Sunday, August 21, 2016

South Korea’s Credit Rating Raised One Level to AA by S&P

S&P said Monday it raised the long-term credit rating for South Korea to AA from AA- with a stable outlook, the agency’s third-highest rating. This follows an upgrade to Aa2 from Moody’s Investors Service in December 2015, which marked the first time that South Korea received a third-highest ranking from a major ratings agency. Fitch Ratings ranks South Korea at AA-, the fourth-highest level.

Gold Demand Trends Q2 2016

Continued growth in Q2 2016 (+15%) brought total H1 gold demand to 2,335t – the second highest first half on record. Huge ETF inflows during the first six months (+579t) were counterbalanced by anaemic jewellery demand in an environment of sharply rising prices. In fact, the gold price posted the strongest H1 performance (+25%) for more than 35 years.
Record H1 investment demand of 1,063.9t was 16% higher than the previous H1 high from 2009. Investment was the largest component of gold demand for two consecutive quarters (Q1 and Q2) – the first time this has ever happened.

Inside the Global Hunt for a Better Way to Measure the Economy

“The single focus on GDP or GDP growth in many policy discussions is misleading,” Olivier Blanchard, a former International Monetary Fund chief economist who’s now a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, wrote this month.

“GDP is easy to criticize but rather difficult to replace,” said Paul Sheard, chief economist at S&P Global in New York.

Iceland to free up currency movements


Iceland to free up currency movements

celand announced on Tuesday that it plans to lift nearly all the restrictions on currency movements imposed on its citizens in the 2008 global financial crisis.
The country, which introduced capital controls at the time to prevent a capital flight and shore up the national currency, the krona, said it can now begin progressively lifting restrictions.
The finance ministry unveiled draft legislation which will allow Icelanders, for example, to buy property overseas and expand "significantly" their right to purchase foreign currency in cash.

Human capital report 2016


The publication opens with an overview of world trade developments in 2015 and an assessment of the trade outlook in early 2016. This is followed by an in-depth analysis of the latest trends in the global trade of goods and commercial services.
The publication contains an in-depth look at the participation of developing economies in world trade, analysing in particular the role of least-developed countries. It also provides a summary of the main developments in trade-policy making, highlighting the latest data on WTO members’ use of trade-restrictive and trade-facilitating measures. These analytical chapters are complemented by over 50 tables providing comprehensive data on various facets of world trade in goods and services.

OPEC oil market report - August 2016