High gas prices are hurting the economy

first_imgWell, our wonderful President Trump has done it again. He brags that he has given everyone a raise in their paycheck, and we are now paying $3.06 a gallon for gas.This is a classic bait-and-switch. He gives us a few dollars in one hand and takes away an essential necessity, gasoline, in the other. This product is the backbone of every day life. This gas hike shows no indication of slowing down. It will affect everyone across the board. It will affect how people spend their vacations and the price of goods and services. In the end, it will really hurt the economy. President Trump has never had to worry about the price of gas or any other necessity.We really need him to go back to his golden Trump tower.Marty ShantyCharltonMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Police: Schenectady woman tried to take car in Clifton Park hours after arrest, release in prior the… Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Best of breed

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Chelmsford Demanding times

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Retail: Bill’s bitter pill … Liverpool’s elixir

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Full facelift

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Champagne supernova

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‘We hope it will be over soon’: Bali holds mass prayer as virus takes toll on tourism

first_imgTopics : The Bali Tourism Agency organized a mass prayer on Friday amid a fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak originating from China, which has taken a toll on the famous resort island’s tourism industry.Officials from the agency alongside those working in the tourism sector held the prayer on Friday morning at Pura Candi Narmada, a Hindu temple in Kuta, Badung regency.Bali Tourism Agency head Putu Astawa said that the group prayed together to ask that Bali remain safe from the coronavirus outbreak, which as of Friday had killed 213 in China and infected nearly 10,000 globally. “We who work in the [tourism] industry have suffered losses [due to the outbreak],” she acknowledged.Fears of the novel coronavirus previously led the Bali Tourism Agency to cancel the Bali Kintamani Festival, originally scheduled for Feb. 8. The agency will try to reschedule the event to sometime this year after fears about the virus have ebbed.The Chinese government has implemented anticipatory measures to contain the virus, including limiting flights to and from the country, which has affected Chinese tourist arrivals in Bali.According to Statistics Indonesia, Chinese tourists account for the second highest number of foreign tourist visits to Indonesia, after Malaysia. About 1.9 million Chinese tourists visited the archipelago from January to November 2019. (dpk)center_img  “We hope it [the virus outbreak] will be over soon. We are truly aware that the tourism industry is the backbone of Bali’s economy,” Astawa said after the prayer.Elsye Deliana from Bali Liang, a marketing division for China at the Bali chapter of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA), concurred that the new virus outbreak had severely affected the tourism industry.According to agency data, at least 15,000 Chinese tourists have had their trips to the island canceled amid fears of the virus.A number of Chinese tourist groups, each consisting of 1,000 to 2,000 people, had planned to visit Bali in February, but their trips had been canceled indefinitely.last_img read more

PREMIUME-envy: Online commerce platforms vie for consumer loyalty

first_imgE-commerce platforms in Indonesia are competing for consumer loyalty as people continue to shop around on different platforms, joint research by Facebook and Bain & Company shows.The study, titled Riding the Digital Wave: Southeast Asia’s Discovery Generation, found that, on average, people in Indonesia shop across 3.8 different platforms before making a purchase decision.Rahmi Tri Wahyutika, 22, has been an online shopper for about five years and has tried seven different e-commerce platforms so far. Shopee and Tokopedia are her go-to options. “Normally, I compare [prices on] two platforms for small purchases or purchases under Rp 1 million [US$73.16]. But for purchases above Rp 1 million, I check almost every platform,” Rahmi told The Jakarta Post on Thursday. She added that she also shopped at different marketplaces because some brands w… Topics : Facebook consumer-behaviour report e-commerce survey research Facebook Bain-Company Southeast-Asia Indonesia Linkedin LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Google Log in with your social account Forgot Password ?last_img read more

