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BOJ keeps upbeat view on regional Japan, sees limited tax hike impact

By Leika Kihara TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan maintained its upbeat view on most of the country's regional economies, adding to reassurances from its governor that the world's third-largest economy can ride out the pain from a sales tax hike without additional stimulus. Also on Thursday, a Reuters survey showed manufacturers were more confident about business conditions in April and saw a more moderate dip over the next three months, suggesting the damage from the tax hike may be less pronounced than thought.

Gov't downgrades basic view of economy for 1st time in 17 months

The government on Thursday downgraded its basic assessment of Japan's economy for the first time in 17 months in its monthly report for April, citing weakening consumption after the consumption tax hike earlier this month. The world's third-largest economy is "on a moderate recovery trend," but "some weak movements are seen lately" after the end of last-minute buying prior to the April 1 consumption tax hike, the Cabinet Office said in its latest monthly economic report, downgrading the view on private consumption for the first time in seven months.

Hollande readies tax breaks after French vote losses: government source

PARIS (Reuters) - The French government is preparing tax breaks for households after a final round of local elections on Sunday in which President Francois Hollande's Socialist party has suffered losses, a government source said. Voters already punished Socialist candidates in the first round of town hall votes last Sunday. Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front made gains, winning a former left-wing bastion and positioning itself for more victories in the run-offs.

France's Auchan 2013 profits up despite sluggish demand at home

French retailer on Monday posted growing profits and revenues for 2013, as international sales offset sluggish demand in France. The privately-held group last year recorded a 17 percent jump in net profits to 767 million euros ($1.1 billion), boosted by capital gains arising from the sale of assets in France, Luxembourg and Italy. Sales were meanwhile up 3.4 percent to 48.1 billion euros, said the group, which operates both hypermarkets and supermarkets.

Doctors slam portrayal as 'tax cheats' in Philippine govt ad

Furious Philippine doctors Wednesday demanded the government withdraw newspaper advertisements which they claimed portrayed them as tax cheats, days after Manila launched its latest campaign against tax-dodging in the private sector. The government ads, which ran in newspapers on Sunday, showed a female teacher lecturing in front of her class with a woman in a medical suit holding a doctor's clipboard sitting on her shoulders.

Doctors slam portrayal as 'tax cheats' in Philippine govt ad

Furious Philippine doctors Wednesday demanded the government withdraw newspaper advertisements which they claimed portrayed them as tax cheats, days after Manila launched its latest campaign against tax-dodging in the private sector. The government ads, which ran in newspapers on Sunday, showed a female teacher lecturing in front of her class with a woman in a medical suit holding a doctor's clipboard sitting on her shoulders.

S. Korea's tax agency aims to collect 14.7 tln won more this year

SEJONG, Feb. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's tax agency said Thursday that it aims to collect 14.7 trillion won (US$13.8 billion) more in taxes this year than last year amid the government's ongoing efforts to expand its revenue base. In a plan submitted to lawmakers, the National Tax Service (NTS) set its goal at a total of 204.9 trillion won worth of national taxes including income, corporate and value-added taxes this year. This is 7.7 percent, or 14.7 trillion won, more than the 190.2 trillion won the NTS brought in last year, the agency said.

Spain slashes sales tax on art

Spain's government Friday slashed a tax on sales of works of art as a "first step" to help the cultural industry, which has been howling about the impact of a 21-percent sales tax. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government decided at a ministerial meeting to cut the sales tax for works of art by more than half, to 10 percent.

Spain retail sales jump 1.9 percent in November

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain retail sales rose 1.9 percent year-on-year on a calendar-adjusted basis in November, National Statistics Institute (INE) reported on Monday, after registering a revised fall of 0.3 percent in October. Retail sales had been falling every month for three years until September, when they rose due to residual effects from the impact of a rise in value-added tax (VAT) in September 2012.

China's service sector may exceed manufacturing for first time

BEIJING, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Annual output of China's service sector may exceed that of the secondary sector for the first time ever in 2013, an expert said Monday. In the first nine months of the year, value-added output of the service sector reached 17.6 trillion yuan (1.17 trillion U.S. dollars), slightly more than 17.51 trillion yuan for manufacturing, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
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