Economy News - part 8

Washington Governor Wants More Funds for Aerospace Training

Washington Governor Wants More Funds for Aerospace Training

ECONOMY

  • Washington Governor Chris Gregoire wants $3 million in federal Workforce Investment Act funds to go to aerospace training programs
  • Gregoire hopes training will benefit 228,000 jobless in Washington
  • Boeing plans to add thousands of new workers in next few years

Governor Chris Gregoire of Washington wants to use $3 million in federal funds to go toward aerospace training in her state. Using the Workforce Investment Act funds, Governor Gregoire wants to re-train 500 workers and lead to the hiring of many more by encouraging education in aerospace technology and engineering.

Governor Gregoire has discretion over how to use 10% of the state's Workforce Investment Act money. This will be the first time she has ever used all of her discretionary money in one industry.

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China's Inflationary Pressure Begins to Ease

China's Inflationary Pressure Begins to Ease

ECONOMY

  • China's inflation rate has fallen from a three-year high of 5.4% in March to 5.3% in April
  • Chinese interest rates could be slashed over the course of the year
  • Calming of China's monetary policy will be noticeable in the final quarter

China's expansionary monetary policy has been the primary cause behind recent price hikes. Food prices in particular have been a main contributor to the nation's high inflation.

In March, China's annual inflation rate was at a three-year high of 5.4%. Last month's inflation rate dropped slightly, clocking in at 5.3%. The National Bureau of Statistics has stated that factory output has fallen more than 1% below the March figure and is significantly lower than economists' calculations. In April, anger over rising fuel prices led to three days of protests in Shanghai.

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Daily Chinese Steel Output Reaches Record in April

Daily Chinese Steel Output Reaches Record in April

ECONOMY

  • Daily steel output hit nearly 2 million tons in April 2011; over 2.6% above March
  • Strong demand fueled by infrastructure construction, low-cost housing and Japan's need for imported steel
  • Power shortages may interrupt steel production during summer, decreasing output and profit

In April, China's monthly steel output was quoted at a little over 59 million tons. Although monthly output is slightly down, China's daily steel output reached nearly 2 million tons last month, which is 2.6% above the daily figure for March.

Earlier this month, CISA, or the China Iron & Steel Association, posted slightly lower figures, but the trend is still prevalent: the steel industry in China has experienced steady growth over the year.

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Is China's Trade Surplus Rebalancing?

Is China's Trade Surplus Rebalancing?

ECONOMY

  • China's trade surplus was $11.4 billion last month, four times higher than predicted
  • China eases stringent trade rules to open doors for more US exports
  • Appreciation of Yuan has helped close trade gap while relaxing inflationary pressure

China's trade surplus was $11.4 billion last month, four times the expected amount of $3 billion. In March, China's reported trade surplus was $140 million.

While Chinese exports grew to almost 30% from last year, imports have declined to roughly 22%. US exporters believe that the undervalued Chinese currency is to blame for such a significant trade gap. Although the Chinese are already appreciating the Yuan, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wants China to raise the value of the currency at a much faster rate.

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Asian Grain Production Falls

Asian Grain Production Falls

ECONOMY

  • Grain shortage in Asia due to inclement weather
  • About 110,000 thousand hectares of grain were planted in 2010 in China, a 0.8% increase  

The grain market in China is expected to decline due to erratic weather changes. Cold temperatures have resulted in freezes that have affected the wheat.

There is at least half as less wheat produced than grown in previous years. The lack of rain in some of the areas where wheat is primarily grown has resulted in nearly a 100% reduction of precipitation compared to previous seasons, according to reseach by Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultants. Dry weather caused a detrimental shortage in wheat during the winter months of 2010.

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Update Q1 2011: Asia Trading and Agribusiness Report

Update Q1 2011: Asia Trading and Agribusiness Report

ECONOMY

  • Trade between China and the UAE is valued at $120 billion
  • Ceylon Tea Industry is valued at $1.5 billion
  • Producers are seeking to protect Alishan Tea from copies

Asia trading and agribusiness is going strong for first quarter 2011. Read the latest key updates below.

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Five Hydroelectric Dams Confirmed For Chile

Five Hydroelectric Dams Confirmed For Chile

ECONOMY

  • Approval to build 5 dams in Patagonia prompts protests from thousands
  • Energy giants Matte and Endesa are behind the dam construction; they manage 70% of electricity in Chile
  • Dams, if built, will take up over 14,000 acres of wilderness in Chile

The construction approval for 5 hydroelectric dams to power local mining companies has sparked nationwide protests in Chile. Marking the largest public outcry Chile has seen in over a decade, more than 80,000 protesters took to the streets of Santiago, with another 50,000 protesting in Valparaiso and thousands more in another 26 cities around the country.

The upset stems from the ongoing battle between parties who strive for the preservation of Chile’s natural environment and others who want to advance local infrastructure. Although the dams will help the area meet increased electricity demands, environmental organizations and citizens feel that they were not a part of the decision-making process – getting neither the chance to approve or improve the project.

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International Tourism Upswing Good News for Industry, World Economy

International Tourism Upswing Good News for Industry, World Economy

ECONOMY

  • International tourist arrivals had strongest growth in April at 6%
  • South America, South Asia and Southeast Asia had double-digit growth
  • Slow average growth in North and Central America
  • Middle East and North Africa only regions to see negative growth

The fact that global tourism continues its upward climb is more than just good news for the visitor industry: it is continuing good news for the world economy. “Global tourism continues to consolidate the recovery of 2010 despite the impact of recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the tragic events in Japan, which are temporarily affecting travel flows to these regions,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

International tourist arrivals grew by 4.5% in the first four months of 2011, “despite new challenges emerging since the beginning of the year,” said the latest issue of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

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India to Boost Renewable Energy Capacity by 2017

India to Boost Renewable Energy Capacity by 2017

ECONOMY

  • India capable of producing 20 GW of renewable energy
  • India to increase renewable energy capacity by 17 GW from 2012-2017 at the cost of $34 billion
  • 40% of India’s power consumption comes from coal, 24% from oil

India has stepped up its green focus with plans to increase renewable energy capacity levels by 17 gig watts by 2017, a government spokesperson reported. Renewable energy secretary P. Uma Shankar reported that the ambitious 5-Year Plan would cost almost $34 billion.

Between 1994 and 2007, India’s carbon footprint increased by over 50%, with around 40% of energy consumption coming from coal and 24% from oil, according to the International Energy Agency. It is among the top-five greenhouse gas polluters in the world.

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US Corporation for Public Broadcasting Aims to Up US Graduation Rate

US Corporation for Public Broadcasting Aims to Up US Graduation Rate

ECONOMY

  • US Corporation for Public Broadcasting launches $4.4 million project to raise national graduation rate
  • TV star America Ferrera enlisted to promote initiative
  • Around 70% of students graduated in 2010, according to research group Gallup

The United States Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has launched a new initiative to lift high school graduation rates throughout the country.

In 2010, only around 70% of US high school students graduated, and among African American and Hispanic students, the figure dropped to under 60%, according to a survey conducted by news and research group Gallup.

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