Wed, Jul 02, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take



Business confidence down

Business confidence has sagged since consumers were hit with higher prices after an April sales tax hike, suffering the first deterioration in six quarters, a Bank of Japan report showed yesterday. The Tankan survey for the quarter from April to last month showed confidence among large manufacturers stood at plus 12, well short of market expectations, after hitting a more than six-year high of plus 17 in the preceding quarter. The Tankan reading for large companies in the non-manufacturing sector tumbled to plus 19 from plus 24 in the March quarter, also the first downturn in six quarters.


Exports rise 2.5%

Exports rose 2.5 percent last month from a year ago on robust shipments of tech products and steel, official data showed yesterday. Last month’s exports amounted to US$47.8 billion, up 2.5 percent from US$46.7 billion, according to Seoul’s trade ministry. Imports rose 4.5 percent to US$42.5 billion during the same period, leaving a trade surplus of US$5.3 billion.


Trade surplus recovered

Authorities yesterday said the nation’s trade balance swung back to surplus in May and reported a flurry of other positive data, a boost for the country’s economy after a recent slowdown. The surplus was slightly higher than expected at US$70 million, according to the statistics agency, after a deficit of almost US$2 billion in April as exports were hit by a controversial mineral ore export ban. Inflation slowed further to 6.7 percent year-on-year last month after spiking last year following a rise in fuel prices, the agency said, and a manufacturing activity survey hit a new record high.


Bank holds interest rate

The central bank kept interest rates on hold at a record low 2.5 percent yesterday, as a resilient currency and softening commodity prices hobbled the economy’s shift away from mining. The Reserve Bank left the cash rate unchanged for its 10th straight meeting as it continued to highlight the need for accommodative monetary policy to “provide support to demand and help growth to strengthen over time.”


Sales rise in Japan

Japan’s automobile sales rose for the first time in three months, adding to evidence the world’s third-largest auto market is withstanding a consumption tax hike in April. Vehicle deliveries last month climbed 0.4 percent to 452,555 units, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and Japan Mini Vehicle Association said yesterday. The increase compares with a 5.5 percent drop in April and 1.2 percent decline in May. The higher levy on purchases has failed to dent demand for minicars, which have posted sales gains in 12 consecutive months.


Twitter buys Tap Commerce

Twitter announced on Monday that it has cut a deal to buy mobile ad firm Tap Commerce to bolster money-making tools at the popular one-to-many messaging service. San Francisco-based Twitter did not disclose how much it paid for Tap Commerce, which is located in New York City, but technology news Web site reported the deal to be valued at about US$100 million. Tap Commerce specializes in getting people to “re-engage” with applications installed, then ignored, on smartphones or tablet computers.

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