Le secteur touristique d’Afrique du Sud

first_imgLa beaute des paysages, les exterieurs magnifiques, le climat ensoleille, la diversite culturelle et la reputation d’apport de valeur ajoutee a la monnaie en Afrique du Sud ont fait du pays une des destinations a plus forte croissance du monde en matiere de loisirs et d’affaires.Le pays est tres diversifie en termes de climat, culture, activites touristiques et infrastructures repondant aux besoins de chaque niche touristique, du tourisme economique et culturel a l’aventure, au sport et au paleo-tourisme.CroissanceTourisme d’affairesTourisme culturelLe tourisme ecologiqueLe paleo-tourismeLe tourisme d’aventureLe tourisme sportifCroissanceLes voyages internationaux vers l’Afrique du Sud ont fortement augmente depuis la fin de l’apartheid. En 1994, l’annee des premieres elections democratiques en Afrique du Sud, seuls 3,9 millions de visiteurs etrangers sont venus.En 2004, les entrees internationales avaient plus que double et etaient passees a 6,7 millions. Et en 2007, un total de 9,07 millions d’etrangers ont visite l’Afrique du Sud, soit une augmentation de 8,3% par rapport a 2006, alors que le pays battait son record d’entrees de touristes pour la troisieme annee consecutive.Le tourisme est egalement l’un des secteurs de l’economie dont la croissance est la plus rapide en Afrique du Sud;; sa contribution au produit interieur brut (PIB) augmentant de 4,6% en 1993 a 8,3% e 2006.Directement et indirectement, le tourisme constitue environ 7% de l’emploi en Afrique du Sud. Idealement positionne pour creer de nouveaux emplois et ajouter de la valeur aux ressources naturelles et culturelles du pays, le tourisme a ete repere par le gouvernement comme l’un des secteurs de croissance de l’Afrique du Sud.Cela rend la perspective extremement positive pour ce secteur, en particulier avec l’exposition dont le pays beneficiera en organisant le plus grand evenement sportif du monde, la Coupe du Monde de la Fifa qui aura lieu en Afrique du Sud en 2010, et les modernisations des infrastructures de transport et d’hebergement qui l’accompagneront.Tourisme d’affairesL’Afrique du Sud cherche de plus en plus a attirer les voyageurs pour affaires qui passent en moyenne trois fois plus de temps que les touristes et finissent par faire du tourisme pur eux aussi en visitant le pays avant ou apres leurs activites professionnelles et qui reviennent les annees suivantes.Avec ses infrastructures de rang mondial, son climat doux et ses paysages a couper le souffle, sans parler de ses parcours de golf, l’Afrique du Sud est la destination ideale pour des congres et des conventions internationaux.Le pays possede plus de 1 000 lieux de conference et d’exposition de rang mondial, allant de retraites intimes dans le bush jusqu’a des centres de convention a grande echelle. Tout cela offre une richesse d’activites de loisir, de visites et d’evenements:: d’une balade avec les elephants a des experiences authentiques de la culture africaine jusqu’aux achats de luxe et a la relaxation.On estime que 6 a 7% des visiteurs etrangers en 2007 en Afrique du Sud relevaient du tourisme d’affaires, soit 550 000 touristes d’affaires contre 470 000 en 2006. Les depenses directes totales des touristes d’affaires etrangers dans le pays ont atteint 2,4 milliards de rands en 2006, contre 2,1 milliards de rands en 2005.Le secteur des conferences en Afrique du Sud est passe a la 31eme place du dernier top 40 des premieres destinations du monde de l’Association des Conventions et Congres Internationale publie en mai 2007.Et l’enquete de M&IT Trends & Spends de 2007 aupres des lecteurs du magazine tres influent Meetings and Incentive Travel (M&IT), distribue aux organisateurs d’evenements au Royaume-Uni, a classe le Cap en tete de la liste des villes de destinations longs courriers alors que l’Afrique du Sud etait classee deuxieme pays de destination long courrier.Tourisme culturelL’Afrique du Sud accueille une grande diversite de cultures, allant des Zoulous qui ont resiste a la conquete europeenne aux nomades San du desert de Karoo. Chaque culture a evolue a developpe sa propre musique, ses propres formes d’art et de rites traditionnels alors que les descendants des colons ont evolue sur la base de variations de leurs racines europeennes.L’histoire de l’Afrique du Sud a ete celle de la confrontation mais plus recemment celle de la reconciliation. Depuis 1994, un certain nombre de sites de rang mondial ont ete crees pour commemorer le passe du pays et celebrer sa nouvelle unite alors que le nombre et la qualite des villages culturels, des visites de communautes et de townships ont considerablement augmente.Quatre des huit sites du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO en Afrique du Sud sont des sites culturels alors que un d’entre