January 6, 2023 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

MH Daily Bulletin: January 6

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • M. Holland is the headline sponsor for AMI’s Thermoplastic Concentrates & Masterbatch Summit in Orlando on Jan. 24-26. Stop by Booth #16 to speak with our experts and attend a talk on regulatory compliance changes by Christopher Thelen, M. Holland’s Senior Regulatory Specialist, on Jan. 24 at 4:20 pm.
  • M. Holland will be exhibiting at MD&M West in Anaheim on Feb. 7-9. Stop by Booth #4115 to meet our Healthcare team and discuss how M. Holland’s line of medical-grade resins can help you develop safe and effective medical products and packaging.
  • The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes nearly $500 billion in new spending and tax breaks that will catalyze the clean energy transition, increase tax revenues and reduce healthcare costs. Dwight Morgan, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at M. Holland, recently provided insight on what the IRA includes and key considerations for the plastics industry. Click here to read the full post.


Supply Chain

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 128,402 new COVID-19 infections and 805 virus fatalities Thursday.
  • Over 40% of U.S. COVID-19 cases are believed to be caused by the new and highly infectious XBB.1.5 variant, up from only 4% of cases at the beginning of December.
  • COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts are up 43% the past two weeks, including an 80% spike in Boston.
  • U.S. public schools have lost more than 1 million students since the start of the pandemic, prompting some districts to close buildings and reduce programs.
  • Non-farm payrolls rose by 234,000 jobs in December, higher than expected, as the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, the lowest in over 50 years:
U.S. Job Openings Edge Down, Still Outnumber Jobless By Far
  • The U.S. trade deficit plummeted 21% in November to $61.5 billion — the steepest decline in 14 years — as slowing demand hit imports.
United States Balance of Trade
  • U.S. employers said they cut 43,651 jobs in December, down 43% from the previous month but well above the 19,052 cuts in December 2021, according to employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
  • Online spending during the 2022 holiday season rose by a better-than-expected 3.5% from a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics, as retailers used hefty discounts to lure inflation-weary shoppers.
  • The Federal Trade Commission proposed a landmark overhaul of employment rules that would bar companies from using noncompete clauses, a legal maneuver that critics say has stifled the middle class.
  • U.S. home sellers gave concessions in nearly 42% of sales last quarter, the highest share of any three-month period, as they struggle to find buyers amid high interest rates, according to Redfin.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection in coming weeks following poor sales and an inability to compete with large online and big-box retailers.
  • Packaged-food-maker Conagra Brands raised its full-year forecast after beating quarterly results Thursday.

International Markets

  • Global COVID-19 cases rose 25% between Dec. 5 and Jan. 1, while fatalities jumped 21%.
  • In the latest China news:
    • The World Health Organization said it received COVID-19 data from China Thursday, with figures showing a 50% increase in hospitalizations in the week ending Jan. 1.
    • Local reports suggest funeral homes in major Chinese cities are already at capacity due to surging COVID-19 fatalities.
    • Germany joined a string of countries imposing COVID-19 testing rules on travelers from China.
    • China expects passenger travel to double from a year ago during this month’s Lunar New Year.
    • China will likely see home sales fall for the second straight year in 2023, but the pace of declines will ease thanks to support measures and relaxed COVID-19 policies, experts say.
  • The XBB.1.5 strain of COVID-19 has now spread to 29 countries across the world, with the World Health Organization warning it may be the fastest-spreading variant of the pandemic.
  • Thailand is bringing back proof-of-vaccination requirements for incoming travelers, officials said Thursday.
  • Euro zone producer prices fell 0.9% month over month in November mainly due to a sharp decline in energy costs. Prices were up 27.1% compared to a year earlier.
  • Japan’s service-sector activity rebounded in December thanks to a boom in international and domestic tourism as pandemic curbs were relaxed, according to a business survey.
  • Canada saw an unexpected goods-trade deficit of $30.2 million in November, its second deficit of the year due to a broad decline in energy exports.
Canada Balance of Trade
  • India’s economy is expected to grow 5.5% in fiscal 2023, slightly below expectations after growing 8.7% the previous year, according to analysts.
  • Ukraine’s GDP dropped 30.4% last year, its sharpest decline in three decades due to Russia’s invasion, officials said.
  • Venezuelan consumer prices rose at a sharp 37.2% pace from November to December, heightening the risk of the country’s return to hyperinflation.

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