1 Sep 2014

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  • Small Business

WASHINGTON – U.S. small businesses borrowing hit a five month low in February, in the latest indication of slower economic growth in the first quarter after an unusually harsh winter.

The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the volume of financing to small companies, fell to 110.5 in February from a reading of 116.5 in January, PayNet said on Tuesday. That was the lowest level since last September.

The index continues to retreat from a near seven-year high touched in December.

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France’s economy stagnated in the second quarter, leaving President Francois Hollande increasingly desperate to fulfill his two-year-old pledge to get the country growing again.

National statistics agench INSEE reported Thursday that the eurozone’s second-largest economy posted zero growth for the second straight quarter.

Finance Minister Michel Sapin immediately acknowledged that the goverment’s forecast of 1 percent growth this year would now be impossible to reach. In an op-ed published on the website of French daily Le Monde, Sapin said: “This year GDP growth will be around 0.5 percent, and nothing currently allows us to expect growth much above 1 percent in 2015.”

Tags: Quarter

News report: Kevin OLeary leaves CBC, joins CTV

I know that you are probably expecting me to be critical of CTVs decision to take Kevin OLeary back, five years after he quit BNN to join Amanda Lang and the CBC. Quite frankly, I just cant bring myself to do it. It wouldnt be right, to be honest, as CTV is just displaying the natural tendency that we all have to let a talented marketer convince us to do something that might be against our better judgment. What Mr. OLeary has taught Canada over the past decade isnt about business or investing, but how to market yourself to the world in the face of tough odds, and that deserves acknowledgement and applause.

Hat tip. Clap.

Just imagine the challenge that Mr. OLeary had to keep the Decade of Daddy rolling along to his financial satisfaction. The CBC recently lost the TV rights to NHL hockey and is undergoing massive budget cuts as a result. This left little in the kitty to pay KO for his contribution to Ms.

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SPRING will truly have sprung come Tuesday, we are told, with theinitial estimate for growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of this year. Will it be 0.9 per cent – or higher? How close are we to getting the economy back to its old size, the one before the 2008 crash?

Above all, perhaps, the key question has to be the number of times we shall have to hear variations on the following dread phrase: “And to think – only a year ago, some were predicting a treble-dip recession!”

So amid all the fluff and noise, what do you really need to know about GDP and all that?

First, the Chancellor will take a bow and quite right too. George Osborne would have copped the blame had the multi-dip recession actually happened, so it would be absurd to claim he “had nothing to do with the recovery”. May he didn

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CNA cited the ThomsonReuters/INSEAD Asia Business Sentiment Survey to report that the business sentiment index in Taiwan rose to a score of 67 from the previous quarter’s 50. A reading above 50 indicates an overall positive outlook.

“Optimism returned to Taiwan’s sentiment index, reversing the decline in the March quarter,” the report said. “Two of the six respondents turned positive in their outlook compared with none in the last survey.”

The ThomsonReuters/INSEAD Asia Business Sentiment Index rose significantly to 74 in the second quarter compared to a 64 reading in the first quarter, with an upswing in sentiment across most of the region.

Of the 124 companies polled, none reported a negative outlook for the first time in the survey’s history, Reuters said. Sentiment is scored on a 0-100 scale, with figures above 50 indicating a positive outlook.

A similar pattern emerged in mainland China, Taiwan’s largest trading partner, with the index also rising from 50 to 67 since the first quarter. Half of

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Most economists think a rate increase is at least a year away despite signs of rising inflation.

The Fed announced its decision in a statement Wednesday after it ended a two-day policy meeting. The statement was nearly identical to the one the Fed issued after its last meeting in April. It reiterated its plan to keep short-term rates low “for a considerable time” after it ends its bond purchases, which have been intended to keep long-term loan rates low.

The Fed also downgraded its forecast for growth for 2014, acknowledging that a harsh winter caused the economy to shrink in the January-March quarter. In addition, the Fed barely raised its forecast for inflation.

The Fed expects growth to be just 2.1 percent to 2.3 percent this year, down from 2.8 percent to 3 percent in its last projections in March. It thinks inflation will be a slight 1.5 percent to 1.7 percent by year’s end, near its earlier estimate.

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Tags: Fed, Fed Slows