Fri, Jul 25, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

MANUFACTURING

China reaches 18-month high

China’s manufacturing rose this month to its highest level in 18 months, in a sign that mini-stimulus measures to shore up growth have taken hold. The preliminary HSBC purchasing managers’ index rose to 52.0 this year from 50.7 last month on a 100-point scale on which numbers below 50 indicate contraction. This month’s reading was the highest since January last year. The report said overall new orders and new export orders in China’s manufacturing industry rose faster this month than the month before. All other categories, including employment and output prices, also improved.

MACROECONOMICS

Japan’s trade deficit triples

Japan’s trade deficit last month more than tripled from the year before to a higher-than-expected ¥822.2 billion (US$8.1 billion), as imports surged and exports edged lower. The Japanese Finance Ministry reported yesterday that imports jumped 8.4 percent year-on-year to ¥6.76 trillion while exports fell 2 percent to ¥5.94 trillion. The trade deficit was ¥911 billion in May. In seasonally adjusted terms it rose from ¥862 billion in May to ¥1.1 trillion last month.

MACROECONOMICS

Unemployment falls in Spain

The unemployment rate in Spain fell sharply in the second quarter, slipping beneath 25 percent, official data showed yesterday in a further sign that the country is pulling away from deep economic crisis. The rate fell by 1.45 percentage points and the number of people looking for work fell by 310,400, marking the biggest quarterly fall since the series of statistics began, the data showed. This was the first time the rate had been less than 25 percent, or one in four of the workforce, since the third quarter of 2012, but 5.5 million people are still unemployed in Spain.

MACROECONOMICS

NZ raises benchmark rate

New Zealand yesterday raised its benchmark interest rate to 3.5 percent but signaled a pause in its program of rate hikes. The announcement prompted a sharp drop in the NZ dollar, which was trading down nearly 1 percent at US$0.8625. New Zealand has been going it alone among developed nations this year by raising interest rates. Yesterday’s decision was the central bank’s fourth successive hike of a quarter percentage point.

AUTOMAKERS

GM issues more recalls

General Motors Co (GM) issued six more recalls on Wednesday, bringing its annual total to 60 recalls covering almost 30 million vehicles. The latest recalls cover nearly 823,000 cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUV) mostly in North America but also includes a small number of exports. The largest is for faulty seats in just over 475,000 cars and small SUVs. Other problems include incomplete welds on seat brackets, turn signal failures, power steering failures, loose suspension bolts and faulty roof rack bolts.

AVIATION

Bombardier cuts jobs

Canada’s Bombardier will cut 1,800 jobs, the troubled aviation giant announced on Wednesday in a major reorganization. “This marks another step in Bombardier’s evolution,” said Pierre Beaudoin, the company’s president and chief executive officer, who said the overhaul, to be completed by Jan. 1 of next year, would reduce costs and overheads. Meanwhile, one of its senior officials, Aerospace president and chief operating officer Guy Hachey, is stepping down.

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