Tag: China

Can agency that brought us government cheese protect U.S. farmers from trade war fallout?
Welfare

Can agency that brought us government cheese protect U.S. farmers from trade war fallout?

A program that brought Americans government cheese four decades ago could get tapped to protect U.S. farmers if escalating tariff threats between the U.S. and China break out into a full-fledged trade war.
But U.S. lawmakers and experts question whether taxpayers would support spending billions of dollars through the Commodity Credit Corp. to purchase surplus food to support farmers.
President Trump has promised to protect U.S. farmers from the backlash of an escalating trade dispute with China, directing U.S. Ag Secretary Perdue earlier this month to use “his broad authority to implement a plan to protect American farmers and agriculture.”
More: China’s economic growth holds steady amid trade dispute with U.S., President Trump More: Trump China tariffs could hike prices for TVs, batteries by 23%, study shows Perdue has been tight-lipped about how he proposes to help farmers, saying he doesn’t want to give “away our playbook” to China.
While it might be best known for giving millions of pounds of cheese to Americans during the 1980s and 1990s, the Commodity Credit Corp. also buys and donates surplus food supplies to schools, food banks and countries struggling with hunger, said Chad Hart, an Iowa State University economist.
The agency, a government-owned corporation with $30 billion in bonding authority, makes loans and provides direct payments to farmers when prices for corn, soybeans, wheat and other products are low.
Soybeans and pork production, two areas in which Iowa is a national leader, would likely see some of the biggest hits with added Chinese tariffs. ‘It’s not getting any better’ Trump has proposed replacing a portion of the federal food stamp program with American Harvest Boxes containing food delivered to recipients’ front doors, similar to Blue Apron and other grocery services.
Ramping up the federal surplus food buyout program could help food banks in the short-run, said Michelle Book, Food Bank of Iowa’s CEO.
About 30 percent of the Food Bank’s food comes through the program, said Book, whose group supplies groceries to about 500 food banks and pantries in 55 counties.

The Trump Administration Is Waging War On The Poor
Unemployment

The Trump Administration Is Waging War On The Poor

The Trump administration seems to be engaged in all kinds of war these days.
But while these wars have dominated the headlines, there’s another war that’s gotten less attention: the war on poor people.
To many Americans, work requirements seem like a no-brainer.
Accordingly, 73 percent of Americans think it’s very important to work hard to get ahead in life while only 35 percent of Europeans think so.
This belief lies at the heart of the American dream, which says that if you work hard, you can achieve success no matter how much the deck is stacked against you.
If you’re lucky enough to be born into a rich family, you can inherit as much as $22 million tax free and never work a day in your life.
Work requirements add complexity by requiring “able-bodied” adults to work or participate in other approved activities, such as job training programs, for a certain number of hours per week in order to receive benefits.
Beyond administrative issues, there are two deeper problems with work requirements.
First, work requirements only make sense if everyone can get a job.
In Ohio, 75 percent of new Medicaid enrollees had an easier time searching for work after acquiring coverage, and 52 percent reported that coverage made it easier to work.

China hits US sorghum; Tesla’s pause; Goldman Sachs earnings
Unemployment

China hits US sorghum; Tesla’s pause; Goldman Sachs earnings

China steps up trade fight: China has slapped a huge charge on American imports of sorghum, accusing the United States of dumping the crop on its markets.
China is the largest buyer of American sorghum products.
It imported about $960 million worth last year, according to Chinese data.
Testing times for Tesla: Tesla announced Monday it had temporarily suspended production of its Model 3.
Blockbuster bank earnings: Goldman Sachs (GS) is set to report its earnings before the opening bell on Tuesday.
It’s been a strong earning season for the banks so far.
And the strong economy in the United States and abroad is adding to the momentum.
China powers ahead: China’s economy grew 6.8% in the first quarter of 2018, according to government data published Tuesday.
China’s government said last month that it’s aiming for economic growth of around 6.5% for the full year, lower than the 6.9% that it reported for 2017.
European markets were mostly higher, while markets in Asia ended the session mixed.

Can U.S. agency that brought us government cheese protect farmers from tariff fallout?
Welfare

Can U.S. agency that brought us government cheese protect farmers from tariff fallout?

