Exports edge up
The Federal Statistical Office says the nation’s exports rose in May despite difficulties in the 17-nation eurozone, but the trade balance narrowed as imports increased by an even greater amount. Exports in May rose by a seasonally adjusted 3.9 percent while imports rose by 6.3 percent compared with the previous month, the office reported yesterday. In unadjusted terms, exports were up 0.5 percent to 92.5 billion euros (US$114.5 billion) while imports were down 0.2 percent to 77.2 billion euros compared with May last year, for a trade surplus of 15.3 billion euros in May. In adjusted terms the surplus was 15 billion euros.
Economy forecast to shrink
The Bank of France said yesterday that it expected the nation’s economy to shrink by 0.1 percent in the second quarter, confirming an initial forecast. If the bank’s projection proves accurate, it would be the first quarter of negative growth since the nation emerged from recession in the spring of 2009. A second contraction in the third quarter would mean that Paris joins other EU countries like Britain, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain in recession. The economy posted zero growth in the first quarter of this year following a weak 0.1 percent expansion in the fourth quarter of last year, the INSEE national statistics institute said last month.
Bombadier gets big contract
Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace announced on Sunday that it had secured a US$1 billion conditional order from an undisclosed new customer to produce 15 planes from its future CSeries. The company said in a statement that the deal was for five CS100 and 10 CS300 jetliners, both of which are scheduled to enter service late next year, but the buyer wanted to remain anonymous at this stage. The CS100 (110 seats) and CS300 (130 seats) planes aim to compete with similar aircraft produced by Bombardier’s main rivals, Boeing and Airbus.
BMW to invest in UK
German carmaker BMW is to invest ￡250 million (US$388 million) by the end of 2015 expanding capacity at British manufacturing plants where it makes the Mini. The world’s largest luxury carmaker said yesterday the funds would support its international growth strategy for the Mini, which will be expanded to include up to 10 different versions in the model range in the mid term. BMW board member Harald Krueger said the latest investment showed the company’s “commitment to Britain as a vital manufacturing base.” BMW has invested ￡1.75 billion in Britain since 2000.
IT spending to grow 3%
Global spending on information technology (IT) could grow 3 percent, faster than previously forecast, to reach US$3.6 trillion this year as expenditure on public cloud services increases, Gartner Inc said. The estimate compares with Gartner’s projection last quarter of 2.5 percent growth, the researcher said in a report yesterday. Spending on public cloud services could rise to US$109 billion from US$91 billion last year, Gartner said. Telecommunication services will continue to be the largest information technology market, Gartner said. It will grow 1.4 percent to US$1.7 trillion this year as businesses, especially those in emerging economies, spend more on Internet connections and increase use of connected devices, including media tablets, gaming and other consumer electronics.