A report from the Commerce Department showed that U.S. homebuilding unexpectedly fell in September and that building permits dropped to a one-year low amid acute shortages of raw materials and labor, strengthening expectations that economic growth has slowed sharply in the third quarter. Housing starts dropped 1.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.555 million units last month, the lowest level since April. Data for August was revised down to a rate of 1.580 million units from the previously reported 1.615 million units.
As China raced ahead of major rival economies from the COVID-19 induced slump last year, Beijing saw a chance to push through tough measures targeting debt-ridden developers as well as industrial polluters and tech giants. China’s bold reforms aimed at reducing the economy’s reliance on property and debt, but slowing momentum underscores the risks and poses a test to the resolve to implement the plans. Growth in the third quarter has slipped to an annual 4.9%, the lowest in a year. However, policymakers are unlikely to reduce their attempts to address what they see as long-term risks and distortions in the economy, analysts say.
According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), banks are demanding much stricter environmental criteria when financing shipping companies as investor pressure grows on the sector to accelerate CO2 reduction. Shipping, which transports about 90% of world trade, accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions and BCG forecasts the industry will need USD 2.4 trillion to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. This makes the industry not very attractive for banks compared to other more and more ESG-driven requests.
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