China’s producer prices slow for seventh straight month, raising deflation fears –

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Workers inspect steel pipes at a steel mill of Hebei Huayang Steel Pipe Co Ltd in Cangzhou© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Workers inspect steel pipes at a steel mill of Hebei Huayang Steel Pipe Co Ltd in Cangzhou

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s factory-gate inflation slowed for a seventh straight month in January to its weakest pace since September 2016, raising concerns the world’s second-biggest economy may see the return of deflation as domestic demand cools.

Consumer inflation, meanwhile, eased in January from December to a 12-month low due to slower gains in food prices, official data showed on Friday, despite the Lunar New Year holiday, which typically pushes up demand for food.

China’s producer price index (PPI) in January rose a meagre 0.1 percent from a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed, a sharp slowdown from the previous month’s 0.9 percent increase. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected producer inflation would slow to 0.2 percent.

While tame inflation gives authorities the flexibility to ease monetary policy to shore up economic growth, deflationary risks could further hurt corporate profitability.

On a monthly basis, producer prices have already been falling over the past three months. In December, PPI fell 0.6 percent, moderating from a 1 percent decrease in December.

“It is too early to say China has entered the deflationary environment, but the risks definitely have heightened,” said Raymond Yeung, Chief Economist of Greater China at ANZ, adding that profitability of upstream industries will come under pressure.

Earnings at China’s industrial firms shrank for a second straight month in December, putting pressure on policymakers to support industries hurt by slowing prices and weak factory activity.

Data showed prices for raw materials fell in January for the first time in over two years, swinging from an 0.8 percent rise in December. Price rises in the production sector also turned negative.

Recent factory surveys show weakening domestic orders and shrinking business activity, with both official and private sector reports pointing to growing strains in China’s manufacturing sector, a key source of growth and jobs.

Domestic demand for industrial goods and services has eased in recent months as the government’s multi-year campaign to curb corporate debt and risky lending practices crimps capital spending and corporate investment.

“With factory-gate deflation likely to deepen in the coming months, we expect policymakers to roll out further measures to ease financial pressure on industrial firms, including cuts to benchmark lending rates,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics.

The CPI rose 1.7 percent in January from a year earlier, slower than the 1.9 percent increase in December, and below expectations of a 1.9 percent gain.

On a month-on-month basis, the CPI rose 0.5 percent.

The food price index in January rose 1.9 percent from a year earlier, down from December’s reading of 2.5 percent, data showed on Friday.

The moderation in food prices breaks the historic pattern of acceletation that typically precedes the week-long Lunar New Year, which came in the first week of February this year.

While the slowdown was due in part to a decline in pork prices as the effects of African Swine Fever on the industry receded, the broader impact on prices pressures remains a concern.

The core consumer price index, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, rose 1.9 percent year-on-year, accelerating from 1.8 percent’s gain in December.

Read More

Canopy Growth Earnings Miss Some Estimates As Canada Pot Market Share Seen Strong – Investor’s Business Daily

Access to this page has been denied because we believe you are using automation tools to browse the

This may happen as a result of the following:

  • Javascript is disabled or blocked by an extension (ad blockers for example)
  • Your browser does not support cookies

Please make sure that Javascript and cookies are enabled on your browser and that you are not blocking
them from loading.

Reference ID: #9d53c070-30e0-11e9-99d7-31353bddecc6

Read More

Au Revoir, Airbus A380 – WIRED

Many people will mourn the A380 jumbo jet, whose demise Airbus announced today. Perhaps none more than the residents of Lévignac, who rush to their windows and line the sidewalks when six articulated trucks, carrying the wings, fuselage, and other bits of the aircraft squeeze through the quaint French town on their way to Airbus’ assembly plant in nearby Toulouse.

For most of its planes, Airbus moves such parts, which come from its plants in France, Germany, Spain, and the UK, by transport plane. The elements of the A380, though, are too big even for the whale-inspired Beluga. Instead, they move by sea and by river, a journey that Airbus calls the Oversize Transport Itinerary. And the streets of Lévignac are so narrow that getting those trucks through the town required a feasibility study by Airbus and the French government. It even produced a study called “Trailer truck trajectory optimization: the transportation of components for the Airbus A380.” That’s just to build the thing—actually flying it required rejiggering airport infrastructure. Getting people onto and off the plane requires dual boarding bridges (going to different levels). Some airports would have to widen taxiways; most would have to move signage around.

