Official warns on GDP target
The government has said it is unlikely to meet an economic growth forecast of 4.5 percent because of concerns about the eurozone. “If the crisis worsens or continues to worsen, if they do not resolve the problem of Greece, then it will be difficult to achieve a growth rate of 4.5 percent,” Finance Minister Guido Mantega said at a press conference on Monday. Mantega declined to make a new prediction for this year’s growth, but said he anticipated economic growth of between 4.5 percent and 5 percent in the second half of the year. Market analysts polled in a weekly central bank survey on Monday forecast a growth of between 3.09 percent and 3.2 percent. The country’s growth slumped to 2.7 percent last year after expanding by 7.5 percent the previous year.
YouTube marks seven years
YouTube celebrated its seventh birthday by saying it has hit fresh milestones in terms of its offerings and the amount of time spent on the video-sharing Web site. “Today 72 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute,” the Google-owned Web site said in a blog post on Sunday. “All 800 million of you all over the world have shown us we’re on the right track by increasing subscriptions 50 percent and watching over 3 billion hours a month,” the blog added. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for US$1.65 billion.
Kodak patent suit fails
A US judge on Monday said a Kodak patent allegedly infringed upon by Apple and BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) was not valid, dealing another blow to the struggling photography pioneer. Kodak planned to appeal the ruling to the full commission, with a decision expected in September. The patent was the subject of a complaint Kodak filed with the International Trade Commission in early 2010 that focused on the technology allowing users to preview pictures on LCD screens before snapping digital photographs.
Tim Cook is best-paid CEO
Apple chief executive Tim Cook topped the list of the best-paid CEOs in the US last year thanks to stock options that put him more than US$300 million above his next rival, a Wall Street Journal survey showed on Monday. Cook clocked in total compensation of US$378 million. He earned US$900,000 for his annual salary, US$900,000 for his annual incentives and US$376 million in restricted stock grants. Another Silicon Valley big gun, Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison, came in second place with less than a fifth of Cook’s pay, at US$76 million. The study, conducted by Hay Group for the Journal covered the 300 largest US public companies by revenue.
Marks & Spencer profit down
Bellwether British retailer Marks & Spencer posted a 1.2 percent fall in full-year underlying profit, its first decline in three years, as even its relatively older and more affluent customers were touched by the economic downturn. Britain’s biggest clothing retailer yesterday said it made a profit before tax and one-off items of ￡705.9 million (US$1.12 billion) in the year to March 31. That was down from the ￡714 million made in 2010-2011 and compares with analyst forecasts of between ￡675 million and ￡706 million. Full-year sales at the 128-year-old group rose 2 percent to ￡9.9 billion.