Market Beats | McDonald’s to Raise Fast Food Price War; UK Central Bank to Hold Rates Steady; Henan to Sell ¥52bn of Special Bond; Biden Gives Green Card Access to Undocumented Immigrants; US New Home Construction Sharply Plunges; More Disabled Americans Found Jobs; Germany Orders $3.1bn of Leopard Tanks

—— UK Central Bank to Hold Rates Steady; McDonald’s to Raise Fast Food Price War; Henan to Sell ¥52bn of Special Bond; Biden Gives Green Card Access to Undocumented Immigrants; US New Home Construction Sharply Plunges; More Disabled Americans Found Jobs; Germany Orders $3.1bn of Leopard Tanks

1. UK Central Bank to Hold Rates Steady

The Bank of England’s decision to keep interest rates on hold at 5.25 percent came despite data from the previous day showing that headline inflation had fallen to the BoE’s target of 2 percent for the first time in three years. However, service inflation was higher than expected at 5.7 percent.

“It’s good news that inflation has returned to our 2 percent target,” said Andrew Bailey, the BoE’s governor. “We need to be sure that inflation will stay low and that’s why we’ve decided to hold rates at 5.25 percent for now.”

Deputy BoE governor Sir Dave Ramsden and external MPC member Swati Dhingra reiterated their previous votes for an immediate rate cut.

Following the decision, sterling weakened 0.3 percent against the dollar, falling to $1.2679.


2. McDonald’s to Raise Fast Food Price War

McDonald’s Corp.’s US chief says the company is gearing up for a competitive battle, and to win, the burger chain is deploying one of its most powerful tools: the value meal. This strategy aims to attract budget-conscious customers who have reduced their fast food consumption after flocking to McDonald’s in recent years.

Starting on June 25, McDonald’s will launch a marketing campaign along with a new $5 meal deal, intensifying the competition among US restaurants striving to attract inflation-weary diners.

“We’re committed to winning the value war,” Joe Erlinger, president of McDonald’s US, said in an interview with Bloomberg News.

Following the report from Bloomberg News about McDonald’s upcoming $5 promotion, competitors have responded with their own deals and competitive tactics.

Burger King’s US president pledged to introduce a $5 value meal “before they do,” referencing McDonald’s in a memo to franchisees. Wendy’s Co. launched a $3 breakfast offer and used social media to mock its rivals for imitating its concepts. Even Starbucks, known for its expensive Frappuccinos and lattes, announced a $6 breakfast sandwich and coffee combo.


3. Henan to Sell ¥52bn of Special Bond

China’s Henan province has announced plans to sell new bonds to pay off existing ones coming due, a move that appears to deviate from established rules and has sparked speculation that Beijing may be relaxing its stance to help local governments manage their debt.

Henan, located in central China, plans to issue 52 billion yuan ($7.2 billion) in new special local bonds next week, with all proceeds designated for repaying existing debt, according to a ratings report by China Lianhe Credit Rating Co. This report was published Wednesday on the ChinaBond website, operated by the country’s central clearing house, along with documents from the provincial government about the issuance.

This strategy seems to conflict with regulations set by the Ministry of Finance in 2020, which prohibit local authorities from selling new special bonds to refinance existing debt.

Traditionally, these bonds have been used primarily to fund infrastructure investments aimed at stimulating economic growth. In recent years, local governments have been allowed to issue so-called special refinancing notes to cover maturing debt.


4. Biden Gives Green Card Access to 500k Undocumented Immigrants

A Boeing Co. quality inspector has alleged that the company mishandled and lost track of hundreds of faulty parts, some of which may have been installed on new 737 Max planes. This latest revelation of potential misconduct at Boeing comes from whistleblower Sam Mohawk, a Boeing inspector, who detailed his claims in a June 11 complaint to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The complaint was made public by a US Senate subcommittee on Tuesday in a memo to its members. Boeing stated that it is reviewing the claims after receiving the document late on Monday.

According to the complaint, as of last year, Boeing had lost as many as 400 faulty parts for the 737 Max and had deleted records for many of those parts from an internal cataloging system. Non-conforming parts, which are damaged or inadequate components, are supposed to be meticulously tracked, disposed of, or repaired to ensure they are not used in the aircraft manufacturing process.

Additionally, Mohawk claimed that Boeing “intentionally hid” improperly stored large components, such as rudders and flaps, from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ahead of an on-site inspection.


5.  US New Home Construction Sharply Plunges

New home construction in the US fell in May to its slowest pace in four years, as persistently high interest rates erode the housing industry’s momentum from earlier this year.

Housing starts decreased by 5.5% to an annualized rate of 1.28 million, according to government data released on Thursday. This figure was below all but one estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

Building permits, which indicate future construction activity, fell by 3.8% to an annual rate of 1.39 million, marking the weakest level since June 2020. The declines in both starts and permits were widespread, affecting multifamily and single-family units. Authorized permits for single-family homes dropped for the fourth consecutive month to the slowest pace in a year.

The reduction in homebuilding suggests that residential construction might negatively impact economic growth after showing signs of stabilization earlier this year. Prior to this report, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s GDPNow forecast anticipated that the category would remain roughly flat in the current quarter.


6. More Disabled Americans Found Jobs

One of the greatest beneficiaries of the rise in remote work are people with disabilities, who have entered the US workforce at record levels over the past three years. Working from home, along with flexible hours, job sharing, and other accommodations, has provided opportunities for those who were previously on the margins of the labor market, says John O’Neill, director of Disability Employment Research at the Kessler Foundation.

In the first quarter of 2024, the share of US disabled employees who were fully remote was 12.6%, compared with 10.6% of employees without disabilities, according to the Economic Innovation Group.

“I think Covid sensitized many employers to the usefulness of accommodation practices in a new way,” O’Neill says. The tight labor market, partly driven by a significant number of people leaving their jobs, is another likely factor contributing to this trend.


7. Germany Orders $3.1bn of Leopard Tanks

Germany plans to purchase 105 additional Leopard 2 A8 battle tanks as part of the ruling coalition’s multi-billion euro initiative to modernize the armed forces, a move prompted by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has requested lawmakers to approve the acquisition from Franco-German manufacturer KNDS in a deal valued at €2.9 billion ($3.1 billion), according to sources familiar with the planning and a government letter to parliament obtained by Bloomberg.

The budget committee in the lower house is expected to approve the purchase before the summer break begins in mid-July, according to the sources, who requested anonymity due to the confidential nature of the information.


本文内容来自《Financial TimesBloomberg》,以及《The Real Deal》等多家财经新闻媒体。