World Business Quick Take

Agencies

Tue, Sep 10, 2019 - Page 10

JAPAN

Q2 growth less than forecast

The government has revised economic growth data for the April-to-June quarter, saying the growth had been slightly weaker than initially estimated. The Cabinet Office yesterday reported that real GDP — the total value of a nation’s goods and services — had grown at an annual rate of 1.3 percent during that period. That was slightly lower than the earlier estimate of 1.8 percent growth. The data showed that private demand had grown at a slower rate, but government investment had risen higher than the earlier estimate.

AUSTRALIA

Home-loan approvals spike

Mortgage approvals surged by the most in four years in July in the latest sign that back-to-back interest rate cuts are reviving a previously dormant property market. Home-loan approvals rose 4.2 percent, the biggest increase since June 2015 and almost triple economists’ forecasts, the Bureau of Statistics said yesterday. The data showed that mortgages to first-time home buyers rose for a fourth straight month. The value of loans to investors jumped 4.7 percent, the most since 2016, and soared 5.3 percent for owner-occupiers in the biggest leap since 2015.

GERMANY

Exports bounce back

Exports from Europe’s largest economy enjoyed an unexpected rebound in July, official data showed yesterday, making for a bright spot in the data amid signs of a looming recession. About 115.2 billion euros (US$127.1 billion) of goods were sold abroad, up 0.7 percent month-on-month and 3.8 percent year-on-year, federal statistics authority Destatis said in seasonally-adjusted figures. With imports down 1.5 percent month-on-month, at 93.7 billion euros, the country’s trade surplus reached 21.4 billion euros — up from 18.1 billion in June.

MEXICO

President proposes budget

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s budget proposal for next year projects economic growth of 1.5 to 2.5 percent. The plan, presented on Sunday by Minister of Finance Arturo Herrera, calls for a primary surplus, which excludes debt interest payments, equal to 0.7 percent of GDP. It includes 86 billion pesos (US$4.4 billion) to help Petroleos Mexicanos, the state-owned oil company, and foresees oil output of 1.951 million barrels per day, with oil exports averaging US$49 a barrel.

INDIA

Auto sales plummet

Vehicle sales suffered their biggest monthly drop on record, as the slump in the country’s auto sector shows no sign of letting up. Deliveries slid 41 percent last month from a year earlier to 115,957 units, while sales of passenger vehicles including SUVs fell 32 percent, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers yesterday. Truck and bus sales dropped 39 percent, and two-wheeler sales — a key indicator of demand in rural India — fell 22 percent to 1.5 million units.

AVIATION

Geely buys Volocopter stake

German “flying taxi” developer Volocopter yesterday said it had raised 50 million euros from investors including automaker Geely Holding Group (吉利控股集團), risking a revived debate about Chinese investments in EU firms. “The new funds will be used towards bringing the VoloCity aircraft to commercial launch within the next three years,” Volocopter said in a statement. The Financial Times reported that Geely’s stake in Volocopter would amount to about 10 percent of the firm.