Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 18th 2016 Contents A17
Monday, January 18, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
SAO PAULO---Brazil s government says unemployment
in Latin America s largest country is rising.
The country s IBGE statistics bureau said the jobless
rate between August and October of last year
came in at 9 per cent, compared to 8.6
per cent in the previous three-month
period and 6.6 per cent a year ear-
It is the highest jobless rate since
Unemployment has been rising
as a result of a contracting economy
that has led to layoffs in the man-
ufacturing and service sectors.
President Dilma Rousseff said
Friday at a breakfast meeting with
reporters that her government is
determined to lower unemployment
She said: "Unemployment is the
government s biggest concern." (AP)
on Friday released its first economic
data in more than a year, showing an econ-
omy in shambles and inflation at a historic high.
The Central Bank for the first time acknowledged what
analysts have long said: That annualised inflation has surged
into triple digits.
The bank said the economy contracted by 7.1 per cent in
the 12 months ending in September 2015, and inflation
reached 141.5 per cent.
Ahead of the surprise data release, President Nicolas
Maduro said he would declare an economic emergency giving
him 60 days to unilaterally enact sweeping reforms. The
decree will be debated in the newly-seated opposition congress
The announcements came just hours before he was expect-
ed to deliver his annual state of the nation report.
Interest in the speech was high partly because it was the
first time in 17 years of socialist rule that a president delivered
his annual remarks to a congress controlled by the oppo-
Venezuela, which has the world s largest oil reserves, has
suffered enormously as the price of oil has crashed from
above $US90 a barrel two years ago to just US$24 on Friday.
Analysts say that means Venezuela is getting dangerously
close to just breaking even on the oil it produces, which
accounts for 95 per cent of export earnings.
The country s newly appointed economic czar has written
that "inflation doesn t exist in real life."
In its press release, the bank officials blame a widely-used
website that tracks the black market rate of the Bolivar and
other participants in an "economic war" for the soaring
inflation rate. (AP)
Never before has Wall Street gotten off
to a worse start to a year.
The stock market capped the first two weeks
of 2016 with a steep slide Friday that sent the Dow
Jones industrial average down nearly 400 points.
All three major stock indexes---the Dow, the Nasdaq com-
posite index and the Standard & Poor s 500---are now in what s
known as a correction, or a drop of 10 per cent or more from
their recent peaks.
The market has been on a stomach-churning ride since the
start of the year, wrenched up---but mostly down---because of
alarm over a slowdown in China and the plunging price of oil
to its lowest level in 12 years.
Investors are already seeing damage to US corporate profits,
particularly at energy companies.
The Dow slid 390.90 points, or 2.4 per cent, to 15,988.15
points. The average had been down more than 500 points early
in the afternoon.
The S&P 500 ended down 44.84 points, or 2.3 per cent,
at 1,877. The Nasdaq dropped 126.59 points, or 2.7 per
cent, to 4,488.42.
The Dow and S&P 500 have now fallen about 8 per
cent this year, while the Nasdaq is off about 10 per
"Oil is the root cause of today," said Dan Farley,
regional investment strategist at the Private Client
Reserve at US Bank.
"People are uncertain, and when they re uncertain they re
Crude oil has dropped below US$30 a barrel from a high of
over US$100 during the summer of 2014, eviscerating energy
On Friday, Williams Cos led a slide among oil, gas
and mining companies, falling US$2.19, or
12 per cent, to US$16.10.
Investors also got some discouraging
economic news on Friday: The Federal
Reserve said US industrial production,
which includes manufacturing, mining
and utilities, dropped in December for
the third month in a row.
And another government report indi-
cated US retail sales dipped last month.
Many investors had welcomed the new
year with fairly high hopes.
They expected oil prices would sta-
After a market correction in August,
few forecast it would happen again so
And the Federal Reserve s move in
December to raise interest rates for the
first time in nearly 10 years signaled to
many that the US economy was healthy.
"The hope was global growth would
stabilise, and early in 2016 here, that
has been a disappointment, too," said
David Chalupnik, head of equities at
Nuveen Asset Management.
Despite the rough start to the year,
Wall Street watchers are not ready to
say that the bull market is over.
"We don t believe we re going into a
bear market," Chalupnik said.
"The reason for that is the US econ-
omy is sound."
rate on the rise
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