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Australia adds jobs, unemployment still hits decade high SYDNEY: Australian employment rose by much more than expected in November but most of the jobs were part time and the jobless rate still hit a decade high, making for a mixed message on the economy. The Australian dollar added a quarter of a US cent after employment rose 42,700 in November, handily topping forecasts of a 15,000 increase. However, all but 1,800 of those positions were for part-time work. The jobless rate also rose a tenth to 6.3 percent, the highest since late 2002 and likely to be another blow to fragile consumer sentiment. "It's a hell of a lot better than expected but the devil is always in the detail. The unemployment rate ticked up so I think the market will still be of the view that the employment is pretty weak," said Michael Workman, a senior economist at Commonwealth Bank. "It's enough for the market to think, ...

Japan's Abe set to win powerful majority TOKYO: Japan's ruling coalition headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to sweep elections this weekend, retaining its unassailable two-thirds majority and crushing a divided and demoralised opposition, polls showed Thursday.Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior partner Komeito will likely secure 317 of the 475 seats, giving them the super-majority they need in the powerful lower chamber to force through legislation, a poll published by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper said.That would insulate ...
No sign of imminent North Korea nuclear test: US think-tank SEOUL: Recent satellite images suggest North Korea is unlikely to follow through on a threatened nuclear test anytime soon, a US think-tank said Thursday.Pyongyang had raised the possibility of what would be the reclusive nation's fourth test in response to a UN resolution condemning its human rights record.But the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said analysis of recent satellite pictures of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site revealed no preparatory signs for a detonation."Based on ...
Mauritius to vote over presidency, economy PORT LOUIS: Mauritians head to the polls Wednesday for legislative elections with rival parties promising to boost the economy and battling over the proposed strengthening of presidential powers.The issue of constitutional reform makes the polls one of the most important for Mauritius since the independence of the Indian Ocean nation from Britain in 1968.Two rival coalitions are competing for 62 parliamentary seats -- 60 on the main island of Mauritius, and two on the small ...
PM Abe says Apple to build technical centre in Japan TOKYO: Apple Inc is building a technical development centre in Japan, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo said on Tuesday, which a company spokesman later confirmed, saying that the plan calls for several dozen jobs to be created as a result."Apple has decided it undertake cutting-edge R&D in Japan," Jiji news service quoted Abe as saying in a campaign speech outside of Tokyo ahead of a general election on Sunday. "It will be formally announced soon."Abe said ...
Japanese right muzzling liberal media: analysts TOKYO: A chill wind is blowing through Japan's media as a resurgent right pressures the country's liberal voices, in what analysts say presents a threat to democracy as voters head to the polls for a general election.Cheered on by fringe groups, the mainstream right-wing press and the government of nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are tightening the vice on left-of-centre voices.A letter sent last month from Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party to Tokyo-based broadcasters demanding ...
Leave them kids alone: Thais balk at junta's '12 Commandments' BANGKOK: Thailand's military rulers are pushing a new behavioural code on schoolchildren emphasising love for the monarchy and deference to authority, in a move critics say typifies the junta's authoritarianism and the country's stultifying education system.Every morning, pupils at Satriwithaya girls' school in Bangkok's historic heart shuffle into the assembly hall to sing the country's royal anthem."I prostrate with my head and heart to your majesty," they chant from their orderly rows.It is a scene ...

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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 $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln