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China consumers awaken; U.S. housing market in crisis

Michael B. Fahy, B.Comm, CIM, FCSI

Consumer spending in China is set to triple over the next ten years, as the Chinese change their spending and saving habits.

Currently at just 20% of America’s rate, consumption is predicted to reach two-thirds of the U.S. level by 2020. This is good news for the U.S., which is hoping that Chinese factories will produce more for domestic consumption and less for export, helping to narrow the trade imbalances that are destabilizing the global economy. While U.S. consumer spending is expected to remain low in 2011, domestic demand is improving in Germany. German exports fell unexpectedly in October; however, imports surged to a postwar record as the German consumer took a stronger role in powering the country’s growth.

U.S. home values continue to fall amid rising foreclosures and the expiration of homebuyer tax credits. An estimated decline of US$1.7-trillion in 2010 eclipses last year’s loss of US$1.1-trillion, leaving more than 23% of homeowners with negative equity – that is, holding a mortgage for more than the value of their home. Experts predict no full recovery in the housing market before 2014. After two years of contraction, Iceland posted economic growth of 1.2% in the latest quarter and its currency has climbed more than 20% against the euro in the past year. Since much of Iceland’s trade is conducted in euros, export gains have underpinned the economic recovery.


S&P and oil hit two-year high

The S&P 500 ended Thursday at a two-year high and oil topped $90 a barrel for the first time in more than two years after a decline in U.S. jobless claims bolstered optimism for an economic recovery. Twitter is entertaining private funding that would value the company at US$3-billion, compared to a valuation of US$1-billion in September 2009 when it raised US$100-million.

Google launches its new smartphone next week in the U.S., featuring front- and back-facing cameras and 16 GB of memory, and in mid-2011 will begin selling the first notebooks to run its Chrome operating system.

BMW posted a 20% rise in sales in November, fuelled by a growing number of affluent Chinese customers. Home Depot raised its earnings forecast and Rona initiated its first dividend, saying it is bullish about prospects. Bayer will invest about €1 billion (US$1.3-billion) to double its production capacity in China over the next five years. Vancouver-based retailer Lululemon beat expectations with an 84% profit surge in the third quarter, versus a year ago. The Canadian solar industry is set to grow 35% over the next 15 years, creating 35,000 jobs and displacing millions of tons of greenhouse gases. Solar energy currently meets just 0.1% of Canada’s hydro needs, but generating capacity is planned to expand to 12,000 MW from 200 MW by 2025.


Your Cell Phone Cost is too high?

Many of the business people pay hundreds of dollars each month to keep their communication going. Telecommunications cost is a big item if you do not know how to manage.

Now that Wind Mobile is promoting unlimited calls and text messaging, you can negotiate with your current service provider to match their offering.

I use Fido unlimited incoming calls for $25 a month with calling number display and 200 minutes out going call in the day time and 1000 minute after 7:00 p.m. and weekends. This is not a bad deal. Now, I have asked Fido to change my plan to unlimited local call with number display for $35/month.

This way, I can make outgoing call anytime I want and have a fixed budget to control my cell phone calls. If you do have lots of Long Distance calls to make then you may work with the service provider to make a plan for you. Don’t throw your money away and still have to worry how much you can talk on the phone anymore.

Promotions: Sign-up for service before the end of December and get 2 months of free service. Refer a friend to our service, get 2 months of free service. SIGN UP NOW!


Free LD calls for your customers from other countries

VBNF uses Netfone as our prime IP Phone provider. They have agreement with a number of foreign countries that you can have a foreign country number assigned to you IP address or router that has the phone connected to. We have set up our office phone with 2 numbers: One for Canada and one for Hong Kong. This way, anyone calling us from Hong Kong are free to the callers. It is also free for us after we pay for a small monthly fee for the extra number.

If you have business outside Canada, it may be a good idea to have this set up. Otherwise, you may need a 1-800 number for others to call. The set up fee for this 1-800 number will be more expensive. By the way, your contact would think you have a local office in their city if you have the number for the city in stead of the 1-800 number.

Promotions: Sign-up for service before the end of December and get 2 months of free service. Refer a friend to our service, get 2 months of free service. SIGN UP NOW!


China Gold Imports Soar Almost Fivefold on Inflation 2 December 2010

China’s gold imports jumped almost fivefold in the first 10 months from the entire amount shipped in last year as concern about rising inflation increased its appeal as a store of value, said the Shanghai Gold Exchange. Imports gained to 209 metric tons compared with 45 tons for all of 2009, Shen Xiangrong, chairman of the bourse, told a conference in Shanghai today. China, the world’s largest producer and second-biggest user, doesn’t regularly publish gold-trade figures and rarely comments on its reserves.

China: investors go for gold Dec 02 2010 The Financial Times

With gold hovering around $1400 an ounce, it is self-evident that a lot of people must be buying. But it is still striking to see China’s gold imports were five times higher in the first ten months than in the whole of last year. Imports hit 209 tonnes compared to 45 tonnes for all of 2009, according to the Shanghai Gold Exchange, which says buyers are looking for a store of value as inflation picks up. And with 1.3bn people, there is a lot of value to be stored. .

Gold & Silver
The S&P 500, Gold, Oil, & the Banks - What a Conundrum

Gold/Silver – Controlling Your Trades, Money & Emotions
Chris Vermeulen, Monday, November 29th, 2010, by Chris Vermeulen

Last week we had typical pre-holiday light volume trading going into US Thanksgiving. The previous week I warned every one to trade with extreme caution because of the light volume and the fact that the market is on the verge of a sizable drop for both stocks and commodities. Any price action could not be taken seriously because of the light volume. We will not know until later this coming week what the big money wants to do… Buy or Sell, also what the manipulators will do… Seems like there are a lot of wild cards out there with Europe issues and both unemployment and payroll numbers out on Friday morning.–-controlling-your-trades-money-emotions/


Axiom Capital Inc.

Murch Tech

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