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Global economic giants worse inflation and forecast recession, Australia included

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Australia, October 29, 2022 – One of the top twenty economies in the world, Australia has the 9th highest GDP per capita in the world but even that healthy economy is feeling the pinch of Covid-19 and the Russian invasion with energy prices reaching shocking levels.

September inflation sits at 7.3 percent, a 32-year high.

The main culprit was the country’s rising energy prices.  And still consumers’ energy bills in the country are set to increase by more than 56 percent in the coming months and 150 thousand people will possibly be laid off, according to reports from 9 News Australia.

The Government is scrambling to put measures in place to soften the hard transition with extensions on paid parental leave, cheaper childcare, minimum wage increase and cheaper medication, but the prognosis hasn’t improved.

In light of the massive increase in energy bills, the Government is demanding that The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission asses the code of conduct for the gas industry and reassess the agreements that govern reasonable pricing for consumers, according to the Guardian.

With the decrease in oil production sanctioned by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the last month, things could get worse for the country.

Six of the largest economies globally are facing tough times as well.  Japan barely avoided a recession this quarter, China is experiencing a slowdown but remains above water, Germany is headed for recession this winter, the U.S. is projected to be in recession in the next 12 months, Canada is expected to tip into a ‘modest recession’ this quarter and Brazil is expected to fall into its deepest recession on record.

Finance

After Thanksgiving, its Black Friday & Cyber Monday shopping which this year should see $158 Billion in spending

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

November 25, 2022 – Every year, after a day Thanksgiving holiday,  shops in the US both on line and on the corner slash their prices and residents flock to sites and malls to snatch up all the savings.  This year is no different and though the tradition originated in America, it has spread across the hemisphere with Caribbean businesses picking up the trend as well.

In addition to savings from local store owners, with the advent of online shopping, US marketed Black Friday  deals aren’t just limited to their home countries.  Residents across the Caribbean will be able to shore up on everyday goods, electronics, and Christmas presents offered from major retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Target and many others.

Some deals presented themselves earlier that Thursday and will last until 12 pm Friday.  But if you miss the sales don’t worry Cyber Monday, the biggest shopping day of the year is coming up just two days after.

Started back in 2005, it was founded by the National Retail Federation for online-only sales and deals to combat the long lines and crowds of Black Friday and dethroned the traditional Friday as the largest shopping event. If you want the in store experience, Friday is your chance but for those who shop online the two are hardly distinguishable.

Experts at business insider say tech deals are better on Cyber Monday but only slightly so if you’re worried about something selling out, it might be best to pick it up on Friday.

It is also worth noting that over the years, even the Saturday in between has taken shape to promote smaller stores.  This shopping day is dubbed: Small Business Saturday and it ensure that the mom and pop or boutique-styled stores are not forgotten in the spending frenzy.

It is estimated that Americans will do 50 per cent of their shopping this holiday weekend; spending some $158 Billion.

Happy shopping!

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Caribbean News

Jamaican Investors Can Now Access Shares Traded on The Dutch Caribbean Securities Exchange

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#Kingston, November 24, 2022 – Jamaican investors are now able to acquire shares in entities listed on the Dutch Caribbean Securities Exchange (DCSX).

This, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), facilitating the arrangement between the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and the DCSX.

The MOU was signed during a Bell-Ringing Ceremony at the JSE in Kingston on Tuesday (November 22).

The partnership will also enable the cross-listing of companies on both exchanges and facilitate greater educational training, via the JSE e-Campus, and leveraging of online trading platforms.

In his remarks, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, welcomed the arrangement, describing it as one which supports Jamaica’s economy, which, he pointed out, grew by 8.2 per cent in 2021.

Senator Hill, who noted that the Companies Office of Jamaica registered 4,570 new companies and 13,432 business names since January, said this indicated that “business confidence is high, up to 18.3 points [in] September”.

“We’re seeing [that] that’s the highest [out-turn recorded] in about 20 years,” he added.

Meanwhile, Managing Director of the JSE Group, Dr. Marlene Street Forrest, said the MOU allows local investors a “foot into [the] European [markets]”, adding that “[the] DCSX will also have a foot into Jamaica and the other Caribbean islands”.

“The strength of this relationship is the fact that if our smaller exchanges combine externally, it will be seen as a force and people will see it as a place to invest. When you’re smaller, it’s harder to attract capital inflow [and] foreign direct investments. So, joining together with other exchanges in the region is really the way to go,” she said.

For his part, Managing Director of DCSX, Dirk-Jan de Graaff, said focus will be placed on furthering the Exchange’s linkages with international partners, noting that their collaborations have, so far, afforded them access to markets in Latin and South America.

He added that “via our European partnerships, we try to connect Dutch and European capital, not only to our local community but also to our international partners”.

To this end, Mr. de Graff advised that “we are intensifying relationships with other countries in the region [as well as] Colombia, Brazil, and Suriname [among others]”.

 

Contact: Chanel Spence

Release: JIS

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Bahamas News

Bahamas Ministry of Finance:  S&P Global Ratings Affirms The Bahamas’ B+ Sovereign Credit Rating

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The Outlook Remains Stable as Government Executes its Fiscal Strategy

 

#TheBahamas, November 24, 2022 – On November 22, 2022, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its ‘B+’ long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The outlook remains stable.

The basis of the rating is the improvement in the Bahamian economy driven by growth in tourism. S&P advises that higher government revenues and lower social spending has led to lower deficits and slowing in the growth of government debt. S&P expects this to continue into 2024.

The government remains committed to putting the country on a sustainable path to fiscal consolidation. Performance in the past fiscal year, 2022, and in the first quarter of this fiscal year, 2023, provides ample evidence of this. Fiscal 2022 saw deficits fall to 6% of GDP from 13.7% of GDP in fiscal 2021, and Q1 of 2023 saw the narrowing of the fiscal deficit to $20.6 million, a $115.8 million decrease from the deficit of $136.4 million experienced in the year prior.

The market has taken note of these improvements and has rewarded the country with improving bond yields. The Ministry continues to work assiduously to execute on its borrowing plan to mitigate against the impact of elevated external costs.

The plan has identified the local market and multi-laterals as major sources of financing during this period. This, in combination with lower gross financing needs, has eliminated the need to go to the overseas bond markets in the near to medium term and therefore serves to reduce the need for foreign exchange to service debt.

We continue to believe that as we execute the strategy outlined in our fiscal strategy report and our borrowing plan, there will be improvements in debt affordability and fiscal consolidation which will put upward pressure on our ratings.

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