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Japan trade account returns to deficit in April: govt TOKYO: Japan swung back to a trade deficit in April after the first surplus in almost three years in March, but the shortfall shrank drastically year-on-year thanks to stronger exports and lower energy bills, official data showed Monday.The monthly deficit came in at 53.4 billion yen ($440 million), about one-15th of the 825.5 billion yen posted a year earlier, finance ministry data showed.Exports rose 8.0 percent year-on-year chiefly on robust shipments of cars,electronics components and machinery as the yen was 17 percent cheaper against the dollar than last year.Imports dropped 4.2 percent as the cost of oil and gas fell.By region, US-bound shipments soared 21.4 percent, far outpacing a 2.4 percent increase in exports to China and a 0.8 percent rise in exports to the European Union."Japan's economy will be more robust this year, led by domestic consumption and external demand," said Yoshitaka Suda, an economist at Nomura Holdings. "We ...

Algeria records trade deficit in Jan-April after oil price slump ALGIERS: OPEC member Algeria recorded a trade deficit of $4.3 billion for the first four months of 2015, reversing a $3.4 billion surplus a year earlier, due to lower energy earnings as global oil prices slumped, official data showed.Oil and gas exports, which accounted for 93.5 percent of Algeria's total exports, declined 42.8 percent to $12.54 billion in the January-April period, according to customs figures issued late on Saturday.The value of overall exports during the ...
US inflation steadies in April WASHINGTON: US consumer prices barely edged higher in April as energy prices tumbled and food prices were flat, the Labor Department reported Friday.The consumer price index increased 0.1 percent in April from March, when the CPI rose 0.2 percent for the second month in a row.On an annual basis, inflation dug deeper into negative territory. The CPI was down 0.2 percent from April 2014, following a 0.1 percent decline in March.Falling energy prices in April ...
Mexico cuts 2015 growth forecast after weak 1Q MEXICO CITY: Mexico's government sharply lowered its growth forecast for this year on Thursday after the economy grew by a meager 0.4 percent in the first quarter, hit by slumping oil prices.The finance ministry said it expected Latin America's second biggest economy to expand by between 2.2 and 3.2 percent in 2015, compared to a previous forecast of 3.2 to 4.2 percent.The announcement came shortly after the national statistics institute posted the disappointing first quarter ...
US jobless claims rise WASHINGTON: New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits rose more than expected last week but overall kept at a 15-year low, Labor Department data released Thursday showed.Initial jobless claims, an indicator of the pace of layoffs, rose by 10,000 to 274,000 in the week ending May 16.Analysts on average had penciled in a smaller increase to 270,000.The department said there were no special factors affecting the week's initial claims data.The four-week moving average, which helps ...
Irish unemployment falls below 10pc for first time since 2009 DUBLIN: Ireland's unemployment rate dropped below 10 percent for the first time in more than six years at the end of March, a milestone that will boost the government as it gears up for an election due in 2016.The number of people out of work fell to 9.9 percent, the central statistics office said on Thursday, well below the euro zone average of 11.3 percent.Employment has been growing strongly since the jobless rate peaked at ...
Brunei LNG export plant sells two spot cargoes in tender MILAN: Brunei's liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant has sold two cargoes following a recent tender, with Japanese utility Kyushu Electric taking receipt of one cargo, traders said.The identity of the winner of the second cargo was not immediately clear.Brunei launched a sell tender in early May but at the time it was believed to be for only one cargo. Copyright Reuters, 2015 ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyMay 21, 2015
Reserves $17.75 bln