Sun, Mar 24, 2019 - Page 14 News List

World Business Quick Take



Deficit hits February record

The federal government posted a record budget deficit last month, pushing the overall deficit for the first five months of the budget year up 39 percent from a year earlier. The Department of the Treasury said in its monthly report that the deficit hit an all-time high of US$234 billion. That surpasses the old February deficit record of US$232 billion set in 2012. For the first five months of this budget year, the deficit totals US$544.2 billion. Last week, the administration projected that this year’s deficit would total US$1.09 trillion.


Indian rules delayed again

India delayed the introduction of new accounting rules for the second year running, in a move that will spare the country’s banks from adding another layer to the US$190 billion pile of bad loans on their books. The Reserve Bank of India on Friday said that legislative amendments needed to implement the new Indian Accounting Standards are still under consideration by the Indian government. “Accordingly, it has been decided to delay the implementation” of the rules “until further notice,” the central bank said.


Worker plan approved

The Cabinet on Friday approved a plan to persuade some of the roughly 1 million workers who left the country during its 2008 to 2013 economic slump to return home. Among the 50 measures included in the two-year plan are scholarships and grants for scientific researchers and lower social security payments for selected workers, the government said in a statement after the Cabinet approved the program.


Reserves fall explained

A recent fall in the central bank’s foreign currency reserves stemmed from sales of forex to energy-importing firms and a foreign debt payment, worth US$5.3 billion in total, a central bank official said on Friday. The official said the fall in reserves was not extraordinary and that the bank maintained a policy of accumulating reserves. However, the central bank said it would suspend its one-week lira repo auctions after the currency led a retreat among emerging market peers on Friday.


Apple upbeat over economy

Apple Inc chief executive officer Tim Cook yesterday said he is “extremely bullish” about the global economy based on the amount of innovation being carried out and urged China to continue to “open up.” In a speech at an economic forum in Beijing, Cook said Apple is less concerned with the short-term economic outlook, because the tech giant makes investments looking ahead years or decades. Apple reported a revenue drop of 26 percent in the greater China region during the quarter ending in December last year.


Storms halt operations

Global miners BHP Group and Glencore PLC halted output at energy and metals operations across Australia as two cyclones simultaneously approached the coast for the first time since 2015. BHP stopped output at the Pyrenees oil project off Western Australia as cyclone Veronica tracked toward a hub of liquefied natural gas and iron-ore export operations. In the north, cyclone Trevor has already made landfall.

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