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Growing VS Dying World Economies

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Growing VS Dying World Economies

The records say that there is a downgrade of the world’s total GDP for 2016 from a January prediction of 3.4% to a 3.2 %

However, first world economies have had evidence of growth, despite being a lot slower than many would hope.

Significant events/factors which have slowed down the global economic growth are:

  • The Chinese economy is suffering a slowdown.
  • The drop in oil prices, mainly taking its toll on nations like Russia and the Middle East.
  • There is also a significant slowdown in markets that are merging.
  • The increase in terrorism, immigrants, and international aid.
  • The wars in Syria, Libya, Ukraine, and other Middle Eastern areas.
  • Cold War tensions between USA and Russia, consequently resulting in sanctions and exclusions.

Although heightened world mishaps have broken out, this doesn’t mean that everyone has been suffering.

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The world’s fastest growing economies:

The IMF has reported Myanmar to be the world’s fastest growing economy currently, with an estimated GDP growth set at 8.6% for this year.

The country has experienced reforms economically and politically; making headlines all across the world. Myanmar has high confidence from both consumers and investors.

Typically, numerous small countries in the Middle East and Africa are going through this same pattern of transition, nations like:

  • Tanzania
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Iraq
  • Cambodia
  • Senegal
  • Vietnam
  • Rwanda
  • Panama
  • Laos
  • Ivory Coast

Why are small countries experiencing a spike in growth?

Many of these developing nations have managed to become a democracy, from previously being under military rule – this has allowed for an increase in exports and for new foreign investment and markets to emerge.

However, poverty and inequality are still rife in these countries.

How about fast growing first world countries?

For this year, advanced economies expected to project 2% growth – not including Japan. India has been enjoying great prosperity, with GDP reaching over 7%.

There is a public outcry of China’s slow turn, but since moving to service and finance markets from manufacturing, growth for that nation has been forecasted to grow by 6% – IMF figures are looking to increase for 2017.

But it must be mentioned that both imports and exports are still down in China, which is having a knock-on effect on foreign economies.

The world’s slowest economies:

Yemen

This nation’s economy is energy-dependent and has been burnt by the 2014 Oil crash – while currently experiencing a civil war.

Domestic troubles for Yemen include:

  • High unemployment.
  • An accelerated population boom.
  • Stern famines.
  • A decline in water resources.

Russia

Another economy reliant on the energy market so has suffered from the result of falling oil prices. Also, they have increased spending on the military, have sanctions imposed by the USA, government interference with the private sector and fundamental issues.

However, for 2017, Russia is predicted to grow its GDP by 2.5%.

Brazil

Many factors have caused Brazil’s frail economy to fracture, these include:

  • The government’s attempt to revive economic growth, by making cuts for industry and incentives to household consumption.
  • Brazil’s current account and fiscal balances have decayed.
  • The World Cup in 2014 was also a burden to the economy.

Croatia

This nation has still been left behind from the recession in 2008, which has not been able to bring down its unemployment rate, encourage foreign investment and lack of regional development.

GDP shrank by 0.4% in 2014.

Serbia

Similar to Croatia, Serbia has never brought down the unemployment rate since the global recession – while household incomes have remained stagnated, and structural reforms have been an ongoing delay.

Other domestic issues in Serbia:

  • An aging populace.
  • Extremely high levels of corruption.
  • An ineffective judicial system.

Saint Lucia

This country experienced a devastating blow to its tourist-dependent economy after the recession hit, and it has never been able to recover since. Even airlines have cut the frequency of flights to go there.

It is always vulnerable to a decline in tourism when the global economy slows down.

Libya

This nation’s GDP fell by a staggering 24% in 2014, despite the government taking significant sums of money from energy supplies – the fatal error being no investments helping into a developing economy.

Libya also experienced a civil war in 2011.

The primary cause of the 24% fall was by the war and major protests causing disruptions to oil ports around the country.

Ukraine

Initially, the economy took its first hit when the financial crisis initiated. It did manage to bounce back in 2010 but was then devastated again after Russia annexed Crimea (causing GDP to fall by 6.8% in 2014).

Lack of reforms and political corruption is still holding the country back from any future growth.

