Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.
IMF chief ramps up call for global action as growth risks increase (Reuters) The global economy's already modest prospects will decline further unless authorities take stronger action to boost growth, the head of the IMF warned on Tuesday, saying the Fund would cut its headline forecasts next week. Christine Lagarde said China's shift to an economic model based more on domestic demand, stubbornly low commodity prices and tighter funding conditions in some countries had all clouded the outlook.
Who leaked the Panama papers? (City A.M.) We know it was an anonymous whistleblower, but it's unlikely to be the lone good-hearted soul, working for the greater good everyone might imagine, according to one cyber security expert. According toDr Sandro Gaycken senior researcher on cyber defence and cyber strategy at the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin:
"My suspicion is that there is an organisation behind it. That could be an individual . On the other hand, there are many entities who stand to benefit."
Cruz and Sanders score key wins in Wisconsin (Reuters) Republican Ted Cruz easily won the Wisconsin presidential primary on Tuesday, dealing a blow to front-runner Donald Trump's hopes of amassing enough delegates for the party's nomination and boosting chances of a rare contested convention. Cruz's double-digit win over Trump was a breakthrough for Republican Party forces battling to block the controversial New York billionaire, and it raised the prospect of a prolonged nomination fight that could last to the July convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders also won in Wisconsin, gaining momentum in his fight against front-runner Hillary Clinton and trimming her commanding lead in delegates.
Four-Peat: UConn beats 'Cuse for 4th straight national title (Associated Press) UConn won an unprecedented fourth straight women's national NCAA collegiate basketball championship Tuesday night, capping another perfect season by routing Syracuse 82-51. Until now, only the UCLA men's team had won four in a row in Division I, rolling to seven consecutive championships under John Wooden from 1967-73. With Tuesday's victory, Auriemma passed the Wizard of Westwood with his 11th national title.
One Person, One Vote, Eight Justices (The Atlantic) The constitutional maxim does not require states to use eligible voters when drawing legislative districts, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday. Two Texas voters, Sue Evenwel and Edward Pfenninger, who challenged the apportionment of Texas Senate districts. With the exception of the U.S. Senate, every American legislative body is apportioned by total population under the "one person, one vote" rule first outlined by the Court in the 1960s. The suit sought to have only registered voters count in the apportionment. The SCOTUS ruked that everyone counts. The ruling was 8-0.
U.S. Trade Deficit Rises to a Six-Month High of $47.1 Billion (Bloomberg) America's trade deficit widened in February to a six-month high as an increase in imports exceeded a more modest pickup in shipments overseas. The gap increased 2.6% to $47.1 billion from a revised $45.9 billion in January, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a $46.2 billion February shortfall. The gain in exports was just the first in five months and highlights the squeeze on American manufacturers from a stronger dollar that's made U.S.-made goods less attractive in a weaker global marketplace. A third straight increase in the deficit indicates trade will weigh on first-quarter growth.
German Factory Orders Unexpectedly Fall on Exports Slowdown (Bloomberg) German factory orders unexpectedly fell in February in a sign that a global trade slowdown is weighing on Europe's largest economy. Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, dropped 1.2% from the prior month, when they rose a revised 0.5%, data from the Economy Ministry in Berlin showed on Tuesday. The reading, which is typically volatile, compares with a median estimate for an increase of 0.3% in a Bloomberg survey. Orders climbed 0.5% from a year earlier.
As RBI cuts repo rate, home loans could become cheaper (The Hindu) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday cut the benchmark repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5%, as widely expected, with Governor Raghuram Rajan assuring that the monetary stance will remain "accommodative". Bankers said the comment signals that the central bank is leaving the door open for further reductions. The rate cut could help lower the cost of loans for consumers, including automobile and home buyers.
Factory activity accelerates to 8-month high (The Hindu) Indian manufacturing saw a significant upswing in March due to a pickup in domestic demand and an increase in output, according to the Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI). Analysts said that the Index, which stood at an eight-month high of 52.4 in March, suggests a turnaround in the manufacturing sector and assumes significance following the country's core sector output clocking its fastest growth in 15 months in February. A value above 50 in the PMI implies an expansion, while one below 50 shows a contraction. The corresponding index values in January and February were 51.1. Core sector output grew 5.7% in February.
Chinese economy improving amid pro-growth measures (China Daily) The Chinese economy is showing signs of warming as observers eagerly await the release of first-quarter GDP data next week. With fiscal and credit policy support beginning to take effect, the official purchasing managers' index for the manufacturing sector came in at 50.2 in March, up from February's 49 to its highest level since August. According to the data released on Friday, the index for non-manufacturing business activity stood at 53.8, up from 52.7 in February, reversing a downward trend since December. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 represents contraction. Meanwhile, consumer inflation in February was 2.3%, up from January's 1.8%. The improvement came after the government took a number of pro-growth measures.
China's $50 trillion renewable energy plan (real economics) China is planning to build a global energy grid based on renewable energy. This blog assumes that would be to power "stationary uses for energy (home heating, lighting, domestic hot water, etc.)". Of course the author probably meant to include business stationary users as well. He goes on to say that the plan would double in cost to include replacement of such transportation fuels as "ocean shipping or anything that flies". Econintersect: Whether the Chinese have included energy to replace fossil fuels for transport or not, the grid may be not the most efficient, low cost vehicle for transportation fuels. Energy transported in some other form than electrons is likely to dominate for non-stationary energy users - compressed hydrogen gas comes to mind, for one possibility.
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