Recovery may be near
Britain is “on the brink” of ending a deep recession after sentiment improved in the third quarter but the economy remains “frail,” the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) said yesterday. “The Q3 results support our assessment that the UK economy is on the brink of leaving recession,” BCC chief economist David Kern said in a statement. “However, the improvement is not sufficiently strong to allow us to conclude without doubt that GDP has already returned to positive growth.” The BCC report contrasts with many analysts who believe Britain has exited recession by returning to positive GDP growth between July and last month. Britain must wait until Oct. 23 for official data.
Economy to contract 7.2%
The recession-battered economy will contract by 7.2 percent this year before returning to growth late next year, the country’s top economic think tank forecast yesterday. The prediction from the Economic and Social Research Institute, contained in its latest quarterly report, was an improvement on the 7.9 percent contraction in GDP it estimated in July. The ESRI expects the economy to decline overall by another 1.1 percent next year. That was an improvement on the previous forecast of a 2.3 percent drop.
Growth may hit 1% in 2010
The economy should grow by more than 1 percent next year, rather than the 0.75 percent that is currently projected, Prime Minister Francois Fillon said yesterday. “The worst of the [economic] crisis has passed,” he told RTL radio. “We have not been in recession since the second quarter of 2009. “The forecast that I have for 2010 is said by economists to be too cautious and growth will likely be more than 1.0 percent.” The French economy, after suffering four straight quarters of negative growth, managed to expand 0.3 percent in the second quarter this year. The government has forecast growth of 0.75 percent next year after an expected contraction of 2.25 percent this year.
ITV hopes to raise funds
British commercial broadcaster ITV PLC said yesterday it is seeking to raise £120 million (US$190 million) through a convertible bond issue to bolster its finances and noted a stabilization in advertising demand. “The actions that we are announcing today continue our work over recent months to strengthen the balance sheet, improve our debt maturity profile and proactively manage our pension deficit over the long term,” said John Cresswell, the company’s chief operating officer. ITV said advertising revenue had continued to decline but at a slower rate in the second half of the year. It forecast that ad revenue would be down about 3 percent for the full year.
Google board loses director
Genentech chairman Arthur Levinson has resigned from the board of directors of Google amid a probe by US authorities into his membership on the boards of Google and Apple. In a statement on Monday, Google did not give any reason for Levinson’s departure, but it comes just two months after Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from the board of Apple. US law prohibits a person from serving on the boards of two companies that are direct rivals, and the Federal Trade Commission opened an investigation in May into the overlapping Google and Apple board memberships.
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
Americans awoke yesterday to charred and glass-strewn streets in dozens of cities after another night of unrest fueled by rage over the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of police, who responded to the violence with tear gas and rubber bullets. Tens of thousands marched peacefully through streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Monday last week after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing. However, many demonstrations sank into chaos as night fell: Vehicles and businesses were torched. The words “I can’t breathe” were
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
EXTRA INVITATIONS: Russia, Australia, South Korea and India would be asked to a later summit dedicated to countering China, Donald Trump said US President Donald Trump has been forced to cancel a planned face-to-face summit of G7 leaders this month and now wants to host an expanded meeting in September dedicated to countering China to which Russian President Vladimir Putin would be invited. Trump on Saturday announced that he had canceled the June meeting, which he had billed as a symbol of the US “transitioning back to greatness,” after German Chancellor Angela Merkel told him in a telephone call that she saw the summit in Washington as a health risk. Hundreds of security staff, journalists and officials also attend the two-day summits. Reports suggest