Inflation slows to 1.4%
South Korea’s inflation rate slowed to 1.4 percent last month, helped by stable prices of farming goods, government data showed yesterday. The increase in the consumer price index was compared to a 1.6 percent gain in July. It was the slowest growth pace since April, when consumer prices rose 1.5 percent. The central bank has set a band of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent as its inflation target for this year.
Wages continue to increase
Japan’s government reported on Thursday that average wages rose 2.6 percent in July from a year earlier at their fastest pace in over 17 years, mostly helped by bonus payments. Average monthly wages for regular employees jumped to ￥369,846 (US$3,544) in July, the biggest jump on month since January 1997 and the fifth straight month of increase, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said. Average base wages also increased 0.7 percent, the fastest increase in more than 14 years. Special cash earnings, including bonuses, rose 7.1 percent, the ministry said.
Base rate kept at 2.5%
Australia’s central bank kept interest rates on hold at a record low 2.5 percent yesterday as it flagged an accommodative monetary policy and stepped up its rhetoric against the local dollar. The Reserve Bank of Australia said it was prudent to maintain a “period of stability in interest rates” to support demand and growth in the economy as it shifts away from a dependence on mining.
Debt high, but ‘sustainable’
India’s current-account deficit widened to a one-year high after policymakers eased some restrictions on gold imports, while staying below the level the central bank considers sustainable. The April-June shortfall in the broadest measure of trade rose to US$7.8 billion from US$1.2 billion the previous quarter, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in a statement on Monday. That is lower than US$21.8 billion a year earlier and amounts to 1.7 percent of GDP. The RBI considers a deficit of 2.5 percent of GDP as sustainable.
Emissions tax on backburner
South Korea has delayed a proposed tax on vehicle carbon emissions by more than five years to the end of 2020, but confirmed it would push ahead with plans to begin its carbon emissions trading scheme from the start of next year, finance minister Choi Kyung-hwan said yesterday. The finance ministry said the so-called smog tax, which has already been postponed by more than two years, would place too much of a burden on industry if it was launched at the same time as the carbon trading scheme.
Taxi drivers challenge app
Uber Technologies Inc, maker of the ride-hailing application that is being challenged by cab drivers around the globe, faces a Germany-wide ban as a taxi organization won an emergency ruling in a Frankfurt court. Based on the evidence presented by Taxi Deutschland Service Gesellschaft fuer Taxizentralen eG, Uber violates German law because drivers need a license, the court said in the ruling dated on Aug. 25. The decision was issued under a fast-track procedure and also took a legal brief submitted by Uber into account. Uber can ask for a full hearing to have it overturned.