Growth forecast cut
Authorities on Friday cut the nation’s growth forecast for this year after the economy expanded less than expected in the first quarter due to slumping industrial production and near stagnant exports. Latin America’s second-biggest economy after Brazil is now expected to grow by 3.1 percent this year instead of 3.5 percent, the Ministry of Finance said. The forecast was revised after authorities posted growth of just 0.8 percent in the first quarter compared to the same January-to-March period last year — lower than the government’s 1 percent forecast.
China refuses to pay EU fines
China will not pay for CO2 emissions by its airlines on flights within Europe, a top civil aviation official reportedly said after the European Commission warned eight Chinese firms face fines for nonpayment. The world’s second-largest economy “will not accept any unilateral and compulsory market measures,” Yan Mingchi. deputy director-general of the legal and regulation department at the Civil Aviation Administration of China, told an aviation forum in Beijing on Friday, the China Daily newspaper reported. He said “airlines in developing countries should be provided with financial and technological support in their efforts at coping with the effects of climate change.”
Economy slows down
The economy is entering a mild slowdown phase after years of strong growth, Finance Minister Felipe Larrain said on Friday. Larrain said the world’s top copper-producing country has been expanding at about 5.8 percent on average for the past three years despite global economic woes while maintaining low inflation and jobless rates. However, the galloping growth has been reined in. The economic activity indicator expanded by 3.1 percent in March, marking its slowest pace in more than 20 months. “All measurements of the consumer price index show a low inflation. At the same time the economy is slowing down,” Larrain said at a meeting with international correspondents. Larrain said economic activity should recover last month, but growth will be affected by a series of port strikes that blocked exports of copper, fruit and wood pulp in March and last month.
Mortgage lawsuit revised
A federal judge has revived a closely watched lawsuit accusing JPMorgan Chase & Co of misleading Belgian-French bank Dexia SA into buying more than US$1.6 billion of troubled mortgage debt. Citing a recent federal appeals court decision involving American International Group Inc and Bank of America Corp, US District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said he had lacked jurisdiction when he decided on April 2 to throw out much of Dexia’s lawsuit against JPMorgan. That ruling had dismissed claims for all but US$5.7 million, or less than 1 percent, of the roughly US$774 million of damages that Dexia had sought from the largest US Bank. In finding on Friday that he had no jurisdiction under an obscure 1919 federal law known as the Edge Act, Rakoff reinstated the dismissed claims and sent the case back to the New York state court where it began in January last year.