QUICK READS

Fed’s Bullard Boosts Dollar The dollar shot higher against the yen, boosted by comments from St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard that normalization in U.S. monetary policy will be the key theme this year.

Consumer Spending Keeps Rising U.S. consumer spending rose 0.7% in February, the largest increase since October and the eighth straight month of gains, easing some worries about the economic recovery. After adjusting for inflation, consumption rose 0.3%. Personal income rose by 0.3% last month, though higher prices sapped the gains. The saving rate, meanwhile, slid to 5.8%.

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OECD annual inflation accelerates to 2.4% in February 2011 Consumer prices in the OECD area rose by 2.4% in the year to February 2011, compared with 2.2% in January – the highest rate since October 2008. This increase was again driven by food and energy inflation which accelerated to 3.0% and 10.1% respectively in February, compared with 2.6% and 8.4% in January.

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Japan’s Electricity Shortage to Last Months The term “rolling blackouts” has become shorthand for noting one way Japan is trying to cope with its national calamity. Shorthand should not be confused with short term.

Vietnam Economic Growth Slows to 5.4% Vietnam’s year-to-year economic growth slowed in the first quarter as agricultural output slowed. Economists say the lull is likely temporary.

Kan Says Tax Cut May Be Suspended Naoto Kan said that suspending a plan to cut Japan’s 40% tax rate for businesses is a “major option,” the latest indication that the government is leaning toward delaying the tax reduction.

A first-quarter survey of 87 manufacturing firms by Standard Chartered shows wages rising, but not the surge many feared. The survey shows 2011 wages rising by 9% to 15%. That is a little higher than 10% wage increases reported in 2010.

Shanghai sets home prices controlling target at 8% Shanghai officials announced Monday that the price increase for newly-built homes in 2011 should be smaller than the increase in the city’s annual economic growth or the local residents’ incomes, the financial website Caijing.com.cn reported Tuesday.

Listed companies’ profits increase 35% in 2010 The gross operating revenue for 1,039 A-share listed companies last year came to 9.28 trillion yuan – an increase of 35.05 percent from a year ago, China Securities Journal reported Tuesday.

Lenovo to rival Apple with LePad Lenovo plans to launch two or three new tablet computers later this year, accelerating its pace to catch up with Apple Inc’s latest iPad 2

 

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