Business

China says its economy grew 3.2% in the second quarter

China reported that the country's GDP grew by 3.2% in the second quarter of this year, compared to a year ago — beating analysts' expectations and rebounding from the first quarter's contraction. It comes as lockdowns to contain the coronavirus outbreak in China eased, and as Beijing rolled out stimulus measures to prop up its economy. Economists polled by Reuters expected gross domestic product to have grown modestly at 2.5% in the April to June quarter. China's first quarter GDP contracted by 6.8% in 2020 from a year ago as the world's second largest economy took a huge hit from the coronavirus outbreak. This was the country's first GDP decline since at least 1992, when official quarterly records started. China's official GDP figures are tracked as an indicator of the health of th...

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Singapore enters recession after economy shrinks more than 40% quarter on quarter

A general view of the Marina Bay Sands, the ArtScience Museum, the Singapore Flyer and the central business district on June 19, 2020 in Singapore. Suhaimi Abdullah | Getty ImagesSingapore's economy entered a technical recession after shrinking by 41.2% in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter, advance estimates by the Ministry of Trade and Industry showed on Tuesday. The latest gross domestic product estimate — computed largely from data in April and May — was worse than analysts' forecast. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the Southeast Asian economy to shrink by 37.4% quarter-over-quarter. A technical recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of quarter-on-quarter contraction. In the first three months of the year, Singapore reported a 3.3% decline in ...

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Most U.S. firms in Hong Kong are concerned about new security law — but few plan to leave, survey shows

A barge displays the words 'Celebrate national security law' on Victoria Harbour on July 1, 2020 in Hong Kong. Anthony Kwan | Getty ImagesA large majority of American companies in Hong Kong said they were concerned about the new national security law passed by China last month, according to a poll — but over 64% said their companies have no plans to leave the city. The survey — conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong between July 6 and July 9 — polled 183 respondents, which represent 15% of its membership, on China's new national security law and what it means for businesses. Beijing says new law is aimed at prohibiting secession, subversion of state power, terrorism activities and foreign interference. But critics say it undermines the autonomy promised to Hong Ko...

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Op-ed: Merkel faces a historic test of leadership that will shape Europe’s future after coronavirus

History rarely provides major countries and their leaders the enormity of the second chance that Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel now enjoy as they begin their six-month European Union presidency. For Germany, the drama is one of epic dimensions. Can the country that has been at the source of so much European devastation through two world wars, resulting in lost territory and Cold War division, steady the EU through this historic test of a public health crisis, economic recession and rising U.S.-Chinese tensions? For Angela Merkel, who held the rotating EU presidency once before in 2007, it's a last shot at historic legacy. Can Germany's first and only woman chancellor, who has recharged her waning standing during the coronavirus, demonstrate the leadership required to unify and s...

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Australian government advises citizens not to travel to Hong Kong due to national security law

The Australian government has advised its citizens not to travel to Hong Kong, and to reconsider their need to remain in Hong Kong, due to uncertainties surrounding the new national security law there. "The new national security legislation for Hong Kong could be interpreted broadly. Under the law, you could be deported or face possible transfer to mainland China for prosecution under mainland law," according to a notice on Thursday by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Smartraveller website. It added that the full extent of the law and how it will be applied is not yet clear and that Australians could be "at increased risk of detention on vaguely defined national security grounds. You could break the law without intending to." Hong Kong is a special administrat...

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China’s jobs problem runs deeper than the coronavirus

White-collars walk to their lunch break in Pudong business district in Shanghai, China. Lucas Schifres | Getty ImagesBEIJING – As China grapples with rising unemployment and slowing growth, some say a needed economic boost could come from new business approaches to hiring. The systemic challenges run deep. In one indication, a Chinese reality TV show featuring female contestants in their 30s to 50s jumped to the top of the charts after premiering last month. The show — "Sisters Who Make Waves" — and its stories of women who want to prove age is just a number resonated with many viewers, whose careers can run into obstacles from structures that often prefer younger, or male, employees. Some job listings in China also still go so far as to say applicants must be younger than age 30, or...

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Hong Kong national security law may spook socially conscious investors, sparking outflows

Investors who take a sustainable approach to allocating capital may be reevaluating putting their money into Hong Kong after the city implemented a national security law, an analyst said on Friday. "That's the one area of international capital flows that could be quite significant," said Andrew Collier, managing director of Orient Capital Research, a research firm. Sustainable or "ESG" investing factors in a company's environmental, social and governance ratings. These strategies vary and are subjective, but generally aim to make socially conscious investing decisions. Hong Kong has seen more than a year of protests that sometimes turned violent as residents pushed back against eroding freedoms in the city. Critics say the recently implemented national security law grants the central...

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European markets fall as virus concerns quell optimism over upbeat data

European stocks retreated on Friday as concern over a spike in U.S. coronavirus infections tempered the optimism arising from upbeat economic data out of the U.S., China and the euro zone.The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 0.6% by late morning, with banks dropping 1.9% to lead losses, while tech stocks bucked the trend to add 0.5%. European markets are struggling to capture the overnight momentum from Asia Pacific, where stocks advanced after a survey showed that China's services sector grew at its fastest pace in over a decade in June, according to Reuters. This followed a broad rally late on Thursday after U.S. nonfarm payrolls grew by a record 4.8 million in June, outstripping expectations of a 3 million rise. The U.S. Labor Department also revealed Thursday that initial jobless claim...

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Forget summer: These luxury cabins are right for autumn getaways

From self-guided fall foliage tours to weekends at the lake, booking a secluded cabin is an easy way to avoid crowds this autumn.  Cabins today come in every incarnation imaginable, from traditional log designs to modern wonders, and in sizes ranging from palatial estates to one-room shacks located smack in the middle of a pond.  The cabins we bring you here, however, are anything but small. They are designed for groups of families and friends who want a luxury holiday that is as posh as a resort — but without all the people. Most are also booked far in advance, which may be even more reason to start making autumn travel plans today.A remote cabin in the middle of everything Where: Telluride, Colorado Average cost per night: $750A cabin that is naturally social-distanced. Courtesy o...

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