05072016Sat
Last update: Sat, 07 May 2016 05am

Global Business & Economy

World - Global Business & Economy

Sri Lanka growth slows despite lower oil prices COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's ailing economy grew at a slower-than-expected 4.8 percent last year despite lower oil prices as a slowdown in European markets hit exports, the central bank said Tuesday.Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said his government had inherited a "very bad situation" when it came to power early last year but that things were improving."We are turning the economy around," he said. "We do not have a balance of payment crisis anymore. We may have had it before, but not now."The news of a slowdown in growth from 4.9 percent in 2014 came as Sri Lanka negotiates with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout to help fund substantial debt repayments.The bank had forecast last year's growth would be better than in 2014, when strongman president Mahinda Rajapakse was in office. He was toppled at elections in January 2015.But the bank said a slowing down of net foreign exchange inflows, ...

World - Global Business & Economy

US durable goods orders rise in March WASHINGTON: New orders for US durable goods bounced back in March after a decline in February, with machinery and defense gains overcoming an automotive sector decline, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.But the first-quarter figures overall continued to show the US manufacturing sector puttering along at a slow pace, hampered by slow global growth and the impact of the strong dollar on exports.Orders rose 0.8 percent to $230.7 billion in March, with a sharp upturn in ...

World - Global Business & Economy

US consumer confidence dips in April WASHINGTON: US consumer confidence dipped in April, with fewer Americans seeing prospects of a pickup in economic growth in the coming months, the Conference Board said Tuesday.The Board's consumer confidence index fell to 94.2 from 96.1 in March as dimmer future expectations outweighed an improved view of current conditions.The decline in sentiment was unexpected, with analysts forecasting a slight improvement this month.The report came as the Federal Reserve opens a two-day policy meeting widely expected ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Spain's Jan-Feb public deficit, minus town halls, 1.11pc of GDP MADRID: Spain's public deficit to the end of February, including the central government, regions and social security, but not the town halls, was 1.11 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the Treasury Ministry said on Tuesday.That compared to a public budget shortfall of 0.92 percent in the first two months of 2015, the ministry said.Spain's government reported a full-year public deficit for 2015 of 5 percent, above the 4.2 percent agreed with Brussels, and it ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Chances of EU-US trade pact 'fading': France PARIS: The chances of reaching agreement over an ambitious US-EU free trade deal are "fading", France's minister of state for foreign trade said on Tuesday.Asked about the likelihood of such a deal being reached before the end of US President Barack Obama's term in January 2017, Matthias Fekl told France's RTL: "No, I don't think so. The likelihood, or risk, of reaching any accord is fading."His remarks were made a day after US and European ...

World - Global Business & Economy

Moody's downgrades Canadian province of Alberta on rising debt TORONTO: Moody's Investors Service stripped the Canadian province of Alberta of its Aaa credit rating on Monday, citing its worsening fiscal position and resulting rapid rise in debt. The ratings agency downgraded the province's long-term rating to Aa1 from Aaa and maintained a negative outlook. Earlier this month, Dominion Bond Rating Service also downgraded the province after the provincial government forecast a budget deficit of C$10.4 billion ($8.20 billion) this fiscal year. Copyright Reuters, 2016 ...

World - Global Business & Economy

US new home sales fall amid weakness in the West WASHINGTON: New US single-family home sales unexpectedly fell in March, but the decline was concentrated in the West region, suggesting that the housing market continued to strengthen.The Commerce Department said on Monday new home sales decreased 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 511,000 units. February's sales pace was revised up to 519,000 units from the previously reported 512,000 units.Sales rose in the Midwest and South, but tumbled in the West and were ...