eux est un site mixte culturel et naturel. Ceux-ci sont : l’ile de Robben, le Berceau de l’Humanite, le Paysage culturel de Mapungubwe, la Paysage culturel et botanique de Richtersveld et le Park uKhahlamba Drakensberg.Voir : Les experiences culturelles en Afrique du SudLe tourisme ecologiqueLes differents climats de l’Afrique du Sud vont du climat tropical au sud-est au desert de la region centrale. Les paysages passent par toute une gamme, des chaines de montagne spectaculaires aux vastes plaines herbeuses, du littoral aux meandres des fleuves et aux dunes du desert. La vie sauvage du pays ne se limite pas aux cinq grands animaux mais presente une extraordinaire diversite biologique.Trois des huit sites du Patrimoine Mondial de l’Unesco en Afrique du Sud sont des sites naturels et un site est mixte, a la fois naturel et culturel. Il s’agit de la Region Florale du Cap, du Parc marecageux iSimangaliso, de Vredefort Dome et du Parc uKhahlamba Drakensberg.L’Afrique du Sud ouvre la voie des initiatives transfrontalieres audacieuses qui se developpent actuellement en Afrique, a savoir le developpement de parcs transfrontaliers.Les parcs nationaux du pays, y compris le Parc National Kruger, sont passes au nombre de 21 et le gouvernement s’est engage a augmenter les zones terrestres protegees du pays des 5,4 % actuels a 8 % et les zones maritimes protegees de 11 % a 20 % d’ici 2010.Les auberges privees de chasse au gibier du pays ont aussi augmente de façon importante au cours de ces 10 dernieres annees, offrant des services standard, de moyenne et de haut de gamme jusqu’a des auberges ultra luxueuses accueillant presque exclusivement des touristes etrangers.Voir : Les experiences de la vie sauvage en Afrique du SudLe paleo-tourismeL’Afrique du Sud beneficie de nombreux sites archeologiques d’importance. Les plus connus sont les sites de Sterkfontein, Swartkrans et Kromdraai qui forment le Berceau de l’Humanite, l’une des concentrations les plus riches en fossiles d’hominides.Les autres sont le Parc uKhahlamba Drakensberg qui abrite les exemplaires de peintures sur roche les plus grands et les plus concentres en Afrique et le Paysage Culturel de Mapungubwe, site de l’ancien royaume complexe africain tres anterieur a la colonisation europeenne. Les trois sites ci-dessus sont des sites du Patrimoine Mondial de l’Unesco.Voir : Le patrimoine mondial en Afrique du SudLe tourisme d’aventureSe trouvant a la pointe australe d’un vaste continent, l’Afrique du Sud offre 3 000 kilometres de littoral ainsi que des montagnes a couper le souffle, le plus souvent cote a cote. Le terrain varie du pays, associe a un climat ideal pour les activites en exterieur, en fait un terrain de chasse ideal pour les chercheurs de sensations fortes.L’Afrique du Sud propose de l’escalade, du surf, de la plongee, des randonnees, des safaris a dos de cheval, du mountain bike, du rafting de niveau mondial et toutes les autres activites extremes que vous pourriez citer, toutes encadrees par des organisateurs devoues.Voir : Afrique du Sud : Le paradis de l’aventureLe tourisme sportifDes lieux de rang mondial et des infrastructures adaptees, des evenements internationaux et la passion des sud-africains pour le sport s’associent pour faire du pays une carte de choix pour les passionnes de sport. Plus de 10 % des touristes etrangers viennent en Afrique du sud pour regarder ou participer a des evenements sportifs, les spectateurs representant de 60 a 80 % de ces arrivees.De nombreux evenements sportifs mondiaux sont inscrits sur l’agenda sud-africain chaque annee et le pays a prouve qu’il pouvait se charger d’evenements tres importants avec succes.Ceux-ci comprennent la Coupe du Monde de rugby de 1995, la Coupe du Monde de cricket de 2003, la Coupe du Monde feminine de golf de 2005 a 2008, le Championnat du monde inaugural de cricket Twenty20 en 2007 et la seule course dans les rues de la Coupe du Monde Motosport A1GP qui a eu lieu a Durban en 2006, 2007 et 2008.Aujourd’hui, le pays se prepare pour le plus grand d’entre eux : la Coupe du Monde de Football 2010.Derniere mise a jour de l’article : Septembre 2008SAinfo reporter. Sources (sites en langue anglaise) :South Africa YearbookSouth African TourismDepartment of TourismStatistics South Africalast_img read more

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Five decades of service in the swine barn

