Every week we bring you the world’s biggest travel, business and currency exchange news. This week: the eurozone hits a high, Deutsche Bank in London, Samsung apologizes, inflation down in Canada, and the Keystone pipeline is back on.
Eurozone 6 year high
Businesses in the eurozone grew at the fastest pace in almost six years according to the Markit Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and job creation was at the highest for nearly a decade. The growth was driven by French and German service sectors. Still 20% of European youth are unemployed, the French election looms, Greece remains a perennial cause for concern, and the fallout from Brexit could yet prove damaging. Don’t expect major moves from the ECB just yet.
Deutsche Bank is in talks for a 25 year lease of a new building in London, pledging their commitment to stay in the UK finance hub despite Brexit. The bank is Germany’s largest lender, and employs about 7,000 staff in London across 15 different buildings.
Samsung has had a lot to apologise for over the last year. First they addressed the corruption scandal gripping South Korea. Samsung Group boss Jay Y. Lee was accused to bribing a confidant of the former President, who has since resigned, to secure government support for a business deal. Lee will be sentenced to jail time. The company also received much ridicule for its Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones which spontaneously caught fire due to malfunctions. The company says it will improve corporate governance but will not change its corporate structure.
Inflation in Canada cooled to 2% in February, down slightly from the previous month. A sharp increase in fuel prices was offset by a decrease in the cost of fresh vegetables. Food prices in February were down 2.3% compared to last year, and fresh fruit costs were down 13.3%. Gas prices however were up 23.1% compared to last year. Without factoring in gas inflation was just 1.3% in February and 1.5% in January. The Bank of Canada has recently revised its inflation measurements to exclude volatile products, leading to an annualised rate of 1.6% in February. This lower than ideal inflation is a major indicator that the Bank of Canada will not raise rates.
TransCanada, a Calgary based company, has finally received permission to build the highly controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Former President Obama blocked the pipeline on environmental grounds. The decision to grant permission was made by Under Secretary of State Tom Shannon. The pipeline will bring over 800,000 barrels of Alberta crude from Canada to Nebraska where it will pass on to refineries in the US. Environmentalists are still committed to blocking construction.
Stay informed. Stay Current.