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Euro-Area Economic Confidence Rises

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Operations Inside ThyssenKrupp Escalator Factory in Hamburg

Euro-area economic confidence rose for a second month in May as the European Central Bank prepares to present updated economic projections that could provide further clues about the impact of its stimulus program.

An index of executive and consumer sentiment increased to 104.7 from a revised 104.0 in April, the European Commission in Brussels said on Monday. That’s the highest level in four months and compares to a median estimate for an increase to 104.4 in a Bloomberg News survey of economists.

ECB officials meeting in Vienna on Thursday are expected to keep their ultra-loose policy unchanged again after they expanded quantitative easing by a third to 80 billion euros ($89 billion) in March and cut the deposit rate further below zero. Vice President Vitor Constancio said last week that he’s optimistic the ECB will reach its inflation goal by 2018, reflecting the upgraded stimulus and rising oil prices.

“We expect both the inflation and growth projections to be revised upward; that’s going to be the focus in this week’s meeting,” said Johannes Gareis, an economist at Natixis in Frankfurt. “The ECB will stress the importance of QE now that you can actually see some positive effects in the data.”

Eurostat will say on Tuesday that the inflation rate rose to minus 0.1 percent in May from minus 0.2 percent the previous month, and unemployment was unchanged at 10.2 percent in April, according to separate Bloomberg surveys.

Sentiment among consumers rose to minus 7.0 from minus 9.3 the previous month, according to Monday’s report. Confidence in retailing and construction improved as well, while a measure for industry remained unchanged and a gauge for services declined.

In March, the ECB forecast euro-area growth of 1.4 percent this year, 1.7 percent in 2017 and 1.8 percent in 2018, with inflation of 0.1 percent, 1.3 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. Asked in a Bloomberg Television interview whether he thinks consumer prices will rise faster in two years than currently predicted, Constancio said he “certainly personally expects” so.

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

Egypt Leads Nigeria, South Africa in Foreign Direct Investment

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Egypt Leads Nigeria, South Africa in Foreign Direct Investment

The United Nations Trade Association has Nigeria recorded a total of $2.6 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2020, below the $3.3 billion posted in the preceeding year.

South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised nation, reported $2.5 billion during the same year, slightly below Africa’s largest economy and 50 percent below the $4.6 billion attracted a year earlier.

The report also noted that Africa recorded a total of $38 billion FDI in the same year, representing a 18 percent decline from the $46 billion posted in the corresponding year of 2019.

However, Egypt led Nigeria and South Africa with $5.5 billion FDI, an increase of 38 percent from the preceeding year.

The report read in part, “FDI flows to Africa declined by 18% to an estimated $38 billion, from $46 billion in 2019. Greenfield project announcements, an indication of future FDI trends, fell 63% to $28 billion, from $77 billion in 2019. The pandemic’s negative impact on FDI was amplified by low prices of and low demand for commodities.

UNCTAD also noted that global foreign direct investment declined by 42 percent to an estimated $859 billion, down from $1.5 trillion in 2019.

The decline was concentrated in developed countries, where FDI flows fell by 69 percent to an estimated $229 billion. Flows to Europe dried up completely to -4 billion (including large negative flows in several countries). A sharp decrease was also recorded in the United States (-49%) to $134 billion.

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FG to Partly Fund Six Rail Projects Connecting All Regions

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FG to Partly Fund Six Rail Projects Connecting All Regions

The Federal Government will pay a total sum of N71 billion to partly fund six rail projects connecting all regions of the country.

In the report obtained from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the six rail projects marked for development this year are Lagos-Kano rail line (ongoing), Calabar-Lagos (ongoing), and Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Aladja (Warri).

Others are the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway, the new Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi line in Niger Republic and the Abuja-Itakpe and Aladja-Warri Port and refinery/Warri new harbour.

The Buhari administration will also spend N15.1 billion on the development of safety and security of critical projects, airport certification, runway construction, terminal building, among others in the aviation sector in 2021.

Last week, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, said the Lagos-Kano line would be connected from the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan railway and would cost $5.3 billion.

We are waiting for the Chinese government and bank to approve the $5.3bn to construct the Ibadan-Kano. What was approved a year ago was the contract,” the minister said.

He added, “The moment I announced that the Federal Government had awarded a contract of $5.3bn to CCECC (China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation) to construct Ibadan-Kano, people assumed the money had come in; no.

“We have not got the money, which is a year after we applied for the loan. We have almost finished the one of Lagos-Ibadan. If we don’t get the loan now, we can’t commence.”

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Economy

FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

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FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

In a bid to improve the usage and enhance the convenience of train transport in Nigeria, the Federal Government on Thursday announced the launching of the Electronic Ticketing platform for the Kaduna-Abuja rail services.

The N900 million E-ticketing platform was introduced by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike R. Amaechi, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

Amaechi said the new platform would improve efficiency, promote accountability, reduce leakage and enhance economic growth, as well as save time.

The E-ticketing platform was a Public-Private Partnership project done in conjunction with Secure ID Solutions, who provide and would manage the system for 10 years in an effort to recoup its investment before the Nigerian Railway Corporation take charge.

Kofo Akinkugbe, the Chief Executive Officer, Secure ID Solutions, said as the new E-platform issued 25,000 tickets after a successful pilot test on Thursday.

Potential Travelers can book via three ways:

1. Mobile app
2. Website
3. POS or Cash at the station

A validator would be used to scan the ticket barcode to ascertain its authenticity before boarding.

Amaechi further announced that self-service ticket vending machines at various train stations would be introduced soon.

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