Showing posts with label ECONOMIC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ECONOMIC. Show all posts

22 May 2022

Global Remittance Flows in 2021

In 2021, the top five remittance recipients in current US dollar terms were India, China, Mexico, the Philippines, and the Arab Republic of Egypt. 

As a share of gross domestic product, the top five remittance recipients in 2021 were smaller economies: Tonga, Lebanon, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Honduras. 

The United States was the most significant source country for remittances in 2020, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland.



World Largest Car Markets 2021.

In 2021 almost 84 million vehicles have been sold in the world, gaining 4.1% compared to the almost 81 million sales reported the previous year.

China remains the leading global market, with 24.9 million sales, and rose only 0.5% compared to the sales reported the previous year. This huge market accounts for 29.6% of all sales at a global level.

The USA are in the second position, with almost 15 million sales registered they report a growth of 2% and hold 17.8% share of the world’s sales.

In third position we have Japan with 4.4 million units sold and falling 3.3% (5.3% market share), followed by India which registered 4.4 million units sold (+31.6%).

In 5th place we have Germany,  with sales at almost 3 million units and fell 8.5% and reported the worst performance on the leaderboard, followed by the UK with 2.9 million units sold (+10.2%).

France -down 1 spot- registered 2.1 million sales and rose 2.1%, followed by Mexico which rose 1 spot with 2 million sales rising 6.9%.

At the edge of the top 10 rankings, we find Brazil -down 1 spot-, with sales at  2 million (+1%) and finally South Korea, down 7.9% with 1.7 million units sold.



21 May 2022

World Bank, ADB & AIIB announce joint plan to aid Sri Lanka.

The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have jointly decided to support Sri Lanka’s response to the ongoing economic crisis.

The three institutions announced their decision in a statement issued after the first joint coordinated meeting on the 19th of May.

“All three institutions are adopting a coordinated approach to sustain basic services and livelihoods and to mitigate the impact of the economic crisis on the people of Sri Lanka.”

This includes access to essential items such as medicines, cash assistance, gas and fertilizer through the reallocation of resources from existing projects, the statement read further.



17 May 2022

"The Rock", the largest white diamond ever auctioned.

The largest white diamond to ever come up for auction has been sold for 21,681,000 CHF ($21.9 million) at Christie's in Geneva.

The 228.31-carat, pear-shaped gemstone -- dubbed "The Rock" -- originated from South Africa, where some of the largest diamonds in the world have been found, including the pear-shaped "Star of Africa" and rose cushion cut "Golden Jubilee."

"The Rock" is about the size of a golf ball and was previously worn as a lavish Cartier necklace by its former owner. Along with the pear-shaped stone, the new owner will also receive a round diamond and platinum pendant mounting from the French luxury brand.

Ahead of the sale, the head of Christie's jewelry department in Geneva, Max Fawcett, explained why "The Rock" is a particularly unique stone.



Saudi Aramco overtakes Apple as world’s most valuable company.

Apple has lost its crown as the world’s most valuable company to the oil giant Saudi Aramco, as soaring commodity prices swell profits at energy companies and technology stocks continue to slide.

In a sign that the old economy is reasserting itself over the new this year, Aramco eclipsed Apple on Wednesday night amid the ongoing rout on Wall Street.

Share in Apple, which had become the world’s first $3tn company in early January, sank another 5% on Wednesday 11 May 2022, knocking its value down to $2.37tn (£1.94tn) – an 18% drop this year.

This pulled the iPhone maker’s valuation below Aramco, whose market capitalisation has climbed by a quarter this year to hit $2.43tn, stoked by the surge in oil prices since the Ukraine war began.



06 May 2022

China extends 300 Million Yuan to Sri Lanka to procure essentials.

The Chinese Government has decided to award a grant of 300 Million Yuan to Sri Lanka to procure medicine, food, fuel and other essential commodities.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said that the grant was a result of a conversation held between Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the 22nd of April.

With this grant, China has extended a total aid package of 500 Million Yuan which is approximately USD 76 Million, said the statement.


04 May 2022

SIPRI's "Trends in World Military Expenditure Report 2021".

In 2021 world military expenditure surpassed the two trillion US dollar mark for the first time, reaching $2113 billion. Global spending in 2021 was 0.7 per cent higher than in 2020 and 12 per cent higher than in 2012. The economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have not ended the continuous upward trend in world military expenditure seen since 2015. As a result of the strong economic recovery across the globe in 2021, world military spending as a share of world gross domestic product—the global military burden—reached 2.2 per cent, down from 2.3 per cent in 2020. Average military spending as a share of government expenditure in 2021 remained the same as in 2020, at 5.9 per cent.

This Fact Sheet presents regional and national military expenditure data for 2021 and highlights trends over the decade 2012–21. The data comes from the updated SIPRI Military Expenditure Database, which provides military spending data by country for the years 1949–2021.


