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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Optimism rises about US economy
Article Type: Competitive horizon From: Strategic Direction, Volume 29, Issue 6
Economists surveyed by USA TODAY are more optimistic than previously about economic performance in the USA during 2013. They expect cuts in government spending to limit growth during the first half of the year to below 2 percent. From the summer onwards, however, the effect of these cuts will lessen and usher in a nine-month growth period that will be the strongest for three years. The 46 respondents predict the economy will expand by 2.7 percent during this time. A report published by the Detroit Free Press (www.freep.com) also points out expectations of a rise in the number of jobs available and belief that unemployment will fall to 7.5 percent by the end of the year. Increase in housing market activity, growth in stock market performance and an easing of the European crisis were among other reasons cited for the greater positivity reported.
Hydrogen powered vehicles set for UK
Following a study conducted by the UKH2 Mobility project, it is claimed that by 2030 there could be 1.6 million hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) on UK roads. Yearly sales in excess of 300,000 are possible by that time as initial rollout increases and new models are launched. As published by www.theengineer.co.uk, the report also points out that the need to create a hydrogen refueling infrastructure across the nation. Refueling stations will first be built to serve national trunk routes and densely populated areas before the network is widened further. To satisfy early demands, it is thought that 65 stations will be needed and this figure will gradually increase in line with FCEV sales to reach 1,150 by 2030. The project anticipates that fuel cell vehicles could appeal to around 10 percent of consumers intending to purchase a new car. Interest is attributed to the technology used and the positive effect on the environment. In addition to the fact that FCEVs generate no harmful exhaust emissions, they are responsible for significantly lower levels of CO2 than diesel engines. Consequently, CO2 emissions will fall as demand for hydrogen vehicles grows and it is hoped that 2050 could herald zero emissions and a market share of up to 50 percent for FCEVs.
The economy in Turkey
According to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report, economic growth in Turkey is set to average 3.9 percent to the end of 2017. The report, as published by www.turkishpress.com, predicts that mounting trade imbalances will see the economy expand by 3.5 percent this year. A rise in imports fueled by increased consumer spending is cited as a key reason. In 2014, it is anticipated that growth will be around 4.5 percent. Turkey is advised against attempting to return growth to higher levels recorded in 2011. In the IMF’s view, such a degree of economic expansion could negatively impact on the balance of the country’s finances and current account deficit. The global organization likewise warns that Turkey’s economy could suffer if inflation is allowed to accelerate, especially given the rising trade deficit and possibility of external fiscal surprises. But higher than average growth remains achievable beyond this period through effective economic policies, higher savings and increased competitiveness.
Overseas demand grows for Korean drinks
A 22.6 percent increase in the number of beverages exported by South Korea during 2012 was worth $226 million to the industry, the Korea Times (www.koreatimes.co.kr) reports. But given the overall contribution to exports remains small, considerable potential for growth exists. Leading domestic manufacturers recognize this and are aggressively targeting markets overseas. The USA was the largest importer, accounting for $50 million of the revenues attained. An increase in health consciousness helped motivate demand, which was especially significant for drinks containing Aloe and vegetable extracts. Exports to both Japan and China likewise rose substantially, with affinity to Korean pop culture deemed to be a key factor. In the Japanese market, fears that domestic beverages might be contaminated as a consequence of the 2011 earthquake also influenced consumer choice. Demand is also soaring in Russia, where consumers have developed a thirst for a range of Korean drinks made from a blend of milk and sparkling soda. These developments have raised hope that drinks could eventually become as important to the Korean export market as smartphones, automobiles and semiconductors.