Jobless claims hit seven-year low, inflation ticks up

(Reuters) – Factory activity in New York state expanded at its quickest pace in nearly four years in May, but the otherwise bright growth picture was dimmed by another report on Thursday showing a surprise slump in industrial output last month. “It’s still consistent with the view that the economy is going to show stronger growth in the second quarter. The underlying momentum is improving but it’s not definitive,” said Josh Feinman, chief global economist […]

Skills-jobs mismatch harming U.S. labor market: Fed’s Plosser

(Reuters) – “We are seeing a mismatch of skills in the workforce and the jobs that are being created,” Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said of the so-called STEM-trained workers who are in high demand. “Sadly, we are not doing an adequate job of preparing our workforce for these jobs,” he said in remarks prepared for delivery to a conference on reinventing older communities, hosted by his branch of the U.S. central bank. Plosser did […]

Oracle wins copyright ruling against Google over Android

(Reuters) – Oracle Corp won a legal victory against Google Inc on Friday as a U.S. appeals court decided Oracle could copyright parts of the Java programming language, which Google used to design its Android smartphone operating system. The case, decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, is being closely watched in Silicon Valley. A high-profile 2012 trial featured testimony from Oracle’s chief executive, Larry Ellison, and Google CEO Larry Page, and the legal issues […]

Apple to unveil iPhone 6 in August, earlier than expected: report

(Reuters) – Apple Inc will unveil the next incarnation of its popular iPhone series in August, one month earlier than industry watchers were generally expecting, Taiwanese media reported on Friday citing unidentified supply-chain sour ces. A 4.7-inch screen version of the iPhone 6 will reach stores in August, the Economic Daily News reported without specifying which markets would receive the phone first. A 5.5-inch or 5.6-inch model will be released in September, the newspaper said, as the iPhone 5 […]

End of oil boom threatens Norway’s welfare model

(Reuters) – Norway’s energy boom is tailing off years ahead of expectations, exposing an economy unprepared for life after oil and threatening the long-term viability of the world’s most generous welfare model. High spending within the sector has pushed up wages and other costs to unsustainable levels, not just for the oil and gas industry but for all sectors, and that is now acting as a drag on further energy investment. Norwegian firms outside oil […]

PHL receives another ratings upgrade from S&P

MANILA, May 8 (PNA) — Projecting that current government reforms in the Philippines will be pursued beyond the Aquino administration, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) on Thursday upped by another notch the Philippines’ investment grade rating to ‘BBB’ with stable outlook from ‘BBB-‘, a year after giving it an investment grade rating. In a statement, the ratings agency said it also upgraded the country’s short-term rating to ‘A-2’ from ‘A-3’, the ASEAN regional scale rating to […]

Yellen cites housing, geopolitical tensions as economic risks

(Reuters) – A slumping housing market and geopolitical tensions risk undermining the U.S. economy and bear close watching by the Federal Reserve, the central bank’s chief said on Wednesday. In testimony to Congress, Fed Chair Janet Yellen repeated her stance that the economy was still in need of lots of support given the “considerable slack” in the labor market. While she offered few new clues on the direction of interest rates, Yellen broke ground in […]

China’s half-year report card on economic reform: slow, safe and steady

  (Reuters) -The caution is still there, the difference is today China is crossing that river in many spots at once and the water is probably deeper. Economists say there is no substitute for fundamental changes if China is to succeed in its transformation from bureaucratically-run, pollution-spewing industrial powerhouse to a more balanced, market-driven economy. However, reforms such as freeing up bank interest rates or dismantling state monopolies will cause much short-term pain, and provide […]

Side deals with Moscow thwart drive to wean Europe off Russian gas By Henning Gloystein

(Reuters) – While officials in Brussels were calling for Europe to reduce its dependency on Russian natural gas and negotiate with Moscow as a bloc, Austria was quietly bypassing the European Commission to cut its own bilateral deal on building a pipeline. The deal on the South Stream pipeline, which will be built under the Black Sea to Bulgaria and on to central Europe, shows the European Union’s difficulty in creating a unified energy policy […]

Strong consumer spending, factory data buoy U.S. growth outlook

(Reuters) – U.S. consumer spending recorded its largest gain in more than 4-1/2 years in March and factory activity accelerated last month, reinforcing views the economy was regaining steam. Economic growth stalled in the first quarter after a very cold and disruptive winter, but the data so far point to a strong second-quarter rebound. “The weakness in growth we saw in the first quarter is not indicative of what is going on in the economy. […]