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Last update: Sun, 29 May 2016 04pm

Global Business & Economy

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UK business investment falls ahead of EU referendum LONDON: Business investment in Britain fell in annual terms for the first time in three years in the first quarter amid uncertainty around a vote on the country's European Union membership. The Office for National Statistics confirmed the economy slowed in the January-March period, rising by a quarterly 0.4 percent as expected in a Reuters poll, and the data showed consumers continued to drive the economy.The economy grew by 2.0 percent versus a year ago, against expectations that the data would confirm an initial estimate of 2.1 percent annual growth in the first quarter.Many economists expect growth in the April-June period to slow further.Business investment fell by 0.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter after rising 3.0 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. The ONS said the fall was driven by weaker investment in offices and other non-residential buildings.Economists had expected business investment fall 0.1 percent from January-March ...

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World leaders open G7 talks with economy in focus ISE: World leaders kicked off two days of G7 talks in Japan on Thursday, with the creaky global economy taking centre stage and disquiet over China's growing influence looming over proceedings.Heads of state and government from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and host Japan are meeting in Ise-Shima, a mountainous region about 300 kilometres (200 miles) southwest of Tokyo. The group, including US President Barack Obama -- who is making a historic ...

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IMF says Greece still at long-term risk despite bailout deal WASHINGTON: A breakthrough European Union agreement Wednesday to release fresh bailout funds to Greece averted the threat of a massive default on its debt in coming months.But the International Monetary Fund -- seen as a crucial partner to the eurozone country's bailout -- faulted the deal saying official EU creditors had still not spelled out long-term debt relief indispensable to strengthen Greece's finances.Hours after eurozone finance ministers announced that they would unlock 10.3 billion euros ...

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Brazil sheds 62,844 jobs in April, more than expected SAO PAULO: Brazilian factories, farms and services companies shed a net 62,844 payroll jobs in April, providing the latest evidence of job losses caused by the country's worst recession in decades. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a net 40,000 formal jobs to close last month, according to a median poll estimate. It was the 13th consecutive month of job losses in Brazil, according to the Labor Ministry's report. Copyright Reuters, 2016 ...

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Portugal Jan-April budget deficit within full-year target LISBON: Portugal's public deficit rose by 56 million euros to 1.634 billion euros between January and April, leaving it within budget deficit targets for the full year, the finance ministry said on Wednesday. The ministry said in a statement that the deficit for the first four months of the year represented 29.7 percent of the targeted deficit for the full year compared with 31 percent in the same period of 2015. The primary surplus, which ...

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Romania records small budget surplus in Jan-April BUCHAREST: Romania ran a consolidated budget surplus of 130 million lei ($32.20 million) or 0.02 percent of gross domestic product in January-April against 0.4 percent in the first quarter, the finance ministry said on Wednesday. It said revenues amounted to 73.9 billion lei, or 9.8 percent of GDP, while spending reached 73.8 billion. Revenues from value added tax fell by 8.8 percent on the year chiefly due to a 4 percentage points cut in the ...

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Poland's deficit in Jan-Apr at 20pc of full-year plan WARSAW: Poland's budget deficit after the first four months of the year stood at 11.1 billion zlotys ($2.8 billion), or 20.3 percent of the full-year plan, the Finance Ministry said on Wednesday. Budget expenses in the period equalled 116.5 billion zlotys, or 31.6 percent of the full-year plan. Copyright Reuters, 2016 ...