1 Eurozone to grow at 1.2% this year (Straits Times) The 18-nation euro zone economy will grow 1.2 per cent this year, as previously estimated, the European Commission has said, but it cut its 2015 forecast to 1.7 per cent from 1.8 per cent.
The full 28-member European Union economy will expand 1.6 per cent in 2014, up from the previous estimate of 1.5 per cent, and grow 2.0 per cent in 2015, unchanged from the earlier forecast, the Commission said in its Spring economic forecasts.
2 Indonesia grows slowest since 2009 (BBC) Indonesia has posted its slowest pace of economic growth since 2009, which may put pressure on the government ahead of July’s presidential elections. Southeast Asia’s biggest economy expanded by 5.2% in first three months of the year, which was below the median forecast for 5.6% growth. Indonesia’s economy has also been impacted by slowing foreign investment.
Thousands of Indonesian workers have been calling for higher wages and better social benefits to match rising living costs. The country is also struggling to contain a widening gap between the rich and the poor, a problem the UN has warned could trigger social unrest. To boost growth, the government has recently eased foreign investment restrictions on industries such as pharmaceuticals and power generation. Indonesia’s foreign investment growth in the first quarter slowed to its lowest level in nearly five years following a government ban in January on raw mineral ore exports.
Indonesia’s rupiah lost almost 20% of its value against the US dollar during that slump in confidence. Investors had pulled their money out of the country in response to the end of a US stimulus program known as “quantitative easing”.
3 Emirates eyes 60m passengers (Abdul Basit in Khaleej Times) Emirates, world’s fastest growing airline, has recorded more than 9 per cent year-on-year growth in passenger numbers for financial year 2013-14 and targets 40 new destinations in near future, according to its top official. The Dubai-based carrier carried 43 million passengers during the financial year closed on March 30, 2014, compared to 39.4 million passengers in the previous financial year.
“We are targeting 60 million passengers for the current financial year (2014-15) and 70 million by 2020,” Emirates divisional senior vice-president for Commercial Operations Shaikh Majid Al Mualla said. Without giving any time frame, Al Mualla said: “We have over 40 [new] destinations on our wish list. Most probably we will cross 12 new destination mark this year.” With Taipei, Kiev and Boston launched so far in 2014, Emirates is now serving 142 destinations in 80 countries.
Al Mualla mentioned that the airline will get total 27 aircraft deliveries in 2014 including super jumbo A380s. Emirates has already received four A380s so far this year. “Our fleet has reached 218 aircraft — and although we’re at A380 number 47, the magnificent flagship of the Emirates’ fleet is talked about and admired as much as ever.”