Wage hike boosts economy
The Federal Ministry of Finance says the national tax income was nearly 9 percent higher last month than a year earlier — helped by recent wage increases and underlining the continuing strength of Europe’s biggest economy. The ministry said in its monthly report released yesterday that the country’s total tax take last month was 43.13 billion euros (US$53.2 billion) — an increase of 8.6 percent compared with the same month last year. Over this year’s first seven months, tax income was up 5 percent at 311.36 billion euros. Many workers have enjoyed solid pay increases after two years of strong economic growth and unemployment is low.
Economy exceeds forecasts
The economy grew faster than economists forecast in the second quarter as the government’s stimulus measures boosted domestic demand after last year’s floods, helping offset a global slowdown. GDP increased by 4.2 percent in the three months through June from a year earlier, after expanding a revised 0.4 percent in the previous quarter, the National Economic and Social Development Board said yesterday in Bangkok. That exceeded all 16 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey that had a median prediction of a 3.1 percent rise.
Attendants approve AA deal
Flight attendants at American Airlines voted to approve a new contract offer from the airline, which is seeking to cut costs in bankruptcy protection. The results released on Sunday showed attendants voted to accept the contract by 59.5 percent to 40.5 percent, according to the Association of Professional Flight Attendants. By voting for the airlines’ proposal the flight attendants stave off the chance that the airline company would impose even deeper cuts in bankruptcy court. The airline said the new flight attendants’ contract will reduce spending by US$195 million a year.
Daewoo inks mystery deal
South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering yesterday said it has clinched a 2.22 trillion won (US$1.94 billion) deal to build five offshore platforms for an African company. The leading shipbuilder said it would deliver the fixed platforms for the company by April 2016. It did not identify the African client or give other details.
Government holds trade fair
The government is staging its second international trade fair in the special economic zone of Rason this week just days after a top official went to China to drum up support for the region. A year after the first fair, there are signs of development in the area near the borders of China, Russia and North Korea, including a newly paved road making it easier for Chinese investors to travel to the remote area in North Korea’s far northeast. Rason was earmarked years ago as a special economic zone, but became the focus of renewed activity after Pyongyang revised laws in 2010 and last year.
Youku to acquire Tudou
Youku Inc (優酷), China’s biggest online video company, won approval from shareholders to acquire competitor Tudou Holdings Ltd (土豆), a deal that will extend its lead over Web sites run by Baidu Inc (百度) and Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊). The combination of China’s two biggest online video companies will help reduce content licensing and network costs, and generate savings of as much as US$60 million annually, Youku said in March.