But U.S. lawmakers and experts question whether taxpayers would support spending billions of dollars through the Commodity Credit Corp. to purchase surplus food to support farmers.
(Photo: Carrie Antlfinger, AP) President Trump has promised to protect U.S. farmers from the backlash of an escalating trade dispute with China, directing U.S. Ag Secretary Perdue earlier this month to use “his broad authority to implement a plan to protect American farmers and agriculture.”
Perdue has been tight-lipped about how he proposes to help farmers, saying he doesn’t want to give “away our playbook” to China.
While it might be best known for giving millions of pounds of cheese to Americans during the 1980s and 1990s, the Commodity Credit Corp. also buys and donates surplus food supplies to schools, food banks and countries struggling with hunger, said Chad Hart, an Iowa State University economist.
The agency, a government-owned corporation with $30 billion in bonding authority, makes loans and provides direct payments to farmers when prices for corn, soybeans, wheat and other products are low.
Soybeans and pork production, two areas in which Iowa is a national leader, would likely see some of the biggest hits with added Chinese tariffs.
The communist country has proposed tariffs on $50 billion in U.S. goods in response to proposed American tariffs on a similar amount of steel, aluminum, electronics and other goods.
Ramping up the federal surplus food buyout program could help food banks in the short-run, said Michelle Book, Food Bank of Iowa’s CEO.
About 30 percent of the Food Bank’s food comes through the program, said Book, whose group supplies groceries to about 500 food banks and pantries in 55 counties. “The Iowa economy really rolls with agriculture, whether you live in a rural area or a city.

China unveils urban survey unemployment rate
Unemployment

China unveils urban survey unemployment rate

BEIJING–China unveiled its official survey of unemployment reports, an addition to its list economic indicators that should help policy makers and analysts better gauge the state of the economy.
Starting this month, China will release its survey unemployment rate for large cities on a monthly basis, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday.
The national urban survey unemployment rate stood at 5.1% at the end of March, slightly higher than the 5.0% recorded for the first two months of the year, the statistics bureau said.
March’s rate shows that the country still faces large employment pressures, due to rising trade protectionism and uncertainties about the global economy, said Ning Jizhe, head of the statistics bureau.
Still, the door-to-door surveys, based on a sample of about 120,000 households, indicate that the country’s unemployment rate is below a global average rate of about 5.7%, Mr. Ning said in a statement.
The survey unemployment rate has been hovering around 5% in recent years, with variations across different regions of the country, according to sporadic releases of survey results.
The unemployment rate in northeastern Liaoning province rose above 7% when it was in recession in 2016, officials have said.
Critics of China’s employment data have pointed out that the country’s unemployment data tend to be underestimated due to hidden unemployment, especially at state-owned companies.
Write to Liyan Qi at liyan.qi@wsj.com

The Australian dollar is edging higher ahead of China’s latest economic report card
Unemployment

The Australian dollar is edging higher ahead of China’s latest economic report card

There’s also major economic data on the way from the UK and US, along with several speeches from US FOMC members.
The Australian dollar rose against the greenback on Monday, underpinned by remarks from Donald Trump that imply he is comfortable with further US dollar weakness.
Here’s the scoreboard as at 7am in Sydney.
“The report found that no major US trading partner met all three of the criteria to be considered a currency manipulator.” The tweet helped to push the AUD/USD back towards the 78 cent level, an area it failed to break above late on Friday.
Turning to the day ahead, the movements in the Aussie look set to be dominated by the release of major economic data from China, headlined by Q1 GDP.
China will also release urban fixed asset investment, retail sales and industrial output figures for March alongside the GDP report.
In the past, these figures have tended to have more influence on the Aussie dollar than the GDP report.
Before that event arrives, markets will also receive the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) April monetary policy meeting at 11.30am AEST.
So the main inference is that monetary policy will also evolve gradually.” Outside of those events, Japan will also release industrial production figures for February in the latter half of the Asian session.
Later in the day, data highlights include UK unemployment, Italian inflation, German investor confidence along with housing starts, building approvals and industrial production figures from the United States.

Why China’s Yuan, not the Euro, could become the dominant global currency
Unemployment

Why China’s Yuan, not the Euro, could become the dominant global currency

David talked about why the Euro hasn’t challenged the Dollar as an international currency, despite being used by more people than the American currency.
So surely that should mean that the Euro becomes a dominant currency, right?
After all, both trading blocks are made up of very big spenders indeed.
What we have seen is the Euro when it was launched, was launched as a currency that represented a very disparate range of countries with very different fortunes.
That meant because you had to have one interest rate to represent all those countries what you saw was their economies doing wildly different things.
You had an interest rate that was set to suit the economies largely of the largest countries like Germany and France.
In fact, many central bankers when the Euro was launched around the turn of the millennium did express openly their concerns that this could threaten the Dollar’s position.
Will the Euro last?
It has lasted so far and it has been through a pretty major test over the last decade.
If you look at the what happened with the financial crisis If you look at the what happened with Greece, in particular, and the way Germany and the richer neighbours had to turn around and say “Well, what are we going to do about this crisis?”

