Nicole Manuel latest articles

International Airlines Group Braces For Possible Spanish Eurozone Exit

International Airlines Group Braces For Possible Spanish Eurozone Exit

BUSINESS

  • IAG, holding company to Spain’s Iberia, creates crisis management plan
  • IAG saw $482 million pre-tax loss in Q1 2012 due to Iberia's $325 million operating loss
  • IATA anticipates industry net income loss of 62%

International Airlines Group (IAG) - the world’s largest airline group and holding company to Spain’s Iberia airline - is developing a contingency plan for Spain’s possible withdrawal from the Eurozone.

A crisis management group is reviewing possible impact and will seek input from external advisors.

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China's Growth Slump Affects Industries, Global Economy

China's Growth Slump Affects Industries, Global Economy

ECONOMY

  • China's growth slows to 2009 low of 7.6%
  • Factory output and retail sales down
  • China aims to reduce reliance on exports and investments

China's rapid growth rate has now slowed to a three-year low of 7.6%, according to its National Bureau of Statistics.

China’s growth has been decelerating for eight quarters, the longest steady decline since the nation’s government began reporting its gross domestic product (GDP) in 1992.

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Nuclear Update: Japan Puts First Reactor Online Since Fukushima

Nuclear Update: Japan Puts First Reactor Online Since Fukushima

WORLD

  • Japan restarts Ohi nuclear plant reactor no. 3
  • More reactors to go online to prevent blackouts
  • Energy imports hurt Japan's trade deficit

Japan has reintroduced nuclear power to its economy, with the nation's Ohi nuclear plant reactor no. 3 the first to be restarted since last year’s Fukushima disaster.

To reinforce security, an on-site command center, raised sea wall and filtered vents are being constructed at the Ohi plant. The sea wall should be ready next year, and the final major safety measures are expected to be done within three years.

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US Spending Sees March Consumer Sales Rise 3.9%

US Spending Sees March Consumer Sales Rise 3.9%

ECONOMY

  • S&P Retail Index up 0.8% in March
  • Apparel, discount, department stores see year-on-year increases in March
  • Retailers believe April sales will slow; International Council of Shopping Centers says sales could rise 3% - 4%

Earlier Easter preparations and spring temperatures stirred a spending frenzy as March sales rose for the 13th time in fifteen months. March sales rose 3.9% according to Retail Metrics, a figure higher than the 3.3% analysts were seeking.

Excluding Walgreen's decline, March's total sales reached 6.5%.

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European Production Falls, Recession Fears Brew

European Production Falls, Recession Fears Brew

ECONOMY

  • Europe's PMI falls to 48.7, further contraction will indicate recession
  • Output drops in manufacturing and service industries
  • ECB urges governments to make fiscal changes

Production in Europe's manufacturing and service industries fell in March, suggesting that the eurozone may be sliding back into a recession.

According to private firm Markit Economics, the purchasing managers index, or PMI, for both industries combined fell to a three-year low of 48.7 from 49.3 in February.

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Prices Rise, Consumer Spending Remains Low in US

Prices Rise, Consumer Spending Remains Low in US

ECONOMY

  • Prices up 0.2% last month, lower than predicted
  • Core inflation expected to rise 1.6% but remain below 2%
  • Prices likely to stabilize as employment increases

Consumer prices in the US increased by 0.2% last month, a figure slightly lower than expected.

The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is the broadest of three price gauges by the US Labor Department and includes both goods and services. The current rise in consumer prices is due to higher gas, food, rent and clothing prices.

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US Adds Jobs, Unemployment Drops to 3-Year Low

US Adds Jobs, Unemployment Drops to 3-Year Low

ECONOMY

  • Unemployment drops to 8.3%, lowest since February 2009
  • Nasdaq Composite hits 11-year high; Treasury debt prices fall as investor expectations change
  • Political scientists expect employment news to boost Obama's campaign

The jobless rate in the US has dropped to 8.3%, marking the lowest rate in three years, according to US Labor Department data.

Growing at a rate of 200,000 jobs per month, the economy is looking up. Prior to the latest unemployment data, economists had expected stagnant employment growth in January.

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US Production Spikes, Creating American Jobs

US Production Spikes, Creating American Jobs

ECONOMY

  • Factory output grew 0.9% last month
  • World Bank reduces 2012 growth forecast to 2.5% from 3.6%
  • US factories hire 23,000 workers — best job growth since July

American factory output of vehicles, computers and construction material grew last month, resulting in a 0.9% increase in output, according to data released by the Federal Reserve.

Total industrial production, including mines, utilities and factories, grew 0.4% last month. Fourth quarter industrial output was up 3.1% annually for a tenth quarter of consecutive growth.

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Europe Gets New ECB Loans to Promote Lending

Europe Gets New ECB Loans to Promote Lending

ECONOMY

  • European Central Bank lending banks a record $645 billion
  • EU needs over $1 trillion to repay debt
  • EU consumer confidence falls for the 6th-consecutive month

The European Central Bank is lending its banks a record $645 billion to retain credit flow and encourage banks to give loans to businesses and households. 

This new cash flush exceeds the $577 billion lent two-years ago, and is part of the largest European loan operation ever. The money is being lent at the current benchmark interest rate of 1%, with Barclays estimating that the project will release $252 billion into the European economy.

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US Medicaid Takes 25% of State Spending, Eligibility Improves

US Medicaid Takes 25% of State Spending, Eligibility Improves

ECONOMY

  • 14 US states spent more than 25% of overall expenditure on Medicaid
  • Medicaid spending totaled over $398 billion for 2011, 10% more than last year
  • North Carolina is overpaying for Medicaid because of issues with new billing system

Overall US state spending on Medicaid has increased this year to nearly 25%, while education funding has dropped by 20%, according to a report by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO).

The NASBO report shows that 12 states have spent more than 10% on Medicaid, while 14 US states spent over 25% and California has spent up to 40% this year. Meanwhile, in Maine, Nebraska and New Mexico, Medicaid spending dropped due to a decline in federal funding.

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