World Business Quick Take


Fri, Sep 25, 2015 - Page 15


Consumer confidence falls

A closely watched survey indicates consumers’ worries about the economy are deepening. The GfK research group said yesterday that its forward-looking consumer climate index dropped to 9.6 points for next month from 9.9 points this month. It says the three indicators that provide the index number — willingness to buy, income expectations and economic expectations — all fell. The survey of about 2,000 consumers was conducted before the news broke that Volkswagen, the world’s top-selling automaker, had manipulated emissions tests in the US, raising the likelihood the index might suffer a further drop next month.


Instagram users pass 400m

Instagram has rocketed past 400 million users, with more than 80 million pictures shared daily at the Facebook-owned service. The number of people sharing pictures and videos each month using Instagram soared from 300 million at the start of the year and tops the number of people using Twitter monthly by nearly 100 million. More than half of the last 100 million people to join Instagram live in Europe or Asia, with Brazil, Japan and Indonesia seeing the strongest growth, the company said.


Facebook debuts 360? video

Facebook Inc on Wednesday began rolling out 360? viewing at the leading social network, letting people change their perspectives in specially created videos. Synched rings cameras are used to capture video in a way that lets viewers virtually look around as if they are in the middle of a scene. In desktop computer browsers, changing angles can be done using on-screen cursors, while on mobile devices shifting perspectives can be done by dragging fingers or just turning handsets. Publishers sharing 360? video at launch included GoPro, Discovery and Saturday Night Live, the company said. Disney and Lucasfilm are to debut a 360? video focused on its upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Facebook said.


Central bank cuts rates

The central bank cut interest rates to an all-time low and said it might ease policy further as it seeks to rescue an expansion in western Europe’s biggest petroleum producer amid a plunge in crude oil prices. The overnight deposit rate was lowered by 25 basis points to 0.75 percent, the Oslo-based central bank said yesterday. The move was forecast by seven of the 17 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, with the remainder expecting no change. The bank forecast its rate could fall as low as 0.59 percent in third quarter of next year.


Chinese firm wins India bid

A consortium led by a state-owned Chinese firm has won a bid for a feasibility study into a high-speed rail link between India’s political and financial capitals, New Delhi and Mumbai, the company’s parent said, in what could lead to a major deal between the Asian rivals. China Railway (中國鐵路), a spinoff from the former railways ministry, said the line would be about 1,200km long, but provided few other details. The company on Wednesday said the consortium, which also includes Indian companies, won the bid to carry out the study. India has also solicited bids for feasibility studies on lines between Mumbai and the southern city of Chennai, as well as New Delhi and Calcutta, the company added.