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Each year during the 12-day Ohio State Fair, the O’Neill Swine Barn hosts two breeding shows and then the large market event where the facility is filled to capacity, culminating with the final drive. During that time the staff handles the needs for accommodating around 3,500 hogs, hundreds of exhibitors, twice as many parents, countless spectators, and dozens of sale buyers. The intricate ebb and flow of the Ohio State Fair swine barn appears to run like clockwork to the casual observer, but behind the scenes is a dedicated top-notch staff that, for more than a half century, has included Dave Runyan.After 51 years of working in the swine barn at the Ohio State Fair, longtime Swine Superintendent Runyan has officially stepped down from his position as leader of the barn following the 2014 Ohio State Fair in order to hand the reins over to a new generation of leadership. Runyan’s tenure has seen a substantial amount of change and improvement at Ohio’s principal swine exhibition.“I actually started in 1963 as a barn boy for Art Jordan. He was also the swine herdsman for Ohio State University there and also filled in as superintendent of the swine shows at that time,” Runyan said. “There was a group of us from Champaign County that actually came over and did most of the swine shows and obviously that’s how I got kind of involved with them. I just happened to come along and end up one of those guys out there on the hurdle. That’s how I first got started and involved with the State Fair.”Runyan himself had plenty of experience with swine even before his barn boy work at the State Fair.“The family had always shown hogs at the Ohio State Fair,” he said. “We showed what we called Spotted Poland China hogs back then under Oak View Farms.”Before he was of 4-H age, Runyan started showing hogs in 1953-1954.“Then I showed, of course, at the Ohio State Fair through my 4-H and FFA years. We could still show until 21 at that point,” he said. “The family’s always raised hogs. I think I bought my first Hampshire sow when I was a freshman in high school to start my FFA project. I’ve had Hampshires ever since. My dad was always involved with Spots. He traveled with the National Spotted Association for a while and was president of the national association.”As Runyan grew up and started a career as an ag teacher, his work schedule allowed for him to continue serving in the swine barn.“I taught ag at Mechanicsburg High School in Champaign County for several years. I also worked with farm business planning and analysis, which was an adult farm management recordkeeping program,” he said. “I worked for six years doing that in Clark County. Then the job opened back up there in Mechanicsburg and I guess I kind of missed the kids so I decided to go back to teaching high school ag in about the mid-80s.”Runyan soon found himself serving as the assistant superintendent in the swine barn for the Junior Fair shows beside another long time barn employee, Charlie Andrews, who also recently retired from the State Fair.“Charlie was actually superintendent of the Junior Fair swine shows and I assisted him. That would’ve been in my early ag teaching years back in the early 70s. When we were doing that, we were both there the year we moved into the present barn, which I’m thinking was 1973,” Runyan said. “Phil Grover became superintendent about that time and he asked me to stay on and work in part of the shows with him as assistant superintendent for breeding shows primarily. About the mid-90s, Phil moved on. He’sJane and Dave Runyan have been involved with the Ohio State Fair for many years.now director of the meat goat shows there at the Ohio State Fair and then I took over as director of the swine shows at that time — about 1993.”Runyan has the unique ability to draw on his years of experience when asked about changes the barns and shows have seen in that time.“When I started helping Phil Grover, we introduced the idea of actually having some of those entrance pens at the end of the show ring. Prior to that, the older folks would remember we’d use to have just a tremendous fiasco trying to get the pigs into the ring. We’d pretty easily end up with 40, 50 pigs in one area and we’d all try to get through one little opening to end up in the show ring,” he said. “We came up with those entrance pens and that’s been really nice. It was very exhibitor friendly of course — lots of little physical things around that the barn has lent itself to.”Another important addition to the State Fair was the creation of the Buckeye Barrow Boosters that has generated tens of thousands of dollars for the exhibitors.“Ralph Doak was very involved in the starting of the Buckeye Barrow Boosters, which was a group to reward those breed champions that we had in the Junior Fair and have that barn sale as we refer to it. When I started, we were selling some of those champions well below county fair figures,” he said. “That was a big highlight — a great improvement that really helped our breed shows quite a bit.”Runyan said not all parts of his tenure were completely enjoyable. For a time, he said he became the “hair man” across the state of Ohio due to enforcing rules about the length of hair on show hogs. His rulings did not always sit well with exhibitors, but making decisions and standing by them is part of the job, he said.