10202018Sat
Last updateFri, 19 Oct 2018 1pm

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New Movement on Colombia Trade Pact Article

President Barack Obama discussed a pending free-trade agreement with his Colombian counterpart Saturday and dispatched his trade representative to discuss U.S. concerns over Colombia's treatment of labor leaders.

At the Summit of the Americas in Port-of-Spain, Mr. Obama asked to be seated next to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, and the pair discussed the deal, U.S. officials said.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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China Economy to Rebound as Stimulus Spurs Investment

China’s economy, the world’s third largest, may rebound this quarter as Premier Wen Jiabao’s 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion) stimulus package cushions the effects of the global recession.

Urban fixed-asset investment surged by almost a third in March and industrial-output growth accelerated, reports accompanying China’s gross domestic product figures showed yesterday.

Source: Bloomberg

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Manufacturing, Housing Sectors Remain Weak

U.S. manufacturing activity is expected to keep contracting for at least another three to six months and most manufacturers say federal stimulus spending will be only "slightly" effective in boosting the economy, according to a survey of major producers.

In another report, the home-building sector showed tentative signs of bottoming out in March, the latest indication that a key sector of the economy may be stabilizing after years of declines.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Economic and Construction Collapse Set to Slow

Declining inventory means that production is less than current consumption which can continue only until the inventory sales ratio falls back to the normal range.  The ratio was 1.43 in February and has likely to fallen to 1.40 or slightly less by mid April. When it reaches1.30, the top of the normal range, factories will call back workers to raise production to the then current, but still depressed, level of consumption. This means that the distribution system now has 3-4 days of surplus inventory to absorb before the recession ends.

Source: Reed Construction Data

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U.S. Industrial Production Drops More Than Forecast

Industrial production in the U.S. fell for the 14th time in the last 15 months as factories trimmed unwanted stockpiles.

Output at factories, mines and utilities dropped 1.5 percent last month, more than anticipated and matching the prior month’s decrease, according to a report from the Federal Reserve today in Washington. The amount of industrial capacity in use fell to 69.3 percent, the lowest level since records began in 1967.

Source: Bloomberg

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