10 August 2019 FT — Articles to Read

10 August 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what social security mistake are 96% of Americans making?


British economy shrinks for first time in 7 years as Brexit stockpiling is unwound – Pg. 1

  • Output fell 0.2%, worse than flat performance expected by economists and down from a 0.5% expansion in the first quarter, …
  • Britain’s economy has not contracted since the final three months of 2012
  • …the UK economy underperformed the Eurozone, the US and Japan in the second quarter, where output continued to expand at rates varying from 0.2% to 0.5%
  • The rush to stockpile products in the run-up to the original Brexit deadline of March 29 boosted the economy, but when an extension was granted companies ran down their hoards. The economy is expected to expand again during the third quarter as companies once again rush to stockpile
  • Household spending remained solid, with an expansion of 0.5%


China factory gate prices drop amid trade tensions with US – Pg. 2

  • Weaker demand in China contributed to a fall in producer prices for the first time in three years, reviving fears of deflation as manufacturers come under the strain of an intensifying trade war with the US
  • So-called factory gate prices, which represent a range of manufactured products, raw materials and mining output, fell 0.3% in July…the first drop since August 2016
  • The decline in the produce price index (PPI) and economists’ expectations that those deflationary pressures will continue have revived concerns for manufacturers in the country who are already struggling amid US-China trade tensions


Turkey posts first surplus since 2002 – Pg. 4

  • Turkey’s economy produced its first annual current account surplus for 17 years, as the fall in imports following a severe currency crisis eliminated a deficit that has long troubled investors
  • The turnaround has been largely due to the drop in imports that has accompanied a slowdown in economic growth following last year’s currency crisis. The lira plunged almost a third against the US dollar in 2018…
  • Turkey ran a current account deficit over its decade-long expansion, importing far more products than it sold overseas, and financing that gap was a vulnerability in the $750bn economy
  • The fact that the elimination of the 12-month current account deficit was due to a fall in imports rather than a rise in exports is likely to trouble investors. Imports in the first half of the year sank almost 19%, while exports rose just under 4%


Uber in grocery delivery push as quarterly loss hits $5.2bn – Pg. 8

  • …plans to deliver goods from supermarket supplies and convenience-store snacks to cinema popcorn and ice cream could increase operating costs further, as it squares up to rivals such as Amazon, DoorDash and Deliveroo
  • Uber is looking to use its network of 4m drivers to fill the gap between ordering from Amazon-style warehouses and more traditional grocery delivery services such as Ocado
  • Any Uber grocery delivery service will find itself competing with Amazon and its Whole Foods supermarket chain, as well as an array of local companies


US retailers ‘at war’ with suppliers over price increase – Pg. 8

  • US business has been dealing with three earlier waves of China tariffs, yet the planned fourth round – 10% duties on $300bn of annual imports, starting next month – poses a bigger challenge to retail because it targets a broader range of consumer products
  • The rise of internet shopping, however, has undermined retailers’ pricing power. Consumers can easily compare products online
  • Household product inflation has accelerated over the past year: prices for non-edible consumer goods rose 4% in the year to the end of June, …
  • …warned that US consumers would pay $4.4bn more each year for clothing, $2.5bn more for footwear and $3.7bn more for toys if the administration enacted 25% tariffs on the $300bn of goods, as it had threatened


Answer: Start collecting social security early