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Australia: Budget deficit may last a decade


Australia's budget deficit may last for a decade if urgent "remedial action" is not taken to improve the country's finances, its government has warned.


JPMorgan warns 465,000 card users on data loss after cyber attack


JPMorgan Chase & Co is warning some 465,000 holders of prepaid cash cards issued by the bank that their personal information may have been accessed by hackers who attacked its network in July.


British Airways slashes fares


British Airways has slashed its fares on some very important routes to Ghanaian travellers as part of its Christmas season package.


UK inflation falls to 2.2% in October


The UK's inflation rate, as measured by the consumer prices index (CPI), fell to 2.2% in October from 2.7% the month before.


Growth outlook lifts shares as Fed taper talk helps dollar


Signs of a solid U.S. recovery boosted world equities on Monday although concern that this may encourage the Federal Reserve to reduce its economic stimulus put pressure on emerging markets.


ECB cuts interest rates to record low

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The European Central Bank (ECB) has cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 0.25%, down from 0.5%.


US economy sees growth pick up


Chrysler production line in US US economic growth was lifted by rising exports


Eurozone data shows fragile economic growth

Further evidence of the eurozone's fragile economic recovery came on Wednesday in two sets of data.

Eurostat, the EU's statistics agency, said retail sales in the 17-nation bloc fell 0.6% in September from August.

Meanwhile, Markit's composite purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 51.9 points in October from 52.2 in September.

The reading was, however, still above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.

The sets of data came a day before the European Central Bank (ECB) is due to announce its latest decision on interest rates.

September is the final month of the third quarter, so Eurostat's retail data could impact on official quarterly GDP figures.

The eurozone emerged from an 18-month recession in the second quarter with growth of 0.3%, but other recent data has also pointed to a slowdown in the pace of growth.

Howard Archer, chief economist at Global Insight, said: "September's relapse in retail sales fuels suspicion that consumers across the eurozone will likely remain pretty cautious in their spending in the near term.

"Significantly, retail sales fell back sharply in Portugal - by 6.2% month-on-month - and Spain - by 2.5% month-on-month - in September". And he added: "German consumers have been generally reluctant overall to significantly step up their spending on a sustained basis in an uncertain environment."


Markit's PMI reading of 51.9 for October is an upward revision of an initial 'flash' estimate of 51.5 points published last month. But it was still down from September's 27-month high.

Markit's chief economist, Chris Williamson, said the "loss of momentum raises concerns that the upturn is faltering".

He said that data, coming a day after the European Commission downgraded its 2014 eurozone growth forecast to 1.1% from 1.2%, would make for sober reading at the ECB.

The survey, based on some 5,000 firms in the single currency area, "piles pressure" on the ECB "to reinvigorate the recovery," especially with "concerns about deflation taking hold," he said.


U.S. planned layoffs rise in October: Challenger

The number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms rose 13.5 percent in October on cuts in the pharmaceutical and financial sectors, a report on Wednesday showed.

Employers announced 45,730 layoffs last month, up from 40,289 in September, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

But for the first time in five months, the October figure was lower than the year-ago tally, which came in at 47,724. For 2013 so far, employers have announced 433,114 cuts, close to the 433,725 seen in the first ten months of last year.

The pharmaceutical sector saw the most layoffs, with plans to cut 10,585 employees. Those cuts came mostly from pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N). Last quarter the company reported lower sales of its Januvia diabetes treatment - its biggest product.

The financial sector saw the second-biggest cuts, with 8,717 layoffs announced. The sector has seen the deepest downsizing so far this year, with 57,591 cuts announced since January.

"The banking sector is cutting workforce levels as a direct result of an improving economy. Many banks, including Bank of America, which announced 4,200 job cuts in October, are slashing positions in their mortgage department as the number of troubled mortgages and foreclosures dwindles," said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in a statement.

"Furthermore, improvements in the economy are also pushing interest rates back up, which is curbing demand for refinancing."

The figures come two days ahead of the key U.S. non-farm payrolls report, which is forecast to show the economy added 125,000 jobs in October with the unemployment rate edging to 7.3 percent from its current 7.2 percent.


China meeting likely to chart economic agenda

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All eyes are on China as the country prepares for a highly anticipated meeting of the ruling Communist Party.


Wine shortage versus beer

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People talk about all kinds of things on social media: Their day-to-day lives, articles generating a lot of buzz and the things they ate for breakfast.


US added 148,000 jobs in September


The US economy added 148,000 jobs in September, official figures show, lower than analysts had predicted.


World markets cheer debt ceiling deal


Asian markets advanced Thursday as U.S. lawmakers approved legislation that will end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.


IMF chief warns a US default could spark recession


Angry protests took place outside the White House on Sunday.Angry protests took place outside the White House on Sunday.The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, has warned that a US default could tip the world into recession.


Europe, China agree currency deal


Europe and China have agreed a currency swap deal to boost trade and investment between the regions.


Janet Yellen to become US Fed chief


US President Barack Obama will nominate Federal Reserve Vice-Chair Janet Yellen to be the next head of the US central bank on Wednesday, according to a White House official.


US releases $100 banknote with new security features


The US Federal Reserve has issued a new hi-tech $100 banknote comprising several new security features.


China tells US to avoid debt crisis for sake of global economy


A senior Chinese official has warned that the "clock is ticking" to avoid a US default that could hurt China's interests and the global economy.


Asian shares firm, but U.S. budget impasse limits gains

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Most Asian stock markets posted modest gains up on Friday after U.S. jobless claims data pointed to an improving labor market, but the lack of progress in budget and debt negotiations in Washington kept investors on edge.


France public debt to hit record in 2014


France has said its public debt will hit a record 95.1% of GDP in 2014, above previous estimates, and up from 93.4% in 2013.


U.S. jobless claims rise, still distorted by processing backlog


The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose last week, but it was difficult to get a clear read on the labor market's health because two states appeared to be working through a backlog of unprocessed claims.