Thu, Apr 12, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

SOUTH AFRICA

Simple inflation goal needed

It would be simpler to aim for a single-point inflation target, Monetary Policy Committee member Fundi Tshazibana has said. It would mean there is “no confusion about the number — if it’s 3 percent, it’s 3 percent; we know we are working toward 3 percent,” Tshazibana, who joined the committee in February, said at a forum on Tuesday in Pretoria. While the South African Reserve Bank has targeted inflation of 3 percent to 6 percent, in line with a government mandate, the committee has over the past few months made it clear that it prefers price growth expectations close to the middle of the range. Inflation slowed to an almost three-year low of 4 percent in February.

TRADE

Negotiated solution ‘likely’

Global rating agencies Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings Inc yesterday said the proposed US tariffs would have limited direct impact on China’s economy and a negotiated solution is most likely. Moody’s said it expects the US and China to prevent a significant escalation in their trade dispute based on the negative impact the restrictions would have on both economies. “Trade has made a smaller contribution to China’s GDP growth in recent years and, combined with a changing trade structure, China’s direct vulnerability to potential trade shocks has declined,” Moody’s said in a report.

RETAIL

Tesco returns to profitability

British retail king Tesco PLC rebounded into annual net profit on strong sales and restructuring, the group said yesterday, as its recovery continued after a costly accounting scandal the prior year. The supermarket giant said in a statement that earnings after taxation rebounded sharply to £1.2 billion (US$1.7 billion) in its financial year to February. That contrasted with a net loss of £40 million in the previous fiscal year. Excluding exceptional items, operating or underlying profit jumped 28 percent to £1.6 billion, in line with company forecasts and after a major restructuring overseen by CEO Dave Lewis.

AUTOMAKERS

Minister denies diesel fund

German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Andreas Scheuer on Tuesday denied that the government was considering setting up a joint fund with automakers to pay for exhaust systems to make diesel cars cleaner, citing legal and technical concerns about retrofitting older cars. Scheuer told newspaper Passauer Neue Presse that there had not yet been any discussion about funding, and he remained committed to meeting emissions targets using measures already being implemented and without costly hardware retrofits. “The discussion about hardware retrofits is not appropriate at this point, and definitely not with the participation of taxpayers,” he told the newspaper.

RIDE-HAILING

Uber unveils new driver app

Uber Technologies Inc on Tuesday unveiled a new app for its drivers that includes a real-time earnings tracker, the latest effort by the ride-hailing service to improve an often contentious relationship. The move follows Uber’s “180 days of change” program that was launched in June last year to make changes requested by drivers, such as tipping and compensation for the time spent waiting for passengers. “We needed to think longer term and the obvious place to start was the driver app,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement.

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