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U.K. Construction Slumps Following Weak Manufacturing Data

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Construction

U.K. construction further plunged the economy after weak manufacturing purchasing managers’ index showed on Tuesday production contracted last month and confidence fell amid brexit decision.

Construction index expanded 52 in April but below 54.1 forecast by experts, this marked the weakest pace in almost three years, according to Markit Economics.

This raised concern that the June 23 referendum is holding back growth as investors are in doubt of the possible out-come, especially with divided politicians.

“The first quarter slowdown is unlikely to prove temporary,” said Tim Moore, an economist at Markit in London. Weaker growth and EU uncertainty “appear to have provided reasons for clients to delay major spending decisions until the fog has lifted.”

Manufacturing purchasing manager dropped to 49.2 in April from 50.7 recorded in March, while economists surveyed forecasted 51.3.

The pound has since lost 80 percent of its last week gains against the dollar to trade at 1.4560.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

Food Inflation Hits Record High of 19.56 Percent in December 2020

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Inflation

Food Inflation Hits Record High of 19.56 Percent in December 2020

Food Index, which measures prices of food items, grew by 19.56 percent in the month of December 2020 amid herdsmen attacks and flooding.

In the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), increases were recorded on Bread and cereals, Potatoes, Yam and other
tubers, Meat, Fruits, Vegetable, Fish and Oils and fats.

On month on monthly basis, the food sub-index rose by 2.05 percent in December 2020, 0.01 percent from 2.04 percent recorded in November 2020.

The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending December 2020 over the previous twelve-month average was 16.17 percent, 0.42 percent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in November 2020 (15.75) percent” the report stated.

Headline inflation number increased by 15.75 percent in the month of December 2020, up from 14.89 percent.

The report noted that increases were recorded in all COICOP divisions that yielded the Headline index.

On a month-on-month basis, “the urban index rose by 1.65 percent in December 2020, same as the rate recorded in November 2020, while the rural index also rose by 1.58 percent in December 2020, up by 0.02 percent above the rate that was recorded in November 2020 (1.56 percent).

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Economy

Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Rises to 15.75 Percent in December

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inflation

Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Rises to 15.75 Percent in December

Inflation rate in Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, rose at the fastest pace in several months in the last month of 2020, according to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation rate, increased by 15.75 percent year-on-year in December 2020, representing a 0.86 percent increment from the 14.89 percent attained in November.

On a monthly basis, headline inflation rose by 1.61 percent in the month of December, representing 0.01 percent increase from the 1,60 percent posted in the month of November.

Food gauge that measures prices of items in Africa’s largest economy increased by 19.56 percent in December from 18.30 percent in November.

NBS attributed the increase to the surge in prices of Bread and cereals, Potatoes, Yam and other tubers, Meat, Fruits, Vegetable, Fish and Oils and fats.

On a monthly basis, the food sub-index grew by 2.05 percent in December 2020, an increase of 0.01 percent points from 2.04 percent recorded in November 2020.

The more stable annual rate showed Food sub-index over the last 12 months increased by 0.42 percent points from 15.75 percent in November to 16.17 percent in December.

Herdsmen attacks, the rising cost of fuel, flooding and the wide exchange rate are some of the key factors impacting the cost of food items in Nigeria, especially in December when demands were the highest.

Still lack of enough fiscal buffer to cushion the effect of COVID-19 and ease forex scarcity also drag on raw materials necessary for the production of some import-dependent items.

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Economy

Joe Biden on Thursday Unveiled $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Package

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Joe Biden on Thursday Unveiled $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Package

President-elect, Joe Biden, on Thursday revealed more details of his $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package for households and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

In the proposal called the American Rescue Plan, several stimulus measures were detailed in the hope it would mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on families and businesses.

Below are the highlights of the Rescue Plan

  • Direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans, bringing the total relief to $2,000, including December’s $600 payments
  • Increasing the federal, per-week unemployment benefit to $400 and extending it through the end of September
  • Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour
  • Extending the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until the end of September
  • $350 billion in state and local government aid
  • $170 billion for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education
  • $50 billion toward Covid-19 testing
  • $20 billion toward a national vaccine program in partnership with states, localities and tribes
  • Making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable for the year and increasing the credit to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for a child under age 6).

Speaking on Thursday, Joe Biden, said “Tonight, I lay out my first step, the American Rescue Plan that will tackle the pandemic and get direct financial assistance and relief to Americans who need it the most.

Next month, in my first appearance before a joint session of Congress I will lay out my ‘build back better’ recovery plan,” Biden said. “It will make historic investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, innovation, and research and development in clean energy.”

Our ‘rescue and recovery’ plan is a path forward with both serious of purpose and a clear plan, with transparency and accountability, with a call for unity that is equally necessary,” he said.

It’s not hard to see that we’re in the middle of a once-in-several-generations economic crisis with a once-in-several-generations public health crisis. A crisis of deep human suffering is in plain sight and there’s no time to waste,” Biden said. “We have to act, and we have to act now.”

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