Factory activity in the world's second largest economy, China, shrank the most in two years in July as new orders fell more than expected. The private Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) dropped to 47.8 in July from 49.4 in the previous month.
The Brazilian currency Real lost 1% at the end of trading on Friday and begins this week at 3.42 Reais to the US dollar, the lowest in twelve years, because of the political and economic uncertainties surrounding Latin America's largest economy.
Argentine farmers have taken sides decisively ahead of events leading to the presidential election in October and the primaries next weekend. At the opening of the country's major Palermo agriculture show in Buenos Aires, the head of the Argentine Rural Society Luis Etchevehere called on his fellow citizens to avoid supporting “democratically elected leaders but intoxicated with authoritarianism” and “populist adventures”.
Unemployment in Magallanes region, extreme south of Chile, was 3.8% in the second quarter of the year, which represents a 1.5 percentage point increase over the last twelve months despite a slight fall of 0.2 percentage point compared to the previous quarter (March/May) of 2015, according to the latest release from the INE stats office.
Switzerland's central bank announced Friday it had suffered a loss of 50.1 billion francs ($51 billion, 47 billion Euros) in the first half of the year, down on the 16.1 billion francs in profit logged for the same period a year earlier.
The Brazilian government registered a primary deficit of $470 million (1.6 billion Real) in the first half of 2015, according to figures from the National Treasury release on Thursday, O Globo newspaper reported. The deficit is the worst result since 1997. In the same period last year, the government recorded a surplus of $5 billion (17 billion real).
Venezuela's largest food distributor on Thursday denounced the government occupation of a Caracas warehouse amid accusations that the company is hoarding goods. Soldiers took over the warehouse complex used by Empresas Polar late Wednesday just as Venezuela's federation of brewers announced that Polar's beer manufacturing subsidiary is shutting two of its six plants because of a lack of imported barley.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warns that government spending “extremely dangerous” to the future of the US economy. Greenspan decried a rise in entitlement costs, which he contended have pressured the U.S. economy.
The UK has become Santander's most profitable market, generating just over a fifth of the bank's profits in the first half of 2015. Pre-tax profits in the UK rose £74m to £928m, while revenues were up 5%. The results eclipsed the €1bn (£700m) posted by the Spanish bank's Brazilian operation, which saw its revenues jump by 9%.
The US economy grew at an annualized pace of 2.3% in the three months to June, official figures have shown. The figure - the first estimate of growth in the second quarter - followed an upwardly revised growth rate of 0.6% in the first three months of the year. The Commerce Department said growth was boosted by increased consumer spending and cheaper fuel prices.