Fri, May 30, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

SMARTPHONES

IDC sees low-cost growth

A research firm on Wednesday forecast that global smartphone sales are to jump 23 percent this year to more than 1.2 billion units, fueled by growth of low-cost handsets in emerging markets. An IDC survey predicts that smartphone sales will maintain an annual growth rate of 12.3 percent through 2018. Much of the growth is expected to come from low-cost devices using the Android operating system, with Apple Inc’s market share eroding, Microsoft Windows making modest gains and BlackBerry fading further, IDC said. The research firm said it expects Android to remain ahead of the pack with an 80.4 percent market share this year, and to lose a modest amount of ground to Windows over the coming years. The report said BlackBerry’s market share will be less than 1 percent this year — 0.8 percent, and keep dropping to 0.3 percent in 2018.

ECONOMY

Merkel tops ‘Forbes’ list

German Chancellor Angela Merkel topped Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful women for the fourth consecutive year, followed by US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, the magazine said on Wednesday. Behind them came Melinda Gates, who co-chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with her billionaire philanthropist husband, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and IMF chief Christine Lagarde. Hillary Clinton, former US first lady, one-time US secretary of state and possible repeat US presidential hopeful, was listed at No. 6. The annual list includes women in business, media, politics, technology, entertainment, philanthropy and nonprofits, billionaires and finance, a new category for the first time. Top businesswomen on the list include General Motors CEO Mary Barra (No. 7) — subject of the Forbes cover story — Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (No. 9) and IBM CEO Virginia Rometty (No. 10).

SPAIN

Spending raises Q1 growth

Growth gained momentum in the first quarter in Spain, the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy, as household and government spending increased. Gross domestic product increased 0.4 percent in the first quarter from the previous three months, the National Statistics Institute in Madrid said yesterday, confirming its April 30 first estimate. Growth accelerated from 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter as household spending rebounded, it said. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is counting on a recovery from a six-year slump to tackle the fourth-largest budget deficit in the EU amid a 25 percent jobless rate.

PHILIPPINES

Growth slides to 5.7%

Economic growth eased to below 6 percent for the first time in nine quarters, giving the central bank scope to keep interest rates at a record low. Stocks and the peso fell. GDP increased 5.7 percent in the three months through March from a year earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority said in Manila yesterday, after a 6.3 percent gain in the previous quarter. The median estimate of 22 economists was 6.4 percent. The fallout of natural disasters including Super Typhoon Haiyan in November last year weighed on growth last quarter, and the pace will pick up, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said yesterday. “This will probably be one of the weakest quarters this year,” said Philip McNicholas, a senior economist at BNP Paribas SA in Hong Kong. “The acceleration of the investment cycle as the Aquino administration moves to deal with the infrastructure deficit should boost growth later this year,” he said.

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