Wed, Jan 09, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

GERMANY

Industry slumps 1.9 percent

Industrial output in November unexpectedly fell for the third consecutive month, data showed yesterday, adding to signs that Europe’s largest economy shifted into a lower gear in the final quarter of last year. Industrial output was down 1.9 percent, way below a Reuters forecast of an increase of 0.3 percent, Federal Statistics Office data showed. The figure for October was revised down to a fall of 0.8 percent from a previously reported drop of 0.5 percent. Factories churned out fewer intermediate, capital and consumer goods, according to more detailed data published by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Output in the construction industry also decreased, as did production in the energy sector. The ministry pointed to special factors including an unusually high number of bridge days around national holidays and problems faced by the car industry as it adjusted to new emission standards.

PATENTS

China to outpace Germany

Chinese inventors last year received a record number of US patents and are on pace to overtake Germany in the No. 4 position of top recipients, an analysis of filings with the US Patent and Trademark Office showed. Inventors working for Chinese companies were issued 12,589 US patents, up 12 percent on the year and a 10-fold increase over the 1,223 they received a decade ago. The US still dominates the field, with 46 percent of the 308,853 US utility patents issued last year, followed by companies based in Japan, South Korea and Germany. Six of the top 10 recipients of patents are US companies, including top recipient IBM Corp and chip rivals Intel Corp and Qualcomm Inc, as well as Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc and Ford Motor Co. The four Asian companies in the top 10 were Samsung Electronics Co at No. 2, Canon Inc, LG Electronics Inc and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電).

ELECTRONICS

Boycott hitting Apple: bank

Chinese consumers might be staging an “informal boycott” of US products that is hitting Apple Inc’s iPhones, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said. If that is the case, it would help explain Apple’s warning last week that revenue from China was taking a hit, even as Chinese rivals post steady shipments. According to a survey conducted by equity research specialists, consumers in China and India are showing less interest in upgrading to an iPhone and more interest in upgrading to Xiaomi Corp (小米) and Samsung products, the bank said. Apple sales might also suffer from a general redirection of Chinese demand away from US products, the report said.

AUTOMAKERS

Daimler auto trucks eye US

Daimler AG this year is to start selling a heavy-duty truck in the US that is able to brake, accelerate and steer at all speeds on its own. This would coincide with the planned launch of Tesla Inc’s Semi truck, which would stoke competition at a time when demand in North America is forecast to soften. The updated Freightliner Cascadia, which would also have lane-keeping assistance, fuses information from radar and cameras to enable partially autonomous technology, Daimler said on Monday at the CES conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. To maintain its lead over Volvo AB and Paccar Inc, the manufacturer said it plans to within a decade offer highly automated vehicles on some routes.

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