What to expect for the rest of the year…

Despite growth only reaching a 3.1% rate for this year, it is still moving in the right direction – which is surprising considering all the challenges that face the world. Emerging economies will continue to speed ahead while other corners of the world will be devastated by war and commodity prices.

  • Oil prices to now rise in value.
  • 2017 is forecasted to grow by 3.4%.
  • Foreign relations are making improvements.

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Las Vegas Sands Once Again Recognized as World Leader for Climate Change

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Las Vegas Sands Once Again Recognized as World Leader for Climate Change
Image via Shutterstock

Las Vegas Sands has again been recognized by CDP, the international nonprofit environmental disclosure platform, on the Climate Change A List. This is the company’s fifth year in a row to attain a leadership position for Climate Change, a distinction shared by only 2% of disclosing companies.

“The CDP provides a comprehensive framework that continues to inspire us to become leaders in our industry and provide guidance for strategic direction,” Katarina Tesarova, senior vice president of global sustainability at Las Vegas Sands, said. “Among the thousands of companies that were scored this year, Sands is one of a very small number from around the world to make the A List. We’re proud to be recognized, and we will continue to work towards additional reduction of our environmental impact.”

Through Sands ECO360, the company’s award-winning global sustainability program, Sands has reached several environmental milestones, all contributing to its placement on the Climate A List. The iconic ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is the first Asia-Pacific region museum to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, and The Parisian Macao achieved LEED Silver certification for newly constructed buildings – the first building in Macao to receive this distinction. Additionally, the implementation of 38 energy-efficient ECOTracker projects are expected save more than 48 million kilowatt hours of electricity every year, through LED lighting upgrades, energy savings campaigns focused on consuming less electricity and more.

Sands has participated in the CDP environmental disclosure platform since 2012, starting first with reporting on climate change initiatives. Achievement of the Climate Change A List highlights the company’s work towards cutting emissions, mitigating climate risks and building integrated resorts responsibly.

The company has also retained its leadership in corporate sustainability with its most recent recognitions on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) and America’s Best Employers by Forbes.

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Finance

Dow Jones Industrial Average Breaks 29,000 For The First Time in History

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Screenshot of Dow Jones Industrial chart taken January 15, 2020.
By ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP Business Writer

Slight gains send Dow Jones Industrial Average above 29,000!

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 29,000 points for the first time and the S&P 500 index hit its second record high in three days Wednesday.

The milestones came on a day when the market traded in a narrow range as investors weighed the latest batch of corporate earnings reports and the widely anticipated signing of an initial trade deal between the U.S. and China.

President Donald Trump and China’s chief negotiator, Liu He, signed the “Phase 1″ deal before a group of corporate executives and reporters at the White House. The pact eases some sanctions on China. In return, Beijing has agreed to step up its purchases of U.S. farm products and other goods.

“This was telegraphed well enough that the market is kind of looking through it and toward the next phase and what that means,” said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at Globalt Investments.

Health care stocks accounted for much of the market’s gains. Utilities and makers of household goods also rose. Those gains outweighed losses in financial stocks, companies that rely on consumer spending and the energy sector.

The S&P 500 index rose 6.14 points, or 0.2%, to 3,289.29. The index also climbed to an all-time high on Monday.

The Dow gained 90.55 points, or 0.3%, to 29,030.22. The Nasdaq composite added 7.37 points, or 0.1%, to 9,258.70.

Smaller-company stocks fared better than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 picked up 6.66 points, or 0-4%, to 1,682.40.

The benchmark S&P 500 index is on track for its second straight weekly gain.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.78% from 1.81% late Tuesday.

While limited in its scope, investors have welcomed the U.S.-China deal in hopes that it will prevent further escalation in the 18-month long trade conflict that has slowed global growth, hurt American manufacturers and weighed on the Chinese economy. The world’s two largest economies will now have to deal with more contentious trade issues as they move ahead with negotiations. And punitive tariffs will remain on about $360 billion in Chinese goods as talks continue.

With the “Phase 1” agreement now a done deal, investors have more reason to focus on the rollout of corporate earnings reports over the next few weeks. Earnings have been flat to down for the last three quarters, and if the fourth quarter meets expectations, it should be around the same.

However, analysts are projecting 2020 corporate earnings growth to jump around 9.5%, which is why traders will be listening this earnings reporting season for any clues management teams give about their business prospects in coming months.

