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US jobless claims off 7-month high; oil layoffs watched WASHINGTON: The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week from a seven-month high, pointing to continued improvement in labor market conditions.Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 307,000 for the week ended Jan. 17, the Labor Department said on Thursday.That reversed the bulk of the prior week's increase which had pushed claims to their highest level since early June, but fell short of economists expectations for a 300,000 reading.Economists had dismissed the prior week's increase as "noise" given that claims data is difficult to adjust for seasonal variations around the holidays. Some, however, wondered if some of the elevation in claims reflected layoffs in the oil industry in the wake of plunging crude prices."It is unclear at this point whether or not this move up in the trend reflects issues seasonally adjusting the data around the holidays or if it ...

IMF welcomes ECB bond-buying, calls for more actions WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund on Thursday said it welcomed the European Central Bank's decision to buy government bonds, which will pump tens of billions of euros into a sagging euro zone economy.IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the monthly purchases of 60 billion euros should "strongly reinforce" the ECB's accommodative policies, helping to lower borrowing costs across the euro zone, raise inflation expectations and support the central bank's mandate for price stability."It remains essential ...
Spain's unemployment rate inches up in fourth quarter MADRID: Spain's unemployment rate edged up slightly in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 23.7 percent as the number of people out of work grew although more than 65,000 new jobs were added.A sky-high unemployment rate -- second only to Greece's in Europe -- is still a major drag on an economic turnaround in Spain, with many households struggling to make ends meet and failing to feel the benefits of the recovery.The jobless rate had ...
UK December public finances suffer from EU budget hit LONDON: British government borrowing rose sharply in December due to unusually high European Union budget contributions falling due, though there were more encouraging signs of growth in income tax receipts.Britain's headline public borrowing increased to 13.1 billion pounds from 10.3 billion pounds in December 2013, largely reflecting 2.9 billion pounds of payments to the EU, far more than normal due to a recalculation of Britain's contribution.For the first nine months of the 2014/15 tax year, ...
Portugal Jan-Nov current account surplus almost doubles LISBON: Portugal's current account surplus rose 92 percent to almost 1.2 billion euros ($1.39 billion) in the first 11 months of last year, even as its overall trade surplus shrank 29 percent, the Bank of Portugal said on Thursday.Portugal, which exited an international bailout in May, had a surplus of nearly 2.4 billion euros in the combined balance of trade in goods and services in the period, but that was lower than a year earlier ...
Spain jobless rate falls to 23.7pc in 2014: official data MADRID: Spain's unemployment rate fell in 2014 for the second straight year, dropping by just over two points to 23.7 percent, but still remains at one of the highest levels in the European Union, official data showed on Thursday.The fall was greater than what had been expected by the government, which had forecast the country would end 2014 with a jobless rate of 24.2 percent as en economic recovery gains pace.Spain technically exited recession in ...
Taiwan's 2014 unemployment at seven-year low TAIPEI: Unemployment in Taiwan fell to a seven-year low in 2014, indicating that the job market had stabilised as the economy improves, the government said Thursday.The jobless rate sat at 3.96 percent at the end of the year, the lowest since touching 3.91 percent in 2007 and the first time it has been below 4.0 percent since President Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008 pledging to boost the economy and employment.The percentage of unemployed people ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 22, 2015
Reserves $10.331 bln