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World Business Quick Take



Volkswagen to recall Audis

Volkswagen’s main Chinese joint venture has recalled 680,925 Audi vehicles to check and possibly replace a coolant pump it said might become clogged and overheat. The Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine yesterday said the recall applies to Audi A6L, Audi A4L and Audi Q5 vehicles manufactured in China between May 2011 and January last year. The company has also recalled imported Audi A4 Allroad sport utility vehicles and Audi A5s made between November 2011 and November 2013. The statement said the recall focuses on a coolant pump that might become clogged and overheat, possibly causing a fire in the engine compartment in extreme cases. FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Co Ltd (一汽大眾), the German automaker’s joint venture with state-owned FAW Group Corp (第一汽車), said it would check the pumps, replace any that have problems and upgrade software.


Industrial output rebounds

Industrial production rebounded in January, reaffirming the country’s favorable economic outlook after factory orders slumped the most in eight years. Output, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, rose 2.8 percent from December last year, when it dropped a revised 2.4 percent, the Federal Ministry For Economic Affairs and Energy said yesterday. The indicator’s reading compares with a median estimate for a 2.7 percent increase in a Bloomberg survey. Production was unchanged from a year earlier. The data followed a report on Tuesday that showed factory orders plunged at the steepest pace since 2009 amid markedly below-average demand for big-ticket items. Output in January was bolstered by a 6.1 advance in investment and a 2.3 percent increase in consumption, the data showed. Construction dropped 1.3 percent, while energy production slipped 0.7 percent.


Imports surge 44.7 percent

Imports last month jumped 44.7 percent year-on-year, while exports rose 4.2 percent annually in yuan terms, the General Administration of Customs said yesterday, leaving a trade deficit of 60.4 billion yuan (US$8.7 billion at the current exchange rate). The results were skewed because of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday that shuttered factories and ports across the nation in late January, compared with February last year, distorting base year comparisons. The country faces more challenges and uncertainties this year. US President Donald Trump has accused the government of unfair trade practices and is now in a position to carry out threats with US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross sworn in.


PageGroup sees profit rise

British recruitment firm PageGroup PLC reported an 11.7 percent rise in full-year profit as overseas growth more than offset a continued cooling in the British hiring market ahead of the country’s planned exit from the EU. “Our businesses in continental Europe, Australasia and Latin America, excluding Brazil, all performed well,” CEO Steve Ingham said in a statement. “In the UK, client and candidate confidence levels were impacted by the EU referendum result, with activity levels reduced.” The company, which mainly finds candidates to fill permanent positions, said gross profit rose to £621 million (US$755.3 million at the current exchange rate) in the year ended on Dec. 31 last year, from £556.1 million a year earlier.

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