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Global Business & Economy

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ECB's Draghi says euro zone must ‘complete’ monetary union MILAN: Euro zone countries must "complete" their monetary union by integrating economic policies further and working towards a capital markets union, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said.In an article for Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore on Wednesday, Draghi said structural reforms were needed to "ensure that each country is better off permanently belonging to the euro area".He said the lack of reforms "raises the threat of an exit (from the euro) whose consequences would ultimately hit all members", adding the ECB's monetary policy, whose goal is price stability, could not react to shocks in individual countries.He said an economic union would make markets more confident about future growth prospects -- essential for reducing high debt levels -- and so less likely to react negatively to setbacks such as a temporary increase in budget deficits."This means governing together, going from co-ordination to a common decisional process, from rules to ...

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Greek retail sales rise for fifth month in a row in October ATHENS: Greek retail sales by volume rose 3.7 percent in October compared to the same month last year, after a 2.2 percent increase in September, statistics service ELSTAT said on Wednesday.Sales volumes rose for the fifth month in a row, pointing to strengthening consumer spending in the fourth quarter as the economy recovers from a protracted recession.Greece emerged from a crippling six-year economic slump as early as the start of the year and has been ...

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Export dip widens Turkey's November trade deficit more than expected ISTANBUL: Turkey's trade deficit widened more than expected in November, as exports were hit by crises in Russia and Iraq and stagnant demand in the European Union, official data showed on Wednesday.The trade deficit grew to $8.32 billion from $7.21 billion in November 2013 as exports fell 7.5 percent to $13.13 billion with imports almost flat, the Turkish Statistics Institute said. The trade deficit exceeded a Reuters forecast of $7.8 billion.While exports were hit by ...

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Sri Lanka December inflation picks up from more than 5-year low COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's annual inflation rate picked up to 2.1 percent year-on-year in December from its more than five-year low of 1.5 percent in the previous month, the state-run Department of Census and Statistics said on Wednesday.The annual average inflation for the latest 12 months fell to a 59-month low of 3.2 percent in December from 3.5 percent a month earlier. It hit a record high of 8.8 percent in May 2013.Copyright Reuters, 2014 ...

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India's Nov infrastructure output hits 5-month high of 6.7pc NEW DELHI: India's annual infrastructure output growth accelerated to a five-month high of 6.7 percent in November, driven by higher production of cement and refinery products, government data showed on Wednesday.The output expanded 6.3 percent year-on-year in October.The infrastructure sector, which comprises coal, crude oil, oil refining, natural gas, steel, cement, electricity and fertilisers, accounts for 37.9 percent of India's industrial output.Copyright Reuters, 2014 ...

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Singapore economy grew by 2.8pc in 2014: PM SINGAPORE: Singapore's economy grew 2.8 percent in 2014, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Wednesday, adding that productivity performance has been disappointing and needs to improve."Our economy has performed moderately well in 2014. Growth was 2.8 percent," Lee said in his New Year message, adding that real median incomes continued to rise and have increased 10 percent over the last five years.The government had previously forecast that the city-state's economy would grow by around ...

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Vietnam's economy expands 5.98pc in 2014 HANOI: Vietnam's economy grew 5.98 percent in 2014, the highest for three years, despite a festering banking crisis and damaging anti-China riots, authorities said Wednesday.The figure -- higher than last year's increase of 5.42 percent and 5.25 percent in 2012 -- marks "a positive sign," according to a statement on the website of the General Statistics Office.The communist nation is still struggling with a number of economic troubles including bad debts in the banking system, ...