Linda Yueh

Linda Yueh Chief business correspondent

Welcome to Linda's Line – where I analyse key developments in global business and the world economy and how these affect our everyday lives

Is Putin right?

  • 18 December 2014
  • From the section Business
Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin says that even if oil plummets to $40 per barrel, his country's economy will manage - and rebound in two years.

The key is what happens to the rouble, a currency that has hit historic lows against the dollar and is very volatile, and whether Russia can afford to repay its debts.

Unlike in 1998, when it was rescued by the IMF, Russia has a floating currency. By not being pegged to the dollar, the currency can take the brunt of the adjustment, instead of costly interventions or painful hits to the economy. Not completely of course, but it is less pressurised than having to defend the currency that's been a part of most emerging market balance-of-payments crises.

Well, Russia sped up a planned float for the currency that was slated for the end of the year. In November, the central bank decided that after spending $30bn to stabilise the currency, it wasn't working as capital left the country in the wake of the Ukraine crisis and the rouble fell to 46 per dollar. Since then, it has sunk beyond 80 per dollar.

The concern then was that foreign exchange reserves had fallen to $421bn, down 16% from half a trillion at the start of the year. It fell below a level that's considered to be critical - having enough to cover 6 months of imports.

Read full article Is Putin right?

Britain - a nation of online shopkeepers?

  • 15 December 2014
  • From the section Business
Man typing on laptop

Britain spends more money online than the world's other major economies, according to the latest report by regulator Ofcom.

Averaging nearly £2,000 per person each year, Britons spend considerably more than the second highest spending Australians (£1,356) and perhaps surprisingly, more than the Americans - at £1,171.

Read full article Britain - a nation of online shopkeepers?

The China Price: The global impact of Chinese deflation

  • 12 December 2014
  • From the section Business
A sales girl packs goods in a supermarket in Huaibei, central China's Anhui province
China's consumer and producer prices are closely-watched economic indicators

Is the "China price" back? After years of hearing about rising wages ending the era of the China price when cheap exports lowered the prices of global manufactured goods, it seems that China has a surprise for the world. Deflation, that is, falling prices, is an issue for the world's second biggest economy, just as it is for many others.

That was the topic on this weekend's In the Balance on the World Service. It certainly resonated with me as I presented the programme from Tokyo. After its early 1990s crash, Japan has struggled with deflation for 15 years and has not yet been able to turn it around.

Read full article The China Price: The global impact of Chinese deflation

Transitioning to a world with cheaper energy

  • 11 December 2014
  • From the section Business
Nodding donkey

OPEC's latest forecast shows that the supply of oil will exceed the demand for oil next year. Whenever supply exceeds demand, prices fall. And they certainly have.

Brent, the international benchmark, has plunged to below $65 per barrel, down 43% since this summer, to the lowest level in five years, the 2009 global financial crisis.

Read full article Transitioning to a world with cheaper energy

Abenomics is put to the vote

  • 11 December 2014
  • From the section Business

Two years after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office and announced bold reforms dubbed Abenomics to revive the economy, the Ishikawa Casting and Machining factory hasn't seen the benefits.

Located in Tokyo, it's a family business run by Yushiaki Ishikawa who took it over from his father. He told me that small and medium-sized businesses like his are having a hard time.

Read full article Abenomics is put to the vote

Japan's early elections are all about the economy

  • 8 December 2014
  • From the section Business

"It's the economy, stupid" was the motto used by Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in 1992.

For Japan, economic woes are what has triggered snap elections just two years into Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's term.

Read full article Japan's early elections are all about the economy

The global economic challenge: Slow wage growth

  • 5 December 2014
  • From the section Business
Factory workers
Why are workers' wages lagging behind productivity?

Economic output and even jobs have recovered to pre-crisis levels in some major economies, but wage growth continues to lag.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) finds that globally, real wage growth, adjusted for inflation, has not returned to the levels found before the global crisis.

Read full article The global economic challenge: Slow wage growth

Education, the skills gap and the bottom line

  • 4 December 2014
  • From the section Business
Graduates on results day

The UK chancellor's scheme announced in his Autumn Statement to offer student loans for postgraduate study of up to £10,000 could have far-reaching consequences.

It would help to equalise opportunity for those who can't afford to pay for a Master's degree, and put the UK more on par with the US, which offers student loans and whose universities compete with the UK's for the best talent.

Read full article Education, the skills gap and the bottom line

Falling oil prices are a free fiscal stimulus

  • 3 December 2014
  • From the section Business
Petrol pump in London

Budgets are in focus in the UK, France and other European countries this week. One unexpected factor that could help is oil.

The drop in oil prices could be a free boost to their economies. It's not entirely costless as there are also taxes on energy to consider. But, for consumers, it should eventually translate into more money in their pockets.

Read full article Falling oil prices are a free fiscal stimulus

Will the debate over immigration affect London’s position?

  • 28 November 2014
  • From the section Business
London Mayor Boris Johnson is met by Doorman, Narajan at Raffles Hotel in Singapor

London Mayor Boris Johnson was in Singapore touting for business for a couple of days.

But, instead of the usual questions over how many deals are being done, Prime Minister David Cameron's speech on curbing immigration dominated his visit.

Read full article Will the debate over immigration affect London’s position?

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About Linda

As chief business correspondent, Linda focuses on the changing nature of global business and how it affects our everyday lives. She is the presenter of Talking Business with Linda Yueh on BBC World News. She is particularly interested in the emergence of China as the world's second largest economy, and unlocking what it means for the global economy. She travels globally to uncover new perspectives.

Linda has maintained her academic links as a fellow of St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, as an adjunct professor at London Business School, and as a visiting professor at Peking University. She was previously economics editor at Bloomberg TV and a corporate lawyer resident in New York, Beijing and Hong Kong. She is also the author of several books.

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