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Japan consumer inflation slows, spending down in September TOKYO: Japanese inflation slowed further in September as consumers tightened their purse strings, data showed Friday, fuelling concerns that a tax hike this year could derail the nation's economic recovery.The internal affairs ministry said Japan's core consumer inflation, stripping out volatile fresh food prices, came in at 3.0 percent year-on-year, down from 3.1 percent in August.Prices rose from year-earlier levels largely because the government raised sales tax from 5.0 percent to 8.0 percent on April 1, which drove up retail prices.Separate data from the ministry showed household spending in September plunged 5.6 percent from a year earlier.It was worse than a market median forecast of a 4.2 percent drop and extended declines to a sixth straight month since April.Price rises stemming from the tax hike appeared to be easing as inflation growth slowed from 3.3 percent in both July and June and a three-decade high of 3.4 percent in May.Excluding ...

Obama calls for 'inclusive' vote process in Myanmar: White House WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has called for an "inclusive and credible" elections process next year in Myanmar, where President Thein Sein was set to hold an unprecedented political summit on Friday with his rivals.Obama made the comment in telephone talks with Thein Sein, during which the pair also discussed the US president's visit to Myanmar next month, the White House said Thursday."The president welcomed the commitment of Thein Sein and his government to the ...

For Hong Kong youngsters, protests bring taste of freedom HONG KONG: A month on the streets has given young Hong Kong democracy protesters a taste of life outside the city's cramped shoebox apartments -- and away from the prying eyes of overprotective parents.In this city of high tower blocks and even higher property prices, many Hong Kongers reach their 30s before they get married and move out of crowded family homes. Space, tranquility and privacy are all in short supply in one of the ...

British Labour downplays threat of Scotland collapse LONDON: British opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband on Thursday brushed off polls indicating his party faces collapsing support in former stronghold Scotland ahead of next year's general election."We face a tough fight but no tougher than the fights we have faced in the past," Miliband told a Labour dinner event in Glasgow. His comments came after an Ipsos Mori survey showed Labour could lose up to 90 percent of its lawmakers in the region to ...

Zimbabwe opposition hopes to reboot and challenge Mugabe HARARE: Enfeebled by its electoral loss to veteran leader Robert Mugabe and a post-vote split, Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change meets on Friday to elect new leaders and forge a new plan against Mugabe's 34-year rule.MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said the two-day party congress, expected to attract 7,000 delegates, was likely to retain Morgan Tsvangirai as leader and, MDC members hope, see the embattled party emerge stronger."We are reinvigorating the party. It's going to ...

Japan's huge pension fund set for major investment shift: reports TOKYO: Japan will announce Friday that its public pension fund -- the world's biggest -- will double the amount of equities it holds in its investment portfolio, reports said, as it seeks out higher returns to cope with an ageing population.The welfare ministry will agree the Government Pension Investment Fund's plan that will see domestic and foreign stocks account for a combined 50 percent of its portfolio, up from about 25 percent now, the leading ...

South Korea activists launch anti-North leaflets SEOUL: South Korean activists said they launched more than one million anti-North Korean leaflets across the border Friday, a move likely to infuriate Pyongyang, which has demanded Seoul ban such exercises.The leaflets were in bundles attached to 24 gas-filled balloons that a North Korean defector group floated over the heavily militarised frontier shortly after midnight, around 60 kilometres (35 miles) north of Seoul.As well as messages condemning the North's ruling Kim dynasty, the packages contained ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
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WeeklyOctober 27, 2014
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