News links for 20 Feb 2014
According to official estimates Argentine unemployment was 6.4% in Q4 2013, down from 6.9% a year ago. The article here goes into great detail about participation rates and unemployment in specific regions. Nonetheless, these figures cannot be believed because unemployment is one area beyond inflation where the government’s figures are suspect. Moreover, unemployment is increasing according to private estimates.
Subsidies in Argentina increased 34% last year to 134 billion pesos. The government is now reviewing whether to cut these transport nd energy subsidies as the country is in crisis and foreign reserves are dwindling.
Business, energy and transport subsidies were a record amount last year in Argentina. These will be reduced going forward I predict.
“Since announcing plans to drill for oil under Yasuni, Ecuador has vowed the national park will be left ‘99.9% intact’. But this promise is not being reflected on the ground”
“The PMI’s employment sub-index fell for a fourth straight month to 46.9, its lowest point since February 2009, during the global financial crisis.”
“At least 21 civilians were killed in fresh fighting in Kiev on Thursday, shattering an overnight truce declared by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, and a presidential statement said dozens of police were also dead or wounded.”
“The devaluation of Kazakhstan’s rouble-shadowing tenge has left investors wondering which other closely managed emerging market currencies might be next, with those of commodity exporters like Nigeria and Angola in the spotlight.”
“Wages are still failing to keep up with the rising cost of living despite climbing at a faster rate in the final quarter of last year. Average weekly pay including bonuses edged up 1.1pc to £478 in the three months to the end of December, up from the 0.9pc rate of increase in the three months to the end of November, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. However, the Government’s preferred inflation measure, the consumer prices index (CPI), currently stands at 1.9pc – below the 2pc target – despite a surprise 0.1 point fall on Tuesday. “
Real wages in Germany declined in 2013. This is the first time since 2009. Also note that GDP growth in Germany was, at 0.4%, the lowest since 2009. I don’t think that is a coincidence.