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China's economy slows sharply in first quarter

China's GDP grew at its weakest pace for 18 months in the March quarter, data showed Wednesday, testing Beijing's resolve as its campaign to transform the world's number-two economy comes at the cost of a sharp slowdown. Analysts said that while China's leaders will not likely react to the news with any significant measures to boost the economy for now, they suggested that further weakening could tip their hand.

China's economic growth forecast at five-year low in first quarter

By Adam Rose BEIJING (Reuters) - China is expected to report its slowest growth in five years on Wednesday, a Reuters poll shows, with signs of waning strength in the first quarter of 2014 already prompting government action to steady the world's second-largest economy. Authorities have ruled out major stimulus to fight short-term dips in growth, and some analysts think the economy will continue to lose momentum into the middle of the year.

Fed's Rosengren calls for more explicit rates guidance

BANGOR, Maine (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve should "explicitly" state that it will keep interest rates near zero until the U.S. economy is within one year of reaching the central bank's employment and inflation goals, a top Fed policymaker said on Tuesday. Floating yet another suggestion in the U.S. central bank's sometimes confusing attempts to telegraph its policies, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said the verbal guidance should, as time passes, be linked to how quickly the economy reaches the dual goals on employment and inflation.

Upturn in German economy, but Ukraine clouds outlook

The German economy, Europe's biggest, is currently in the middle of a "solid upturn", the government said Tuesday, even if concerns about the fallout from Ukraine are souring investor confidence. German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that economic growth "is on a broad and stable footing," as he predicted that gross domestic product (GDP) growth would accelerate to 1.8 percent this year and 2.0 percent next year compared with a meagre 0.4 percent in 2013. "The German economy is in a solid upturn," Gabriel insisted.

Bullish U.S. retail sales brighten growth outlook

By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales recorded their largest gain in 1-1/2 years in March in a decisive sign the economy is bouncing back from its weather-induced slumber. Monday's upbeat report was the latest to indicate growth was set to accelerate in the second quarter after an unusually cold and snowy winter hobbled activity early in the year.

US businesses boosted stockpiles by 0.4 per cent in February as sales rose sharply

WASHINGTON - U.S. businesses boosted their stockpiles in February as sales rebounded by the largest amount in nine months. Stockpiles increased 0.4 per cent in February following a similar 0.4 per cent increase in January, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Sales rose 0.8 per cent in February, bouncing back after a 1.1 per cent sales decline in January that was blamed on the harsh weather that month. It was the biggest one-month sales gain since last May.

US businesses boosted stockpiles by 0.4 per cent in February as sales rose sharply

WASHINGTON - U.S. businesses boosted their stockpiles in February as sales rebounded by the largest amount in nine months. Stockpiles increased 0.4 per cent in February following a similar 0.4 per cent increase in January, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Sales rose 0.8 per cent in February, bouncing back after a 1.1 per cent sales decline in January that was blamed on the harsh weather that month. It was the biggest one-month sales gain since last May.

Thais brace for recession as crisis nears crunch time

By Pairat Temphairojana and Khettiya Jittapong BANGKOK (Reuters) - The golden Buddha statues, amulets and lucky charms that festoon Sakuntala Mettawong's tiny Bangkok cellphone shop are not helping business. It's peak time, but customers are scarce at the usually bustling mobile phone bazaar in the MBK Center, which sits on the fringe of a mile-long cluster of gleaming malls that symbolize the rapid growth of Thailand's consumer class.

Singapore says economy slowed sharply in January-March

Singapore's economic growth slowed sharply in the first three months of the year, data showed Monday, but the central bank stood pat on monetary policy saying it would be lifted by a pick-up in global growth. Preliminary estimates showed the city-state's trade-reliant economy expanded a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent quarter on quarter, the trade ministry said. That compared with 6.1 percent expansion in October-December. The ministry said growth was hit by a 1.8 percent quarter-on-quarter contraction in the services industry.

Fed's Kocherlakota touts tax cuts for business spending

(Reuters) - Cutting taxes on business investment is an effective form of economic stimulus that could go a long way toward mending the damage from the financial crisis and Great Recession, a top Federal Reserve official said on Saturday. In prepared remarks that did not touch on monetary policy, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota told a National Bureau of Economic Research conference that even apparently permanent damage to the economy can be reversed if policymakers are willing to take appropriate steps.
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