The Zurich Cantonal Bank (ZKB) keeps unchanged its growth forecasts for the Swiss economy: according to the institute's specialists, the gross domestic product will increase by 1.1% this year and 0.9% in 2017. ZKB economists are therefore fundamentally different from majority of other experts, who have recently revised upwards their estimates after news of a surprisingly large increase in GDP in the second quarter.
n the second quarter the balance of current transactions in Switzerland showed a surplus of 17.3 billion francs, 3.4 billion less than the same period last year and 7.9 billion more in the first quarter of 2016. Total revenue reached 143.9 billion, the outputs 126.6 billion, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) reports in a press release today. The balance of goods and services amounted to +19.5 billion, one of the primary revenue up 1.5 billion and that of secondary revenues to 3.7 billion.
The top managers of Swiss companies are the best paid in Europe. The average value of wages received last year by the leaders of the seven Swiss companies included among the 100 largest European amounted to 8.77 million euro. Compared to 2014 there has been an increase of almost 15%, according to research published today by the Willis Towers Watson consulting. Behind the Swiss, Spaniards rank with 7.18 million euro, then the British (6.78) and the Germans (5).
General Motors and Unifor, the Canadian trade union of workers in the sector, reached an agreement that averted a strike that would lead to blocking of some of the Canadian facilities of the company. The deal, which will be subject to a ratification vote on Sunday, provides that Oshawa's assembly plant will remain open, that it's focused on sedans that come out of production in 2019 and GM is committed to investing "hundreds of millions of dollars" in a restructuring program to allow the assembly also of other product categories.
China is creating the second largest steel group in the world. According to Chinese media, it could be announced in the week the takeover by Baosteel Group, government-company, China's second giant of the sector, which would incorporate Wuhan Iron and Steel Group. The two companies are currently in fourth and eleventh place in the world ranking of steel producers and, according to figures by the World Steel Association, combined annual capacity of the two companies in 2015 was around to 60.7 million tons, behind only to Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal.
Oil prices fell on Tuesday after rising yesterday supported by the crisis in Libya and the opening of Venezuela to the freezing of oil production. On Asian markets, Light Sweet Crude recorded a 0.85% rise to $ 43.67 a barrel, while Brent Crude lima 0.19% to $ 46.33 a barrel. In Libya, the military clashes between Ras Lanuf and Sidra oil terminals, have caused the blocking of exports from Libyan ports. They are taken up, in fact, fighting between forces loyal to the government of Libyan national unity, backed by the United Nations, and the administration's rival for control of oil ports in the east African country.
The encouraging data coming from exports have once more convenced the Swiss government to review forecasts for the 2016. Swiss foreign trade still growing in August and exports recorded a nominal increase of 7% (actual: + 1.2%) over the same month of 2015, rising to 16.1 billion Swiss francs, as the Federal Customs Administration indicates in a note today and now the Swiss economy is expected to grow by 1,5% in 2016. The precedent data indicated +1,4%. Imports grew by 8.4% (+ 5.1% in real terms, ie adjusted by the evolution of prices) to 13 billion while the trade balance closed with a surplus of 3 billion francs.
apan plans to discuss a number of specific proposals with Russia to be partakers with its entrepreneurs to the development of the agricultural sector in the Russian Far East. According to the newspaper Sankei Shimbun, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko will visit Moscow to discuss these proposals on November 1.
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