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IMF backs Irish request for budget flexibility from EU DUBLIN: The IMF backed Ireland's calls for the European Commission to grant it some budget flexibility on Wednesday, saying the current fiscal rules do not reflect an Irish economic recovery "starting to fire on all cylinders".After years of painful budget cuts to get its public finances under control, Ireland demanded more leeway this month for its budget spending next year, having seen the Commission show similar leniency to France and Italy.Ireland has slashed its budget deficit from 12.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2011 to an expected 2.7 percent this year. Now it wants to be allowed to increase spending in line with its GDP growth rate next year rather than a lower, calculated average."In Ireland's case, the current EU methodology understates cyclical swings in unemployment, with implications for estimates of output gaps and potential growth," the International Monetary Fund said in a report on the Irish economy."Staff therefore ...

German business confidence hits eight-month high in March FRANKFURT: German business confidence rose to its highest level in eight months in March, as optimism continues to grow about the outlook for Europe's biggest economy, the Ifo economic institute said Wednesday. The Ifo institute's closely watched business climate index rose to 107.9 points this month, its highest level since July 2014, the think tank said in a statement. It was the fifth consecutive monthly increase and was better than analysts had been expecting."Companies were ...
US mortgage applications rise in latest week: MBA NEW YORK: Applications for US home mortgages rose last week as interest rates dropped to their lowest level since February, 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, rose 9.5 percent in the week ended March 20.The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications jumped 12.3 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a ...
Ghana producer price inflation slows to 21.8pc in Feb ACCRA: Ghana's annual producer price inflation slowed to 21.8 percent in February from a revised 23.6 percent year-on-year the month before, driven by declining prices of gold and refined petroleum, the national statistics office said on Wednesday.The figure, which is high compared to average inflation in the region, is an indication of fiscal challenges facing the West African country.Ghana has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a $940 million aid package to ...
Chile traders see inflation at 0.8pc in March SANTIAGO: Inflation in Chile is expected to clock in at 0.8 percent in March, according to the median estimate of traders surveyed by Chile's central bank this week.A clear majority of traders polled by the bank also expect the benchmark interest rate to be held at 3.0 percent for at least the next six months, according to the survey published on Wednesday.Chile's central bank has kept the rate on hold since October, and has indicated ...
French business morale at 3-year high as economy shows signs of life PARIS: French business morale was at its highest for nearly three years in March, adding to signs the euro zone's No. 2 economy is emerging from stagnation on the back of lower oil prices and a weaker euro.The composite indicator of morale rose to 96 from 94 in February, its highest since April 2012, lifted by retail trade and by an improvement in the services sector.The industrial morale reading eased one point to 99, staying ...
German business morale at 8-month high, pointing to strong Q1 BERLIN: German business morale rose for the fifth month in a row in March, hitting its highest level since July 2014, a leading survey showed on Wednesday, in a sign that Europe's largest economy powered full steam ahead in the first quarter of 2015.Ifo's business climate index, based on a monthly survey of some 7,000 firms, climbed to 107.9 in March from 106.8 in February. It beat the Reuters consensus forecast for 107.3.In another positive ...


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 17,976.31 1.49
Arrow Nasdaq 4,947.44 1.15
Arrow S&P 2,081.24 1.22
Arrow FTSE 6,891.43 0.53
Arrow DAX 12,086.01 1.83
Arrow CAC-40 5,083.52 0.98
Arrow Nikkei 19,411.40 0.65
Arrow H.Seng 24,855.12 1.51
Arrow Sensex 27,975.68 1.88

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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-999 mln
Exports $2.064 bln
Imports $3.063 bln
WeeklyMarch 13, 2015
Reserves $16.273 bln