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California Democrats urge more education spending

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Democrats who control California's Assembly said on Wednesday their priorities for the next state budget include more spending on early childhood and higher education and leaving $2 billion in reserve at the end of the next fiscal year.

Japan's Nov. consumer confidence up amid stock recovery

Consumer confidence in Japan improved in November as stock prices recovered after falling sharply the previous month due to jitters ignited by the U.S. debt ceiling impasse, the government said Tuesday. The seasonally adjusted index of sentiment among households made up of two or more people rose 1.3 points from October to 42.5, the Cabinet Office said. Readings below 50 indicate pessimists outnumber optimists. The government left its basic assessment of the index intact, saying consumer confidence is "on an improving trend."

Flood relief boosts federal deficit to $3.8 billion in September

OTTAWA - The federal deficit ballooned to an outsized $3.8-billion September —one of the biggest monthly shortfalls in years — but a large chunk of that was due to providing assistance for June's flooding disaster in Alberta, the government said Friday. Ottawa's monthly accounting of its fiscal position also included another one-time transaction — a gain of about $700 million from the sale of General Motors shares — that distorted September's bottom line.

8.8 mln people over-indebted in Britain: report

LONDON, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- A new research report issued on Wednesday found that some 8.8 million people in Britain are in over-indebted. The Money Advice Service (MAS), which conducted the research, said more than 4 million of the people in serious debt problems have been struggling to pay their bills for more than a year, and 48 percent of them feel that being in debt is preventing them from buying the basics.

Foreign holdings of US Treasury debt rise 1 per cent to $5.65 trillion in September

WASHINGTON - Foreign buyers of U.S. Treasury securities increased their holdings in September, suggesting many shrugged off budget battles in Washington to keep investing in U.S. debt. Ttotal foreign holdings rose 1 per cent September to $5.65 trillion, the Treasury Department reported Monday. That follows a 0.03 per cent gain in August. Holdings had fallen from April through July, possibly reflecting concerns about rising interest rates. In September, holding were 1.2 per cent below the record high of $5.72 trillion reached in March.

U.S. trade deficit climbs 8 pct

Washington, Nov 14 (EFE).- The U.S. trade deficit grew by 8 percent in September to $41.78 billion, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. During that month, imports grew by 1.2 percent to $230.68 billion and exports fell by 0.2 percent to $188.9 billion. The majority of analysts had calculated that the trade deficit would be about $39.7 billion in September. The government figures show that in September the United States imported more cellphones and that imports of automotive vehicles made abroad reached a record level.

Highlights of economic update released Tuesday by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty

OTTAWA - Some of the specific projections Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivered Tuesday in the fall economic update: — Budget surplus of $3.7 billion in 2015-16 — $3-billion more than projected in March — and $5 billion in 2016-17. — Federal deficit to fall to $17.9 billion for 2013-14, compared with $18.9 billion the previous year and $55.6 billion in 2009-10. — Government expects widespread spring flooding in Alberta to cost $2.8 billion in 2013-14, on top of $60 million in assistance for rail disaster in Lac-Megantic, Que.

US services growth rises in October, despite shutdown

Growth in the huge US services sector unexpectedly picked up steam in October, offering fresh evidence the economy weathered the disruptive 16-day government shutdown, a report released Tuesday showed. The Institute for Supply Management said its purchasing managers index for the non-manufacturing sector rose to 55.4 percent in October, a full point higher than the September reading of 54.4 percent. Analysts on average had pegged the PMI to fall to 54.0 percent.

US 2013 deficit falls to $680 bn, half of 2009 peak

The US budget deficit plunged 37.5 percent in fiscal 2013 to less than half its level four years ago on sharp spending cuts and surging revenues, the Treasury said Wednesday. The shortfall for the year ended September 30 was $680 billion, down from $1.1 trillion last year and from more than $1.4 trillion in 2009, when the government spent heavily to battle recession. Receipts rose 13.3 percent, to $2.77 trillion, helped more by personal income taxes while the corporate tax take lagged forecasts, the Treasury said.

U.S. arms makers post higher profit, decry budget cloudiness

By Andrea Shalal-Esa WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Major U.S. weapons makers posted higher third-quarter profit on Wednesday despite budget cuts, their margins remained largely solid or rose in places, and revenue fell less than expected.
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