Fri, Sep 01, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

JAPAN

Factory output declines

The country’s factory output turned down in July as manufacturers cut back on inventory stockpiles, government data showed yesterday. Industrial production slipped 0.8 percent month-on-month after a revised 2.2 percent rise in June, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said. The fall was bigger than expected, with the median forecast by economists coming in at a drop of 0.3 percent in a Bloomberg survey. However, the ministry kept its view that manufacturing activity is on the path to recovery and said the July drop was “small” considering the robust growth in June.

CHINA

Factory activity improves

The nation’s factory activity gathered steam last month, official data showed yesterday, beating expectations, but not dispelling concerns about the headwinds facing the world’s second-largest economy. The latest purchasing managers’ index, a gauge of factory conditions, came in at 51.7 last month, the National Bureau of Statistics said, up from the 51.4 reading in July. Anything above 50 is considered growth while a figure below points to contraction. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected a reading of 51.3.

UNITED STATES

Economy rebounds in spring

The economy rebounded sharply in the spring, growing at the fastest pace in more than two years amid brisk consumer spending on cars and other goods. GDP grew at an annual rate of 3 percent in the April-to-June quarter, the Department of Commerce reported on Wednesday. It was the best showing since a 3.2 percent gain in the first quarter of 2015.

MEXICO

Number of poor increases

The government on Wednesday said that about 53.4 million of the nation’s 122 million people were poor last year, compared with 53.3 million in 2012. However, population growth meant the percentage dropped from 45.5 percent in 2012. The number living in extreme poverty who cannot buy even basic items dropped from 9.8 percent of the population in 2012 to 7.6 percent last year. The government’s poverty-measurement agency said that 17.5 percent of people did not have sufficient income to buy enough food, down from 20 percent in 2012.

ENERGY

Lukoil mulls selling unit

Russian oil giant OAO Lukoil is considering selling its Swiss unit Litasco SA because new US sanctions on Russia will make it harder for the Geneva, Switzerland-based energy trader to raise new funds, industry sources said. Lukoil chief executive Vagit Alekperov later confirmed the company was considering selling Litasco. A senior industry source told reporters that Litasco could be sold later this year, possibly as a first step toward divestment of other overseas assets by Lukoil to enable it to focus on tapping fields in Siberia.

CORPORATE

HNA sues businessman

HNA Group Co (海航集團) is seeking at least US$300 million from Chinese businessman Guo Wengui (郭文貴) for making defamatory statements tying the company to corruption and alleging it has secret ties to the family of a high-ranking Chinese Communist Party official. In HNA’s complaint, filed on Wednesday with the New York state Supreme Court, the company said Guo’s false allegations are causing harm to the group’s reputation and financial standing.

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