Bangladesh’s economy still safe enough
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the country’s economy still remains vibrant and safe enough despite the entire world is going through an economic recession due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war, and sanctions.
“I can say that our economy is still vibrant and safe enough although the entire world is witnessing economic meltdown due to the Covid-19, Russia-Ukraine war, and sanctions,” she said.
The prime minister said her government is very much alert and active to overcome the global recession.
She said this while addressing a ceremony at the parade ground of the Bangladesh Air Force Academy here marking the President Parade (Winter)-2022.
The premier directed the newly-commissioned Bangladesh Air Force cadets to be responsive towards the country and its people while discharging their professional duties being imbued with patriotism, sincerity, and integrity.
China’s covid infections hit record as economic outlook darkens
China reported record high COVID-19 infections on Thursday, with cities nationwide imposing localised lockdowns, mass testing and other curbs that are fuelling frustration and darkening the outlook for the world’s second largest economy.
The resurgence of infections, nearly three years after the pandemic emerged in the central city of Wuhan, casts doubt on investor hopes for China to ease its rigid zero-COVID policy soon, despite recent more targeted measures.
The curbs are taking a toll on locked-down residents as well as output at factories, including the world’s biggest iPhone plant, which has been rocked by clashes between workers and security personnel in a rare show of dissent.
“How many people have the savings to support them if things continually stay halted?” asked a 40-year-old Beijing man surnamed Wang who is a manager at a foreign firm.
“And even if you have money to stay at home everyday, that’s not true living.”
The streets of Chaoyang, the capital’s most populous district, have been increasingly empty this week.
Sanlitun, a high-end shopping area, was nearly silent on Thursday but for the whirring of the e-bikes of delivery riders ferrying meals for those working from home.
Brokerage Nomura cut its China GDP forecast for the fourth quarter to 2.4 percent year-over-year from 2.8 percent, and cut its forecast for full-year growth to 2.8 percent from 2.9 percent, which is far short of China’s official target of about 5.5 percent this year.
India’s economy to grow up to 6.3pc in q2 of fy23: RBI
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) expects India’s economy to record growth between 6.1 percent and 6.3 percent for the second quarter of the financial year FY23. In its latest monthly bulletin, RBI stated that if these growth rates are realised then the country is on course for a growth rate of about 7 percent in 2022-23.
Giving an outlook for economic growth, RBI’s bulletin said, “based on high-frequency indicators, our nowcasting and full information models peg real GDP growth in Q2 between 6.1 percent and 6.3 percent.”
It added, “If this is realised, India is on course for a growth rate of about 7 percent in 2022-23.”
Highlighting Q3 performances, RBI’s bulletin added that “supply responses in the economy are gaining strength. The cumulative procurement of rice during this kharif marketing season has already crested last year’s collection. Although wheat procurement has declined quite sharply, the good news is that rabi sowing is up year-on-year backed up by good northeast monsoon rainfall and reservoir water storage levels.”
Further, RBI’s bulletin explained that Industrial production (IIP) shed the contraction in August and turned in positive momentum in September on a seasonally adjusted basis after a gap of two months. This is corroborated by the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for October. In the services sector, the PMI for October accelerated from a six-month low in September. The construction sector remains in expansion, and contact-intensive services, in particular, hospitality, travel and recreation, are experiencing explosive growth. Aggregate demand, on the other hand, is showing an uneven profile. While urban demand appears robust as the section on domestic developments profiles, rural demand which was muted, is gaining some strength recently.
Japan says economy picking up moderately
Japan’s government left the overall assessment of the nation’s economy unchanged in its monthly report for November, noting a moderate recovery but remaining cautious over risks from a global economic slowdown and financial market fluctuations.
The economic report from Japan’s Cabinet Office comes after data showed last week the economy unexpectedly shrank for the first time in a year in the third quarter, as sluggish global growth and import costs hurt consumption and business activity.
It also follows data showing that manufacturing activity in Japan contracted at the fastest pace in two years in November because of strong inflationary pressures.
“The economy is picking up moderately,” the government said on Thursday, using the same description it has in every monthly report since July.
The government would stay vigilant to the risks ahead, saying the global slowdown from monetary tightening could hurt Japan’s economy. It said again it needed to “pay full attention” to any economic impact from inflation, supply restrictions, and financial and capital market volatility.
The nation spent a record 6.35 trillion yen ($45.6 billion) on currency intervention last month as its currency plummeted to a 32-year low to the dollar , likely triggering authorities to step into the market.
Indonesia’s economy grows positively: OJK
Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) Mahendra Siregar stated that Indonesia’s economy is growing positively, but the government still needs to maintain it amid the global economic turmoil.
“We must be grateful for the growth that even reached a record of 5.72 percent in the third quarter. The lesson learnt that we can take is we must not let our guard down,” he said during the CEO Networking 2022 here on Thursday.
