Every week we bring you a roundup of all the biggest currency and business stories. This week: Qantas profits dip, the Fed will raise rates “fairly soon”, Germany has a record budget surplus, 8,000 millionaires moved to Canada last year, and CETA gets a boost.
Qantas profits dip
Australian Airline Qantas suffered a 7.5% drop in profit in the six months leading to December 2016. Greater numbers of empty seats, stiffer competition, and lower fares meant that profit fell to A$852 million.
Fed Rates rise “fairly soon”
The Federal Reserve’s first meeting since President-elect Trump became President Trump suggested that interest rates could be raised “fairly soon” – a comment that has been interpreted to mean as early as March. The US economy has remained strong despite some political uncertainty and in December unemployment dipped below 4.8%. It is feared that too much employment could lead to inflation unless the Fed raises rates, but raising rates too quickly could shock the system with negative consequences. Higher rates mean a stronger USD.
Germany’s government revenue has exceeded spending for the third year in a row, and hit the highest level since 1990 with a surplus of nearly EUR 24 billion. This is despite more money being spent on housing and refugees, and some of the surplus will go towards promoting integration amongst refugees. German GDP grew by 1.9%, and income also increased. Germany has a strong export market, but this may be hurting the rest of the eurozone according to the European Commision.
New Canadian Millionaires
Over 8,000 millionaires immigrated to Canada according to a report by New World Wealth. The US attracted 10,000 new millionaires, while Australia brought in 11,000. The biggest driving force behind the emigration of millionaires is education and safety. The largest ‘exporters’ of millionaires are France, China, and Brazil, with France making up the largest number of wealthy immigrants to Canada.
After being passed by the European Parliament last week CETA has received another boost on Thursday as Latvia became the first EU country to ratify the full agreement. Currently the deal is only being implemented in part, and won’t come into full effect until each EU member state ratifies the agreement.
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