China announces better-than-expected Q3 GDP growth, but concerns linger
Official Q3 data released this week showed China’s GDP rising 3.9% during the quarter, comparing favourably to the 3.4% predicted by analysts. Separate data shows the manufacturing and industrial sectors strongly supporting the growth.
While this is higher than predicted, China’s official target for 2022 GDP is 5.5%, and the overall GDP forecasts of 3.2% would put the year among the most poorly performing in decades. The Q3 GDP is better than expected, but still not excellent. Unemployment rose and homebuying continued to fall, deepening concerns.
The recent Congress of the Communist Party, which brought an unprecedented third term for party leader Xi Jinping, delayed the release of the Q3 data. The country’s governing body was also reportedly stacked with Xi’s supporters, prompting weakening of the yuan and negative responses from markets.
Marsh McLennan: winner of the 2022 AFP Pinnacle Awards Grand Prize for Excellence in Treasury and Finance
Marsh McLennan, a professional services firm, has won the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) 2022 Pinnacle Awards Grand Prize for Excellence in Treasury and Finance. The award honours Marsh McLennan’s project to predict client churn through machine learning. The project focused initially on the firm’s client retention in Mexico, analysing several years of invoice and transaction data and producing results that equalled or surpassed manual processes for accuracy while reducing staff workload. In light of the success, the company now plans to roll the model out to its operations more broadly.
Jim Kaitz, President and CEO of AFP, stated, “Marsh McLennan's solution proved that emerging technology can be used to replace manual processes, ultimately freeing up teams to deliver more value to the business.” The award, sponsored by MUFG, was presented yesterday at the AFP 2022 Conference in Philadelphia.
GM Q3 earnings beat estimates, but guidance for the year unchanged
Automaker GM reported its Q3 earnings, showing significantly higher adjusted earnings per share than predicted (US $2.25 actual compared to $1.88 predicted), per Refinitiv data. This is in spite of a narrow miss on revenue expectations, coming in at $41.89 billion instead of the predicted $42.22 billion.
GM balanced this with statements acknowledging concerns about various economic headwinds, including rising interest rates. Overall, however, the automaker believes its product demand will hold out and is not adjusting its guidance for the year, stating that it still anticipates hitting the “mid-point” of its earnings guidance. This means net income of $9.6-11.2 billion and adjusted earnings (before interest and taxes) of $13-15 billion, which comes out to $6.50-7.50 for each share.
Bank of America’s Intelligent Receivables harnesses data for reporting and forecasting
Bank of America’s AR matching solution, Intelligent Receivables, will begin adding insights for its clients based on consumer behaviour and historical trends. These new capabilities are part of added reporting and forecasting features announced in a press release from the bank yesterday.
Intelligent Receivables uses AI and advanced data capture technology for efficient matching of invoices to payments. Liba Saiovici, head of Global Receivables in Global Transaction Services (GTS) at Bank of America, stated in the press release that “The new capabilities are a natural extension of a tool that constantly interacts with data.” Bank of America also announced that the rollout of Intelligent Receivables in Brazil is now complete.
Plastiq announces expanded integration for embedded finance product
B2B payments platform Plastiq announced expanded integration for its embedded finance solution in a press release yesterday. “Plastiq Connect provides platforms with a configurable way to enable multiple payment methods and disbursement options for their business customers to more easily pay suppliers and get paid by their customers”, as stated in the press release. Plastiq compares the updated integration’s UI experience to that of a white label product, but with decreased time for development.
Plastiq Connect will reportedly enable banks and networks to offer their business customers more disbursement options and methods for paying suppliers and receiving payments. The product uses a “payer-funded card payment model”, as opposed to the more common supplier-funded model, and Plastiq states that it supports card payments globally, even with vendors who do not accept cards. Founder and CEO Eliot Buchanan stated that businesses interested in offering financial services can use Plastiq to “get to market in just weeks while outsourcing the operations functions of risk, KYC (know your customer) and compliance to Plastiq.”
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