direct Investment

Posted by hkarner - 26. Januar 2021

Date: 25‑01‑2021

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Flows into America nearly halved as Covid‑19 dragged on the economy in 2020

China’s ability to quickly control the coronavirus within its borders helped its economy rebound relatively quickly. Tourists take selfies in Shanghai in November.

China overtook the U.S. as the world’s top destination for new foreign direct investment last year, as the Covid‑19 pandemic amplifies an eastward shift in the center of gravity of the global economy.

New investments by overseas businesses into the U.S., which for decades held the No. 1 spot, fell 49% in 2020, according to U.N. figures released Sunday, as the country struggled to curb the spread of the new coronavirus and economic output slumped. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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God at the Inauguration

Posted by hkarner - 23. Januar 2021

Date: 22‑01‑2021

Source: The Wall Street Journal

President Biden’s overt religiosity is a relatively modern trend in U.S. history.

President Biden delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 20.

Presidential inaugural addresses are unpredictable, but it’s a good bet that they will refer to the Bible. President Biden did, quoting Psalm 30:5: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” This is part of a welcome, long‑running trend toward more religious language in public life.

Mr. Biden has cited Psalm 30 in speeches before, and it seems particularly apt in these dark times. Mr. Biden also encouraged his fellow Americans to “open our souls instead of hardening our hearts,” an allusion to God hardening Pharaoh’s heart, beginning with Exodus 7:13. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Battle of the Robots Still Favors Japan and Europe—For Now

Posted by hkarner - 21. Januar 2021

Date: 20‑01‑2021

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Chinese robotics companies took market share last year amid the disruptions of the pandemic

Covid‑19 has accelerated automation in factories, especially in manufacturing powerhouse China. Foreign companies have long dominated the market for industrial robots and automation tools there—but there are signs that dominance is fraying around the edges.

As the factory for the world, China is unsurprisingly far and away the largest market for industrial robots. Before the pandemic, however, the U.S.‑China trade war was slowing growth. New installations of industrial robots amounted to 140,500 in 2019, a 9% decline from the previous year, but still almost three times the number for second‑place Japan, according to the International Federation of Robotics. Last year was likely much better: Credit Suisse estimates that China’s industrial‑robotics market grew 9.5% in 2020. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China Is the Only Major Economy to Report Economic Growth for 2020

Posted by hkarner - 19. Januar 2021

Date: 18‑01‑2021

Source: The Wall Street Journal

GDP rises 6.5% from a year earlier in the fourth quarter

Workers make surgical masks at a factory in China’s Jiangsu province in October.

BEIJING—China’s economy expanded by 2.3% in 2020, roaring back from a historic contraction in the early months of the year to become the only major world economy to grow in what was a pandemic‑ravaged year.

China’s ability to expand, even as the world struggled to control a deadly virus that has killed more than two million people, underscores the country’s success in largely taming the coronavirus within its borders and further cements its place as the dominant economy in Asia.

China’s growth makes it an outlier among large economies. The World Bank expects the U.S. economy to contract by 3.6% this year and the eurozone’s to shrink by 7.4% in 2020, contributing to a global economic pullback of 4.3%.

China’s economy, the world’s second largest, finished the year on a high note. Gross domestic product rose 6.5% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday, marking China’s best quarter of year‑over‑year growth in two years.

By comparison, China’s GDP rose by 3.2% and 4.9% in the second and third quarters of the year, respectively, after suffering a historic 6.8% contraction in the first.

“In an extraordinary year, China’s economy was able to record an extraordinary achievement, handing over a result that satisfied the Chinese people, attracted the attention of the world and which can be written in the annals of history,” Ning Jizhe, head of the statistics bureau, said Monday. Mr. Ning said in 2020 the size of China’s economy surpassed 100 trillion yuan, or the equivalent of $15.4 trillion, while GDP per capita topped $10,000 for the first time.

The results also beat analysts’ expectations. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected growth of 6% in the fourth quarter and an expansion of 2.2% for the full year.

China’s full‑year growth rate of 2.3% marked the country’s weakest annual economic expansion since Mao Zedong’s death in 1976. Before 2020, the worst economic year of China’s “reform and opening” era that began in the late 1970s came in 1990, the year after the Tiananmen Square crackdown, when the economy grew by 3.9%.

