05252016Wed
Last update: Wed, 25 May 2016 02pm

Global Business & Economy

World - Global Business & Economy

US jobless claims drop back after early May jump WASHINGTON: New claims for US unemployment insurance fell back last week after having surged to a two-year high, suggesting the jobs market remains tight, official data showed Thursday.Initial jobless claims, a sign of the level of layoffs, fell by 16,000 to 278,000 in the week ending May 14, the Labor Department said.New claims had jumped in the prior week to 294,000, the highest level since February 2014. Analysts said the increase likely represented an unwinding of an sharp downturn in April linked to a statistical adjustment problem caused by an early Easter holiday.But the surge sent the four-week moving average higher last week by 7,500 to 275,750, modestly above than the year-ago level of 270,500.Claims have held below 300,000 for 63 consecutive weeks, the longest stretch since 1973.The April jobs report last week showed job growth slowed to a seven-month low of 160,000 payrolls. The unemployment rate held at 5.0 ...

World - Global Business & Economy

IMF sees modest rebound for crisis-hit Russia next year MOSCOW: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted Thursday that the Russian economy would contract by about 1.5 percent this year before experiencing moderate growth in 2017.In a report published Thursday, the IMF said it sees Russia's economy "growing again in 2017 by about 1 percent."This latest prediction is more optimistic than the IMF's previous forecast for Russia, which said the economy would contract by 1.8 percent this year and only grow by 0.8 percent next ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Greece needs 'long' grace period on debt payments from EU: IMF WASHINGTON: The IMF said Thursday that Greece would need a lengthy period free from debt payments to achieve sustainable finances if the European Union does not agree to cutting the debt up front."It is possible to restore debt sustainability without upfront haircuts, although this would involve providing very concessional loan terms including long grace and maturity periods and very low interest rates," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016 ...

World - Global Business & Economy

IMF deal to extend Iraq $5.4bn loan at 1.5pc, officials say AMMAN: Iraq has reached a $5.4 billion standby agreement (SBA) with the International Monetary Fund that could unlock $15 billion more in international assistance over the next three years, Finance Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said on Thursday.The loan will have an annual interest rate of 1.5 percent, Iraq's central bank governor Ali al-Alak said at a press conference following a week of talks with the IMF in neighbouring Jordan. He did not state the loan's tenure.The ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Drop in US jobless claims bolsters hopes of economic rebound WASHINGTON: The number of Americans filing for unemployment aid fell from a 14-month high last week, the latest sign that the economy was regaining speed after stumbling in the first quarter.Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 278,000 for the week ended May 14, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was the biggest drop since February and snapped three consecutive weeks of increases. Claims for the prior week were ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Philippines economy grows 6.9pc, beats forecasts MANILA: The Philippines' economy grew a better-than-expected 6.9 percent in the first quarter, the government said Thursday, putting it on track to meet full year targets and making it one of Asia's best performers for the three month period. The GDP figure beat economist forecasts of about 6.6 percent, and marks the highest quarterly growth in the Philippines since the end of 2014.It was achieved despite a drought-ravaged farm sector and relatively weak exports, and ...

World - Global Business & Economy

After long delay, IMF review agrees new funds for Ukraine WASHINGTON: An International Monetary Fund team has agreed to the release of $1.6 billion in fresh funds to Ukraine after a long delay marked by government turmoil and persistent problems with corruption.The IMF said Wednesday that Ukraine "has made considerable progress in restoring macroeconomic stability" but called the fight against corruption a "litmus test" for the government retaining international support.But the funds will only be released after a formal approval of the IMF board, expected ...