Sat, Apr 30, 2016 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

FRANCE

GDP edges up 0.5%

The economy expanded faster than economists forecast in the first quarter, powered by increasing corporate investment and a rebound in consumer spending. GDP growth accelerated to 0.5 percent from 0.3 percent in the final quarter of last year, beating the 0.4 percent projection in a Bloomberg survey, statistics office Insee said yesterday. Consumer spending rose 1.2 in the first quarter, while business investment jumped 1.6 percent, its biggest increase in at least two years, data showed.

SPAIN

Economy expands 0.8%

The economy grew 0.8 percent in the first quarter compared with the previous three months, its 11th consecutive growth figure, the National Statistics Office said yesterday. It grew 3.4 percent from the same period last year. The country emerged from a recession in late 2013 and is now one of the EU’s fastest-growing economies, although its unemployment rate of 21 percent remains the bloc’s second highest after Greece.

UNITED STATES

Q1 growth slows to 0.5%

The economy inched forward at the weakest pace in two years from January through last month, as consumer spending slowed, business investment plunged and exports declined further. The Department of Commerce on Thursday said that GDP grew by a tiny 0.5 percent in the first quarter, down from 1.4 percent growth in the fourth quarter of last year. The January-March performance was the poorest showing since GDP contracted by 0.9 percent in the first three months of 2014.

ENERGY

PetroChina posts losses

PetroChina Co (中石油) shares plunged yesterday, after the Chinese energy giant posted its first quarterly loss since listing overseas 16 years ago, as it struggled with a weak domestic economy and lower international oil prices. PetroChina lost 13.79 billion yuan (US$2.14 billion) in the first quarter, reversing from a gain of 6.15 billion yuan for the same period a year ago, it said in a statement to the Hong Kong exchange late on Thursday. It was the first quarterly loss by PetroChina since it listed on the bourse in 2000.

BANKING

RBS loses £968 million

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) yesterday said its net loss widened in the first quarter as the taxpayer-owned bank made its final £1.2 billion (US$1.7 billion) payment to the UK Treasury as part of a deal to give the government first crack at any profits. The bank, which is 73 percent taxpayer-owned, reported a net loss of £968 million, compared with £459 million in the first quarter of last year. Excluding the payment to the government, RBS posted a profit of £225 million.

INTERNET

Amazon revenue jumps 28%

Amazon.com Inc on Thursday reported better-than-expected first-quarter results fueled by a 28 percent jump in revenue. The Seattle-based company’s net income totaled US$513 million, or US$1.07 per share, compared with a loss in the same period a year earlier. The average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of US$0.61 per share. Amazon’s cloud-based services, called Amazon Web Services, remained another bright spot, with revenue up 64 percent to US$2.57 billion. The online retailer’s revenue rose to US$29.13 billion in the period, also exceeding analysts’ forecasts.

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