“Despite month-to-month volatility in the final quarter of 2013, the U.S. LEI continues to point to gradually strengthening economic conditions through early 2014,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference Board. “The LEI was lifted by its financial components in December, but consumer expectations for business conditions and residential construction continue to pose risks.”
The Thai government has declared a state of emergency for Bangkok and surrounding areas amid anti-government protests. The affected areas are: Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani’s Lat Lum Kaeo district and Samut Prakan’s Bang Phli district. The state of emergency went into effect on Wednesday and will last 60 days (January 22-March 22).
The companies listed are known to be the subject of an ongoing and unresolved FCPA-related investigation.
“The LEI continues on a broad-based upward trend, suggesting gradually strengthening economic conditions through early 2014,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference Board. “Improving labor markets and new orders in manufacturing, combined with strong financial indicators, drove November’s gain. However, consumers’ outlook for the economy and the drop in housing permits continue to pose risks in 2014.”
Exempt International Transportation
The China Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) have jointly agreed to exempt international transportation from their recently implemented VAT regulations. The revised tax treatment is retroactive to August 1, 2013 when the nationwide regulations first came into effect. A joint circular (Caishui 2013 No 106) has been issued by the MOF and SAT explaining the exemption.
Please note the New York and New Jersey marine terminals will be closed Friday, January 3, 2014. A severe winter storm is expected in the northeastern USA and has the potential for dangerous working conditions.
A unit of Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) pleaded guilty Friday to violating the FCPA by bribing Ukrainian government officials through vendors in exchange for value-added tax (VAT) refunds.