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Japan downgrades economic assessment as PM promises reform TOKYO: Japan on Friday downgraded its assessment of the economy for the first time in five months, as a string of weak data hammers hopes for a quick recovery following Tokyo's April sales tax hike.The monthly report acknowledged spending at home had stalled, throwing into question Tokyo's plans to hike sales taxes again next year.But it added that depressed conditions were due partly to poor weather -- Japan was inundated with heavy rainfall and a string of typhoons this summer."Private consumption appears to be pausing recently," said the report for September."Attention should be given to the downside risks of the Japanese economy such as lengthening of the reaction after a last-minute rise in demand and slowing-down of overseas economies."The gloomier assessment came the same day that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe penned a column in the Wall Street Journal, extolling the virtues of his three-pronged policy blitz to resuscitate Japan's deflation-plagued ...

Japan Q3 GDP forecasts cut, inflation stuck below BoJ target TOKYO: Japan's economy is likely to rebound less than previously expected this quarter, while inflation will stay below the central bank's target well into the future, a Reuters poll showed, compounding worries about the sputtering recovery. Economists in the Reuters poll trimmed their forecasts for July-September growth after the economy took a bigger hit than expected in the second quarter from a sales tax increase in April. This quarter's rebound is vital for policymakers.Prime Minister ...
Singapore August core inflation seen steady at 2.2pc y/y SINGAPORE: Singapore's annual core consumer inflation likely held steady at 2.2 percent in August, a Reuters poll showed, within the central bank's projections ahead of a policy review next month.The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has said that core inflation is expected to stay "elevated" at 2-3 percent in 2014, with domestic cost pressures likely to remain the main source of inflation at a time when the labour market has been tight.Against this backdrop, economists ...
US jobless claims data point to firming labor market WASHINGTON: The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, suggesting that a sharp slowdown in job growth last month was probably an aberration.While other data on Thursday showed some weakness in home building and factory activity, the underlying trend remained supportive of solid economic growth.Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 36,000 to a seasonally adjusted 280,000 for the week ended Sept. 13, the lowest level since ...
IMF cuts Italy growth outlook, hikes deficit, debt ROME: Italy's economy will shrink in 2014 for a third year running, while the public debt will continue to rise, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday, calling on Matteo Renzi's government to follow through on promised reforms.Gross domestic product will fall this year by 0.1 percent following declines of 1.9 percent in 2013 and 2.4 percent in 2012, the IMF said, cutting its previous forecast for growth of 0.3 percent, made at the end ...
US weekly jobless claims fall WASHINGTON: New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits fell last week, returning to a downward trend as the jobs market slowly improves, according to a Labor Department report Thursday.Initial jobless claims fell by 36,000 to 280,000 in the week ending September 13, the department said.Claims jumped well above trend in the prior week, and the department upwardly revised the number by 1,000 to 316,000.New jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, have been ...
US housing starts tumble in August WASHINGTON: New US home construction fell sharply in August, led by the especially volatile multifamily sector, government data showed Thursday.Housing starts tumbled 14.4 percent from a strong surge in July to an annual rate of 956,000 units, the Commerce Department said.Building permits, which indicate potential construction activity, fell by 5.6 percent last month to an annual rate of 998,000.New construction of single-family homes, the lion's share of the US housing market, slipped 2.4 percent. Starts ...


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 17,265.99 0.64
Arrow Nasdaq 4,593.43 0.68
Arrow S&P 2,011.36 0.49
Arrow FTSE 6,819.29 0.57
Arrow DAX 9,798.13 1.41
Arrow CAC-40 4,464.70 0.75
Arrow Nikkei 16,067.57 1.13
Arrow H.Seng 24,168.72 0.85
Arrow Sensex 27,112.21 1.81

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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.434 bln
Exports $1.930 bln
Imports $3.364 bln
WeeklySeptember 18, 2014
Reserves $13.525 bln