Global steel output fell by 23.6% in April to 89-million tons, the World Steel Association said on Wednesday.
Mexico’s economy shrank a record 8.2% in the first quarter, --the most since the 1995 Tequila Crisis--, battered by the global financial crisis and the outbreak of swine flu. Mexican Finance minister Agustin Carstens admitted GDP may shrink as much as 5.5% this year.
Venezuela's economy grew at its slowest rate in five years during the first quarter, 0.3% (year to year) and the slowest since 2003 reported the Central Bank. Compared with the previous quarter the contraction was 16.4%.
American Task Force Argentina (ATFA), a coalition of more than 40 taxpayer, investor, educator, Latino and agriculture organizations, commended members of the United States House of Representatives for introducing legislation imposing stiff penalties on wealthy and middle-income nations that, like Argentina, refuse to honour obligations to US creditors.
Fears of future inflation and ongoing financial uncertainty saw investors continue to flock to gold in the first quarter of 2009, with volumes up 38% in the first three months of the year. Total demand for gold in the first quarter rose to 1,016 tonnes, representing a 36% rise in value terms to 29.7 billion US dollars, with demand from Exchange Traded Funds and demand for gold and coins driving the rising demand, suggesting that buyers were buying for investment purposes.
World stocks of soybeans are set to decline steeply to a five year low of around 50 million tons at the end of the season (10 million tons less than a year ago), mainly because of smaller crops in the leading exporting countries of South America, according to Oil World.
The business climate in Latinamerica experienced a slight improvement in the last three months having jumped from 2.9 points in January to 3.6 in April, although it is still one of the worst levels in seven years, reported the Brazilian Foundation Getulio Vargas
Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman said Tuesday in Korea the worst phase of the global economic crisis is over but massive lingering debts make any early recovery unlikely.
I share the optimism that the worst is maybe over said Krugman in a speech to an international finance forum in Seoul.
The British annual consumer prices inflation was 2.3% in the year to April, down from 2.9% in the year to March, falling closer to the 2% target set by the government which most commentators had been expecting as utility bills were cut to reflect falling oil prices.
Although Latinamerica is well prepared to confront the international economic crisis, the economies of the region will suffer on average a contraction of 1.5% this year, said the International Monetary Fund main advisor for the hemisphere Miguela Sabastano.