BERLIN (Reuters) – The latest economic data provide hope that Germany’s economy can return to pre-crisis levels in early 2022, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday.



a group of police officers riding on the back of a car: FILE PHOTO: VW re-starts Europe's largest car factory after coronavirus shutdown


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FILE PHOTO: VW re-starts Europe’s largest car factory after coronavirus shutdown

Germany’s rising level of government debt is not a problem because the country can tackle the situation with “good growth”, Scholz told TV station CNBC in an interview.

Scholz rejected concerns that state aid was artificially keeping alive companies that were in financial troubles in the wake of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.



Olaf Scholz wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: German Finance Minister Scholz and Justice Minister Lambrecht hold news conference in Berlin


© Reuters/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE
German Finance Minister Scholz and Justice Minister Lambrecht hold news conference in Berlin

Germany’s government has taken steps such as allowing firms to delay bankruptcy filings until the end of the year, extended from an original deadline of end-September.

Helped by these measures, the number of firms declaring insolvency in Germany fell 6% in the first half of 2020 compared with the year-earlier period.

Critics say suspending insolvencies delays but does not prevent the collapse of “zombie companies” that are artificially kept afloat.

Firms are making necessary decisions and adjustments despite the crisis, Scholz said. For instance, many companies are cutting staff at the moment instead of making use of state aid that would allow them to cut workers’ hours, he said.

“The debate about zombie companies is nonsense,” Scholz said.

(Reporting by Christian Kraemer, writing by Kirsti Knolle, editing by Maria Sheahan)

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By Gabriel Crossley and Stella Qiu

BEIJING, Oct 13 (Reuters)China’s imports grew at their fastest pace this year in September, while exports extended their strong gains as more trading partners lifted coronavirus restrictions in a further boost to the world’s second-biggest economy.

Exports in August rose 9.9% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Tuesday, broadly in line with analysts’ expectations for 10% growth and up from a solid 9.5% increase in August.

The strong trade performance suggests Chinese exporters are making a brisk recovery from the coronavirus pandemic’s hit to overseas orders. As the global economy restarts, Chinese firms are rushing to grab market share as their rivals grapple with reduced manufacturing capacity.

China’s factory activity has also picked up as international trading gradually resumes.

But some analysts warn exports could peak soon as demand for Chinese-made protective gear recedes and the base effect of this year’s massive declines wears off.

Imports surged 13.2%, returning to growth from a slump of 2.1% in August and much stronger than expectations for a 0.3% increase.

The country’s trade surplus for September stood at $37 billion, compared with an expected $58.00 billion surplus forecast in the poll and a surplus of $58.93 billion in August.

Already heightened U.S.-China tensions are expected to escalate ahead of the U.S. presidential election. China remains well behind on its pledge to boost purchases of U.S. goods under an agreement that was launched in February.

China’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed to $30.75 billion in September from $34.24 billion in August.

Top U.S. and Chinese trade officials reaffirmed their commitment to a Phase 1 trade deal in a phone call in August.

However, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue cast doubt earlier this month on the likelihood of China meeting

  • Centuries of discrimination have created a cavernous wealth gap between Black and white Americans. 
  • Today, Black Americans own an estimated one-tenth the wealth of white Americans — $17,150 for Black families compared to $171,000 for white families.
  • This gap is not only bad for Black people, it’s bad for the US economy, too.
  • Researchers estimate that the racial wealth gap has cost the US economy $16 trillion since 2000. If the gap closed today, the GDP would see a $5 trillion boost in the next five years.
  • Read more stories from Business Insider’s “Inside the racial wealth gap” series »

Since the start of slavery, racism has cost Black Americans an estimated $70 trillion. Today, thanks to centuries of discrimination, the racial wealth gap between Black and white Americans is cavernous.

In 2016, the Brookings Institution estimated that Black Americans own about one-tenth the wealth of white Americans — $17,150 for Black families compared to $171,000 for white families. The gap persists at every income level: Among the top 10% of earners, the median net worth of white families is $1,789,300, whereas a Black family earning the same income has a median net worth of $343,160.

It goes without saying that this is bad for Black families and individuals. But this type of racial inequality is bad for the broader US economy, too.

What the racial wealth gap costs the US economy

In a Zoom panel discussion hosted by Business Insider last month, experts from a variety of fields — higher education, business, and financial planning — discussed the costs of the racial wealth gap and how to close it.

Dania Francis, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston and co-author of “The Economics of Reparations,” illuminated the cost of racial inequality to the US economy.

(Bloomberg) — Stock investors are taking heart from India’s efforts to re-open its economy, even as the nation continues on a trajectory to overtake the U.S. as the country with the most coronavirus cases.

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The S&P BSE Sensex’s has rallied almost 12% since hitting a more than two-month low on Sept. 24, the best performance among the world’s national equity benchmarks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It is less than 2% away from wiping out its losses for the year.

A Jefferies Financial Group Inc. model tracking economic recovery last week showed activity in India is already at 93% of pre-Covid levels. The nation is set to further relax restrictions on gatherings of people and allow schools, multiplexes and entertainment parks to reopen in some areas from Oct. 15.

“A higher-than-expected level of economic reopening, coupled with various steps from policy makers, creates an upside risk for GDP and earnings estimates, said Sameer Kalra, a strategist at Mumbai-based Target Investing. “There is a good chance that third-quarter GDP shows a recovery and then the Sensex hits a record by December,” he said.



chart, line chart: India's earnings estimates have risen from this year's low in July


© Bloomberg
India’s earnings estimates have risen from this year’s low in July

The Sensex capped its best week since early June on Friday as the central bank signaled more policy easing ahead and announced a slew of liquidity steps to support the economy. In the past few days, data showing a mild improvement in some economic indicators and optimism over earnings results from a few major firms have also helped boost investor sentiment.

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., the biggest carmaker, posted its highest monthly sales in two years in September as an end to a nationwide lockdown prompted dealerships to stock up ahead of a festive season.

“India has started to outperform EM more

The U.S. Capitol building on Oct. 8.



Photo:

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg News

Tuesday

U.S. consumer prices are expected to rise in September for a fourth consecutive month following a sharp drop at the height of pandemic lockdowns. The Covid-19 recession has scrambled prices for an array of goods and services, but overall inflation pressures are expected to remain muted, allowing the Federal Reserve to keep its easy-money policies in place.

The International Monetary Fund releases forecasts for global economic growth that are expected to show a less-severe contraction in 2020 than initially anticipated. The latest outlook report comes as finance ministers and central bankers gather virtually for the IMF and World Bank’s annual meetings, which are often catalysts for global responses to crises but are unlikely to spark unified action against the Covid-19 recession this year.

Thursday

U.S. jobless claims have remained stubbornly high in recent weeks, a sign layoffs are still elevated even as the overall economy adds jobs. Figures for the week ended Oct. 10 are expected to show a slight decline in new applications for benefits from the previous week—though not nearly enough of a drop to change the picture of continued economic disruption.

European Union leaders meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to take stock of Brexit negotiations. The EU and U.K. face a Dec. 31 deadline to finalize terms for the breakup or face new barriers to trade and heightened economic disruption. The sides remain at odds on issues including appropriate levels of state aid, fishing rights and new U.K. legislation that appears to breach terms of a withdrawal agreement.

Friday

U.S. retail sales are expected to advance in September for a fifth consecutive month, underscoring a strong rebound in consumer spending on goods. Another month