Brazil recorded its largest February trade deficit ever, deepening a trade gap this year that underscores the lack of competitiveness from local industry. The deficit reached 2.125 billion dollars the trade ministry announced.
The US economy added 175,000 new jobs in February, but the unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.7%. The jobs figures, from the US Labor Department, were better than many had been expecting and marked a rebound from two weak months.
Weather-related events and increased demand came into play as the FAO Food Price Index registered its sharpest increase since mid-2012, averaging 208.1 points in February 2014. The new level is 5.2 points, or 2.6%, above a slightly revised index for January, but is still 2.1% lower than last year at the same time.
With an eye on Argentina and Venezuela, Brazil private sector wants Mercosur trade in local currencies
Brazil's private sector concerned with harsh times ahead, particularly with exports to Argentina and Venezuela are proposing that Mercosur trade should be done with local currencies leaving aside the US dollar. The initiative was launched by the president of the Brazil-Argentina Commerce Chamber.
The dynamic imbalance in trade negotiations is clearly evident in the case of trade negotiations of Canada and the US with the European Union, and what happens with EU/Mercosur trade talks that have been going for seventeen years, with no clear results yet, according to OAS Secretary General Miguel Insulza.
President Cristina Fernandez is expected to visit France for the opening of Paris Book Show, with a great display of Argentine culture and conferences, but most important she will be meeting on 19 March with her peer Francois Hollande to strongly lobby for a better deal with the Paris Club for the payment of a defaulted debt of 10bn dollars dating back to 2001.
UK interest rates have been held at 0.5% for another month, the Bank of England announced on Thursday. The decision by the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee comes five years after the record low level was first introduced.
The European Central Bank (ECB) kept on Thursday its benchmark interest rate at its record low of 0.25%, despite fears inflation could get stuck in a danger zone below 1%. The bank slightly raised its forecast for growth to 1.2% in 2014, but dropped its inflation estimate.
Inflation in Uruguay during February reached 1.66% which is equivalent to 9.82% in the last twelve months, the third highest in South America behind Venezuela and Argentina.
The US Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday for British company British Gas Group Plc in its effort to reinstate a 185.3 million dollars arbitration award against Argentina that a US appeals court threw out.