Investing and Global Finance News

Monthly Archives: April 2011

Slow Growth for UK Economy

According to today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK economy only grew by 0.5 percent between January and March 2011. But apparently this wasn’t too much of a surprise and is pretty similar to what happened during 2010’s last quarter, which was blamed on poor weather conditions. But in terms of this quarter, there was also a nearly 5 percent drop in construction which is the largest depletion since the first quarter of 2009 which was explained due to the country’s recession at the time.

Good News for UK

However, in spite of all this not-so-good news, it is pretty impressive that Britain’s economy has managed to “avoid a double-dip recession.” Still, the country has to watch out since just estimates from yesterday indicated that the GDP figures are only “the first of three and the figures could be revised up or down in the coming months.” This is also because we only have access to 40 percent – less than half – of the data. But still, what we know today will probably lead to a maintenance of these historically low interest rates by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

Further, there has been some good news for those working in mortgages. The BBA (British Bankers’ Association) pointed out the slight escalation in the amount of mortgages gaining bank approval (around a thousand more than last month’s figures). Still, you have to look at what’s been going on during other times too to get a real picture. For example, last year in March, mortgage approvals were significantly higher – 10 percent in fact. So even though things do “look” a little better for now, the reality is that they’re not that great if you look at what was happening a year ago.

Housing Hell?

In addition, figures we’re looking at today don’t make it look like the housing market is going to be doing any major uplifts in the near future. Because of “economic uncertainty and ongoing mortgage restrictions” there are definite issues that have to be dealt with.
So while there is some kind of optimism in the UK’s housing market, there is clearly still some cause for concern. Britain still has a way to go to get back to figures for this time last year but there is definitely hope that it’s on its way.

Diminishing Dollar Depreciates

More bad news about the dollar. Just today it has depreciated further to “three-year lows.” This has resulted in US crude oil jumping to a 2 ½ year high and rising Asian stocks “as investors bet that the easy U.S. monetary policy will continue to drive money to riskier assets.” It is anticipated that the… Continue Reading

Mysteries of Malta

      Surprising Maltese Status   It might be somewhat of a shock to those not-in-the-know that Malta – a tiny portion of land found in the Mediterranean Sea measuring approximately 300 sq km – is pretty big when it comes to economic and welfare aspirations and successes.  Yet apart from its somewhat modest… Continue Reading

2012 US Budget Plan: Good or Bad News?

Republicans United on Budget Plan The House of Representatives agreed on a budget plan last week (at a vote of 235-193) for 2012 which will involve “slashing trillions of dollars in government spending while cutting taxes.” This looks like it’s fantastic news, but since there is no such thing as a free lunch, who is… Continue Reading

Doom and Gloom Ahead for Global Economy?

Things aren’t looking good again. We keep hearing about the global economic crisis but were hoping that the recovery from it was well underway. Unfortunately, when looking at the stats, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Oil prices are increasing, sovereign debt burdens are becoming unsustainable and along with lack of certainty vis-à-vis the… Continue Reading

Economic Health Track

Preventive Global Economic Crisis Measures It was bad enough that we had to endure the worst global economic crisis since the Second World War, but what would be even worse would be not learning from it. So what can be done today? Measures need to be taken now to ensure a continual “tracking of economic… Continue Reading

America Stocks and Shares in Flux

Alcoa Inc. Up and Down US Stock traders might want to think twice before acting following the International Monetary Fund’s estimate slash for US economic growth. This led to a general plummet in stocks – such as Alcoa Inc. – yesterday at closing. However, the company did have some good news having a first quarter… Continue Reading

South Korea’s Global Potential

For best results, merge. It seems that the chair of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (Kim Seok-dong) is considering the merger of two securities companies, Daewoo Securities and Woori Investment & Securities (no. 2 and 3 investment banks by market capitalization). Hopefully this would lead to the creation of a “giant with global potential.” This… Continue Reading

IMF on World Economic Recovery

Banking Rules Insufficient Financial leaders who have recently signed on new banking rules may be counting their chickens before they’ve hatched. According to the IMF, such rules are not going to be able to help vis-à-vis the global financial crisis. So what is the solution? The IMF is setting out “new tools” through which to… Continue Reading