Global GDP to grow 2.4%
Developing countries, led by China, will remain the main engines of global economic growth this year as Europe and the US plod along, the World Bank said in the Global Economic Prospects report released on Tuesday. For this year, the development lender lowered its forecast for global growth to 2.4 percent, from a June estimate of 3 percent, saying the economic recovery remains “fragile and uncertain” despite lower financial risk. The report said high-income countries at the center of the financial crisis were projected to post a tepid GDP growth of 1.3 percent this year, while developing countries would see a more robust 5.5 percent growth. China’s economy was expected to expand 8.4 percent this year and Brazil would expand 3.4 percent, it said.
German GDP rises 0.7%
Germany’s economy has fallen victim to economic problems hitting the rest of the eurozone and shrank in the fourth quarter of last year, preliminary government figures show. According to government figures released on Tuesday, the German economy grew by a modest 0.7 percent last year — well below the 3 percent growth seen in 2011 and suggests the economy contracted in the last three months of the year. The German government said that shrinkage could be about 0.5 percent.
Japan carriers ground 787s
Japan’s two leading airlines grounded their fleets of Boeing 787s yesterday after one of the Dreamliner passenger jets made an emergency landing, the latest and most serious in a series of incidents to heighten safety concerns over a plane many see as the future of commercial aviation. All Nippon Airways Co (ANA) said instruments aboard a domestic flight indicated a battery error, triggering emergency warnings to the pilots. It said the battery in the forward cargo hold was the same lithium-ion type as one involved in a fire on another Dreamliner at a US airport last week. The carrier grounded all 17 of its 787s, and Japan Airlines Co suspended its 787 flights scheduled for yesterday. ANA said its planes could be back in the air as soon as today once checks were completed. The two carriers operate about half of the 50 Dreamliners delivered by Boeing to date.
F&N auction mulled
Singapore’s stock market watchdog has called for an auction to resolve a protracted takeover battle between Indonesian and Thai tycoons for local conglomerate Fraser and Neave (F&N). The Securities Industry Council (SIC) said in a statement issued late on Tuesday that investors needed certainty and gave both contenders until Sunday to make fresh offers for F&N, a beverage, property and publishing group. If a stalemate remains, a daily bidding process will start on Monday until one party gives up.
Wal-Mart ups local sourcing
Wal-Mart Store, the world’s biggest retailer, said on Tuesday it would spend US$50 billion more on US-made goods and boost hiring of military service veterans to support the nation’s economy. Wal-Mart Store’s retail chains in the US — Walmart and members-only Sam’s Club — will buy an additional US$50 billion worth of domestic products over the next 10 years, the company said. Wal-Mart said that two thirds of its spending on products for Walmart US already goes to US products.