Economy adds 103K jobs in March
Unemployment

Economy adds 103K jobs in March

The U.S. economy added 103,000 jobs in March, well below expectations, as President Trump’s calls for billions in tariffs on imports raise concerns about their effects on the nation’s steady expansion.
The unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent for the sixth straight month, the lowest level since December 2000, when it was 3.9 percent, the Labor Department reported on Friday.
Expectations were for a March gain of about 195,000 jobs.
January’s employment was lowered to 176,000 from 239,000 while February’s figure was better than initially reported — up to 326,000, the fastest pace since October 2015, from 313,000.
In March, average hourly earnings rose 8 cents to $26.82 and were up 2.7 percent for the year, which Furman called “decent.” Job gains averaged 202,000 over the past three months, down from a 242,000 average in the previous estimates, which is enough to get workers off the sidelines and into the labor market.
Employers have added jobs for 90 straight months, and the economic expansion, which began in June 2009, is now in its 106th month, tying it for the second-longest expansion in U.S. economic history.
Employment in mining increased by 9,000 last month.
Retail employment fell by 4,000 and construction, which posted a robust 65,000 gain in February, shed 15,000 jobs last month.
Diane Swonk, chief economist with Grant Thornton, blamed “wacky March weather” on the lower-than-expected jobs report last month.
Overall, Berson said, expectations for payroll growth remain solid and modestly above what is likely sustainable over the longer run for the economy.

Opinion: In this Goldilocks economy, you’ll want to own stocks
Unemployment

Opinion: In this Goldilocks economy, you’ll want to own stocks

After the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.82% and the S&P 500 Index SPX, +1.62% scaled all-time highs Jan. 26 (the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +1.89% topped out March 12), we entered a new era of volatility.
And with all the geopolitical uncertainty — from a threatened trade war with China to the promising but risky dialogue with North Korea to the dangerous conflict in Syria — some investors have started worrying this nine-year-old bull has topped out and a new bear market in stocks already has begun.
The big daily (and hourly) point swings mask the fact that by the new April 2 closing lows, the Dow had fallen a mere 11% and the S&P 500 only 10% from its record high.
Although there’s lots to worry about, there are also some fundamental and technical reasons not to throw in the towel on this bull market just yet.
Earnings are good and the economy remains strong.
Companies in the S&P 500 are expected to report annual earnings per share growth of 17% for the first quarter.
Sales growth is much less amenable to corporate spinning than earnings per share.
It reflects a truly strong economy with GDP growth in the high 2% range, 4.1% unemployment, and job increases of around 200,000 a month so far this year.
Inflation remains subdued and interest rates aren’t headed much higher.
The Dow would have to plunge all the way to 21,293 and the S&P 500 to 2,300 before they reached the 20% decline that officially determines bear markets.

Evanoff | What do Trump and Sharpton have in common? Populism
Welfare

Evanoff | What do Trump and Sharpton have in common? Populism

What do Trump and trade have to do with Sharpton, a New York activist who observed the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death?
When King was killed in April 1968, Memphis was an industrial city.
From the Schlitz brewery to the Old Spice deodorant plant to the Firestone tire line, factories paid good wages.
In 1968, nearly 900 plants employed 60,200 workers and paid $123 per week on average.
These days, about 45,000 people throughout the nine counties of metropolitan Memphis are employed in nearly 800 factories.
Assemblers, the most common manufacturing job tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, earn about $600 per week, or 30 percent below the $865 in buying power afforded the typical factory worker on the day MLK died.
There’s a reason activists aim at the fast-food industry.
We’re talking about people living in Memphis.
In the last decade, about 200 small factories closed within Memphis’ city limits, costing 9,000 jobs, while across the Mississippi state line, DeSoto County harbors 37,000 manufacturing jobs, almost twice as many as in the big city of 653,000 population to its north.
No one talked about those old backbone industrial jobs, whose disappearance accelerated the splintering of American society.