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Spain's family-run shops face last Christmas as rent controls end MADRID: On Madrid's main shopping street, the Gran Via, a toy store that has sold handmade dolls since it opened in 1942 just after Spain's Civil War, is preparing to close after the Christmas rush.Dolls decked out in classical clothes overflow in the large window of the shop, which is mentioned in several guide books to the city and attracts tourists who snap pictures of the display. "Thank you for 72 years", reads a sign in the window.While business has held up during Spain's economic downturn, the shop, owned by the same family since it opened, can't afford a sharp rise in its rent that will come into force when decades of rent controls stop at the end of the year. It will shut its doors in January."I grew up here. Emotionally it's very hard," said Susana Ezharriaga, 46, who runs the shop along with her four siblings, as employees ...

China home prices fall for third month, threaten economic growth BEIJING: China's home prices fell in November for a third consecutive month versus year-ago levels, Reuters calculations from official data showed on Thursday, pointing to an intractable property downturn despite government efforts to energise the market. Average home prices in 70 major Chinese cities were down an annual 3.7 percent last month from 2.6 percent down in October, the biggest drop since Reuters started calculating nationwide housing prices. The National Bureau of Statistics data showed ...
Russian economy faces 5pc contraction: IIF economist WASHINGTON: The sharp fall in oil prices and Western sanctions could combine to drive a five percent contraction of the Russian economy next year, an economist warned Wednesday.Lubomir Mitov, a Russian specialist at the Institute of International Finance, said that if oil prices stick at current levels, domestic investment and consumption will plunge, and companies and banks that do not enjoy government support could default on their loans.If oil prices remain in the range of ...
US mortgage applications fall in latest week: MBA NEW YORK: Applications for US home mortgages fell last week and interest rates declined to their lowest level since May 2013, an industry group said on Wednesday.The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 3.3 percent in the week ended Dec. 12.The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications was unchanged, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a ...
US current account deficit widens in third quarter WASHINGTON: The US current account deficit unexpectedly rose in the third quarter as an increase in exports was offset by a rewidening of the secondary income shortfall.The Commerce Department said on Wednesday the current account gap, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments into and out of the country, rose 1.9 percent to $100.3 billion from a revised $98.4 billion deficit in the second quarter.Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the deficit narrowing ...
US consumer prices fall on gasoline, eyes on Fed WASHINGTON: US consumer prices recorded their biggest drop in nearly six years in November as gasoline prices tumbled, but this probably will not change views the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates in mid-2015.The Labor Department said on Wednesday its Consumer Price Index fell 0.3 percent last month, the largest decline since December 2008, after being flat in October.In the 12 months through November, the CPI increased 1.3 percent, the smallest gain since February, ...
British unemployment rate steady at 6pc LONDON: Britain's unemployment rate has remained at a five-year low of 6.0 percent while wages are rising, official data showed on Wednesday.The rate for the July-September period compares with 6.2 percent for the three months to the end of October, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.The number of unemployed meanwhile dropped by 455,000 to 1.96 million, the ONS added.Wages excluding bonuses rose 1.4 percent in the reporting period. Britain's economy is outperforming ...


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 17,959.44 0.87
Arrow Nasdaq 4,781.43 0.34
Arrow S&P 2,078.54 0.38
Arrow FTSE 6,576.74 0.48
Arrow DAX 9,865.76 0.81
Arrow CAC-40 4,254.43 0.30
Arrow Nikkei 17,635.14 0.08
Arrow H.Seng 23,408.57 1.26
Arrow Sensex 27,701.79 1.21

ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyDecember 22, 2014
Reserves $14.042 bln