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  • 2019-03-27 02:31


    TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan's quarterly Tankan survey for March will show a drop in sentiment among many business sectors, hit by the slowing Chinese economy and heightened uncertainty over the global demand, with the caution set to remain in coming quarters economists forecast.

    The median economist forecast for the headline diffusion index (DI) for sentiment among major manufacturers is +14, down from +19 in December, with forecasts from eight economists ranging from +11 to +16.

    Companies, particularly major manufacturers, have been hit by falling exports as China slows and capital investment levels overseas weaken.

    Non-manufacturers continue to struggle with labour shortages, although they have seen some benefit from high numbers of overseas visitors to Japan.

  • 2019-03-26 15:30


    By Yali N'Diaye

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - After reaching a record C$4.6 billion in December, the merchandise trade gap is expected to narrow to C$3.5 billion in January according to MNI survey of analysts.

    The goods balance has been in deficit for all of 2018, except for the month of July.

    --OIL PRICE REBOUND

    The 3.8% drop in exports in December was led by energy, as energy products sales abroad plunged 21.7%. The rebound in oil prices should unwind at least part of the December decline.

    --REFINERY IMPORTS SEEN DOWN

    Refined petroleum energy boosted imports in December due to maintenance and turnaround work as some Canadian refineries that increased demand for foreign petroleum products.

  • 2019-03-26 15:05


    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Signs that inflation expectations are drifting lower bear close watching as it both raises the risk of deflation and hurts the Fed's credibility, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Mary Daly said Tuesday.

    "While there is no sign today that the anchor has drifted down significantly, we are seeing signs that inflation expectations are edging lower," she said in remarks prepared for a business group in San Francisco.

    "We need to be vigilant on this front, and work to deliver 2 percent inflation on a sustained basis. The Federal Reserve's continued credibility with consumers and businesses depends on it."

    The Fed has yet to meet its 2% inflation target on a sustained basis, she said.

  • 2019-03-26 14:33


    --Repeating Story Initially Sent at 12:59 ET/16:59 GMT Tuesday

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The rise in the fed funds rate over another key rate could speed up a resumption of the expansion of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet, an economist at the Kansas City Fed said in an interview, after the Fed's benchmark breached the interest it pays on excess reserves for the first time last week.

    The effective funds rate could rise up to 10 basis points above IOER before balance sheet normalization concludes, Lee Smith told MNI, adding that the upward drift is a signal that reserves scarcity is beginning to bind.

  • 2019-03-26 02:31


    TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan's quarterly Tankan survey for March will show a drop in sentiment among many business sectors, hit by the slowing Chinese economy and heightened uncertainty over the global demand, with the caution set to remain in coming quarters economists forecast.

    The median economist forecast for the headline diffusion index (DI) for sentiment among major manufacturers is +14, down from +19 in December, with forecasts from eight economists ranging from +11 to +16.

    Companies, particularly major manufacturers, have been hit by falling exports as China slows and capital investment levels overseas weaken.

    Non-manufacturers continue to struggle with labour shortages, although they have seen some benefit from high numbers of overseas visitors to Japan.

  • 2019-03-25 20:31


    TOKYO (MNI) - Heighted downside risks to economic activity and prices prompted Bank of Japan board members to discuss the outlook for monetary policy, although they didn't see the need for imminent action, the summary of opinions from the March 14-15 policy meeting released Tuesday showed.

    A few policymakers emphasized the need of a policy mix stemming from monetary and fiscal policies to cope with an economic downturn.

    The BOJ board remains focused on the impact of the China's economic stimulus measures on Japan's exports and production.

    At the meeting, the BOJ left monetary policy unchanged, voting 7-2 to continue with yield curve control and the asset purchases, as Japan's economy is expanding moderately, despite heightened downside risks.

    The BOJ board mai

  • 2019-03-25 13:00


    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Federal Reserve does not have the appropriate tools to promote a low-carbon economy in the fight against global warming even as the effects of climate change on the U.S. economy merit study, a San Francisco Fed paper argued Monday.

    The Fed can neither fine tune its short-term interest rates to support wind farms nor can it use its balance sheet to buy low-carbon corporate bonds, the bank's executive vice president, Glenn Rudebusch, wrote in an Economic Letter.

    "Such 'green' quantitative easing is an option for some central banks but not for the Fed, which by law can only purchase government or government agency debt," he said.

  • 2019-03-25 02:03


    TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan's quarterly Tankan survey for March will show a drop in sentiment among many business sectors, hit by the slowing Chinese economy and heightened uncertainty over the global demand, with the caution set to remain in coming quarters economists forecast.

    The median economist forecast for the headline diffusion index (DI) for sentiment among major manufacturers is +14, down from +19 in December, with forecasts from eight economists ranging from +11 to +16.

    Companies, particularly major manufacturers, have been hit by falling exports as China slows and capital investment levels overseas weaken.

    Non-manufacturers continue to struggle with labour shortages, although they have seen some benefit from high numbers of overseas visitors to Japan.

  • 2019-03-22 14:18


    By Yali N'Diaye

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Pressure, both external and domestic, has intensified on the Bank of Canada to leave its policy rate unchanged through the end of this year, following the example of other central banks, specifically the Federal Reserve.

    On the domestic front, inflation remains well below the 2.0% target even as Statistics Canada reported Friday that total CPI ticked up to 1.5% year-over-year in February from 1.4% in January. Lower gasoline prices (-11.9% year-over-year) remained the top downward contributor, and CPI excluding gasoline rose 2.1% in February, the same pace as in January.

    However, the BOC's preferred measures of underlying inflation continued to show little sign of upward pressure.

  • 2019-03-22 10:12


    --Jan Wholesale Sales Up 0.5%; Inv/Sales Ratio Rises To 1.34
    --Business Sales Tracking +0.1%

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - January wholesale inventories increased by 1.2%, vs. +0.1% expected by both a Bloomberg consensus and an MNI survey of analysts, while wholesale sales were up 0.5% in the month, data released by the U.S. Commerce Department Friday showed.

    Retail trade sales, those excluding food services sales, were already reported up 0.2% in January's retail sales release, while factory shipments fell 0.4%, so an MNI calculation sees business sales tracking for a 0.1% gain.

    Factory inventories were already reported up 0.5%. Since advance retail inventories have not been released, MNI cannot calculate a preliminary estimate for business inventories.