Vietnam is the ‘favorite’ story for fund managers seeking growth

first_imgVietnamese stocks are some of the world’s most battered this year, yet market watchers are backing a turnaround.They’re pointing to valuations that haven’t been this cheap since 2017 and an economy that’s been growing 5 percent or more each year for two decades. The nation’s benchmark gauge has almost completely erased its 2019 returns and now trades at about 12 times estimated earnings over the next year.Concerns about trade and supply-chain disruptions due to the coronavirus have already wiped off more than 6 percent from the VN Index this year. With China delaying the reopening of land borders and travel restrictions, Vietnam expects industries related to tourism, agriculture, textiles and machinery to be hit hard. But analysts so far have remained positive, projecting that the nation’s companies will manage to post record earnings. “Vietnam is still one of my favorite countries in terms of growth prospects, valuations and dividend yield,” said Federico Parenti, a fund manager at Sempione Sim SpA in Milan. “I will surely add more shares once it will be more clear how the situation will evolve.”Many acknowledge earnings for the quarter ending in March will take a hit as visas for Chinese tourists — which account for about a third of the total arrivals — got halted, while meetings and festivals were canceled to avoid the spread of the virus.Even though foreigners have pulled US$5.3 million from Vietnamese equity funds this year, that’s much less than the outflows from peers such as Thailand, Indonesia or the Philippines. And while the Vietnamese equity index is still 25 percent below its 2018 peak, it’s proved to be resilient in the long run. Since 2012, it has rallied every year except one.The recent sell-off is presenting “interesting value opportunities” in transport, energy and consumption, said Andrew Brudenell, the manager of a frontier-markets fund for Ashmore Group Plc. Ruchir Desai, a fund manager at Asia Frontier Capital Ltd., also likes travel-related stocks.Vietnam remains one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, with an expansion rate of 7 percent for 2019, according to official data. While the government said it may slow to under 6 percent in 2020, that still places Vietnam above most countries. Investors also see the market as one of the biggest beneficiaries of a shift in supply chains away from China.Vietnam Asset Management expects the ratification earlier this month of a free-trade agreement with the European Union to also have a “significantly positive” impact on the nation’s economy. Ngo The Trieu, chief investment officer of Eastspring Investments in Vietnam, says the revision of the country’s securities law and launch of new indexes will further grow the nation’s equity market.“Sectors that directly capture the growth drivers of the domestic economy” will generate value for long-term investors, he said.Topics :last_img read more

Hong Kong to give big cash handouts as economy reels from virus

first_imgHong Kong’s government on Wednesday said it will give a HK$10,000 (US$1,280) handout to seven million permanent residents in a bid to jump-start a recession-hit economy now compounded by the coronavirus outbreak.Financial Secretary Paul Chan unveiled the cash gift in an annual budget, committing $120 billion to help alleviate the worst economic downtown the international financial hub has faced in a decade.Hong Kong boasts significant fiscal reserves of more than HK$1 trillion built up over the boom years, a stockpile that the government is now tapping into. The tourist, restaurant and retail sectors have been hit especially hard with bankruptcies soaring and traditionally low unemployment rising.”Hong Kong’s economy is facing enormous challenges this year,” Chan said, predicting a range of 0.5 percent growth to a 1.5 percent contraction this year. The recession is a major headache for the city’s unelected pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam who currently boasts record low approval ratings after facing down huge democracy protests.The massive rallies and regular clashes with police that became a weekly fixture last year were dying down before the outbreak began. But the virus has comprehensively ended mass gatherings.Yet public anger still simmers in a city where neither its leadership nor Beijing have addressed the issues fuelling years of rising resentment.Neighboring Macau often announces universal cash handouts to residents in its annual budget. Hong Kong has historically been more reticent. The last handout for all residents was in 2011, three years after the global crash sparked the city’s last recession.Last week Hong Kong’s government announced a HK$30 billion relief fund for those hit hardest by the virus outbreak, including cash handouts for businesses like restaurants and travel companies.Chan said the city was set to record a record high deficit this year — its first in 15 years. The last time Hong Kong ran a deficit was between 2001 and 2004. Chan said the reserves should see the city through the current crisis “In the medium term, the economic outlook of Hong Kong remains positive,” he said.  The cash handout alone will cost HK$71 billion but officials hope consumers will plough much of the money back into local businesses.”Making good use of fiscal reserves to support enterprises and relieve people’s hardship is certainly in line with our people’s expectations,” he said. Hong Kong’s economy is reeling from the US-China trade war, months of pro-democracy protests last year and now the coronavirus: a triple whammy Chan described as “exceptionally austere”. Other measures announced in the budget included profits and salary tax breaks as well as low interest loans for businesses struggling to pay staff wages.center_img Topics :last_img read more