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Global Business & Economy

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Visitors to Japan surge to record high, approach 2020 target TOKYO: Japan had a record number of foreign visitors last year thanks to a surge in Chinese arrivals, a cheaper yen and looser visa rules, it was announced Tuesday.Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Japan has set a target of boosting the number of annual visitors to 20 million by 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Summer Olympics.But already in 2015 19.7 million people visited Japan, 47.1 percent above the previous year, the Japan National Tourism Organization said.As the total number is likely to reach the government's goal before 2020, officials are considering revising it upward, said Yoshihide Suga, the top government spokesman."We would like to decide whether to seek one of 30 million or above 30 million," he told a parliament session Tuesday.The Japanese figures do not differentiate between tourists and other kinds of travellers. By comparison, France drew 83.7 million tourists in 2014 and has a target of 100 million ...

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German inflation averages 0.3pc in 2015 FRANKFURT: Consumer prices in Germany rose by 0.3 percent in December, bringing the average inflation rate for the year as a whole also to 0.3 percent, official data showed on Tuesday.The previous month, the national inflation yardstick for Europe's biggest economy had edged up by 0.4 percent. Using the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) -- the barometer used by the European Central Bank -- the German inflation rate stood at 0.2 percent for December ...

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China industrial output growth down to 5.9pc on-year in Dec BEIJING: China's industrial production, which measures output at factories, workshops and mines in the world's second-largest economy, rose 5.9 percent year-on-year in December, the government said Tuesday.Retail sales, a key indicator of consumer spending, increased 11.1 percent in the same month, the National Bureau of Statistics said. Fixed asset investment, a measure of government spending on infrastructure, expanded 10.0 percent on-year for the whole of 2015.Results fell short of economists' expectations, according to a survey ...

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China 2015 growth slows to weakest for 25 years BEIJING: China's economy grew at its slowest pace in a quarter of a century last year as it undergoes a difficult transition, data showed Tuesday, escalating concern over a crucial driver of global expansion.The 6.9 percent figure was the slowest in the People's Republic since the 3.8 percent of 1990, a year after the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown rocked the country and isolated it internationally.World markets have been hammered in recent weeks by worries over ...

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China clothing tycoon back at work after vanishing SHANGHAI: The chairman of one of China's most prominent clothing firms, Metersbonwe, has returned to work, the company said, a week after announcing his disappearance amid speculation he had been caught up in an insider trading investigation.Zhou Chengjian, China's 62nd richest person last year with a fortune of $4.1 billion according to one estimate, was back working at the Shanghai-headquartered company after colleagues lost contact with him earlier this month, Metersbonwe said in a statement ...

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Russia's current account improves in 2015, capital outflows fall two-thirds MOSCOW: Russia's current account surplus improved in 2015 while net capital outflows fell by almost two-thirds, underscoring the role of a weaker rouble in mitigating the impact of a slide in oil prices.Preliminary balance of payments data published by the central bank on Monday showed the current account surplus increasing to $65.8 billion in 2015 from $58.4 billion in 2014.Net private sector capital outflows fell to $56.9 billion in 2015 from $153 billion in 2014.In ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Bulgaria Jan-Nov current account surplus at 1.8pc/GDP SOFIA: Bulgaria posted a current account surplus of 1.8 percent of gross domestic product in the first eleven months compared with a surplus of 2.0 percent in the same period a year earlier, as imports pick up, central bank data showed on Monday.Imports increased by 2.1 percent in November, compared with a drop of 2.2 percent in the same period a year ago, the data showed.For November alone, the current account was in a deficit ...