“We’re expecting a reacceleration in the back end of the year, so any (company) guidance that brings any type of skepticism to that could threaten the recent rally we’ve had and the gains that we’ve accrued in the past few months,” Buchanan said.

Health care stocks powered much of the market’s gains Wednesday. Several health insurers climbed as investors cheered a solid fourth-quarter earnings report from UnitedHealth Group.

The nation’s largest health insurer, which covers more than 49 million people, said its revenue rose 4% on a mix of insurance premiums and growth from urgent care and surgery centers. Its stock rose 2.8%. Other health insurers also moved higher. Anthem gained 1.6%, Cigna added 1.5% and Humana climbed 1.9%.

Technology companies also rose. The sector is reliant on China for sales and supply chains and benefits from better trade relations. Microsoft gained 0.7% and Advanced Micro Devices gained 0.8%.

Utilities and consumer staples sector stocks also notched gains. Edison International climbed 2.5% and PepsiCo rose 1.7%.

Financial stocks fell the most. Bank of America slid 1.8% after reporting weaker profits due to the rapid decline of interest rates in late 2019.

Energy stocks also fell along with the price of crude oil. Valero Energy dropped 3.3%.

Homebuilders marched broadly higher on news that U.S. home loan applications surged 30.2% last week from a week earlier. The pickup in mortgage applications reflects heightened demand for homes and suggests many buyers are eager to purchase a home now, rather than waiting for the traditional late-February start of the spring homebuying season. Hovnanian Enterprises jumped 6.4%.

Target slumped 6.6% after a disappointing holiday shopping season prompted the retailer to cut its forecast for a key sales measure in the fourth quarter. The company said weak sales of electronics, toys and home goods crimped sales growth to just 1.4% in November and December.

Benchmark crude oil fell 42 cents to settle at $57.81 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, dropped 49 cents to close at $64 a barrel.

Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $1.64 per gallon. Heating oil declined 3 cents to $1.88 per gallon. Natural gas fell 7 cents to $2.12 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose $9.70 to $1,552.10 per ounce, silver rose 25 cents to $17.92 per ounce and copper fell 1 cent to $2.87 per pound.

The dollar fell to 109.91 Japanese yen from 110.00 yen on Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1150 from $1.1128.

Markets in Europe closed mostly lower.

AP Business Writer Damian J. Troise contributed.

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Aircraft

Uber and Hyundai Are Planning to Offer Flying Taxi Rides by 2023

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Hyundai/Uber Flying Taxi Source: Hyundai
By Cat Ellis

At CES 2020, Uber and Hyundai showed off a full-size mock-up of a flying taxi that both companies hope will be ferrying you above congested city streets by 2023.

The electric plane, called Uberdai, will carry a pilot and three passengers up to 60 miles, at speeds of up to 180mph, slashing journey times and helping get cars off the road. Eventually the craft will be automated, but for now the two companies are focusing on manned craft.

The flying taxi market is starting to get pretty lively. Last year, Boeing began test flights to test the safety of Boeing. Next, an electric aircraft with passenger pods designed to travel up to 50 miles, and Bell Helicopter unveiled the Bell Nexus, which the company hopes will “redefine air travel”.

The difference with Hyundai’s plane is its partnership with Uber, which is a name synonymous with ride-sharing throughout much of the world, and already has the infrastructure in place to offer flights as an option alongside trips by car, bike, scooter, helicopter and even submarine.

Ready for lift-off?

Uber has been aiming for the skies for several years now, teaming up with various aerospace companies to build a fleet of mini aircraft. At the Uber Elevate Summit in June 2019, it revealed a concept created in collaboration with Jaunt Air Mobility – a business that’s aiming to create a fully autonomous aircraft by the end of 2029.

This design was a cross between a helicopter and a plane, with a rotor to get it off the ground, and wings for gliding once airborne to conserve power.

“It’s called the compound aircraft, and what it’s doing is really trying to get the best of both worlds of hover and high-speed efficient flight,” Uber’s head of engineering Mark Moore said at the event.

Uber intends to launch its first swarm of flying cars in the US and Australia in 2023, with schemes planned for Dallas, Las Vegas and Melbourne. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more over the coming months. 

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