China’s inflation increases
Inflation in China accelerated to 2.4 percent year-on-year last month, official data showed yesterday, above market expectations, but analysts said countermeasures were unlikely due to weak economic momentum. Month on month, the consumer price index increased by 0.2 percent last month, reversing a decrease of 0.9 percent in March, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement. The government has set its inflation target for this year at 3.5 percent.
Australian joblessness drops
Australia’s unemployment rate eased to 5.5 percent last month, data showed yesterday, beating expectations by creating 50,100 jobs despite a slowdown in the mining-driven economy. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the jobless rate fell 0.1 percentage points from 5.6 percent in March, outdoing analyst forecasts that unemployment would hold steady. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s unemployment rate fell 0.6 points to a three-year low of 6.2 percent in the three months to March 31, official figures released yesterday showed.
Greece eyes recovery
Greece’s recession-wracked economy should start recovering from next year and its sky-high unemployment rate should edge lower from the end of next year, Greek Minister of Finance Yannis Stournaras said in an interview broadcast yesterday. Speaking on state-run NET television, Stournaras said the government’s aim was to achieve a primary surplus by the end of this year. He said this would allow Athens to ask its international creditors for some further debt relief.
Sentence cut for Enron boss
The prison sentence of disgraced former Enron Corp chief executive Jeff Skilling could be cut by as much as 10 years under a deal announced on Wednesday by US federal prosecutors. Currently in prison on a 24-year sentence for securities fraud, false statements and other charges, Skilling could see his term reduced to between 14 years and 17-and-a-half years under the agreement that will end his long battle against conviction. District Judge Sim Lake will set his new sentencing on June 21.
Offshore earnings up 15%
Large US companies boosted their offshore earnings by 15 percent last year to a record US$1.9 trillion, avoiding hefty tax bills by keeping the profits abroad, according to a new report. The overseas earnings stockpile has climbed by 70 percent over the past five years, research firm Audit Analytics said. Data in its report covers the Russell 3000 index of the largest US corporations.
Tesla posts quarterly profit
Tesla Motors Inc said on Wednesday that it posted its first-ever quarterly profit as the electric carmaker beat its own forecasts and surprised market analysts. The California firm said it earned a profit of US$11 million in the first quarter as revenues rose 83 percent from the prior quarter to US$562 million. It produced 400 or more Model S vehicles per week, for a total of over 5,000 during the quarter. Tesla also said it saw “significant upside potential in Europe and Asia.”
Dreamliner to return
All Nippon Airways confirmed yesterday that it would restart flights with Boeing Co’s Dreamliner at the start of next month.