ROUNDUP 2: US inflation rises to its highest level since 2008
WASHINGTON – US inflation spiked in April. Compared to the same month last year, the cost of living rose by 4.2 percent, as the Department of Labor announced in Washington on Wednesday. This is the highest rate since September 2008. In March, the rate was much lower at 2.6 percent. Analysts had expected an increase, but not to this extent. On average, a rate of 3.6 percent was expected.
ROUNDUP 2 / ‘Stars are good’: British economy optimistic despite minus
LONDON – The corona pandemic and the completed Brexit pushed the British economy back into the red at the beginning of the year, and yet experts and companies are more optimistic than before. This is only a contradiction at first glance. Because the Corona easing course of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is creating a consumer mood among consumers and a willingness to invest among companies – including the German-British economy. “The stars are good for a recovery in the second half of the year,” said economist Liz Martins from the major bank HSBC of the German press agency.
South Korea signs free trade agreement with Israel
SEOUL – South Korea has signed a free trade agreement with Israel. The pact provides that import duties will be eliminated for more than 95 percent of goods in bilateral trade, as the South Korean Ministry of Commerce announced on Wednesday. The deal will not only reduce tariffs and improve the business environment, but will also serve as a “solid platform” for economic growth in both countries, said South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung Hee. Trade Minister Amir Peretz signed the agreement on behalf of Israel in Seoul.
ROUNDUP: Merz wants to prevent tax evasion with corporate tax reform
SÜLZETAL – Friedrich Merz wants to oblige large companies to pay their taxes where they generate their profits. “My personal suggestion will be that we dare to undertake a major corporate tax reform in Germany with which we will strengthen the communities in particular,” said Merz on Wednesday during a visit to an Amazon logistics center in Sülzetal near Magdeburg.
Altmaier: With the Climate Protection Act, the economy gets planning security
BERLIN – Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier has recognized the new climate protection law as a “milestone”. “It also enables planning security for the economy,” said the CDU politician on Wednesday after the law was passed in the federal cabinet. Now everyone knows what to expect. “We put in the air-conditioning turbo, so to speak,” said Altmaier. With its quick action, the federal government also ensured that the issue was kept out of the mill of the election campaign.
Economics ministers argue about measures to counter raw material shortages
DÜSSELDORF – Because the supply of raw materials for industry and construction is scarce, leading German politicians are arguing about countermeasures. The economics ministers from Thuringia and Saarland, Wolfgang Tiefensee and Anke Rehlinger (both SPD), are in favor of temporary export restrictions in order to get the problem under control and to resolve bottlenecks in companies.
Euro zone: industrial production hardly increases
LUXEMBOURG – In the euro zone, industrial production barely increased in March. In a month-on-month comparison, production increased slightly by 0.1 percent, the Eurostat statistics office announced on Wednesday in Luxembourg. Analysts had expected significantly stronger growth of 0.8 percent.
More economic growth: EU Commission raises economic forecast
BRUSSELS – According to the EU Commission, the European economy will grow faster this year and next than recently expected. With a view to vaccination successes and easing after the Corona crisis, the Brussels authority raised its economic forecast significantly on Wednesday. In the 27 EU countries it now expects 4.2 percent growth in 2021, in the 19 countries of the euro zone 4.3 percent. For 2022 an increase of 4.4 percent is predicted for both the EU and the euro zone.
ROUNDUP: British economy shrinks at the start of the year
LONDON – The British economy contracted at the beginning of the year, but there are signs of an economic improvement. The economic output (GDP) fell in the first quarter of the current year compared to the previous quarter by 1.5 percent, said the ONS statistics office in London on Wednesday. Analysts had expected an average of 1.6 percent. The decline follows a rise in GDP of 1.3 percent in the final quarter of 2020.
France: inflation is rising a little weaker than expected
PARIS – In France, inflation continued to rise in April, but not as much as expected. According to the European method, consumer prices (HICP) rose by 1.6 percent year-on-year, as the Insee statistics office announced on Wednesday after a second estimate. After an initial survey, Insee had reported a slightly higher inflation rate of 1.7 percent. Analysts assumed it would be confirmed.
ROUNDUP: You are reading a summary in the economic overview. There are several reports on this topic on the dpa-AFX news service.