Factory activity in the United States has fallen sharply since May 2020, and among the slowest since 2009, a study found. On a positive note, inflation also moderated.
The latest manufacturing PMI survey from S&P Global showed the core index fell to 46.2 in December from 47.7 in November, matching the previous ‘flash’ estimate. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction.
Low prices for some inputs such as steel and fuel have led to a very slow rise in price burdens since July 2020. In an effort to drive sales and cut costs, the companies have increased their selling prices at the smoothest pace in more than two years.
Sian Jones, senior economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said:
The manufacturing sector recorded a poor performance as production and new orders contracted at a slower pace towards the end of 2022. Demand for goods fell as domestic orders and export sales declined. The excess inventory built up at the beginning of the year has been depleted due to increased input costs, and the diluted demand situation has reduced the adjustment of stock holdings. With the exception of the first pandemic period, purchase inventory has declined sharply since 2009.
Concerns about perspective taking weigh on hiring decisions. As the firms exercised caution, job creation was minimal, and mostly related to skilled workers.
Decline in demand for inputs and supply of materials at suppliers further reduced inflation. In fact, the rate of input price inflation has fallen below the trend line. Selling price increases also slowed, although they were still rising sharply. Slower inflation reflects the impact of Fed policy on prices, but rising uncertainty and waning demand point to challenges for manufacturers heading into the new year.
Fallen Crypto Billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried He will plead not guilty on Tuesday to defrauding investors and stealing billions of dollars, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Bankman-Fried is accused of illegally funneling FTX customer deposits to the Alameda Research hedge fund, buying real estate and making millions of dollars in political contributions.
He is scheduled to appear before US District Judge Louis Kaplan in Manhattan at 2pm ET (7pm GMT).
Aldi It enjoyed its best Christmas yet, with sales up 26 per cent year-on-year in December as it opened new stores in the UK and attracted customers looking for cost-of-living savings.
Aldi UK, a member of the German discount supermarket group, has pledged to offer shoppers the lowest grocery prices in the UK this year “no matter what”.
With more than 990 stores and a 9.3% share of the UK grocery market, the company overtook Morrisons last year to become Britain’s fourth largest supermarket group.
It saw strong growth in fresh meat sales, such as poultry and pork, both of which were up 28%. Total sales increased by £1.4 billion in December.
Sales of frozen desserts and fresh cheeses rose by 30% and 50% respectively, while sales of snacks such as crisps and nuts grew by more than 40%, with the men’s football cup debuting around Christmas.
Aldi and German discounter Lidl have expanded rapidly in Britain in recent years, forcing market leader Tesco to compete on price with Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons. Tesco and Sainsbury have pledged to match Aldi on key products.
In corporate news, bankrupt chain Cineworld has ruled out attempts to break up the business and sell some of its cinemas to the owner of rival Odion, as it is losing interest in a buyer interested in buying the entire operation.
The denial comes after the world’s second-largest cinema chain, which filed for bankruptcy protection in the US in September, was said to be in talks to offload some of its cinemas in the US and Europe to AMC Entertainment.
“Cineworld wishes to clarify that neither it nor its advisors have been involved in discussions with AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. regarding the sale of any of its cinema properties,” the company said on Tuesday. He also denied that any of his creditors were in talks with Odeon’s owner.
The British cinema firm, which owns the Picturehouse brand, has stressed that it is focused on selling the business as a whole rather than looking for buyers for individual properties and plans to approach interested parties later this month.
Inflation eased in Germany, Europe’s largest economy. Inflation fell to 8.6% in December, according to provisional official figures, it was 10% in November and 10.4% in October.
Food prices were still up 20.7%, compared to 21.1% in November, while energy costs rose 24.4%, from 38.7% in November, due to government stimulus measures.
Milder weather in the UK and Europe has led to higher wholesale gas prices leading to higher energy costs.
In February, European delivery prices fell by 4.3% to €73.7 per megawatt, while UK prices fell by 3.8% to €179p per term.
Recent mild weather has reduced the need for heating in the UK and the rest of Europe and conditions are expected to ease over the next two weeks.
Optimism about expanded gas supplies rose after Russia cut gas exports to Europe after invading Ukraine. Last week, in February 2022, the price fell to a level not seen before the start of the war.
The RMT leader said he understood the frustration at the strike but advised disgruntled commuters to “look at what the government and the companies are doing”.
Speaking from the polling line at Euston station in London, Mick Lynch He told PA that railway companies cannot run services properly on non-strike days, let alone on industrial action days.
Lynch said there was “very strong support” for the picnic among the public, but acknowledged that not everyone felt the same way.
We understand that anger and frustration, and we understand why they can blame us, but the government and companies should look at what they are doing.
We want to get the railways back to normal. We want good industrial relations and we want the services to run the way they should.
The companies can’t manage them on non-strike days, they don’t care when we go out. Therefore, we need to change the balance and settle it as soon as possible, which means that the people can rely on the railways to get the services they need.
RMT Secretary General, Mick LynchHe said industrial action must continue after May unless a reasonable offer is made to the RMT.
If there is no supply we can work with, they (the strikes) may continue.
We want to get into a situation where we talk to the unions regularly and we don’t want to go on strike and we want to work out a settlement that our members can vote on and accept.
But if we don’t get that there needs to be more action, and we’ve got an injunction that extends until May this year, and if we have to go further, that’s what we have to do. But we don’t want to.
The first of five strikes begins today:
From the north of Scotland to the tip of Cornwall, our members are taking action across the country. The train service has stopped and will be severely disrupted this week – we are not happy about that.
Lynch also said thousands of workers would lose their jobs and safety would be at risk if the RMT accepted the latest offer from rail companies.
Speaking from the selected line at Euston Station in London, the union leader told Pa
We cannot accept that in the rail companies, because it means thousands of our members and guards will lose their jobs, it means we have to accept a less safe railway and also a pay offer. It is lower than last year’s inflation and this year’s inflation in 2023.
And we haven’t had a pay raise in three years, so you’re looking at a three-, four-, five-year contract that’s unacceptable to our members and unacceptable to the union, so this was not a realistic offer. We could move forward.
A new UK rail strike began this morning and the war of words between the government and unions escalated. While the Secretary of Transportation Mark Harper The RMT chief said the union must return to the negotiating table to “strike a deal” from the polling lines. Mick Lynch He told the PA news agency:
I’ll come whenever the Transport Secretary wants – I can meet him in 20 minutes. If he wanted me to get off this picket line, I would do that, so right away.
What happened was that on December 15th, we met with the Railway Secretary, and we gave an action notice, and since then they have been enjoying the Christmas holidays and have done nothing.
We were ready to meet and they didn’t want to meet us. So they waited until the strike came to make these noises, but if they wanted to settle and avoid the strike, they could have taken a little more action and moved things.