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Macro Snapshot — Tunisia’s food trade deficit doubles; Japan growth weakens as global economy stutters
CAIRO: The surging cost prices have doubled Tunisia’s food trade deficit in the first half of 2022, while the soaring inflation levels in Britain have caused the average annual UK food bill to rise.
Japan’s economy is expected to grow at a slower pace than prior predictions as exporters suffer from global conditions, and Australia’s central bank indicated the intent to impose further monetary tightening in the economy.
Surging prices double Tunisia’s food trade deficit in first half
Tunisia’s food trade deficit doubled to 1.559 billion dinars ($496.99 million) due to the higher cost of imports of cereals and sugar in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year, the state Agricultural Observatory said on Tuesday.
The food trade deficit was 806 million dinars in the first half last year.
Tunisia’s total trade deficit widened by 56 percent to $3.66 billion in the first half of 2022, the state Institute of Statistics said this month.
Average annual UK food bill set to rise 454 pounds as inflation soars
UK grocery inflation hit 9.9 percent in the four weeks to July 10, adding £454 pounds ($543.7) to Britons’ annual bills amid a worsening cost of living crisis, industry data showed on Tuesday.
Market researcher Kantar said the inflation rate was the second highest it has seen since it started tracking supermarket prices in this way in 2008.
“We’re likely to surpass the previous high come August,” warned Fraser McKevitt, Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight.
Japan Q3, FY22 growth seen weaker as global economy stutters
Japan’s economy is likely to grow at a slower pace than previously thought throughout the rest of the fiscal year, a Reuters poll showed, as growing risks of a global economic slowdown and supply woes torment Japanese exporters.
Manufacturers in the world’s third-largest economy are susceptible to the gloomier growth outlook in major trading partners such as the USand China that are stoking recession and stagflation fears worldwide.
Analysts, however, still projected Japan’s growth to stay positive throughout the fiscal year until next March, the poll showed, thanks to an expected recovery of consumption, which accounts for over half of the country’s gross domestic product.
Australia central bank says rates still too low to contain inflation
Australia’s central bank sees a need for more policy tightening as, even after recent hikes, interest rates are still too low to constrain inflation expectations amid a strong labor market.
Minutes of its July policy meeting out on Tuesday showed the Reserve Bank of Australia Board discussed the neutral rate — one that is neither expansionary nor contractionary — and decided the current rate of 1.35 percent was “well below” that.
“The level of interest rates was still very low for an economy with a tight labor market and facing a period of higher inflation,” the minutes showed.
The central bank raised rates by 50 basis points at the meeting, the third hike in as many months.
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