German surplus shrinks
Germany’s trade surplus narrowed in July as exports weakened, data published by the federal statistics office Destatis showed yesterday. In seasonally adjusted terms, German exports reached 90.3 billion euros (US$118.6 billion) in July, down from 91.2 billion euros in June, Destatis calculated in a statement. Imports, on the other hand, increased fractionally to 75.8 billion euros from 75.4 billion euros. That meant the seasonally adjusted trade surplus narrowed to 14.5 billion euros in July from 15.8 billion euros in June. In unadjusted terms, the trade surplus dipped to 16.1 billion euros from 16.9 billion euros, Destatis said.
Spain output falls 1.4%
Spain’s factories axed output in July, official data showed yesterday, completing a near two-year industrial decline as domestic demand evaporated in a job-wrecking recession. Factories and utilities reduced production by 1.4 percent in the year to July after smoothing out seasonal blips, the National Statistics Institute said. Output fell 2.2 percent on an annual basis in the previous month.
German banks’ outlook up
International credit rating agency Moody’s yesterday said it has upgraded its outlook for Germany’s banks to “stable,” as they have improved their financial strength and stemmed their losses. “The outlook change reflects that, following a year of reduced crisis-related losses and improved capital strength, German banks are now more able to withstand shocks,” Moody’s said in a new report.
US firms add 176,000 jobs
US businesses added 176,000 jobs last month, a private survey showed on Thursday. That was fewer than in June and July, but roughly in line with the monthly average for the year. The payroll company ADP said professional and business services firms added 50,000 jobs. Manufacturers created 5,000, reversing a drop in July, and construction firms 4,000. Companies in all industries and of all sizes hired last month, ADP said.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Suntory eyes UK brands
Japan’s Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd is in advanced talks to buy the Lucozade and Ribena brands from GlaxoSmithKline for more than ￡1 billion (US$1.6 billion) in a deal that would pre-empt an auction of the iconic British drinks, two people close to the process said. A deal could be announced in the next few days, one of the sources said on Thursday.
Boeing positive on China
US aviation giant Boeing on Thursday said it expected China’s commercial aircraft fleet to triple in size over the next two decades as the nation’s strong economic growth boosts air traffic. China will need 5,580 new airplanes worth US$780 billion by 2032, 16 percent of the world total, the US company said at a briefing in Beijing. That compares with its previous forecast that China would add 5,260 new airplanes to its fleet by 2031.
Malaysia fines two airlines
The Malaysia Competition Commission yesterday fined Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia for anti-competitive conduct during a short-lived tie-up. The commission said in a statement that the nation’s two dominant carriers would each have to pay a 10 million ringgit (US$3 million) penalty for collaborating to integrate some routes in which they had earlier competed.