Nov 12, 2014 08:24 UTC

Japan index: Tightening the purse strings

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By Katrina Hamlin

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Unexpected growth in manufacturing output helped our alternative economic index to a new high in September. But it wasn’t enough to lift consumers: stagnant wages and higher sales taxes left spending in the doldrums. No wonder the central bank decided to ramp up bond purchases.

COMMENT

please explain how giving billions to currency traders and bankers helps the average person. Bond buy and ramping stock market actually hur people

Posted by laurel1 | Report as abusive
Oct 31, 2014 06:19 UTC

China index: Home truths upset economy

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By Katrina Hamlin

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Our alternative growth index hit its lowest levels since April 2009 last month. Housing investment is leading the downturn with the slowest pace of growth in over two years. In the past, more bank lending was seen as the answer. This time, it doesn’t seem to be helping at all.

Oct 30, 2014 07:59 UTC

QE gave emerging markets brief gains, lasting pain

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By Andy Mukherjee

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Six years of quantitative easing in the United States have brought fleeting gains to emerging markets, and more enduring pain.

Sep 25, 2014 05:38 UTC

Sinopec’s petrol station revamp is an uphill job

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By Ethan Bilby

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Chinese oil giant Sinopec wants to sell more from its 23,000 pump-side stores. But as a new Breakingviews calculator shows, even a dramatic increase in non-fuel sales won’t do much to lift the $58 billion valuation that outside investors have put on the business.

Sep 18, 2014 06:36 UTC

China has not one property problem, but many

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By John Foley 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist.  The opinions expressed are his own.

China’s real estate market is big enough that it can have not one property problem but many. A Breakingviews ranking of the forty biggest cities, according to different kinds of risks, shows there are huge differences between local markets. It’s not much consolation, though. A conflagration of regional problems could be just as bad as one big national one.

Aug 13, 2014 07:19 UTC

Japan’s GDP sacrifice is price well paid

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By Andy Mukherjee 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Japan’s GDP sacrifice is a fair price for much-needed fiscal correction.

The country’s output plunged an annualized 6.8 percent in the second quarter from the previous three months, according to the Cabinet Office’s preliminary reading. The decline, which stock market investors had expected and therefore largely ignored, was a direct consequence of the April 1 hike in Japan’s sales tax, the first since 1997. Raising the levy by 3 percentage points prompted households to curb spending by a massive 19 percent.

Aug 7, 2014 07:13 UTC

China index: Beijing cleans up skies, not its act

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By Katrina Hamlin

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Skies above China’s big cities are turning blue, as its economic warning lights flash red. Across the country, PM2.5 readings – a measure of small particulates in the air – fell by 6 percent year on year in the first six months, Greenpeace reported in July. Beijing even scored the city’s least smoggy month since January 2011 according to data from the U.S. Department of State. Dirty industrials are leaving town and shutting down – but that’s just a quick fix.

Jul 13, 2014 23:14 UTC

German soccer glory was predictable – with luck

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By Robert Cole

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Brazil’s World Cup was first-rate entertainment thanks to its many surprising results. For its part Breakingviews, also somewhat surprisingly, predicted that Germany would win the competition as long ago as last Christmas.

Jun 18, 2014 21:29 UTC

U.S. home affordability on way to lowest in years

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By Daniel Indiviglio and Richard Beales

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

U.S. homes may soon be as unaffordable as they have been in decades. With the Federal Reserve set to raise interest rates, house prices rising and incomes not keeping pace, the dream of home ownership – cheaper after the 2008 downturn – is receding again for many. A new Breakingviews calculator shows that by 2017 homebuyers may have to stretch once again.

Jun 3, 2014 03:51 UTC

China index: Property helps slowdown drag on

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By Katrina Hamlin

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Our indicator stalled at 90.8 in April, just a touch up on March. The home front still looks sluggish. Rail cargo and truck sales fell while exports were flat. Property was a drag: average monthly sales growth from January to April was 17 pct, down from 22 pct last year.