The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 2nd September 2022

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Global factory activity mixed in August, signs cost pressures easing

U.S. manufacturing grew steadily in August but factory activity in China, the euro zone and Britain fell as Russia’s war in Ukraine and China’s zero COVID-19 curbs continued to hurt businesses, surveys showed on Thursday, although there were indications cost pressures were starting to ease.

U.S. manufacturing sector steady in August; price pressures ease further - ISM

U.S. manufacturing grew steadily in August as employment and new orders rebounded, while a further easing in price pressures strengthened expectations that inflation has likely peaked.

UK factories suffer worst month since May 2020 as economy stumbles - PMI

British manufacturing output and new orders fell by the most in more than two years in August in the face of deepening uncertainty about surging inflation and the risk of recession at home and abroad, a survey showed on Thursday.

S.Korea July exports rise at faster pace, but risks to outlook grow

South Korea's exports grew at a faster annual pace in July as robust demand from the United States offset weak sales to China, though the trade and broad economic outlook was clouded by slowing global growth amid rapidly rising borrowing costs.

China's factory inflation hits 17-month low, consumer prices speed up

China's factory-gate inflation eased in July to a 17-month low, defying global cost pressures as slower domestic construction weighed on raw material demand, although consumer price increases hit a two-year high as pork supplies tightened.

Canada factory activity shrinks on sagging output, new orders

Canadian manufacturing activity contracted in August for the first time since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, amid stronger declines in output and new orders, and the first drop in employment in two years, data showed on Thursday.

Mexico factories contract again in August, bracing for difficulties ahead

Mexico's manufacturing sector contracted for a second consecutive month in August as weaker demand conditions, inflation and input shortages hindered growth for factories in Latin America's second largest economy, a survey showed on Thursday.

Big American dreams mark peak China e-commerce

Chinese e-commerce giants are looking to cash in on American shoppers. Shares of Alibaba (9988.HK) challenger Pinduoduo (PDD.O) rose 15% after smashing earnings expectations. The $84 billion company’s march to foreign lands against worsening global political headwinds is a telling sign of a limited runway to grow at home.

Drone delivery picks up in Africa as Jumia pairs with Zipline

Africa-focused e-commerce firm Jumia Technologies has partnered with drone-delivery startup Zipline to deliver household items to remote areas of Ghana, the companies said on Thursday.

Amazon introduces seller storage service to tackle supply-chain woes Inc (AMZN.O) introduced a new service on Wednesday to help its sellers store bulk inventory and ease distribution to tackle supply-chain issues, the company said in a blog post.

Cathay Pacific sees weaker air cargo peak season this year

Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (0293.HK) said on Thursday that the peak season for air cargo this year may not be as strong as last year because of supply chain snags, the impact of inflation on consumer demand and China's COVID-19 policies.

Freight railroads, some unions reach contract deals covering 15,000 U.S. workers

Unions and freight railroads said on Monday they have struck contract deals covering 15,000 workers after U.S. President Joe Biden named an emergency board to help reach agreements.

Last-minute Christmas shopping may be back in vogue this year, says Best Buy

Americans may leave their end-of-year holiday gift buying as late as possible, Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N) executives said on Tuesday, as cost-conscious consumers seek the best deals in a return to pre-pandemic shopping habits.

Factbox: Automakers accelerate drive to secure battery raw materials

Rising demand for electric vehicles (EV) around the world is encouraging automakers such as Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and Stellantis NV (STLA.MI) to step up efforts to secure raw materials needed for making batteries.

Polestar revenue doubles as it rides electric car boom

Electric vehicle maker Polestar said on Thursday that its revenue nearly doubled in the first half of 2022 on soaring demand and that it may have to raise its prices further if material costs continue to rise.

Explainer: Biden's curbs on chips to China part of broader effort

Chip designer Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) this week said the United States told it to restrict exports to China of two computing chips for artificial intelligence work, the latest move in a broader government effort to hamper China's access to the most sophisticated semiconductors.

Early starts, new ovens as ceramics industry feels energy pinch

Factories in Europe’s energy-intensive ceramics industry are changing shift patterns and upgrading their furnaces as companies seek to survive an eye-watering rise in costs.

Honda Motor, LG Energy to build $4.4 bln U.S. EV battery plant

Japan's Honda Motor Co (7267.T) will build a new $4.4 billion lithium-ion battery plant for electric vehicles in the United States with Korean battery supplier LG Energy Solution Ltd (373220.KS), the two companies said on Monday.

Japan calls for $24 bln investment to boost battery competitiveness

Japan needs over $24 billion in investment from both the public and private sectors to develop a competitive manufacturing base for batteries used in areas such as electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage, the industry ministry said on Wednesday.

Tanker refloated after breakdown in Egypt's Suez Canal

Tug boats refloated an oil tanker that was briefly stranded in Egypt's Suez Canal late on Wednesday after to a technical fault with its rudder, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said.

Maersk agrees to sell stake in Russian port operator

A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) said on Monday it has agreed to sell its 30.75% stake in Russian port operator Global Ports Investments (GLPRq.L) to Russia's largest container operator Delo Group, which also owns a 30.75% stake in the firm.

S.Africa's Transnet, China's CRRC agree to resolve legal disputes

South Africa’s Transnet said on Wednesday it had agreed to resolve its legal disputes over procurement contracts with the local unit of China’s CRRC Corp, clearing the way for the supply of critical spare parts for its rolling stock.

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