Registration Strip Icon for alerts Register for real-time alerts, custom portfolio, and market movers

Increasing Delinquency Rates in US, Slowdown in China’s Home Price Growth, US Housing Starts To Show Recovery Signs

Shemesh Shahar
Latest News
May 17 2023 06:49AM

Sudan Aid Plea Amidst Conflict: UN Seeks $2.6B

The UN’s aid agency has appealed for $2.6 billion to support humanitarian efforts in Sudan amidst ongoing conflict between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary group, Rapid Support Forces. With over half of the country’s population, approximately 25 million people, requiring aid and protection, the situation is dire. So far, the conflict has resulted in the displacement of 900,000 individuals.

Increasing Delinquency Rates in US

Compared to the previous year, more Americans are facing difficulties in meeting their car, credit card, and mortgage payments. According to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the delinquency rate for debt balances that were at least 90 days overdue in the first quarter of 2023 increased to 1.08% from 0.71%. The transition rate to 90-plus days delinquency also rose year-over-year for credit card, auto loan, and mortgage debt.

Russia Extends Ukraine Trade Deal

Russia has agreed to extend a crucial trade deal that allows Ukraine to export crops via Black Sea ports, as confirmed by Turkish officials. This agreement, brokered by Turkey and the United Nations, ensures the continuity of a major trade route despite Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine. Moscow had previously threatened to withdraw from the deal unless obstacles to its own crop and fertilizer shipments were resolved.

NYC’s Cash Program for Mothers Expands

New York City is transitioning its pilot cash payment program for new mothers into a permanent initiative, demonstrating its commitment to guaranteed income projects. The Bridge Project, initially launched in 2021 through the Monarch Foundation, provided monthly debit cards to pregnant mothers in northern Manhattan neighborhoods. Now, the program will expand to include mothers in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, and Rochester. Participants receive $1,000 per month for 18 months, followed by $500 per month for another 18 months.

Italy’s PM Discusses China Investment Pact

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will engage in discussions with Italy’s Group of Seven allies regarding the country’s decision to withdraw from the controversial investment pact with China. Italy’s potential exit from the Belt and Road Initiative, which has funded $900 billion in global infrastructure projects, has sparked debates among opposition lawmakers, prompting a parliamentary response from the government.

Surging Italian Exports to China

Italy has witnessed a significant surge in exports to China, with shipments surpassing €3 billion ($3.3 billion) in February, a 131% increase compared to the previous year. This growth follows a similar jump of 137% in the previous month. In January 2022, Italy exported approximately €1 billion worth of goods and services to the Chinese market, making the recent increase even more remarkable.

Turkey’s Central Bank Protects Lira

Ahead of the upcoming runoff presidential election, Turkey’s central bank is taking decisive measures to protect the lira. Introducing a series of new regulations, the bank aims to discourage demand for the dollar following the surprise momentum gained by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the recent ballot.

African Central Banks Hold Interest Rates

As inflation eases after a year of tightening measures, most African central banks, including those in Egypt, Kenya, and Mozambique, are expected to maintain their current interest rates. The drop in global commodity prices and the removal of supply constraints, coupled with the possibility of the US Federal Reserve pausing its aggressive hiking cycle, are additional factors influencing their decisions.

Slowdown in China’s Home Price Growth

China’s home price growth experienced a slowdown in April, highlighting the challenges faced by the market after a brief recovery. National Bureau of Statistics figures revealed a 0.32% increase in new-home prices in 70 cities (excluding state-subsidized housing) compared to the previous month’s growth of 0.44%. In the secondary market, price gains were even slower, rising by only 0.01% compared to 0.26% in the preceding month.

US Housing Starts To Show Recovery Signs

In April, there was a rise in US housing starts, indicating a gradual recovery in the residential real estate market following a year-long slump. Government data released on Wednesday showed a 2.2% increase in the rate of home construction, reaching a 1.4 million annualized rate. The growth was mainly driven by a 1.6% rise in single-family homebuilding, reaching the highest level so far this year, with the increase primarily seen in the West region. Moreover, there was also an uptick in the construction of apartment buildings and other multifamily projects.