01252017Wed
Last update: Wed, 25 Jan 2017 04am

Global Business & Economy

World - Global Business & Economy

China manufacturing growth slows BEIJING: Manufacturing activity in China slowed slightly in December, official figures showed Sunday, as the world's second largest economy stabilises.The official purchasing managers' index (PMI), which gauges conditions at factories and mines, came in at 51.4 in December, down from 51.7 the previous month which marked its fastest growth for two years.A figure above 50 marks an expansion of manufacturing activity, and below 50 a contraction. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected an average of 51.5 for December.The key manufacturing sector had been struggling in the face of sagging world demand for Chinese products and excess industrial capacity left over from the country's infrastructure boom.But an upturn in the housing and construction markets thanks to cheap credit -- following a series of monetary easing measures -- has contributed to a sharp rebound in manufacturing activity.However, an alternative index calculated independently by the research firm Caixin Insight Group, which focuses on ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Russia records lowest inflation since fall of USSR MOSCOW: Russian inflation fell to 5.4 percent in 2016, the lowest annual rate since the collapse of the Soviet Union a quarter century ago, a preliminary estimate from the Rosstat national statistics agency showed Friday.The previous record for the lowest annual inflation rate was in 2011, when consumer prices rose by 6.1 percent.Russian inflation slowed sharply over 2016 from the 12.9 percent recorded in 2015, providing some much needed relief for consumers who have struggled ...

World - Global Business & Economy

China Q3 current account surplus of $69.3 bn, capital account flips to surplus BEIJING: China had a final current account surplus of $69.3 billion in the third quarter of this year, according to data published by the foreign exchange regulator on Friday.The capital and financial account recorded a surplus of $5.1 billion, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said on its website. It earlier reported a preliminary Q3 deficit of $71.2 billion.SAFE gave no explanation for the large difference in the preliminary and final figures for the ...

World - Global Business & Economy

South Africa's trade deficit narrows in November JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's trade deficit narrowed to 1.09 billion rand ($79.8 million) in November, from a revised 3.91 billion rand shortfall in October, data from the revenue agency showed on Thursday. Exports rose by 12.8 percent on a month-on-month basis, while imports were up 9.2 percent, the South African Revenue Service said in a statement. Copyright Reuters, 2016 ...

World - Global Business & Economy

US housing prices sustain growth in October WASHINGTON: Housing prices posted modest growth in most parts of the United States in October, according to industry figures released Tuesday.The S&P Case-Shiller price index of 20 major cities saw a 0.6 percent increase on a seasonally adjusted basis in all of the metropolitan areas. The index rose 5.1 percent over the same month last year, up a tenth of a point over the gain recorded for October.The broader National Home Price Index was up ...

World - Global Business & Economy

US consumer confidence at highest since 2001 WASHINGTON: US consumer confidence posted sharp gains in December, hitting its highest level in 15 years, according to survey data released Tuesday.The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped 4.3 points for the month to 113.7, easily surpassing an analyst forecast and extending gains made in November to reach the highest point since August 2001.The monthly jump was solely due to an increase in survey respondents' expectations for business, income and employment in the ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Brazil state-run banks under no pressure to cut rates: Banco do Brasil BRASILIA: The Brazilian government has not pressured state-run banks to free up credit and reduce their spread, but interest rates are likely to fall as the central bank's benchmark Selic rate continues to drop, state-controlled Banco do Brasil Chief Executive Officer Paulo Rogerio Caffarelli said on Tuesday. In a briefing with reporters in Brasilia, Caffarelli said the bank will seek to increase their loan spread to be in line with private competitors and boost profitability.However, ...