04292016Fri
Last update: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 11am

Global Business & Economy

World - Global Business & Economy

UK economic growth slows in first quarter LONDON: Britain's economic growth slowed in the first quarter of the year, hit by a heavy drop in construction and manufacturing, official data showed on Wednesday.Gross domestic product (GDP) -- the total value of all the goods and services produced in the economy -- grew by 0.4 percent between January and March, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in an initial estimate. That tallied with market expectations but marked a slowdown from 0.6-percent expansion in the fourth quarter of 2015.Construction output sank by 0.9 percent, while the manufacturing industry contracted 0.4 percent compared with a 0.1 percent rise in the previous quarter.On a brighter note, Britain's services sector -- which accounts for almost 80 percent of the economy -- expanded by 0.6 percent."Today's figures suggest growth has slowed as compared with the pace up to the middle of last year," said ONS chief economist Joe Grice."Services continue to underpin ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Australia's quarterly CPI sees first fall since 2008 SYDNEY: Australian consumer prices fell in January-March for the first time since 2008 during the global financial crisis, data showed Wednesday, putting pressure on the central bank to cut interest rates and sending the local dollar tumbling.The statistics bureau said the consumer price index (CPI) fell 0.2 percent in the quarter from the previous three months -- when prices had risen 0.4 percent -- as plunging world oil prices sent the cost of fuel lower.The ...

World - Global Business & Economy

German consumer morale on the rise: survey FRANKFURT: Consumer confidence in Germany is on the rise again as households feel that economic recovery will gather pace in the coming months, a poll found on Wednesday. "Consumers are working from the assumption that the German economy will regain momentum again in the months to come," market research company GfK said in a statement."Economic expectations rose in April, pulling up income expectations and consumers' willingness to spend from already very good levels," the statement ...

World - Global Business & Economy

SWIFT admits international bank transfer system was hacked SWIFT, the global financial network that banks use to transfer billions of dollars every day, warned its customers on Monday that it was aware of "a number of recent cyber incidents" where attackers had sent fraudulent messages over its system.The disclosure came as law enforcement authorities in Bangladesh and elsewhere investigated the February cyber theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. SWIFT has acknowledged that ...

World - Global Business & Economy

New Zealand's annual trade deficit widest in seven years WELLINGTON: New Zealand posted a monthly trade surplus of NZ$117 million ($80.7 million) in March, data from Statistics New Zealand showed Wednesday.The result left the country's annual trade deficit at NZ$3.838 billion, the largest in seven years.Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a monthly surplus of NZ$475.5 million and an annual deficit of NZ$3.56 billion.Exports totalled NZ$4.2 billion while imports were NZ$4.09 billion. Copyright Reuters, 2016 ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Exxon can afford to run on less than AAA power CHICAGO: Standard & Poor's stripped the world's biggest private-sector oil producer of its gold-plated credit rating, leaving Microsoft and J&J as the last of a dying breed.It's a blow to prestige, but markets already priced in a cut. Like the Energizer Bunny, Exxon has juice to spare.Copyright Reuters, 2016 ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Sri Lanka growth slows despite lower oil prices COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's ailing economy grew at a slower-than-expected 4.8 percent last year despite lower oil prices as a slowdown in European markets hit exports, the central bank said Tuesday.Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said his government had inherited a "very bad situation" when it came to power early last year but that things were improving."We are turning the economy around," he said. "We do not have a balance of payment crisis anymore. We may have ...