Cuba To Be Removed From The U.S. List of Sponsors of Terror, Obama Hints
April 10, 2015
Obama Hints That Cuba Could Be Removed From the U.S. List of Sponsors of Terror; Import Prices Declined 0.3% in March; Inflation in China Missed the Beijing Government’s Target Rate of 3%.
- Yesterday, President Obama hinted that Cuba might be removed from the State Department’s list of sponsors of terror, though a full normalization of relations will require an act of Congress to lift the trade embargo against the Havana government. With the recent thawing of tension between the U.S. and its island neighbor to the south, Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Malmierca Diaz anticipates $2.5 billion of foreign investment this year, multiples of levels in previous years. [FT] [BBC]
Economic Indicators & News
- Import prices declined 0.3% in March as the dollar continued to gain strength against currencies in Europe and Asia, which offset a 0.8% rise in petroleum prices. American export prices rose 0.1% following a 0.2% fall during the prior month. Growth in export prices was led by nonagricultural products, including industrial supplies and materials. March’s depreciation of import prices was the eighth consecutive contraction, and such prices are down 10.5% on the year. Last month’s reading for import prices was consistent with market expectations, though export prices rose 0.1% despite an anticipated 0.2% decline. [BLS]
- Inflation in China missed the Beijing government’s target rate of 3% as the country’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.4% in March while the producer price index decelerated for the 37thconsecutive month. Producer prices fell 4.6% in March and 4.8% in February. China’s retail price index has contracted throughout Q1 with 0.3% and 0.1% deflation in January and February, respectively, and is anticipated to continue its decline in March. Deflationary pressure in China represents falling domestic consumer demand and chronic overcapacity in the manufacturing sector. The International Monetary Fund forecasts output growth of 6.8% in the country this year, below the People’s Bank of China’s official estimate for 7.0% GDP growth in 2015, which has already been revised down several times. [FT]