“We don’t want to forget — sometimes I think we have a little bit — and I’m old school enough to like for the kids to know that this is a real live animal we’re working with here and we do need to care for them. In the same token, we realize that they are part of the food chain and we need to treat them accordingly and realize that’s where they’ll end up,” he said. “That’s a little harder today than probably what it was a few years ago.”In the end, his work with hog shows has been all about the people.“The most important outcome of the whole experience for me was the people — all the people that we did meet across the state and the tons of young people that came through showing hogs,” he said. “There are many, many successful young folks out there that showed pigs through the Ohio State Fair.”Runyan may be done with his part at the Ohio State Fair, but that doesn’t mean he’s retiring from agriculture. He and his wife Jane will continue to raise pigs on their Logan County farm south of Bellefontaine known as “DaJa View Farms.” The two are also becoming more acquainted with Florida, having recently bought a home in the Sunshine State. They are hoping to spend some more time down south in addition to their Ohio residence.Runyan said his wife has been a big part of his success through the years.“Janie has been a big part of everything we have done and she’s been there beside me all the way through. I know it would not have been as much fun and it would not have been as easy if it hadn’t been for Janie,” he said.Tapped to be his replacement is another native of west-central Ohio. Matt Bennett, originally from Logan County, is going into his sixth year of teaching ag at Oak Hill Schools in southeastern Ohio. He, like Dave, has worked his way up the ladder of command from barn boy to the new superintendent.“He, I think, is going to do a great job stepping in and keeping things going. He is a very organized young person and very energetic. I feel very good about Matt,” Runyan said.In terms of advice for the new leader of the O’Neil Swine Barn, Runyan said to focus on staff, being cooperative, and being exhibitor-friendly.Runyan was recognized at the 2014 Ohio State Fair for his service, along with several others. Pictured are Charlie Andrews, Kevin Wendt, Robert Troutman, Dave Runyan, and Daryl Sollars.“I was very fortunate. I surrounded myself with a tremendous staff of folks that were willing to come and help,” Runyan said. “My advice is to surround yourself with good people and your job’s a whole lot easier. Remain exhibitor-friendly and you’ll have hopefully as much fun as we did.”As he takes on his new role, Bennett will be relying on his experience, having been involved in nearly every activity in the swine barn for several years now. He has seen several changes over the years as well.“I was there in the days where we had just one scale. We had probably 20 head chutes that we were constantly having trouble with getting pigs tagged through,” Bennett said. “I liked the addition of the crossbred open youth jackpot gilt show. I think that’s a big opportunity for a lot of people that we had missed the boat on for a long time and now that we’ve got that open there for them, that’s just more ways for these kids to have fun.”Bennett said it would be a difficult task to replace his predecessor.“It’s a role that I definitely will never be able to fill to his capacity. The biggest thing that I want to accomplish while I’m director is staying exhibitor friendly, making the State Fair a fun place for people to come and enjoy, and making sure we educate the youth while we’re there,” Bennett said. “In my mind, I think Dave’s done a great job of getting the swine barn where it needs to be. There were a lot of people that have retired and we’ve got a lot of shoes to fill with that, but we’re going to try to do our job and surround ourselves with good people that are there for the right reasons.“I would just tell Dave that I’m very thankful for the time he’s shared with me. I’m thankful for him to kind of take me under his wing there and prep me for this.  He always has the mindset that it is exhibitor first. There’s a lot of things that people take the wrong way and his interpretations are always, ‘We’re here for the kids’ and I think that’s a great mindset to have.”last_img read more

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a month ago​Man City midfielder Fernandinho: Let’s see how I perform against attacking teams

