Hong Kong Jobless Rate Steady

Hong Kong’s unemployment rate remained stable during the February to April period, data from the Census and Statistics Department showed on Monday. The jobless rate remained steady at 2.8 percent during the February to April period, same as in the previous three-month period. The number of unemployed persons rose by 1,900 to 112,300 in the February to April period. “Nevertheless, given the still challenging external environment, the Government will keep a close watch over development of the local labor market,” the Secretary for Labor and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said. “The…

In a Surprise, Japan’s Economy Grew in the First Quarter, Despite a Slowdown in China

TOKYO — Japan’s economy expanded in the first quarter of 2019, countering expectations that growth in the country had stalled because of a slowdown in China that has hit Japanese factories hard. The surprise expansion comes despite a generally gloomy global outlook. China, a major contributor to global growth, has been hit by its trade war with the United States and by its own efforts to contain its debt problems. Though China has made efforts to stimulate growth, further slowdowns could ripple through Asia and the rest of the world.…

Carbon tax pushes Canadian inflation rate up to 2% in April

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation rate edged up to 2.0 per cent in April from 1.9 per cent in March, driven in part by a carbon levy that pushed up gasoline prices in six provinces, Statistics Canada data showed on Wednesday. Prices gained 0.4 per cent from the previous month, led by a 10 per cent rise in gasoline prices, Statistics Canada said, in line with a Reuters survey of analysts. The annual rate rose to the Bank of Canada’s 2.0 per cent target for the first time since December.…

Hong Kong Maintains Slower Growth Forecast

The Hong Kong government on Friday maintained its weaker growth projection for this year as trade tensions between the U.S. and China escalate. The real GDP growth forecast of 2-3 percent for this year as announced in the Budget was maintained in the current review. In 2018, the economy expanded 3 percent. The government cautioned that the near-term economic outlook is subject to a high level of uncertainty. According to revised data from the Census and Statistics Department, gross domestic product grew 0.6 percent sequentially in the first quarter instead…

Bank of Canada for first time flags climate change as financial risk

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada is highlighting its growing concerns about the challenges of climate change for the economy and the financial system. For the first time, the central bank’s financial system health report is flagging climate change as an important vulnerability along with its long-running worries about household debt and apprehension about the housing market. The assessment is part of the Bank of Canada’s annual report card that explores key weak spots and risks surrounding the stability of the financial system. The bank says climate-change risks — including…