Topic Category: Economy

Since August 2011, the value of the U.S. dollar has continued to rise. In the past, a strengthening dollar meant imported sweaters from Bangladesh would be cheaper. In turn, it was anticipated that American retailers would buy more of them, boosting the trade deficit. On the export side, a rising dollar was a curse for an American producer, who’s overseas prices would go up pushing sales down. But today, the impact isn’t so clear.

Topic: Economy
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Animal spirits is a phrase coined by economist John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s in reference to risk taking, which is an essential part of any economic and financial system. Choosing which risks to take and which to avoid determines the fate of economies, companies and investors. In the 1930s, there was obviously a reluctance to take on a lot of risk, thus the lack of animal spirits. Similarities exist today.

Topic: Economy
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Markets that are suitable for manufacturing alone will never compete effectively in today's global, knowledge-based economy. That's why Malaysia's leadership embarked in 2010 on its Economic Transformation Programme, which aims to elevate the country to high-income status by 2020. It will do this chiefly through implementing 12 National Key Economic Areas (11 critical industry sectors and the Greater Kuala Lumpur area) that contribute significantly to national income and by making Malaysia more competitive through Strategic Reform Initiatives with policies that support the country's commercial environment and global competitiveness.

Topic: Economy
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President Obama recently hosted the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. He welcomed over 40 African heads of state and their outsized entourages to what was a festive affair. Indeed, even the Ebola virus in West Africa failed to dampen spirits in the nation’s capital. Perhaps it was the billions of dollars in African investment, announced by America’s great private companies, that was so uplifting.

Topic: Economy
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Monthly U.S. headlines trumpeting the death of inflation hide a painful truth for American families: rapidly rising food prices. News reports rarely mention this pain because the economists’ preferred inflation metric, so-called “core CPI,” omits both food and energy due to concerns about their volatility.

Topic: Economy
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The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recently announced that it would start reporting a new data series as part of the U.S. national income accounts. In addition to gross domestic product (GDP), the BEA will start reporting gross output (GO). This announcement went virtually unnoticed and unreported — an unfortunate but not uncommon oversight on the part of the financial press. Yes, GO represents a significant breakthrough.

Topic: Economy
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In 2013, U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), at $16.8 trillion, was nearly twice China’s $9 trillion, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But when adjusting for Purchasing Power Parity, which is estimated to reflect the “real cost of living” across countries, China’s economy is projected to surpass the United States’ later this year, says the International Comparison Program (ICP). Is this realistic?

Topic: Economy
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A new power boom from a seemingly unlikely source is taking hold across the globe. As greater oil and natural gas production output capture headlines, global hydroelectric power generation is expanding at an historic rate. Spurring this growth is the World Bank which has committed funds to dozens of global hydro projects in Africa, South Asia, and South East Asia, according to the Washington Post.

Topic: Economy
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The summer driving season is still weeks away, but rising U.S. gas prices are already back in the news. Recently, the average price for regular gasoline at U.S. gas stations hit $3.6918 a gallon — the highest since March 22, 2013 and up 43 cents this year. Much of this price depends on global supply and demand, but certainly not all of it.

Topic: Economy
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In the decade following the horrors of World War I, peace was celebrated at every opportunity. The supporters of a bridge connecting Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario, seized upon that tide and in 1927 the Peace Bridge was born. Today it is operated by the Public Bridge Authority. It is ironic that a bridge passionately dedicated to peace has in recent years ignited a war between those who see it as an engine of commerce driving perhaps the largest sector of our economy and others who see it as a threat to the health of those living nearby.

Topic: Economy
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