first_img​Man City midfielder Fernandinho: Let’s see how I perform against attacking teamsby Ansser Sadiqa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City midfielder Fernandinho is not getting carried away regarding his centre-back performances.The defensive midfielder has needed to move further back in the starting lineup, given injuries to Aymeric Laporte and John Stones.But he knows that despite two wins and clean sheets against Shakhtar Donetsk and Watford, there are many tougher tests to come.”I’m still in an adaptation process,” he said to reporters.”It’s something new for me although I did know since the end of last season that playing as a centre-back was a possibility.”I’ve started training it from the beginning of this season so it’s still new, but I’m trying to learn from that experience.”The way we play makes it a bit easier because we keep the ball with us most minutes.”But when an opponent attacks more through crosses or behind-the-line runs… let’s see how I’m going to perform.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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CBSE hikes exam fees SCST general category to pay more

first_imgNew Delhi: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has increased the fees of Class 10 and 12 board examinations for SC and ST students from Rs 50 to Rs 1,200, while the amount has been doubled for those from the general category, who will now have to pay Rs 1,500.The students appearing for the Class 10 board exams are registered for it when in Class 9, and those appearing for Class 12 are registered when in Class 11. The board notified the changes in the fees last week and has asked the schools who had already begun the registration process and charged students as per the old fee structure, to now collect the difference in amount. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsAccording to the revised norms, the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students will have to pay Rs 1,200 for five subjects, while earlier they were supposed to pay Rs 50 for the same, a hike of 24 times. The general category students who were paying Rs 750 earlier, will now pay Rs 1,500 for five subjects. “The fees is applicable for both Class 10 and 12 examinations,” a senior CBSE official said. For appearing for an additional subject in Class 12 board examination, the SC and ST students who were earlier not supposed to pay any extra fee will now have to pay Rs 300. General category students will also have to pay Rs 300 for an additional subject, instead of Rs 150 earlier.last_img read more

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At the fracking protest frontline

first_imgAPTN National NewsTempers are flaring again in central New Brunswick.That’s where a US based company is searching for shale gas.People are afraid the discovery of shale gas may lead to a controversial process known as fracking.APTN’s Ossie Michelin is on the front line of the protest outside Rexton, New Brunswick.last_img

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Ohio State football seniors have plenty to play for in 2012

The Ohio State football team can’t play in a bowl game next year, but don’t tell the seniors on the team they have nothing to play for in their final season. Twenty-two senior Buckeyes will play their final game in Ohio Stadium next year and said they want to go out on a high note. After posting a 6-7 record in 2011, several seniors said they are looking for improvement and better results this season. Senior tight end Jake Stoneburner said the seniors have to make the most of their final campaign at OSU and are motivated by underachieving last fall. “We have to play to the best of our ability because we seniors only have eight games left in the ‘Shoe and then that’s it,” Stoneburner said. “We had a disappointing season last year, so we want to come out and prove we’re a better team and that last year was a fluke.” Going to a BCS or other high-profile bowl is out of the question in 2012 due to an NCAA-imposed bowl ban, so some players said the focus shifts to winning games. Senior punter Ben Buchanan said the bowl ban hasn’t changed his level of excitement for the upcoming season. “I know the bowl ban is probably on the back of everyone’s mind, but we seniors just want to go out and win 12 games, beat Michigan and all those great things that any Ohio State team would look for,” Buchanan said. “I know a lot of guys have personal goals, but our goal overall as a team is to pick up Ws.” The bowl ban, along with a reduction in scholarships, come as the consequences to an NCAA investigation that found that six players had received improper benefits in the form of tattoos in exchange for memorabilia. Of the six, former running back Daniel “Boom” Herron, former wide receiver DeVier Posey and former offensive tackle Mike Adams all moved on to the NFL this April. Former quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who often found