The need to know

The need to know for 6th January 2023

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

China December manufacturing contracts sharply as COVID infections soar

China's factory activity shrank for the third straight month in December and at the sharpest pace in nearly three years as COVID infections swept through production lines across the country after Beijing's abrupt reversal of anti-virus measures.

U.S. trade deficit shrinks sharply as imports tumble

The U.S. trade deficit contracted by the most in nearly 14 years in November as slowing domestic demand amid higher borrowing costs depressed imports.

U.S. manufacturing sector contracts, prices decline in December-ISM

U.S. manufacturing contracted further in December, but weakening demand amid higher borrowing costs pushed a measure of prices paid by factories for inputs to the lowest level in more than 2-1/2 years, signaling that goods disinflation was underway.

Darkest days likely over for euro zone factories, December PMIs show

The downturn in euro zone manufacturing activity has likely passed its trough as supply chains begin to recover and inflationary pressures ease, a survey showed on Monday, leading to a rebound in optimism among factory managers.

Fading supply problems ease downturn in German manufacturing -PMI

Fading supply chain problems helped ease the downturn in Germany's manufacturing sector in December, although weaker demand continues to weigh on sentiment, a survey showed on Monday.

UK factories face tough 2023 after December weakness

British manufacturers are starting 2023 on the back foot, after they reported one of their sharpest falls in activity since the 2008-09 recession last month, reflecting a sharp fall in new orders and ongoing job cuts.

CEE ECONOMY-Czech, Polish manufacturing slumps ease, Hungary's PMI jumps

Manufacturing slumps in Poland and the Czech Republic eased slightly in December although activity remained deep in negative territory, with high prices cutting demand and firms reducing staff in response, surveys showed on Monday.

World food prices hit record high in 2022 despite December fall

World food prices eased in December marking the ninth consecutive monthly fall, but gained more than 14% in 2022 compared to the previous year, to reach the highest since records began, the U.N. food agency said on Friday.

Column: U.S. manufacturing downturn will cut diesel consumption

U.S. manufacturers reported business activity declined for the second month running in December and the sector appears to be on the leading edge of a recession.

Russia set to export large volume of diesel before EU sanctions- Bloomberg News

Russia is set to increase its diesel exports next month before European Union sanctions on crude oil start in February, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.

Heavy discounts drive record U.S. online holiday spending, report says

U.S. online spending during the 2022 holiday season rose by a better-than-expected 3.5%, a report by Adobe Analytics showed, as retailers used hefty discounts to lure inflation-weary consumers into spending on everything from toys to electronics.

Automakers won’t go back to normal

For U.S. automakers, 2023 is all about trying to stay in their lane. Covid-19-era supply squeezes sent car prices soaring, adding $7 billion to operating profit at General Motors in 2021 alone.

Foxconn reinvents itself, and EV supply chains

Foxconn’s most important project in 2023 will be to remake itself.

Tesla deliveries miss estimates due to logistical issues, slowing demand

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) said quarterly deliveries fell short of market estimates on Monday, held back by ongoing logistical issues and growing demand concerns that rounded off a tumultuous 2022 for the Elon Musk-led firm.

Toyota's 2022 U.S. auto sales down 9.6% on part shortages

Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) on Wednesday posted a 9.6% fall in its 2022 U.S. new vehicle sales as a shortage of semiconductor chips and rising costs hampered the Japanese automaker's production earlier in the year.

Microsoft to invest in autonomous trucking startup Gatik -sources

Microsoft Corp is in advanced talks to invest in Gatik, a California-based autonomous driving startup, as part of its cloud partnership with the company, two people familiar with the discussions told Reuters.

Mercedez-Benz to deploy advanced automated driving system in Nevada

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) said on Thursday that German carmaker Mercedes-Benz (MBGn.DE) can deploy advanced automated driving systems on its roads after it completed a self-certification.

CMA CGM completes Russia exit with terminal stakes sale

French-based shipping group CMA CGM has completed its withdrawal from the Russian market by divesting stakes in terminals through an asset swap, the company said.

Comment: Here’s how the EU’s new rules could finally turn the tide on tropical forest loss

After years of relatively low international profile, tropical forests are roaring back into the headlines.

Amazon: it’s just like them (AMZN.O) can’t always dominate everything – and that might be a strength.

Apple to sign Luxshare for iPhone production in China - FT

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) is set to sign up Chinese contract manufacturer Luxshare Precision Industry Co Ltd (002475.SZ) to produce premium iPhone models, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Equinor and RWE to build hydrogen supply chain for German power plants

Equinor (EQNR.OL) and RWE (RWEG.DE) said on Thursday they plan to develop a supply chain for low-carbon hydrogen, allowing Germany to cut its reliance on coal power and thus its CO2 emissions.

Dell looks to phase out China-made chips by 2024 - Nikkei

Dell Technologies Inc (DELL.N) plans to stop using China-made chips by 2024 and has told suppliers to reduce the amount of other made-in-China components in its products amid concerns over U.S.-Beijing tensions, the Nikkei reported on Thursday.

Greece takes measures to tackle medicine shortages

Greece announced on Wednesday additional measures to deal with certain drug shortages, a problem it said was global and attributed to an increase in seasonal virus infections, supply chain issues, the energy crisis and reduced exports from Asia.

U.S. judge scraps CSX jury trial in rail antitrust case

A U.S. judge in Virginia on Tuesday blocked freight carrier CSX Transportation Inc from pursuing federal antitrust claims alleging a top rail industry rival has cost it hundreds of millions of dollars in damages in lost customer contracts.

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