By logging 6.5% growth in the final quarter, China’s economy has reclaimed the growth trajectory that it had been on before the coronavirus first began to spread across the city of Wuhan around a year ago. In the last three months of 2019, the last full quarter before the coronavirus began disrupting the global economy, China’s GDP rose 6% from a year earlier, contributing to a 6.1% expansion for the full year.

This time last year, Chinese authorities in and around Wuhan began reporting large numbers of people who were infected with what was then a mysterious viral pneumonia. After Beijing took the unprecedented step of locking down Wuhan on Jan. 23 last year, economic activity across the country ground to a virtual halt for much of the following months until the virus was largely stamped out.

Unlike governments in Western countries like the U.S. that focused their stimulus efforts on lowering borrowing rates and handing out money to consumers, Beijing focused on restarting factories while keeping interest rates relatively higher.

China’s factories began to come back online in April, just as much of the rest of the globe’s manufacturing capacity was taken out by the spreading pandemic. That allowed China to produce and export mass quantities of medical equipment, like face masks, and work‑from‑home equipment, such as laptops and computer monitors.

Domestic consumption, however, continued to languish well into the summer, as Chinese consumers were worried about a resurgence in infections. Retail sales didn’t return to their pre‑coronavirus levels until August and have remained relatively weak as a contributor to the overall economy as outbreaks have continued to pop up.

On Monday, China’s statistics bureau said retail sales rose by just 4.6% in December from a year earlier, lower than November’s 5% increase and a 5.5% expansion expected by economists. For the full year, retail sales fell 3.9% in 2020 from a year earlier, compared with 2019’s 8% growth.

A current wave of new cases across northern China, centered in Hebei province—which surrounds Beijing—is the worst in more than half a year, with hundreds of local infection cases showing symptoms in recent days. The outbreak threatens to derail consumer spending during next month’s long Lunar New Year holiday.

Even so, many forecasters expect China to grow by another 8% or more in 2021 as other parts of the economy continue to make up for the lost time last year. Data released Monday showed employment and wages remain robust, which could help support consumption.

China’s headline measure of joblessness, the official urban surveyed unemployment rate, held steady at 5.2% in December, on par with the pre‑virus level a year earlier, according to the statistics bureau.

Migrant workers’ wages rose by 2.8% in the final three months of 2020, compared with a 2.1% increase in the previous quarter.

For now, the economic data released Monday reveals a Chinese economy that continues to be driven primarily by industrial production and investment rather than consumption.

Industrial output rose 7.3% in December from a year earlier, accelerating from 7% growth in November and beating expectations for a 6.8% increase among economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. For the full year, industrial production increased 2.8% from a year earlier in 2020, weaker than 2019’s 5.7% increase.

Fixed‑asset investment grew 2.9% in 2020 from a year earlier, speeding up from a 2.6% year‑over‑year increase recorded for the first 11 months of the year but slower than 2019’s full‑year growth of 5.4%.

Any further recovery will likely have to take place without additional aid from the government, said Xing Zhaopeng, a Shanghai‑based economist at ANZ.

With local governments in China still swimming in unspent stimulus money left over from last year, which Mr. Xing estimates to be about 2 trillion yuan, the equivalent of around $300 billion, he argues Beijing will likely restrict the amount of debt local governments can issue this year.

“Given the stronger‑than‑expected economic growth in the fourth quarter, China’s policy exit could come sooner than expected,” Mr. Xing said, pointing to recent remarks by officials indicating a withdrawal of stimulus measures introduced last year.

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The Five Biggest Issues for Technology Companies in 2021

Posted by hkarner - 18. Januar 2021

   Date: 17‑01‑2021

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Antitrust lawsuits and maintaining growth are among the challenges, while electric vehicles and government help for U.S. chip makers are seen as bright spots.

Google’s European headquarters in Dublin. Since late last year, governments in the U.S., China and Europe have been investigating whether Big Tech is too big.

After a year of startling growth, the tech industry faces a more vexing 2021.

