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US jobless claims tumble to 7-year low WASHINGTON: New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits tumbled last week to the lowest level in seven years, government data released Thursday showed.Initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, totaled a seasonally adjusted 300,000 in the week ending April 5, a decrease of 32,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised figure of 332,000, the Labor Department said.The prior week's number was previously estimated at 326,000.The last time claims were so low was May 12, 2007, when they were 297,000.The drop in claims last week was much sharper than the average estimate of 1,000 decline penciled in by analysts.The four-week moving average was 316,250, down by 4,750 from the prior week's slightly revised 321,000 reading.Claims have slowly trended lower over the past year. The four-week moving average stood at 355,000 a year ago.There were no special factors that affected last week's claims numbers, the Labor Department said."We'd love ...

Irish inflation rebounds in March DUBLIN: Ireland's annualised inflation rate accelerated to 0.2 percent last month, but still remained close to deflationary levels and below the eurozone average, official data showed on Thursday."Prices on average, as measured by the CPI (consumer price index), were 0.2 percent higher in March compared with March 2013," the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said in a statement.The rate had dropped to minus 0.1 percent in February, sparking fears of a damaging period of deflation, or ...
Japan consumers shun luxury goods after tax hike TOKYO: Japanese consumers are keeping their wallets firmly closed after the first sales tax rise in 17 years, with luxury items and appliances suffering as one major department store reported a 25 percent drop in sales.The precipitous plunge comes after millions of shoppers made a last-minute dash to stores before the national levy rose to 8.0 percent from 5.0 percent on April 1, a rise that sparked fears of a drop in consumer spending in ...
Top Hong Kong businessman sells $928mn Beijing property BEIJING: A company led by top Hong Kong businessman Richard Li said it has sold a landmark Beijing property for more than $900 million, fuelling speculation about the motive for Chinese property sales by his family.Pacific Century Premium Developments (PCPD) -- a firm chaired by Li, the younger son of Asia's richest man Li Ka-shing -- signed an agreement Tuesday to sell Pacific Century Place for $928 million, the firm said in a statement filed ...
German institutes more optimistic on growth outlook BERLIN: Germany's leading economic think tanks on Thursday raised their growth forecast for Europe's top economy this year and next year, but warned of headwinds from new government policies. The four institutes predicted that the German economy would expand by 1.9 percent in 2014.That would mark a big increase from 0.4 percent in 2013, and then it would grow by 2.0 percent in 2015, they said."In spring 2014, the German economy is on an upturn. ...
Romanian inflation edges down in March, below forecast BUCHAREST: Romania's inflation edged down to a fresh low of 1.0 percent on the year in March from February's 1.1 percent, remaining below the central bank's 1.5-3.5 percent target, the National Statistics Board said on Thursday. A median forecast of analysts polled by Reuters showed inflation at 1.2 percent in March. The Board said consumer prices were flat on the month. Food prices fell 0.1 percent and non-food and services prices were each 0.1 percent ...
Philippines' export growth at over 3-year high in Feb MANILA: Philippine exports rose at their fastest pace in more than three years in February, government data showed on Thursday, driven by robust shipments of electronics and a rising contribution from industrial manufacturing.Total exports in February jumped 24.4 percent from a year earlier, the biggest gain since December 2010, the statistics agency said. Electronics exports jumped 26.6 percent year-on-year, their fastest growth since October 2010.February also marked the third straight month in which exports from ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
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