Sat, Jan 19, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

JAPAN

Inflation fails to reach 1%

Consumer prices rose a sluggish 0.9 percent last year, according to government data published yesterday. Last month, prices rose by 0.7 percent year-on-year, slightly lower than a 0.9 percent rise in prices in November. The annual figure is far below the central bank’s inflation target of 2 percent and came as the Bank of Japan was reportedly preparing to lower its inflation forecast for the year to March next year to about 1 percent in its quarterly report, reflecting falls in crude oil prices.

CHINA

GDP growth revised down

The government statistics office yesterday revised 2017 economic growth down to 6.8 percent from 6.9 percent, as the nation braces for a possibly worse performance last year. The size of the GDP of the world’s second-biggest economy was revised down from 82.7 trillion yuan to 82.1 trillion yuan (US$12.2 trillion to US$12.1 trillion), the government’s statistics bureau said in a statement on its Web site. Beijing is due to release its GDP growth for last year on Monday. Recent statistics point to a slowdown.

HEALTHCARE

Philips to shutter factory

Dutch health technology company Philips on Thursday said it plans to close its only factory in Britain next year with the loss of about 400 jobs, the latest firm to move manufacturing jobs out of the UK. The factory in Glemsford, England, produces babycare products, mainly for export to other European nations. Almost all its activities are to move to Philips’ plant in Drachten, the Netherlands, which already employs about 2,000 workers.

AVIATION

Union holds off on strikes

A German union that has called a string of disruptive strikes by airport security staff has said it will not hold any further walkouts ahead of and during pay talks next week. The ver.di union said it decided to put any further strikes on hold after employers on Thursday signaled that they plan to make a “conclusion-oriented offer” at the next round of talks, scheduled for Wednesday next week. It asserted that “the intensity of the strikes” contributed to that.

VIETNAM

More US imports planned

The nation is importing more US goods from companies such as Boeing Co and General Electric Co to narrow the trade gap, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Haslinda Amin late on Thursday, a move that could help it continue to avoid punitive measures from Washington. A US buying spree would also help ease tensions with Washington over the US trade deficit of about US$33 billion with Vietnam in the first 10 months of last year.

AUTOMAKERS

Tesla to recall PRC vehicles

Tesla Inc is to recall more than 14,000 Model S electric vehicles in China as part of the global automotive sector’s effort to replace potentially dangerous airbags made by Takata Corp, the Chinese regulator announced yesterday. The US company is to recall imported Model S vehicles made between February 2014 and December 2016, the Chinese State Administration of Market Regulation said, joining other automakers in an effort affecting tens of millions of vehicles worldwide. Takata went bust in 2017 after defective airbags were blamed for a number of deaths.

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