himself at the center of the scrutiny following the scandal, departed the university prior to the 2011 season to pursue a career in the NFL. Linebacker Jordan Whiting also received a one-game suspension and has since transferred to Louisville. Former coach Jim Tressel was forced to resign in May of 2011 after it became clear that he had known about the violations and failed to report them, thereby knowingly playing ineligible players during the 2010 season. With the hiring of coach Urban Meyer, the seniors will play for their third coach in three seasons after 2011 head coach Luke Fickell was moved to defensive coordinator and linebackers coach this season. Etienne Sabino, senior linebacker, said he also appreciates Meyer’s honesty when analyzing and criticizing the players. “It puts you in an uncomfortable position, but I think it’s good because he sees how you perform under pressure. It shows how you can react,” Sabino said. “I’ve learned there is no gray area. They’re going to tell you what they think of you.” The seniors will start their final year with OSU at home against Miami (Ohio) Sept. 1. read more

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In This Issue   Global Growth gets a boost

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Global Growth gets a boost! *  Eurozone PMI’s print as expected. *  Brazilian real says I have volatility! *  What’s up with two month old data? And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Chinese PMI Print A Surprise!. Good Day! . And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! Cardinals win a crazy game in the 12th inning last night, so they were Tub Thumpin’ into the night. I was thoroughly entertained at the Senior All-Star Water Polo Game last night, and got home to watch a couple of innings of the Cardinals game before the bedtime bell was ringing. Head East is singing again this morning with the currencies and metals, and The FOMC Meeting Minutes (FOMCMM) were a dud, as I suspected they would be, and an upside surprise in the Chinese PMI really got the markets riled up overnight, but have now settled back into dullsville. So.. Where to start? Where to start? Hmmm. Well, I guess the Chinese PMI data surprise would be as good a place to start as any, eh?  So. OK, yesterday, I told you that the HSBC/ Markit reading of Chinese PMI (manufacturing index) was usually the one that was the weaker of the two PMI readings that are done in China.. One by HSBC/ Markit, and the other by the Gov’t. Well, for the first time since last October, the HSBC/ Markit PMI increased month to month from 48.1 to 49.7. I know that doesn’t seem like a large increase, and it’s still below 50, you know, the line in the sand between expansion and contraction. Well, think about the increase like this. It’s the strongest level the HSBC/ Markit report has printed year to date, and 48.1 to 49.7 IS a strong increase for an index like this that usually sees snail paced moves. And 49.7 is a rounding error from 50. So, this IS a report to get excited about for Asia, and the global growth countries. And with the global growth countries seeing the sun for the first time in a week, the Aussie dollar (A$), which I’ve always contended is the proxy for global growth currencies, saw some love. So, the overnight moves were good. But then as the Asian traders handed the books off to Europe, things settled down, and the currencies and metals are flat as a pancake from that point.  But while I’ve got China on my mind. as opposed to Carolina on my mind, not that there’s anything wrong with Carolina! HA! I’ve got some additional thoughts on China. I received a note from a dealer yesterday, announcing their association with Roy Morgan, a survey company, in creating a new Consumer Confidence Index for China. The ANZ-Roy Morgan China Consumer Confidence Index is intended to provide a real-time indication of China’s domestic demand.  You may all recall me telling you a few years ago, how China was attempting to move from an export-only driven economy, to one that is diversified with strong domestic demand.  So. from now on, I’ll be reporting on this index as a means of giving you all an indication of the Chinese economy from a domestic demand view. For those of you keeping score at home, the ANZ-Roy Morgan China Consumer Confidence Index for May was stable at 152.5 VS April’s 152.6.  