Foreign trade set to slow
Slower growth is expected in this year's foreign trade owing to the moderate global recovery, a government report said yesterday. According to the Bureau of Foreign Trade's forecast, the economy will grow 4.3 percent this year, compared to the forecast of 3.3 percent global economic growth, the Central News Agency (CNA) said. This year's exports are expected to grow 8.15 percent to reach US$242 billion, and import are expected to grow 7.11 percent to hit US$217 billion. The trade surplus is expected to reach US$25 billion, up 18 percent year-on-year, CNA quoted the report as saying. In the fourth quarter of last year, imports and exports grew 3.1 percent and 1.5 percent respectively.
Inflation haunts China
China faces inflationary pressures this year as the country's trade surplus expands, a central banker said yesterday. "If the trade surplus continues to expand over the next few months, the central bank will strengthen its macro control measures and will be more pre-emptive in taking tightening measures," Wu Xiaoling (吳曉靈), vice governor of the People's Bank of China told reporters during a financial conference in Beijing. The measures may include further reserve ratio rises, more aggressive open market operations and more currency swaps. China faces rising inflationary pressure this year caused by a long expansion in monetary supply and bank lending last year, Wu said.
FTA deadline extended
The US and South Korea need more time to negotiate an ambitious free trade agreement, and have extended the deadline to today, the two governments said. "Negotiations continue between the US and the Republic of Korea on a number of outstanding issues," Sean Spicer, Assistant US trade representative for public affairs, said in a statement released yesterday. The talks must finish by noon today in the eastern US, Spicer said. That would be early tomorrow morning in South Korea.
Creative slips into the red
Creative Technology Ltd, whose music players compete with Apple Inc's iPod, said it expects to post an operating loss of about US$20 million for the fiscal third quarter ending yesterday. "The operating loss is due to lower-than-expected sales for Creative products in Asia and the United States and restructuring charges worldwide relating to cost-reduction efforts in the quarter," Creative said yesterday in a statement to the Singapore Stock Exchange. The company expects sales in the third quarter to be about US$180 million. That is 20 percent lower than the US$225.7 million in sales posted a year earlier and down 58 percent from US$424.4 million in the second quarter.
Brazil's airports reopen
All of Brazil's 49 airports were set to reopen early yesterday following a deal reached by the government and striking air traffic controllers to end a walkout that has wreaked havoc on the nation's air transportation system, a labor representative said. Under the accord, the government agreed to suspend planned transfers of striking workers from the airport of Brasilia, the capital, to other parts of the country, and begin talks about increasing worker salaries and "demilitarizing" the industry.