Saturday, November 10, 2018

Thousands of Central American migrants were back on the move toward the US border after dedicated Mexico City metro trains whisked them to the outskirts of the capital and drivers began offering rides north

At the Line 2 terminus, migrants began making their way to a main highway to resume walking and hitchhiking with the tacit approval of Mexican officials. Near a major toll plaza about 19 miles north of the city, Mexico state police and human rights officials helped load men, women, and children onto eighteen-wheelers and asked passing buses and trucks if they would carry migrants. Maria Yesenia Perez, a 41-year-old who left La Ceiba, Honduras nearly a month ago with her 8-year-old daughter, said she was prepared to wait to gain entry at the US border. "I decided to come (with the caravan) to help my family," she said, before she and her daughter were hoisted onto the back of a semitrailer. Perez is now one of roughly 4,000 migrants who plan to proceed to the city of Queretaro — a state capital 124 miles to the northwest — and then possibly to Guadalajara, Culiacan, Hermosillo, and eventually Tijuana on the US border. Whereas migrants like her carried tiny knapsacks with bare essentials in Mexico's tropical south, their belongings swelled noticeably after a multiday stop in Mexico City. Many are now hauling bundles of blankets, sleeping bags, and heavy clothing to protect against colder temperatures in the northern part of the country.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A German economist has suggested that the only way for Northern Ireland to avoid negative economic impacts of Brexit is to unite with the Republic of Ireland

Kurt Hubner's conclusion is in a report examining the impact of different Brexit scenarios on Ireland. It suggests unification would mean that by 2025 Northern Ireland's economic output would be almost £16 billion higher than it otherwise would have been. Economists do not agree about the potential benefits of unification. The major issue concerns the subvention that Northern Ireland receives from Westminster - the shortfall between what Northern Ireland spends on services and raises in taxes. Hubner's economic model effectively suggests that unification would lead to major productivity and output gains which would more than cover the subvention. His report is a revision of a previous paper published in 2015 called "Modeling Irish Unification" which suggested that unification would boost economic output per head by up to 17,000 euros (£14,845) by 2025. The latest version is updated with new official data and Brexit impacts. It continues to suggest a positive, albeit smaller, impact of about 10,000 euros per head by 2025 in event of reunification. By contrast, Hubner suggests that a hard Brexit, on World Trade Organization terms, would mean output per head would be by about 10,000 euros (£8,732) less by 2025 compared to what it would be in a no-Brexit scenario. Even with a scenario in which Northern Ireland remained in the single market both parts of Ireland would suffer losses in comparison to a no-Brexit scenario. He states: "Compared to a hard-Brexit, unification is by far the better option. As a matter of fact, it is the only option with positive net effects." Hubner's model suggests that the the adoption of the Irish tax system, greater openness to foreign direct investment and reduced trade barriers would see Northern Ireland enjoy a period of "economic catch up."

Sunday, November 4, 2018

The economy is great in Trump's America

The last unemployment report before the midterms is a strong one. Employers added 250,000 jobs in October 2018, above the forecast of 188,000. The unemployment rate itself remained at a five-decade low of 3.7%. The influx of new job-seekers in October 2018 increased the proportion of Americans with jobs to its highest level since January 2009. What's more, wages rose 3.1% when compared to October 2017, the best such gain since 2009. It's the first time since the recession ended that wages rose more than 3% over a year. Average hourly earnings in the private sector increased 5 cents to $27.30.