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February 20, 2017

China Increases Steelmaking Capacity Despite Pledges To Address Overcapacity

  • According to a report from Custeel and Greenpeace East Asia, Chinese steelmaking capacity increased by 36.5 million tons in 2016 despite pledges by the country to eliminate excess capacity. As Agence France-Presse noted, China now makes more than half of the nation’s steel.
  • Japan’s economy grew at just a one percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter of 2016 due to a slow down in consumer spending. The rate was slower than growth in the previous three quarters. Despite the disappointing reading, the value of exports from Japan grew 2.6 percent in the final three months of last year while business investment improved by 0.9 percent. 
  • The German economy  expanded at a 0.4 percent rate in the final quarter of 2016. That reading was 0.1 percentage points below the expansion analysts had predicted. For all of 2016, the German economy expanded 1.9 percent. Italy’s economy, meanwhile, expanded 0.2 percent. That reading also was 0.1 percentage points off analysts’ predictions. The British economy, meanwhile, expanded at a 0.7 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter of 2016 due to a “surge in industrial production, manufacturing, exports and construction in December.” Also last week: the European Commission said that it expects euro-area GDP growth to slow to 1.6 percent in 2017 from 1.7 percent last year.
  • According to China’s Association of Automobile Manufacturers, auto sales in the country fell 1.1 percent from December 2015 to December 2016, to 2.2 million units after the country raised sales taxes. Total vehicle sales rose 0.2 percent.