Here is what you need to know this morning:
- China grew 11.9% in Q1 2010, ramping up speculation that the country will try to temper that growth by revaluing the yuan against its dollar peg. This is China’s highest growth rate in three years.
- GDP numbers point to Singapore as the great success story, with 32.1% growth in Q1 2010. The Asian city state had contracted in the previous quarter.
- UPS has announced a “significant acceleration” in their supply chain and international package business ahead of their quarterly results. This news is a positive indicator for other shipping companies as well as retail, though the impact has yet to be seen.
- In response to the global recovery, the European Central Bank has warned this morning that many of the same global imbalances that triggered the previous financial crisis have not been fixed. The ECB also said that the current recovery in the U.S. may be “jobless.”
- Fortune 500 companies cut 821,000 jobs last year, it has emerged. The companies used job cutting measure to cut costs as they experience on average a 8.7% drop in sales.
- The IMF is now predicting unemployment rates will remain uncharacteristically high throughout 2010 and 2011. The IMF does expect hiring to pick up in H2 2010, but not at a rate that would significantly dent current unemployment numbers in the U.S. and Europe.
- Greece is planning to limit if not scrap altogether next month’s dollar denominated bond auction as they country has found interest lacking. Originally, the bonds were to be worth $5 to $10 billion, but now government officials say $1 to $4 billion is more likely. Markets have reacted negatively this morning to the news.
- A volcanic eruption in Iceland has sent a cloud of ash over the UK and much of Northern Europe. The result is heavy flight delays, including complete closure of airspace for the UK and Denmark later today.
- The death toll in yesterday’s Chinese earthquake has risen to 600 and the government now plans to relocate 100,000 people away from the hardest hit areas. Currently, 300 people are still reported missing and at least 9,000 have been seriously injured in the quake.
- Foreclosure numbers have risen 7% in Q1 2010 of Q4 2009 and 16% over Q1 2009, according to RealtyTrac. That means 1 in every 138 American homes received a foreclosure notice in Q1 2010.
- Bonus: As a result of her long standing concerns over a lack of size, Kate Hudson had her breasts secretly upgraded in March, according to US Weekly.
- Bonus II: It’s tax day.
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