To me, this tells a different picture than the one the media seems to get all excited about in which they tell you and me that the Chinese economy is collapsing. Not so, according to this index. And not so, according to HSBC/ Markit! But did all this upbeat news lead the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) to allow an appreciation of the renminbi / yuan overnight? NOOOOOOOO! Pink Floyd’s great song Comfortably Numb is playing on the IPod right now, and I believe that I’m becoming Comfortably Numb about what the PBOC is doing each night. I know it hasn’t been that long since the PBOC started this lesson that they wanted to teach the markets, but when I see it appreciate one night, and weaken the next night, I get the feeling I’ve seen it all before, and I become Comfortably Numb. The Eurozone flash PMI reports were bang on, as a whole, with the expectations of a 53.9 figure. Germany’s manufacturing was stronger, and France’s was weaker, nothing new there, but I have to think that the anti-euro people in Germany, (a small faction) would use this as ammo for their argument that Germany should leave the euro. Well, that’s not going to happen folks, for the euro is Germany. Whew! Just has an Inlyta moment, right here at the desk. and I’ll leave it at that. I told you on Monday that Canada would print their March Retail Sales report today, as the Data Cupboards around the world begin to wake from their week-long slumber. Of course, March was two months ago, and I’m not sure what the markets will think of data that old. But it is what it is. The markets are expecting the March Retail Sales to have weakened from February. If the data is too weak, then the Canadian dollar / loonie could see some selling, but a general weakness that’s two months old, shouldn’t upset the applecart too much. First we talk about the country North of the U.S. and now the country South of the U.S.  That’s right, Mexico. Recent data from Mexico hasn’t been painting a bright picture for the Mexican economy, but yesterday, we saw March Retail Sales increase .8% VS February. (what’s up with all this two-month old data?)  I said a year ago, that I liked Mexico better than I used to like it, and it was because of the new President, Nieto, and his list of reforms. Well, it appears that maybe we could be turning the corner with the Mexican economy, and maybe, just maybe, cause you never know, but maybe the weak data trend is over here. That would be a good thing for the peso. But remember, because of their past indiscretions with U.S. depositors and the pesos, the Mexican peso needs to have a “risk premium” in the interest rate. And the current interest rate levels are void of a “risk premium”. So, until that happens (interest rates rise) the peso will struggle to carve out gains VS the dollar. Now, moving even further South, we come to Brazil. The Brazilian real saw some gains yesterday VS the dollar and the recent gains VS the dollar, have been nice for real holders, but let me remind you that we saw this short-term trend of strength in the real at the end of summer last year, only to be knocked on its Kiester in the late fall. So, volatility might have been taken out of a lot of currencies these days, but it certainly hasn’t been taken out of the real!  As a currency trader, that I used to be, I loved volatility! Especially when it went my way! HA! Speaking of volatility. I just saw a news headline that Thailand’s army had declared a military coup. The military has announced that they had seized power in a coup so that they can restore stability and order after 6 months of political deadlock and turmoil. Remember, it was about 6 months ago, that I told you of the rumblings that a coup would be announced soon? Good thing that can’t happen here, eh? For the military would be seizing control all the time because of political deadlock and turmoil!  Hmmm, maybe that’s why it’s being reported that the Dept. of Agriculture is buying machine guns and rounds of ammo.to protect them from the military coup! Or, maybe for other reasons, eh?  Oh, no I said too much. I’ve said enough. That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight, losing my religion. Oh, no I said   too much, I haven’t said enough. Well. Russia and China continue to bond. It was announced yesterday that Russia’s Gazprom, will sell natural gas to China for the next 30 years. And guess what currency WON’T be used to settle the terms of trade? That’s right, the dollar.  I’m telling you now, so you can listen to me later, that Russia and China now have a common concern. the dollar as the reserve currency. I see Gold picking itself off the floor right now, as it has gained $6 since I came in. More Groundhog Day stuff as far as I can tell. zerohedge.com is reporting this morning that Reuters reported that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the finance ministry officials will recommend that the new government relax strict import rules to head off the surge in illegal buying, per officials with direct knowledge of the plan.  