In the QAD Precision News Round-Up: 7 June 2019, US cracks down on travel to Cuba; the World Bank says the global economy is weakening; markets rally after positive US-Mexico talks; Amazon promises drone deliveries soon; UK retail sales tumbled in May; and we look at the benefits of global trade management solutions for high tech firms.
US CRACKS DOWN ON TRAVEL TO CUBA
This week, the US Treasury Department announced new travel restrictions for US citizens wishing to visit Cuba. The restrictions include cruise ship stops and cultural trips. Cultural trips — a popular way for US citizens to visit Cuba — were allowed under regulations from the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Travel to Cuba has proven popular with US citizens. The previous easing of restrictions had resulted in Americans becoming the second largest group of foreign tourists to visit the country, after Canadians. For more information, please click here.
WORLD BANK: GLOBAL ECONOMY WEAKENING
This week, the World Bank announced that the global economy is weakening. According to the World Bank’s latest assessment, the global economy will grow 2.6 percent this year, and 2.7 percent in 2020. Furthermore, the World Bank stated that trade tensions were an important factor impacting growth, particularly between the US and China. The two countries account for a third of all global economic activity. For more details, please see the BBC.
MARKETS RALLY AS US AND MEXICO TALKS PROGRESS
This Thursday, markets rallied as officials from the US and Mexico met to discuss both trade and migration. US President Donald Trump has threatened to impose initial tariffs of 5 percent on all goods from Mexico if the country does not increase efforts to curb Central American migrants from crossing into the US. The tariff threat rattled international markets. However, on Thursday there were indications that the two countries were close to reaching an agreement, resulting in a rise in US stocks, oil and Treasury yields. Vice President Mike Pence said that President Trump — who is due back in the US this Friday — will make the final decision as to whether Mexico has offered enough to avoid tariffs. For more details, please see Reuters.
GLOOMY OUTLOOK FOR UK RETAILERS
Retailers in the UK have warned that store closures and resultant job losses are likely after a sharp decline in consumer spending this May. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said sales were down 2.7 percent. This is the weakest performance since the BRC began monthly monitoring in 1995. Food sales dropped for the first time since 2016. Footwear, clothing and outdoor goods also experienced a decline. Helen Dickinson, the BRC’s chief executive, said: “With the biggest decline in retail sales on record, the risk of further job losses and store closures will only increase.” For more information, please see The Guardian.
AMAZON’S NEW DRONES WILL MAKE DELIVERIES “WITHIN MONTHS’
This week, Amazon announced that its new drone will be ready to make deliveries to consumers “within months.” The drones can fly for up to 15 miles and carry packages weighing up to five pounds. Amazon’s drone takes off and lands vertically. It can detect and adjust for moving obstacles using artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision. For more information, please see Supply Chain Dive.
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THE BENEFITS OF GLOBAL TRADE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR HIGH TECH MANUFACTURERS
High tech companies in the manufacturing sector share some common ground with their technology industry counterparts: they never stop innovating. This is especially important in a vertical that is rather dependent on external factors and issues, such as third party logistics or customs departments. To keep business running smoothly and ensure constant innovation and customer satisfaction, high tech manufacturers must look for a holistic platform solution that proactively promotes a streamlined, innovative global trade management strategy. When looking to meet, and exceed, customer expectations, high tech manufacturers should look for solutions that address problems at the source, namely international shipping handoffs, customs agencies and third party logistics providers. In this QAD Precision Report we look at how global trade management solutions can benefit high technology companies. To read the full report, please click here.
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