Global Talent Update - August 2017

GlobeEurope, Middle East and Africa

As preparation for Brexit trade negotiations gears up, Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar said that discussions will be delayed until after autumn, when the U.K. government had initially intended to begin the talks, Business Insider reported.

Instead, U.K. negotiating teams will have to wait until October to see if they receive the go-ahead to develop new trade deals. As the source noted, Cerar is one of 27 EU leaders who will vote on whether U.K. representatives will be able to move forward with trade discussions.

"I think that the process will definitely take more time than we expected at the start of the negotiations," Cerar said. "There are so many difficult topics on the table, difficult issues there, that one cannot expect all those issues will be solved according to the schedule made in the first place."

A report from a team of 16 economists purported that Brexit could add 135 billion pounds to the U.K. economy, The Sun reported. The team maintained that national output will increase due to the move and that prices will decrease by 8 per cent, which is equivalent to each family in the country netting an additional 5,000 pounds each year.

French unemployment dropped to 9.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2017, which marks its lowest level in five years, The Times reported. The rate declined from 9.6 per cent in the previous quarter.

The drop in the rate reflects overall improvements in the economy of the eurozone as a whole, according to the source, and may set up France for its strongest GDP growth since 2011.

Private-sector employment also increased last quarter, growing at its fastest rate in six years, Reuters noted.

Asia-Pacific

The Japanese economy has received a boost from several sectors in recent months, including manufacturing and tourism.

Confidence among Japanese manufacturers reached its highest level in 10 years in August, Reuters reported. Industrial materials producers of oil, chemicals and steel contributed most to the increase.

"Our business is led by overseas markets," said Keisuke Fujii, a spokesman for robotics manufacturer Fanuc Corp. "The domestic market is not so bad, China is recovering and America and Europe are performing well. Overall the sentiment is positive."

The reading of service-sector confidence decreased slightly during the month, though strong domestic demand remained. In July, the index reached a two-year high.

In the tourism sector, increased consumer spending is driving revenue, according to The Japan Times. Spending by foreign tourists increased 15 per cent from 2016, though per-person spending decreased by 5 per cent.

Consumer demand has also influenced manufacturing activity in the country. Nestle recently announced that it would build its first factory in Japan in more than 25 years, due to rising demand for new flavors of Kit Kat candy bars, the BBC reported. In the last four years, spending on sweets in the country has more than tripled.

Nestle operates 447 factories in 86 countries, and has more than 333,000 employees worldwide.

Thai economic growth beat expectations last quarter, with gross domestic product increasing by 3.7 per cent compared to a year ago, the Bangkok Post reported, citing statements made by the National Economic and Social Development Board. Bloomberg economists predicted that GDP would expand by 3.2 per cent.

Bloomberg noted that the GDP increase marked the fastest growth rate for the Thai economy in more than four years.

The National Economic and Social Development Board forecast that exports would be up 5.7 per cent in the country this year, a jump from its prediction of 3.6 per cent growth that it made in May.

Bloomberg noted that the Thai economy grew at its fastest pace in more than four years in the second quarter.

The finance sector was in the spotlight earlier this month when the founder of payment processing startup Omise and the representatives from the Central Bank of Thailand met to discuss the future of finance in Thailand, the Coin Journal reported.

Omise provides blockchain-based services that the bank believes could enhance the country's financial services platforms and accessibility.

"Through the OmiseGO network connected to the Ethereum mainnet, anyone will be able to conduct financial transactions such as payments, remittances, payroll deposit, B2B commerce, supply-chain finance, loyalty programs, asset management and trading, and other on-demand services, in a completely decentralized and inexpensive way," said an Omise employee.

IBM also recently partnered with Kasikornbank, the largest commercial bank in the country, according to the source, to develop its blockchain technologies.

Americas

The U.S. added 209,000 jobs in July, while the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.3 per cent, data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed. The employment gains were driven largely by increased hiring in the food services and drinking places sector, which added 53,000 jobs during the month, and the professional and business services sector, which added 49,000 positions.

Average hourly earnings for all private nonfarm employees increased by 9 cents to reach $26.36.

A new survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that job-seekers in the U.S. are now willing to work for less money, Bloomberg reported. On average, $58,000 was the lowest salary that job-seekers would accept a position for, which is the lowest amount since March 2015. The bank has only been conducting its survey on "reservation wages" since 2014.

Mexico had its 16th straight quarter of economic improvement from April to June, MarketWatch reported, citing data from the National Institute of Statistics.

Gross domestic product increased by 0.6 per cent from the first quarter, marking 1.8 per cent expansion compared to the previous year.

Strong production in services fueled the growth, aided by improving employment figures.

"So far economic growth has been better than expected, especially considering the pessimistic outlook at the end of last year and early this year, above all because of the risks of eventual disruption in Mexican-U.S. trade relations," said Banco Santander in a note, according to the source.

 

 

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