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Jittery Brazil hikes rates once more BRASÍLIA: Brazil's central bank raised its key interest rate to 12.75 percent Wednesday, as Latin America's largest economy fights to keep a lid on inflation despite a slowing economy.The increase, the fourth in a row, was largely anticipated by analysts polled by the central bank."In assessing the macroeconomic scenario and the outlook for inflation, the Copom (the bank's monetary policy committee) decided unanimously to raise the rate by 0.5 percentage points, to 12.75 percent," it said in a statement.Inflation in 2014 reached 6.41 percent, just below the government's maximum target of 6.5 percent.Brazil's leftist President Dilma Rousseff, who was re-elected in October, has responded by paring back the budget while promising to protect social programs for the working class.After several years of booming growth, Brazil's economy has been slowing in recent years and growth looks set to be close to zero for 2014.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...

IMF says Georgia's GDP may grow 2pc in 2015, but risks remain TBILISI: Georgia's gross domestic product may grow 2 percent this year, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday, but threats to the forecast exist.In February, Georgia's Economy Ministry said that it may halve its growth forecast for this year to 2.0-2.5 percent. The former Soviet republic is suffering from spillover effects from the weakening Russian rouble.The IMF also said in a press statement that inflation is likely to pick up in coming months towards this ...
US service sector activity ticks up in February NEW YORK: A gauge of growth in the U.S. services sector was modestly stronger than expected in February, helped as an index on employment rebounded from recent weakness.The Institute for Supply Management on Wednesday said its services index was 56.9 in February, up slightly from 56.7 in January. Analysts were looking for a reading of 56.5, according to a Reuters poll.The survey's employment index jumped to 56.4 from 51.6, moving from its lowest level since ...
Euro zone inflation bets rise as data challenges deflation outlook LONDON: Market bets on a revival of euro zone inflation are close to their highest this year as surprisingly strong economic data and imminent European Central Bank money printing ease fears of a deflationary spiral.Surveys on Wednesday, a day before the ECB details its quantitative easing programme intended to kick-start inflation and growth, showed euro zone business activity accelerated in the region's four biggest economies in February, helped by price cuts and a weaker currency.This ...
China defence budget 10pc rise to defy slowing economy BEIJING: China's defence budget this year will rise about 10 percent compared with 2014, a top government official said on Wednesday, outpacing the slowing economy as the country ramps up investment in high-tech equipment such as submarines and stealth jets.Parliament spokeswoman Fu Ying told reporters the actual figure would be released on Thursday, when the annual session of the largely rubber-stamp National People's Congress opens.Last year, defence spending was budgeted to rise 12.2 percent to ...
Moody's sees global default rate rising in 2015 NEW YORK: Moody's Investors Services said on Wednesday it projected a rise in the global default rate on high-yield bonds and loans in 2015 on rising risk premiums, geopolitical concerns, sluggish global growth and a possible rate increase from the Federal Reserve.Based on its model, the rating agency said the default rate would climb to 2.7 percent from 2.0 percent in 2014. This implies 76 defaults globally.The predicted higher level though would still be below ...
Obama signs homeland security funding bill: White House WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed into law a bill that funds the U.S. Department of Homeland Security until the end of the fiscal year, after lawmakers this week ended a months-long dispute over the agency's budget.Congressional Republicans had hoped to overcome Democrats' objections and tie the department's funding to a measure blocking Obama's recent executive actions on immigration.Republicans abandoned that plan this week, and the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a ...


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 18,096.90 0.58
Arrow Nasdaq 4,967.14 0.26
Arrow S&P 2,098.53 0.44
Arrow FTSE 6,919.24 0.44
Arrow DAX 11,390.38 0.98
Arrow CAC-40 4,917.35 0.99
Arrow Nikkei 18,703.60 0.59
Arrow H.Seng 24,465.38 0.96
Arrow Sensex 29,380.73 0.72

ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.703 bln
Exports $2.156 bln
Imports $3.859 bln
WeeklyFebruary 26, 2015
Reserves $15.944 bln