Afternoon Coffee: Hyundai Strike Prompts Supply Shortage, WTO Cuts World Trade Forecast

Hoda-Bogdan/Adobe Stock Hoda-Bogdan/Adobe Stock

A strike by plant workers in South Korea Monday crippled production for Hyundai Motor Co., temporarily halting supply of some of the company’s best-selling vehicles in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported. The local factories affected by the strike comprised nearly 40% of the company’s global output last year.  

In another worrying sign for the global economy, the World Trade Organization (WTO) cut its 2016 forecast for global trade Tuesday by more than a third, Reuters reported. The new figure of 1.7%, down from the WTO's previous estimate of 2.8% in April, marked the first time in 15 years that international commerce was expected to lag the growth of the world economy, the trade body said.

The WTO said the revised forecast reflects a slowdown in China and falling levels of imports into the U.S. To learn more about China's growing influence in the global trade balance, check out China vs. the World: Why the Battle for New Trade Status is Such a Huge Deal, a new project from our sister site MetalMiner.

Another OPEC meeting yet again failed to convince global markets the oil glut would end any time soon. Differences between Saudi Arabia and Iran remain “too wide,” CNBC said, causing oil prices to fall more than 3%.

And finally, U.S. consumer confidence rose in September to the highest level in nine years, according to the Associated Press. Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to fall this month after strong gains in August, but consistent growth in the jobs market and subdued gasoline prices appear to be helping consumers look on the bright side.

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