In international news, Singapore’s central bank has reprimanded 20 banks for attempting to manipulate the benchmark interests rates. This has come shortly after the Libor rate (London Interbank Offered Rate) scandal, where banks in both the US and the UK illegally influenced the benchmark rate. The Monetary Association of Singapore (MAS) claimed that 133 traders had attempted to manipulate the rates. China, the world’s second largest economy, has also had a bad week relative to its normally rosey performance. The World Bank has cut growth forecasts for China by 1.4 per cent. The World Bank said its reason for the cut was due to the Chinese government attempting to rebalance the economy along with the reduced demand for Chinese exports from its key markets that have been hit by the global recession in the US and Europe.
US Government data has revealed that its retail industry grew 0.6 per cent and that car sales rose by 1.85 per cent. This is deemed significant, as retail accounts for almost a third of consumption in the US, and consumer spending accounts for 70 per cent of the US economic activity. Across the pond, the UK growth forecasts still look relatively bleak, with unemployment falling by a meagre 5,000, and interest rates remaining at 0.5 per cent. However, a Paris based think tank has noted that the UK is growing just above its growth trajectory, possibly signalling a path to recovery.
The Communications Workers Union (CWU) has announced that they will have yet another walkout, the sixth and seventh since Easter. They come after plans to franchise out various Post Office branches, which will potentially cut 1,500 jobs. The plans, headed by the Chief Executive Paula Vennels, could lead to 73 Crown Offices either being closed down or franchised. The talks between the CWU and management representatives from the Post Office have stalled, which has lead to Vennels being asked to intervene and attempt to resolve the issues