He said the lessons learnt referred to the bond rush in England, the bankruptcy of the FTX crypto exchange, and the default by Legoland in South Korea.
He said the risks in future can surface from anywhere.
Siregar said based on past experiences, systemic risks usually come from commercial and investment banks.
However, the risks that have arisen this year are not from the banking sector.
“First, the UK’s fiscal taxation policy that then caused an interest rate crisis and a crisis of confidence in its government bonds and then caused a bonds rush,” he noted.
“It was unimaginable before that the bonds rush would emerge from the fiscal policy, especially in developed countries,” he added.
Next is the bankruptcy of one of the largest crypto markets in the world, FTX, with its product FTT.
Issues of governance, transparency, and supervision are apparently not monitored by investors, venture capitalists, investment funds, or hedge funds that have such great names and reputations.
“We think such investors have done extraordinary due diligence. It turned out that someone invested up to three series in FTX, so all of them were lost. Imagine that,” Siregar noted.
Then, there is a bond of 205 billion won or US$144 million for the Legoland Korea project that was not paid on the maturity date of September 29, 2022.
Sri Lanka at brink of humanitarian crisis
The dramatic fuel shortages that accompanied mass protests in Sri Lanka earlier this year may have eased, but for millions of Sri Lankans the economic crisis is worse than ever.
This month, the United Nations renewed a humanitarian appeal, stating that 28 percent of the population faces food insecurity and that the poverty rate this year has doubled.
Food price inflation was over 85 percent in October, and acute shortages of foreign currency mean that many imports, including essential medicines, are scarce or unobtainable. Meanwhile, authorities have cracked down on peaceful protest. President Ranil Wickremasinghe has suppressed demonstrations and has used the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to detain student activists. Wickremasinghe has even warned that he will again declare a state of emergency and deploy security forces in the event of major protests.
Without respect for human rights, including the right to peacefully protest, Sri Lankans cannot hold politicians accountable, whether for mismanagement or corruption. It is essential that Sri Lanka’s international partners, including the United States and European Union, press the government to fulfill its human rights obligations as an essential step towards addressing the crisis.
Sri Lankan economists fear the economic situation could deteriorate rapidly without action by foreign creditors, placing the basic needs of millions of people in further jeopardy. To stabilize the economy, international creditors should agree to restructure Sri Lanka’s debt so the country can secure final approval for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan and financing from other global agencies.
In April, Sri Lanka defaulted on over US$50 billion in debts to international creditors, and in September it reached a staff-level agreement with the IMF for a four-year, $2.9 billion bailout. The first tranche of that bailout would ease the crippling shortage of foreign exchange and unlock access to other funding, including from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, which cannot provide new funding until the IMF agreement is completed.
Malaysia’s Anwar becomes prime minister
Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as prime minister on Thursday, capping a three-decade political journey from a protege of veteran leader Mahathir Mohamad to protest leader, a prisoner convicted of sodomy, and opposition leader.
His appointment ends five days of unprecedented post-election crisis, but could usher in a new instability with his rival, former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, challenging him to prove his majority in parliament.
Both men failed to win a majority in a Saturday election, but the constitutional monarch, King Al-Sultan Abdullah, appointed Anwar after speaking to several lawmakers.
Anwar takes over at a challenging time: the economy is slowing and the country is divided after a tight election that pitted Anwar’s progressive coalition against Muhyiddin’s mostly conservative ethnic-Malay, Muslim alliance.
Markets surged upon the end of the political deadlock. The ringgit currency posted its best day in two weeks and equities rose 3 percent.
Maldives named world’s leading destination at WTA awards
Maldives claimed the ultimate honour of ‘World’s Leading Destination’ with Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) taking the title of ‘World’s Leading Tourist Board’ at the World Travel Awards (WTA) Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2022 in Muscat, Oman.
The stars of the travel and hospitality industries aligned for a night to celebrate the welcome return of global tourism and to find out who amongst them had been voted the best in the world.
The awards for Maldives tourism came in as it celebrates 50th anniversary since first welcoming visitors to its shores.
Dubai took the title of ‘World’s Leading Business Travel Destination’, Abu Dhabi won ‘World’s Leading Sports Tourism Destination’ and Oman claimed top honours for ‘World’s Leading Nature Destination’.
‘World’s Leading City Destination’ went to Porto with the exciting title of ‘World’s Leading Emerging Tourism Destination’ being awarded to Batumi.
Vietnam also claimed the headlines winning five major honours. ‘World’s Leading City Break Destination’ went to Hanoi, ‘World’s Leading Nature Island Destination’ was presented to Phu Quoc, ‘World’s Leading Town Destination’ was won by Tam Đảo, ‘World’s Leading Regional Nature Destination’ was awarded to Moc Chau, with Vietnam winning ‘World’s Leading Heritage Destination’.