You know the plan to help the Current Account Deficit in India by curbing the importation of Gold, resulted in soaring illegal buying and smuggling of Gold, and those trades do not get registered into the official data for Gold. Just another reason I feel that Gold is being suppressed in price. Well, I saw a headline story yesterday that Palladium had risen to a 33-month high, as S. African supply concerns are pushing the appreciation envelope for the metal. Then there are the fears going around that Russia’s production / supplies could be interrupted too. So, for now Palladium is the cat’s meow of metals. But don’t diss Platinum. and I saw on Ed Steer’s letter this morning that the platinum market is expected to post a deficits of 1.218 million ounces this year according to Johnson Matthey. This is due mostly to the longest and costliest miner’s strike in S. Africa, ever. and of course the drop in supplies from Russia, as the country deals with Ukraine problems over mining platinum!  Platinum to me, looks like it wants to trade up to $1,500 oz.. Another Inlyta moment, and that makes three of them this morning, boy I’m sure am lucky today! For What It’s Worth. OK. I first saw this on Bloomberg, then zerohedge.com and finally Ed Steer’s letter, So, that means it must really be a good article! It doesn’t have much to it, just one guy that should know what he’s talking about, saying that housing isn’t as peachy as the media and Gov’t would have you believe. let’s listen in. “More than half a decade after the collapse, and with talking heads proclaiming the recovery as strong as ever and the Fed remarking on the housing market’s foundational pillar to that recovery, BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink has a few words of warning for the exuberant – the U.S. housing market is “structurally more unsound” today that before the last financial crisis. As the data comes in weaker and weaker, despite hopes for a post-weather bounce, the fact that the U.S. housing market is “more dependent on Fannie and Freddie than we were before the crisis,” is a problem for the U.S. taxpayer and – unlike Mel Watt’s ‘free credit for everyone’ approach to expanding the GSE’s role, Fink says with strong underwriting standards, ownership of affordable homes can again become a foundation for American families.” Chuck again. But apparently, what he’s saying is that there isn’t strong underwriting standards. you have to back track to figure out what he’s saying there. But the important part, is that Fink co-founded BlackRock in 1988 after a career at First Boston Corp, where he was known for his work in slicing and pooling mortgages and selling them as bonds. BlackRock is a $4.4 Trillion money manager now, so as I said above, this is someone that should know what he’s talking about regarding housing. To recap. The Asian and overnight markets got a wakeup call last night from China, as the HSBC/ Markit PMI printed an increase for the first time since last October, and brought the index near 50. The Global growth countries and currencies, led by Aussie dollars took the good news and ran with it.. The FOMCMM were a dud, as expected. Since the European traders took over, though, the currencies are flat as a pancake, with Gold, pushing higher by $6 this morning. Currencies today 5/21/14. American Style: A$ .9235, kiwi .8565, C$ .9165, euro 1.3675, sterling 1.6870, Swiss $1.1195, . European Style: rand 10.3815, krone 5.9425, SEK 6.5820, forint 222.30, zloty 3.0565, koruna 20.0740, RUB 34.29, yen 101.65, sing 1.2530, HKD 7.7535, INR 58.45, China 6.1658, pesos 12.92, BRL 2.0265, Dollar Index 80.16, Oil $103.91, 10-year 2.55%, Silver $19.58, Platinum $1,483.26, Palladium $834.39, and Gold. $1,297.93 That’s it for today. A very rough morning here for me, but it appears I’ll get through it, and the rest of the day hopefully will be better. Stevie Ray Vaughn is singing, Look at Little Sister on the IPod, that’ll get your foot tapping along.  This VA Hospitals scandal is disgusting, and now they are going to be allowed to investigate themselves. What, what? Oh, well, Chuck, move along, nothing to see here.. Did you see how quickly I corrected that fuzzy math yesterday? I must have looked at the numbers several times, and didn’t see it until it was too late! UGH! There are still questions though. And I would love to be the one who gets to ask the Fed to explain the difference! I think our little Christine is stopping to buy donuts this morning instead of breakfast sandwiches, so maybe a 2-cake donut cure will make things better for me today!  Well, Cardinals go for the sweep tonight, they blew their last chance at a sweep last Sunday, so hopefully they learned their lesson! Well, this is late, due to all the interruptions this morning, so I hope you have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday. Chuck Butler President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more

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