The pandemic helped bring the world’s tech giants such as Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. to new heights in 2020. The shift to online shopping and remote working accelerated at a pace that would have been inconceivable without the coronavirus. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Where Trump Came From—and Where Trumpism Is Going

Posted by hkarner - 17. Januar 2021

Date: 16‑01‑2021

Source: The Wall Street Journal By Gerald F. Seib

A populist movement rooted in worries about globalization and alienation from elites culminated in the storming of the Capitol. What can conservatives salvage from the debris?

The Trump presidency drew on forerunners including Patrick Buchanan, H. Ross Perot and Sarah Palin.

At the outset of the 2016 presidential campaign, Chris Christie, then the governor of New Jersey, sensed a yearning within a changed Republican Party for a populist voice—for a political figure who knew how to speak bluntly for the burgeoning ranks of working‑class voters in the GOP.

So he set out to be that guy: a no‑nonsense everyman from outside Washington who talked about the economic travails of a prototypical 45‑year‑old construction worker, the need to use government aggressively to end the opioid crisis in working America, the virtues of law and order, and the need to “stop the Washington bull.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Markets Rally Highlights Bets on Recovery

Posted by hkarner - 10. Januar 2021

Date: 10‑01‑2021

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Optimism about Covid‑19 vaccines and stimulus prolong the 2020 stock boom, fueling worries that hot parts of the market are overextended

Electric‑car maker Tesla is up 25% this year.

Investors are showing signs of increasing exuberance, reflecting optimism about a vaccine‑fueled global recovery and the changed economics of the post‑coronavirus world.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.6% for the first week of 2021, marking its fourth‑straight weekly gain despite a mob storming the U.S. Capitol Wednesday and a decline in nonfarm payrolls reported Friday.

The advance, which took the 30‑stock index past 31000 in just 29 trading days, has been led by banks and energy firms. Bond yields have risen, taking the yield on the 10‑year U.S. Treasury note to 1.105%, the highest since March. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Donald Trump’s Final Days

Posted by hkarner - 9. Januar 2021

Date: 08‑01‑2021

Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board

The best outcome would be for him to resign to spare the U.S. another impeachment fight.

An image of President Donald Trump appears on video screens before his speech to supporters from the Ellipse at the White House on Jan. 6.

The lodestar of these columns is the U.S. Constitution. The document is the durable foundation protecting liberty, and this week it showed its virtue again. Despite being displaced for a time by a mob, Congress returned the same day to ratify the Electoral College vote and Joe Biden’s election. Congratulations to the President‑elect, who will be inaugurated as the Constitution stipulates at noon on Jan. 20. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Tesla’s Elon Musk Overtakes Amazon’s Jeff Bezos as World’s Wealthiest Person

Posted by hkarner - 8. Januar 2021

Date: 08‑01‑2021

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Mr. Musk has benefited from electric‑car maker’s soaring share price

SpaceX’s First 2021 Mission Blasts Off as Elon Musk Tops World’s Rich List

Elon Musk has overtaken Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person, driven by a meteoric rise in the value of Tesla Inc., the electric‑car maker he runs.

The bragging rights around personal wealth pit two of the tech industry’s biggest rivals in a competition that spans from the roads to outer space. Messrs. Musk and Bezos, both founders of rocket companies, have clashed over issues such as Amazon’s power over book publishing and Mr. Musk’s interest in colonizing the planet Mars. Amazon last year bought a self‑driving‑car startup that would compete with Tesla. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Brexit Forces Bankers to Shift Trading of European Stocks Out of London

Posted by hkarner - 7. Januar 2021

Date: 05‑01‑2021

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The abrupt move underscores the European Union’s broader plan to bolster its own financial centers

Trading in shares of companies including LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton had to leave London due to Brexit. 

The fallout from Britain’s split from the European Union showed itself on the first trading day of the year as a big chunk of dealing volume in EU stocks moved from London to venues located in Amsterdam, Paris and the Continent’s other financial centers.

Britain’s membership of the EU had meant the region’s banks and investors could bypass the home exchanges of stocks such as Paris‑listed luxury‑goods giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE and Amsterdam‑listed Just Eat Takeaway.com NV, the big food‑delivery company, and trade them in London over alternative venues. Those venues included Turquoise, a trading facility majority‑owned by the London Stock Exchange Group PLC, and rival platforms Aquis Exchange PLC and Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s Europe‑based marketplace. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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