Recovery may be near
Britain is “on the brink” of ending a deep recession after sentiment improved in the third quarter but the economy remains “frail,” the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) said yesterday. “The Q3 results support our assessment that the UK economy is on the brink of leaving recession,” BCC chief economist David Kern said in a statement. “However, the improvement is not sufficiently strong to allow us to conclude without doubt that GDP has already returned to positive growth.” The BCC report contrasts with many analysts who believe Britain has exited recession by returning to positive GDP growth between July and last month. Britain must wait until Oct. 23 for official data.
Economy to contract 7.2%
The recession-battered economy will contract by 7.2 percent this year before returning to growth late next year, the country’s top economic think tank forecast yesterday. The prediction from the Economic and Social Research Institute, contained in its latest quarterly report, was an improvement on the 7.9 percent contraction in GDP it estimated in July. The ESRI expects the economy to decline overall by another 1.1 percent next year. That was an improvement on the previous forecast of a 2.3 percent drop.
Growth may hit 1% in 2010
The economy should grow by more than 1 percent next year, rather than the 0.75 percent that is currently projected, Prime Minister Francois Fillon said yesterday. “The worst of the [economic] crisis has passed,” he told RTL radio. “We have not been in recession since the second quarter of 2009. “The forecast that I have for 2010 is said by economists to be too cautious and growth will likely be more than 1.0 percent.” The French economy, after suffering four straight quarters of negative growth, managed to expand 0.3 percent in the second quarter this year. The government has forecast growth of 0.75 percent next year after an expected contraction of 2.25 percent this year.
ITV hopes to raise funds
British commercial broadcaster ITV PLC said yesterday it is seeking to raise £120 million (US$190 million) through a convertible bond issue to bolster its finances and noted a stabilization in advertising demand. “The actions that we are announcing today continue our work over recent months to strengthen the balance sheet, improve our debt maturity profile and proactively manage our pension deficit over the long term,” said John Cresswell, the company’s chief operating officer. ITV said advertising revenue had continued to decline but at a slower rate in the second half of the year. It forecast that ad revenue would be down about 3 percent for the full year.
Google board loses director
Genentech chairman Arthur Levinson has resigned from the board of directors of Google amid a probe by US authorities into his membership on the boards of Google and Apple. In a statement on Monday, Google did not give any reason for Levinson’s departure, but it comes just two months after Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from the board of Apple. US law prohibits a person from serving on the boards of two companies that are direct rivals, and the Federal Trade Commission opened an investigation in May into the overlapping Google and Apple board memberships.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.