  • World military expenditure surpassed the two trillion US dollar mark for the first time, reaching $2.1 trillion in 2021.
  • The five largest military spenders in 2021 were the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom and Russia, which together accounted for 62 per cent of world military spending. The USA and China alone accounted for 52 per cent.
  • In 2021 China’s military spending rose for the 27th consecutive year, to reach $293 billion.
  • Russia’s military expenditure grew for the third consecutive year in 2021. Spending rose by 2.9 per cent, to reach $65.9 billion, or 4.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Military expenditure grew in three of the world’s five regions in 2021. Spending increased in Asia and Oceania (3.5 per cent), Europe (3.0 per cent) and Africa (1.2 per cent). Spending decreased in the Middle East (–3.3 per cent) and the Americas (–1.2 per cent). 
  • World military spending as a share of global GDP reached 2.2 per cent in 2021, 0.1 percentage points lower than in 2020.
  • Countries allocated an average of 5.9 per cent of their total government budgets to their militaries in 2021—the same proportion as in 2020.

The 05 countries with the highest military expenditure in 2021.



03 May 2022

Sri Lanka to purchase LP gas from Thailand-based company.

The Cabinet of Ministers has given the approval to purchase liquefied petroleum (LP) gas from Thailand-based Siam Gas Company for a period of one year.

In comparison to the current rates of the Omani supplier, the prices offered by Siam Gas Company are less than USD 09 per metric tonne.

The said company will accordingly supply 70 percent of Sri Lanka’s LP gas requirement per year, the government said further in a statement.


Special cash allowance to low-income families hit by economic crisis.

The go-ahead of the Cabinet of Ministers has been given to provide a special cash allowance for a period of three months to identified low-income families affected by the ongoing economic crisis.

Relevant proposal was tabled by the Minister of Finance and Minister of Samurdhi.

As the low-income families entitled to Samurdhi, Elderly, Kidney and Disability allowances have been severely affected by the current economic crisis in the country, the government has identified the need for immediate relief to those families and their families on the waiting list.

Contingent Emergency Response Component in projects funded by the World Bank Group will provide the necessary funding for this, the Department of Government Information said in a statement.

Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers has approved the proposals to provide special cash allowance to identified families from May to July.



IMF forecasts 2.6% growth for Sri Lanka.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is forecasting Sri Lanka’s economy to grow by 2.6% this year down from 3.6% in 2021. 

The projection for 2023 is a growth of 2.7% as per the IMF which this week released its forecasts for Asia and the Pacific countries. 

IMF Asia and Pacific Department’s Acting Director Anne-Marie Gulde-Wolf said In Sri Lanka, the rise in food and fuel prices and hit to tourism has exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities and debt sustainability pressures, leading to social unrest and policy instability. 



S&P cuts Sri Lanka to 'selective default' on missed payments.

S&P Global Ratings cut Sri Lanka's rating as an issuer of foreign currency debt to 'selective default' after the South Asian country missed sovereign bond interest payments, S&P said.

The bonds which had missed payments, maturing in 2023 and 2028, were cut to 'default' and the overall rating could be further cut to 'D' on confirmation of the non-payment after a 30-day grace period.

S&P said it does not expect the government to make payments during that period.



Sri Lanka Purchasing Managers’ Index - March 2022.

Purchasing Managers' Indices for both Manufacturing and Services activities expanded in March 2022.

Following the seasonal pattern in manufacturing activities, the manufacturing PMI increased on a month-on-month basis to an index value of 57.8, yet at a slower rate than the previous years.

Services sector PMI recorded an index value of 51.3 in March 2022 indicating an expansion across the services sector.



Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI, 2013=100) based headline inflation continuously increased to 29.8% in April 2022.

Headline inflation, as measured by the year-on-year (Y-o-Y) change in the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI, 2013=100) increased to 29.8% in April 2022 from 18.7% in March 2022. This increase in Y-o-Y inflation was driven by the monthly increases of both Food and Non-Food categories. Subsequently, Food inflation (Y-o-Y) increased to 46.6% in April 2022 from 30.2% in March 2022, while Non-Food inflation (Y-o-Y) increased to 22.0% in April 2022 from 13.4% in March 2022.

Monthly change of CCPI recorded at 9.25% in April 2022 due to price increases observed in items of both Non-Food and Food categories which were 4.95% and 4.31%, respectively. Accordingly, prices of items in the Non-Food category recorded increases mainly due to price increases observed in the Transport (Petrol and Diesel), Education (Tuition fees), Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuel (Housing rent, Maintenance/Reconstruction) and Restaurant and Hotels sub-categories. Further, within the Food category, increases were observed in prices of milk powder, rice, bread, dhal, sugar and dried fish during the month.



28 April 2022

Elon Musk to acquire Twitter in $44 billion deal.

