US-China trade deal: When tariffs on Chinese goods will be reduced

Cameras in court – a leap of faith?

On today’s Daily podcast we take a look at how cameras will soon be allowed to cover part of Crown Courts trials in England and Wales.

We discuss the positives as well as the concerns surrounding the move following a lengthy campaign by broadcasters including Sky News.

:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

U.S. Consumer Comfort Reaches Highest Level in More Than 19 Years

U.S. consumer confidence advanced last week to the highest level in more than 19 years on increased optimism about the economy, personal finances and the buying climate.

Bloomberg’s index of consumer comfort rose to 66 in the week ended Jan. 12, the best reading since October 2000, from 65.1, according to a report Thursday. The gain was the eighth in the last nine weeks. A measure of Americans’ views of the economy climbed to the highest since early 2001.

Key Insights

  • A resilient labor market and income gains fueled in part by record stock prices are driving optimism about the economy. Elevated household sentiment could help power the consumer spending that has been the economy’s mainstay as company’s pare investment and manufacturing struggles with weak export markets.
  • The comfort gauge of personal finances increased to the highest level since mid-September, helped both by the bull market in stocks and moderate wage gains as the jobless rate holds at a 50-year low.

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  • The comfort index of the buying climate rose last week to 58, matching the second-best reading on record and a sign consumers will keep spending.
  • The latest reading for consumer comfort is 4.8 points ahead of last year’s average.
  • The comfort gauge among married adults increased to a record in data back to mid-1990.
  • By region, comfort in the Midwest rose to the highest level since September 2000.

US mortgage rates increase; 30-yer loan at 3.65%

Housing market ‘poised for a great time’ in 2020s: NAHB president

National Association of Homebuilders president and CEO Jerry Howard argues the 2020s will be a good decade for home building and that President Trump’s policies are helping his industry.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates rose slightly last week after financial markets that had been roiled by the U.S.-Iran conflict stabilized.

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Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked up to 3.65% from 3.64% last week. The benchmark rate was 4.45% a year ago.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage increased to 3.09% from 3.07% last week.

Loan rates regained the stability they've shown in recent months, buttressed by positive economic data, a strong job market, and improved sentiment in the housing market, which saw a slowdown early last year.


European Economics Preview: France Industrial Output, Business Sentiment Due

Industrial production and business confidence survey results from France are due on Friday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

At 1.45 am ET, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs is set to release Swiss unemployment data. The jobless rate is expected to remain unchanged at seasonally adjusted 2.3 percent in December.

At 2.00 am ET, consumer and producer prices are due from Statistics Norway. Economists forecast inflation to ease marginally to 1.5 percent in December from 1.6 percent in November.

At 2.30 am ET, Bank of France publishes business confidence survey results. The business sentiment index is seen unchanged at 97 in December.

At 2.45 am ET, France’s statistical office Insee releases industrial output data for November. Output is expected to rise 0.1 percent on month, slower than the 0.4 percent rise in October.

At 3.00 am ET, Spain’s INE is scheduled to release industrial production for November. In the meantime, industrial and construction output and final GDP figures are due from the Czech Republic.

Half an hour later, Sweden industrial output data for November is due.

At 5.00 am ET, Italy’s Istat releases industrial production for November. Economists forecast production to remain flat on month after falling 0.3 percent in October.

Beyond Meat partners with Portage la Prairie bound pea-processing plant

Beyond Meat has announced a multi-year pea protein supply agreement with French-based Roquette.

The agreement will significantly increase the amount of pea protein being supplied to Beyond Meat over the next three years.

The companies say they hope to grow the market for the products.

Roquette is constructing a pea processing facility near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba that is expected to be completed towards the end of the year.

California-based Beyond Meat is partly owned by Bill Gates and meat-giant Tyson Foods.

US-China trade deal: When tariffs on Chinese goods will be reduced

Will phase two of China trade deal be negotiated after U.S. election?

Former Trump campaign senior trade adviser Curtis Ellis discusses talks between the world’s two biggest economies and the impact of an initial deal.

The U.S. is granting tariff relief on Chinese imports now that the historic phase one trade deal with Beijing is complete.

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The levy on $120 billion of Chinese goods will be lowered to 7.5 percent from 15 percent starting at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 14, the U.S. Trade Representative said Thursday, providing a timetable for plans disclosed in December. Washington will keep duties of 25 percent on about $250 billion of China-made products.


“I’m leaving them on because otherwise, we have no cards to negotiate with,” President Trump said at a signing ceremony for the trade agreement at the White House. The pact cools a trade war between the world's two largest economies that economists warned was driving up supply costs for businesses, undercutting the benefits of Trump's tax cuts and deregulation efforts.


As part of the agreement, China will buy an additional $200 billion of U.S. goods over the next two years, in addition to making reforms in the areas of intellectual property theft, financial services and currency exchange.