November exports strong
The Federal Statistical Office said exports rose strongly in November last year, partially offsetting a sharp drop the previous month, according to provisional figures. The agency said yesterday that exports rose 2.5 percent to 90.7 billion euros (US$115.88 billion) in November, adjusted for seasonal and calendar factors, while imports dropped 0.4 percent to 75.7 billion euros. The rise comes after the office reported a revised 2.9 percent drop in exports to 88.5 billion euros in October. Compared with a year earlier, exports in November were up 8.3 percent in unadjusted terms.
Statoil finds oil in Barents
Norway’s Statoil yesterday announced a major oil discovery in the Barents Sea that could contain up to 300 million barrels of crude. The Havis prospect is the twin of Skrugard, another deposit Statoil discovered in April last year, confirming the potential of the waters as yet untapped in the Barents Sea. Together, the two deposits could contain between 400 and 600 million barrels of oil equivalent, Statoil said in a statement.
Novartis recalls US drugs
Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis said on Sunday it was recalling four different products sold over the counter in the US over reports of a malfunction at one of its plants. The affected drugs are Excedrin, NoDoz, Bufferin and Gas-X Prevention, Novartis Consumer Health said in a statement. However, the group stressed that it was not aware of adverse effects among the affected products’ consumers. The plant in Lincoln, Nebraska, where the products are manufactured, was shut down last month and Novartis said improvements were being carried out there.
Q4 consumer confidence up
Consumer confidence rose in the fourth quarter from a two-year low on optimism about real-estate prices and the global economy according to a Nanos Research poll. The Nanos Economic Mood Index rose to 107.4 in the fourth quarter from 105.1 the prior three months, according to a report by Nik Nanos, president of the Ottawa-based polling company. About 19 percent of those surveyed said the economy will be stronger in the next six months, up from 16 percent, while the share who said it would be weaker declined to 31 percent from 39 percent.
Cab maker misses profit
Manganese Bronze, the maker of London’s traditional black cabs, said it had failed to make a profit last year and could miss market expectations for this year, blaming deteriorating economic conditions and the delay of an Azerbaijan order. The company said trading had continued to be impacted by the weakening UK economy, while the unresolved eurozone sovereign debt crisis and its potential impact on banks had undermined confidence within the global banking community and made it more difficult to secure finance for international trade.
Air-France-KLM load up
Air France-KLM Group said passenger traffic rose 7 percent last year, spurred by gains on European and transatlantic routes. The airline lifted capacity 6.5 percent, so that its load factor, a measure of seat occupancy, advanced 0.4 percentage points to 83 percent. The Franco-Dutch carrier’s passenger total increased 7.8 percent to 59.5 million, it said in a statement.