Read More

Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez are closer than ever – Page Six

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos and his lady love Lauren Sanchez — who we’re officially dubbing Bezchez! — did not see each other for more than a month after the scandalous story revealing their relationship broke, leading some to speculate that the duo were headed for splitsville. But sources told us Thursday that the imbroglio’s only brought them closer, and they’ve reunited in the past couple days.

Sanchez was spotted in LA on Wednesday, smiling and sauntering to a chauffeured car after what sources said was a meeting at a Century City office building.

Although Bezchez steered clear of each other for over a month, a source told us, “Lauren and Jeff are still together. Yes, they haven’t seen each other [for a month] since the affair story broke, partly because of the investigation over the text leaks — but more importantly to spend time with their children after the announcement that their marriages were over.”

The source added, “Jeff and Lauren remained in touch by phone.”

Another insider added, “They have, in fact, been brought [closer] together by everything.”

The first source admitted, “The investigation is causing tension.”

Bezos’ security guru Gavin de Becker has been digging into who leaked Bezchez’s racy texts and photos to the National Enquirer, and reports said his investigation points to Lauren’s manager brother, Michael Sanchez.

But Michael told Vanity Fair Thursday: “I had nothing to do with [the] leak of the d - - k pics . . . Lauren likely shared them with multiple girlfriends. Not in a malicious way, that’s not her style, but when she’s in love . . . She got a kick out of sharing them. One time she tried to show me one and I was like, ‘What the f - - k is wrong with you?’ ”

He admitted, “I’m not saying I didn’t do something. Until I go under oath, what I can tell you now is that ever since April 20, when I met Jeff, my only goal has been to protect Jeff and Lauren.”

He also claimed that when Bezos and Lauren learned the Enquirer story was imminent, “We discussed the possibility to buy AMI — not to kill the story, but to find out the source.”

Read More

Facebook Settlement With F.T.C. Could Run Into the Billions – The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission are discussing a settlement over privacy violations that could amount to a record, multibillion-dollar fine, according to three people with knowledge of the talks.

The company and the F.T.C.’s consumer protection and enforcement staff have been in negotiations over a financial penalty for claims that Facebook violated a 2011 privacy consent decree with the agency, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is private.

In 2011, Facebook promised a series of measures to protect user privacy after an investigation found it had harmed consumers with its handling of user data.

The current talks have not yet reached the F.T.C.’s five commissioners for a vote and it is unclear how close the two sides are to wrapping up the nearly 11-month investigation. The commissioners met in mid-December and were updated by staff members that they had at that point found considerable evidence of violations of the 2011 consent decree.

The F.T.C. began its investigation into Facebook’s mishandling of data after The New York Times reported in March 2018 that the information of 87 million users had been harvested by a British political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, without their permission.

Facebook confirmed the negotiations with the F.T.C., which could still break down and lead to litigation. The discussions were first reported by The Washington Post.

Facebook’s 2011 consent decree requires the company to seek permission from users for plans to share their data with third parties. The trade commission also requires Facebook to notify it when third parties misuse this data.

Some F.T.C. officials have pressed for maximum penalties because of several new reports of potential privacy breaches since the start of the investigation. The agency can seek up to $41,000 for each violation found by the agency. In the case of Cambridge Analytica, 87 million people were affected.

The highest financial penalty imposed by the F.T.C. so far was a $22.5 million fine on Google for violating an agreement to protect consumer data.

Continued news reports of data violations, including a Times report about data sharing between Facebook and partner tech companies in December, have raised concerns among F.T.C. officials of setting the fine too low, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

The agency is under pressure to show teeth in its Facebook investigation, and the company’s missteps over the past two years have made it a target for lawmakers. Members of Congress have complained that the F.T.C. is lagging behind European regulators that have taken a tougher stand with internet companies.

Read More