The Week In Numbers: China Clicks And Mortar

Greece has secured a bailout agreement with its international lenders. The deal, which is worth €85b, will still need approval by Greece’s parliament and also by Eurozone countries. It is expected that consent could be reached by Friday, which would give Greece enough time to meet a crucial debt repayment next week. Greece has once again been saved by the skin of its teeth.

But as one potential calamity draws to a close, another comes to the fore. China has devalued the yuan by 2%, in what it said was a one-off depreciation. The one-off turned into a two-off, followed by a three-off, after the country devalued its currency thrice. The badly-telegraphed action sent global stock markets into a tailspin.

Some now believe that China could have set off a long and drawn out currency war. By all counts, China’s actions to revive its slowing economy are getting increasingly more erratic. Only China knows what China could do next.

Sticking with slowdowns, Singapore’s economy is expected to grow by not more than 2.5% this year. This is worse than the original forecast of between 2% and 4%.

The revision followed news that Singapore’s economy only expanded 1.8% in the second quarter. Economist can’t agree on whether the sluggish growth, which has been caused by restrictions on foreign labour inflows, is painful but necessary.

According to the World Bank, oil prices could fall by another $10 a barrel in 2016. The international financial institution attributed the drop to the lifting of sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme.

It reckons that when Iran makes a return to the global oil market, it could add about a million barrels of oil a day. More cheap oil could mean continued deflationary pressures.

And finally, online retailer Alibaba is taking a step towards combining online and offline shopping. It will invest $4.6b in Chinese electronics retailer Suning Commerce Group. The strategy comes with the approval of China top policy makers, which has dubbed it “Internet Plus”. Many companies in the West have trialled similar strategies, known more commonly as “clicks and mortar”.

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