In the QAD Precision News Round-Up: 4 March 2022, UK and New Zealand reach trade deal; Euro zone business activity up in February; US Weekly job claims fall; Ford to invest $50 billion in EVs; plus six reasons manufacturers need denied party screening and more.
The UK and New Zealand have finalized a post-Brexit trade deal, eliminating tariffs and liberalizing access for services companies between the two countries. The trade agreement is part of the UK’s effort to establish new trade alliances following the UK’s exit from the EU. In December, the UK signed a similar trade deal with Australia and is currently in talks to join the trans-Pacific CPTPP trading bloc.
The new trade agreement will have a negligible impact on the economy, according to a government analysis. In 2020, the UK’s trade with New Zealand was worth £2.3 billion ($3.1 billion), approximately 0.5 percent of its trade with the EU during the same period. For more information, please see Bloomberg.
In February, business activity across the euro zone expanded as demand soared. In particular, business activity in the bloc’s dominant service industry grew as coronavirus restrictions eased and consumers returned to restaurants, bars and other services.
Last month, IHS Markit's final Composite Purchasing Managers' Index, seen as a good indicator of overall economic health, rose to a five-month high of 55.5 from 52.3 in January. However, this result was below the preliminary estimate of 55.8 which contained 82 percent of replies and was published on February 21 - prior to the Russian invasion.
On Wednesday, official preliminary data showed that inflation in the euro zone reached a record high of 5.8 percent in February. This result was almost triple the European Central Bank’s target of 2.0 percent. For more details, please see Reuters.
In February, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits declined more than expected. Moreover, layoffs decreased sharply last month, suggesting that the labor market is recovering. On Thursday, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 215,000 for the week ended February 26. This was the second consecutive weekly decline in claims. Economists polled by Reuters had predicted 225,000 applications for the latest week. For more details, please click here.
Target has announced plans for a $5 billion investment to scale operations in 2022. As part of the investment, Target plans for 30 additional stores in 2022 in an effort to reach new markers. According to the retailer, new locations include mid-size stores in suburban areas in addition to small-format stores in urban cores such as Charleston, South Carolina, and Times Square in New York. Furthermore, Target plans to renovate 200 existing stores, adding to its remodel program. Additionally, Target intends to open over 250 Ulta shop-in-shop locations by the end of this year. Investments in its digital, fulfillment and distribution capabilities are also included in the retailer's plans. For more details, please click here.
On Wednesday, Ford Motor Company announced that it is accelerating its investment in electric vehicles (EVs) to $50 billion by 2026. The new investment is an increase from the $30 billion by 2025 previously planned by the automaker. This is the third time in less than a year that Ford has upped its electrification spend. In May, Ford announced a $22 billion investment in EVs. Ford plans to produce more than 2 million EVs in 2026, accounting for a third of its annual global production. In addition, the automaker plans for 50 percent of total volume to be electric by 2030. In 2022, Ford plans to spend $5 billion on EVs, doubling the amount spent last year. For more details, please see Supply Chain Dive.
If you’re the operations or logistics manager of a high tech or manufacturing firm, knowing who your trading partners are — and that the products you ship are destined for authorized customers and friendly purposes — is critical.
Governments, federal agencies, law enforcement and trade regulators around the globe compel organizations to verify the identities of their trading partners. This helps them to close the net on terrorist and criminal organizations, as well as rogue states.
In order to comply with export controls, manufacturers must ensure that their trading partners do not appear on any sanctions or denied party lists (DPLs). In addition, they need to verify if an item requires an export license and ensure that the individuals or locations that have ordered their products are eligible to receive them. Read the full report here.