Industrial output inches up
Industrial output showed a minor expansion for the second month running in October, inching up 0.6 percent from a month earlier, government data showed yesterday. October’s growth in production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries was slightly slower than the revised 0.7 percent rise in September, according to Statistics Korea. The back-to-back growth came after Asia’s fourth-largest economy logged three consecutive months of declines in factory output from June-August. On a year-on-year basis, the October reading was down 0.8 percent, compared with a 0.7 percent rise in September.
Growth likely to fade
The economy grew at a 2.7 percent annual rate from July through September, much faster than first thought. The strength is expected to fade by the end of the year due to the the impact of superstorm Sandy and uncertainty over tax increases and government spending cuts. The US Department of Commerce said on Thursday that growth in the third quarter was significantly better than the 2 percent rate forecast a month ago, and was more than twice the 1.3 percent rate reported for the June quarter.
Retail sales contract 2.8%
Retail sales fell more sharply than expected in October, official data showed yesterday. Retail sales contracted by 2.8 percent compared with September in price, seasonal and calendar-adjusted terms, according to provisional figures from the federal statistics office Destatis. On a 12-month basis retail sales were down by just 0.8 percent in October, when there was one shopping day more than in the same month last year.
Airline increases Asia flights
Canada’s flagship airline on Thursday announced a “major international expansion” of flights to Asia starting mid next year. Air Canada said it will offer 11 daily departures on 14 wide-body aircraft from Canadian cities to Asia — a total of more than 43,000 seats a week. The company described it as “the most far-reaching international expansion of its schedule in its 75-year history.” The new flights will include non-stop trips between Toronto and Seoul, and between Vancouver and Beijing, as well as an upgrade to daily services between Calgary and Tokyo.
UPS makes TNT concessions
United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) says it has offered the EU’s regulatory watchdog concessions in its proposed 5.16 million euro (US$6.8 billion) takeover of TNT Express NV. UPS said the remedies involve the small package delivery sector and “comprise the sale of business activities and assets, in combination with granting access to air capabilities,” but did not release information as to how this could affect the deal financially. UPS offered to buy struggling TNT, Europe’s second-largest delivery company, in May as it hopes to compete with Deutsche Post and its DHL arm.
Ford car wins ‘green’ award
Ford Motor Co, which has emphasized boosting the fuel economy of its lineup to attract car buyers, won a top “green car” award for its Fusion midsize sedan, making it the least expensive model yet to earn the title. The Fusion, which starts at US$21,700 for the gas-powered base model, won because it is offered in a wide range of powertrains, said Ron Cogan, editor of Green Car Journal, which gives out the annual award to recognize leadership in cutting emissions.