Eurozone growth revised up to 0.4%; China imports plunge 14%, exports fall 6%; Queen Elizabeth turns Britain’s longest-reigning monarch

1 Eurozone growth revised up to 0.4% (Gulf News) The 19-nation Eurozone grew by 0.4 per cent in the second quarter, official data has shown, revising upward a first estimate that triggered worry the crisis in Greece had destabilised growth in Europe. Last month, the EU’s Eurostat agency said the Eurozone grew by just 0.3 per cent in the April to June period, lower than what analysts expected.

The more upbeat data comes as concerns are growing about the global economy, hit by a slowdown in powerhouse China that has spooked financial markets. The revised figures still demonstrate that the Eurozone economy suffered a slowdown in the first half of 2015, despite a massive European Central Bank stimulus programme to boost the fragile recovery.

Eurostat said that all members of the Eurozone expanded in the second quarter, except France, the bloc’s second biggest economy, which posted zero growth. Export champion Germany, the bloc’s top economy, grew at the Eurozone average, by 0.4 per cent. Greece managed 0.9 growth in the period that was deeply marked by a political crisis dividing leftist-led Athens with its Eurozone creditors.

However the ECB said last week that the recovery in the euro area would continue at a slower pace than previously anticipated because of the turbulence from China.

2 China imports plunge 14%, exports fall 6% (BBC) China’s imports in August fell 14.3% in yuan-denominated terms from a year ago, while exports fell by 6.1%. The steep fall in the value of imports reflects lower commodity prices globally, particularly crude oil.

The numbers mean China’s monthly trade surplus expanded by close to 40% from the month earlier to 368bn yuan ($57.8bn; £37.7bn). China recently revised down its 2014 economic growth from 7.4% to 7.3%, its weakest for almost 25 years.

In US dollar denominated terms, exports for the month of August fell 5.5% from a year earlier – slightly less than expected – while imports fell by 13.8%, leaving China with a surplus of $60.24bn. A fall in both import and export figures had been expected as China’s economy slows, though analysts said the drop in imports was greater than forecast.

3 Queen Elizabeth II turns Britain’s longest-reigning monarch (San Francisco Chronicle) Queen Elizabeth II has reached a major milestone by becoming the longest-reigning monarch in Britain’s history. She passes Queen Victoria, her great-great-grandmother, who was on the throne for 63 years and 7 months.

Prime Minister David Cameron said that millions on Britons would celebrate the queen’s “historic moment.” “Over the last 63 years, Her Majesty has been a rock of stability in a world of constant change and her selfless sense of service and duty has earned admiration not only in Britain, but right across the globe,” Cameron said.

Buckingham Palace marked the event by releasing an official photograph of the queen taken by Mary McCartney, a photographer who is the daughter of former Beatle Paul McCartney. Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952 upon the death of her father King George VI. She was touring a remote part of Kenya when news of her father’s death arrived.

Her official coronation came the following year and was one of the first major public events to be televised in Britain. The 89-year-old monarch has cut back on her international travel and has lightened her work load somewhat, but she still carries out many royal duties.


About joesnewspicks

This blog captures interesting news items from around the world for those strained by information overload and yet need to stay updated on global events of significance. The news items displayed are not in order of merit. (The blog takes a weekly off — normally on Sundays — and does not appear when I am on vacation or busy.) I am a journalist for nearly three decades.
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