Economy NewsRSS

Russia troubles hinder Ford, GM efforts to recover in Europe

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attend a meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Sergei Karpukhin, Pool)GENEVA (AP) — Russia's sinking economy is putting up a major hurdle for Ford Motor Co. and General Motors as the U.S. automakers fight to return to profitability in Europe after years of losses.


03/03/2015 02:31 PM

U.S. stocks recede from record highs, dollar slips

The exterior of the New York Stock Exchange is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New YorkBy Richard Leong NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock prices fell on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 pulling back from record highs, while the dollar fell from an 11-year peak versus a basket of currencies. Investors are awaiting evidence the global economy is improving before adding to equity holdings, analysts said.


03/03/2015 01:51 PM

Ukraine hikes interest rates, triples gas prices as economy totters

Ukraine's central bank announces plans to raise its benchmark refinancing rate to 30 percent from 19.5 percentUkraine's central bank moved to shore up the country's battered currency Tuesday by hiking interest rates to 30 percent as the government pushed through draconian reforms needed to clinch another IMF bailout. The bank said the eye-popping jump in the benchmark refinancing rate, from a current 19.5 percent, was aimed at "stabilising the macro-economic situation" pending the IMF's decision on a $17.5-billion loan needed to save Ukraine from bankruptcy. Ukraine's currency and economy have tanked over the past year as government forces fight a bloody war with pro-Russian separatists in the east. London-based Capital Economics research company called the interest rate increase a "last-ditch attempt to regain control of the currency".


03/03/2015 01:45 PM

Top U.S. officials brief House Democrats on Pacific trade pact
By Krista Hughes WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senior U.S. officials on Tuesday briefed Democrats in the House of Representatives on a Pacific trade pact, as the administration pushed to overcome skepticism about trade deals among members of President Barack Obama's own party. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and National Economic Council Director Jeff Zients updated Democrats on negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and plans for further meetings with lawmakers, some of those present said. "He laid out the subjects in TPP and how we are going to become engaged in the full caucus in looking at them, where they are now, and where this administration intends to go," said Michigan Representative Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Ways and Means Committee.
03/03/2015 01:42 PM

Pennsylvania governor proposes tax system revamp in $29.9 billion budget

Tom Wolf delivers speech after being sworn in as 47th Governor of Pennsylvania during inauguration at the State Capitol in Harrisburg,By David DeKok HARRISBURG, Penn. (Reuters) - Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf proposed a $29.9 billion budget on Tuesday that includes $2.5 billion of net tax increases for fiscal 2016. Wolf's sweeping revamp of the state's tax system would raise sales and personal income taxes while lowering property and corporate taxes, he said during his address to lawmakers. "Pennsylvania will not improve until it rebuilds the middle class," Wolf said. Wolf's speech attempted to address myriad problems facing the state, from a sluggish economy to pension underfunding and a $2.3 billion budget deficit.


03/03/2015 01:24 PM

Ukraine's central bank to lift benchmark rate to 30 percent
By Natalia Zinets KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's central bank will raise its benchmark refinancing rate to 30 percent from 19.5 percent, the head of the central bank said on Tuesday, seeking to rein in rocketing inflation and stem persistent currency weakness. The hryvnia has halved in value so far in 2015 after shedding 50 percent last year. The new interest rate, which takes effect on Wednesday, is the highest for 15 years and will inflict further pain on an economy expected to shrink by 5.5 percent this year. The government sees inflation at 26 percent in 2015, though Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk has said that may be "too optimistic".
03/03/2015 01:22 PM

European stocks decline awaiting central bank stimulus

Europe's main stock markets slipped on Tuesday after recent strong gains, with traders sitting tight as the eurozone awaits fresh central bank stimulusEurope's main stock markets slipped on Tuesday after recent strong gains, with traders sitting tight as the eurozone awaits fresh central bank stimulus. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 0.74 percent to close at 6,889.13 points after reaching a record intra-day high on Monday. "Equities have surged higher in recent weeks on hopes central banks’ record low interest rates, combined with the use of unconventional policy tools such as quantitative easing, will continue to drive yield-seeking investors into the stock markets and provide stimulus for economic growth," said Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at FOREX.com trading group. The European Central Bank will unveil Thursday the details of the bond purchase programme it is embarking on later this month.


03/03/2015 12:24 PM

U.S. envoy to Yemen to work from Jeddah after embassy's closure
The U.S. ambassador to Yemen will track Yemeni events from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia following last month's closure of the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday. The choice of Jeddah reflects logistical and security concerns as well as a desire not to signal U.S. support for a partition of Yemen, the official said. Yemen only became a unified state in 1990 as the Soviet collapse undermined the communist south's economy. U.S. diplomats pulled out of the Sanaa embassy after Houthi fighters took control of the capital and put President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi under house arrest after storming his private residence and the presidency compound in January.
03/03/2015 12:16 PM

US auto sales up in February despite snowy weather

In this Dec. 2, 2014 photo, a Chrysler minivan sits under rain at a car lot in San Diego. Major automakers report vehicle sales for February on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)DETROIT (AP) — Freezing temperatures and drifts of snow took a small bite out of U.S. auto sales in February, but most automakers still reported gains thanks to the strong economy.


03/03/2015 12:08 PM

Kenya burns 15 tonnes of ivory in anti-poaching fight, to destroy its stockpile by year-end

A Kenya Wildlife Service ranger stands guard as 15 tonnes of ivory confiscated from smugglers and poachers is burnt to mark World Wildlife Day at the Nairobi National ParkBy Humphrey Malalo NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya burnt 15 tonnes of ivory on Tuesday and promised to destroy all of its stockpile this year, the latest step in its campaign against elephant poaching. Poaching has surged in the last few years across sub-Saharan Africa, where gangs kill elephants and rhinos to feed Asian demand for ivory and horns for use in folk medicines. "As part of Kenya’s continued policy to put ivory beyond economic use ... I will today burn 15 tonnes of ivory at this historic site in Nairobi National Park," President Uhuru Kenyatta said during a ceremony at the park.


03/03/2015 11:25 AM

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