Afternoon Coffee: Volkswagen to Build Electric Cars in US, Ukrainian Shipping Company to Accept Payments in Bitcoin

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Volkswagen announced plans Thursday to build one or two electric vehicles in the US by 2023, the Wall Street Journal reports. The move is part of the company’s larger plan to sell 100,000 electric vehicles worldwide in 2020 and one million by 2025.

Will Take Bitcoin 

Ukrainian shipping company Varamar Ltd. is negotiating a deal with a client that will use bitcoin as payment, Bloomberg reports. While the popular cryptocurrency has made headlines recently for its explosive price growth, the relative volume of transactions conducted in cryptocurrencies is still relatively small, making the Varamar case an interesting one to watch.

China PMI

Manufacturing activity at small and mid-sized firms in China picked up at a slower pace than in previous months during November, with the Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index hitting 50.8, CNBC reports. Growth in the Chinese economy is expected to cool down in the coming year as the government begins to clamp down on risky corporate debt.

Consumer Spending

And finally, an economic update: US consumer spending slowed in October, Reuters reports, rising 0.3% after surging 0.9% in September. Underlying price pressures related to inflation, however, continued to increase, supporting the likelihood that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month.

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