The social media giant confirmed Monday 25 April 2022 the Tesla CEO and billionaire will acquire the company in a deal worth $44 billion. Once the deal is complete, which is expected by this year, Twitter will become a privately held company.



24 April 2022

WTO slashes 2022 global trade growth forecast to 3%.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has revised down its forecast for global trade growth this year to 3% from 4.7% because of the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war and warned of a potential food crisis caused by surging prices.

The report from the global trade watchdog said the conflict, now in its seventh week, had damaged the world economy at a critical juncture as the coronavirus pandemic - and Chinese lockdowns specifically - continues to weigh on the recovery.

The Geneva-based body forecast global trade growth in 2023 would inch up to 3.4%, noting that both 2022 and 2023 estimates are less certain than usual due to uncertainty about the conflict.



21 April 2022

World Bank slashes global growth forecast.

The World Bank lowered its annual global growth forecast for 2022 on Monday by nearly a full percentage point, down from 4.1% to 3.2%, citing the impact that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is having on the world economy.

World Bank President David Malpass told reporters on a conference call that the largest single factor in the reduced growth forecast was a projected economic contraction of 4.1% across Europe and Central Asia, according to Reuters.

Other factors behind the slowdown in growth from January’s forecast include higher food and fuel costs being borne by consumers in developed economies across the world, said Malpass.

These are partly the result of Western sanctions on Russian energy, which have driven up the price of oil and gas worldwide. Supply disruptions to Ukrainian agricultural exports are also cited as contributing factors to pushing prices higher.

Russia has blockaded Ukraine’s major Black Sea ports, making it extremely dangerous for shipping vessels carrying grain and other products to travel the key maritime pathway connecting Ukraine to the rest of the world.



20 April 2022

Nexo and Mastercard launch 'world first' crypto-backed payment card.

London-based Cryptocurrency lender, Nexo has joined hands with global payments company Mastercard to launch the world’s first “crypto-backed” payment card. Electronic money firm DiPocket is Nexo’s card issuer. The card requires no minimum repayments, monthly, or inactivity fees. There are no FX fees for up to 20,000 euros per month. Interest remains at 0% for customers who maintain a loan-to-value ratio of 20% or below.

This move by crypto and incumbent financial networks forces digital assets to become more mainstream. Initially, The card will be available in selected European countries. There are no restrictions on how much a customer can spend or withdraw from the open credit line and interest is only paid on the amount of credit actually used.



Sri Lanka to temporarily suspend foreign debt payments.

Sri Lanka will temporarily suspend foreign debt payments to avoid a hard default, the central bank governor said, with its limited foreign reserves required for imports of essential items such as fuel.

Sri Lanka is due to start talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a loan programme next week, with the country suffering from prolonged power cuts alongside shortages of food and medicines.

The island nation’s foreign reserves stood at a paltry $1.93 billion at the end of March, with foreign debt payments of around $4 billion due this year, including a $1 billion international sovereign bond maturing in July.

The governor said the action was being taken in good faith, emphasizing that the country of 22 million people had never defaulted on its debt payments.

J.P. Morgan analysts estimate Sri Lanka’s gross debt servicing would amount to $7 billion in 2022 and a current account deficit of around $3 billion.



17 April 2022

Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter for $43 billion.

Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share in a filing published, saying the social media company needs to be transformed privately, a little over a week after revealing a 9.1% stake in the company. Musk’s offer values Twitter at about $43 billion.

Twitter shares closed down 1.68% on Thursday. Tesla’s stock dipped more than 3.6% on the news.

According to Musk, the social media company needs to go private because it can “neither thrive nor serve” free speech in its current state.



08 April 2022

New Secretary to Finance Ministry assumes duties.

Newly-appointed Secretary to the Finance Minister K.M. Mahinda Siriwardana has assumed duties in his position.

State Minister Shehan Semasinghe and several senior officials of the finance ministry were present at the occasion.

Former CBSL Deputy Governor Siriwardena has more than 30 years of service in the Central Bank. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Governor, he held the key positions of Assistant Governor and Director of Economic Research Department of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Mr. Siriwardana was on release to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the Alternate Executive Director for the Constituency comprised of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan during July 2017 to October 2019.

He was also on release to the Ministry of Finance from October 2010 to April 2015 to serve as the Director-General of the Fiscal Policy Department and also as an Additional Director General of the National Planning Department.

Mr. Siriwardana has served as a member of the Board of Directors/Treasury Representative in several institutions, including Bank of Ceylon, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, National Savings Bank, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Board of Investments of Sri Lanka, Export Development Board, Sri Lanka Export Credit Insurance Corporation and Sri Lanka Vocational Training Authority.

He holds a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Economics and a Postgraduate Diploma in Economic Development from the Vanderbilt University, USA and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) (Special) Degree in Economics from the University of Kelaniya.




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