Thu, Feb 15, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

JAPAN

Economy continues to grow

The economy grew for the eighth straight quarter at the end of last year, government data released yesterday showed, its longest period of expansion since the “bubble” boom days of the late 1980s. GDP expanded just 0.1 percent in the final quarter of last year, the Cabinet Office said, a far cry from the 0.6 percent figure for last year’s July-to-September quarter. At an annualized rate, the world’s third-largest economy grew 0.5 percent. For the calendar year, the economy grew 1.6 percent, compared with 0.9 percent in 2016, the data showed.

SINGAPORE

Growth expected to slow

The economy lost some of its momentum in the fourth quarter and the government sees growth moderating slightly this year as an export boom eases. GDP rose at a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate of 2.1 percent from the prior quarter, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said yesterday. The economy expanded 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter of last year and posted full-year growth of 3.6 percent, the ministry said, adding that it is set to expand slightly above the middle of the 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent forecast range this year.

MALAYSIA

Economy outgrows forecast

The economy last quarter grew at a slightly faster pace than economists projected, boosted by a global trade recovery and rising private consumption. GDP rose 5.9 percent from a year earlier, after climbing 6.2 percent in the third quarter of last year, Bank Negara Malaysia said in a statement yesterday. The economy last year expanded 5.9 percent, the fastest pace in three years, the central bank said, adding that growth this year will remain favorable and domestic demand will remain the key driver.

GERMANY

Exports support GDP rise

Strong exports helped the economy to continue its solid upswing at the end of last year and grow by 0.6 percent in the quarter from October to December, Federal Statistical Office data released yesterday showed. The headline figure for seasonally adjusted GDP growth was in line with a consensus forecast and marked a slowdown from the downwardly revised 0.7 percent in the third quarter. For the whole year, the economy grew by a calendar-adjusted 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, the data showed.

UNITED STATES

Household debt on rise

Total debt held by households last year surged to more than US$13 trillion, the fifth straight annual increase, amid a continued rise in home mortgages and auto loans, New York Federal Reserve Bank data released on Tuesday showed. However, nearly 10 years after the start of the global financial crisis, the hangover from the housing market collapse is still evident in some areas of the country, the bank said in its quarterly report.

BANKING

PNG finds US$1.8bn fraud

India’s second-largest state-run bank yesterday said it had detected fraud of almost US$1.8 billion at one of its branches, sending its shares plunging more than 7 percent. Punjab National Bank (PNB), one of several state-owned lenders the government is trying to clean up, said transactions worth US$1.77 billion had been made “for the benefit of a few select account holders with their apparent connivance.”

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