Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 11th 2015 Contents A19
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
PARIS---A slowdown in international trade could
be a harbinger of a new recession for the world s
leading economies, a leading global policy organ-
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development says trade figures are worrisome because
the stagnating or declining rates of trade seen this
year "have, in the past, been associated with global
In its world economic outlook, the Paris-based
group projected global trade growth at 2 per cent
this year, improving to 3.6 per cent next year.
In only five years of the past 50 has global trade
grown at 2 per cent or less, and each time has coin-
cided with a world economic downturn, said Angel
Gurria, the OECD s secretary-general.
"Trade should be growing at about double the
speed of growth of the world economy because trade
is always a locomotive," Gurria said.
Instead, the OECD predicted the world economy
would grow 2.9 per cent this year and 3.3 per cent
The group says that in contrast to two years ago,
when sluggish trade was blamed on advanced
economies, the fault now centres on emerging markets
such as China.
As China transitions from massive infrastructure
investment and manufacturing toward consumption
and services, commodity prices have fallen, hurting
exporters such as Australia, Brazil, Canada and Rus-
sia.New figures released in China highlighted the
extent of the downturn: the country s imports fell
by 18.8 per cent in October from a year earlier, while
exports shrank 6.9 per cent.
Ahead of next week s G-20 meeting of leaders of
the world s major economies, Gurria called on gov-
ernments to roll back protectionism, strengthen smart
public investment, and carry out structural reforms
including improvements to education, taxes and
labour markets. (AP)
NEW YORK---A leading Swiss watchmaker and
two technology titans have combined forces to
produce a computerised wristwatch billed as the
"world s smartest luxury watch."
Tag Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver said his com-
pany has been building mechanical watches for 155
years but knew little about building an Internet-
connected device that younger buyers would want.
So it partnered with Intel and Google in what he
calls the "marriage of Watch Valley and Silicon
Various manufacturers have made watches using
Google s Android Wear system but they typically
look more like mini computers on the wrist rather
than a traditional watch. Luxury comes with a
price: Tag Heuer Connected has started selling in
the US for US$1,500. By contrast, the cheapest
Android Wear watch costs US$129.
Sales in Japan begin next week and in other coun-
tries in Europe and Asia by the end of November.
Apple Watch has a luxury edition, with a case
made of gold, for US$10,000 to US$17,000. The
regular Apple Watch starts at US$349.
The Tag Heuer Connected adopted the company s
Carrera Calibre mechanical design and uses premium
materials, including titanium lugs and a scratch-
resistant sapphire crystal screen. Straps come in a
choice of seven colours. (AP)
slowdown points to
world recession risk
forced Portugal s centre-right government
to resign yesterday by rejecting its policy
proposals at the start of what was supposed
to be a second consecutive term in office---
and four more years of cutbacks and eco-
The government s dramatic collapse came
less than two weeks after it was sworn in
and raised questions about debt-heavy Por-
tugal s commitment to the fiscal discipline
demanded of countries sharing the euro
The moderate Socialist Party forged an
unprecedented alliance with the Communist
Party and the radical Left Bloc to get a 122-
seat majority in the 230-seat Parliament,
which it used to vote down the proposals.
The defeat brought the government s auto-
The government s fall was also a political
setback for the 19-nation eurozone s aus-
The policy of cutbacks was demanded
by Germany and the others as a remedy for
the bloc s recent financial crisis.
Eurozone leaders had pointed to Portugal,
and Ireland, as examples of how austerity
paid off as their economies improved.
Now, the progress Portugal made is in
doubt, and some fear the country could go
down the same road as Greece, which has
needed three bailouts since 2010.
The triumph of the leftist alliance will
likely give heart to anti-austerity forces in
much bigger neighbour Spain, where a gen-
eral election is scheduled for December 20.
After four years in power the government
lost its parliamentary majority in an October
4 general election, which saw a public back-
lash against austerity measures adopted fol-
lowing a 78 billion-euro ($84 billion) bailout
Socialist leader Antonio Costa is expected
to become prime minister in coming weeks,
supported by the Communists and Left
Costa criticised the government for being
"submissive" in its dealings with the rest
of Europe and making more cutbacks than
those demanded by the bailout creditors.
"The Portuguese want change," he said.
Outside Parliament, demonstrators at an
anti-austerity protest by labour groups
shouted "Victory!" as the news of the vote
The leftist alliance intends to reverse cuts
in pay, pensions and public services, as well
as tax increases that have brought wide-
spread hardship, street protests and strikes
in recent years.
Some 400,000 Portuguese left to seek
Mario Centeno, the Socialist Party s lead-
ing economic expert, sought to soothe euro-
zone and market fears about the next gov-
ernment s plans, saying it would "abide by
its European responsibilities and honor all
Centeno, who has a PhD in Economics
from Harvard University and is a special
adviser at the Bank of Portugal, is widely
expected to be the country s next finance
The current political upheaval has its
roots in years of low growth and borrow-
and-spend policies which weakened Portugal
and compelled it to ask for the 2011 bailout
amid the eurozone s debt crisis.
Portugal s budget deficit in 2010 was more
than 10 per cent but the European Union
estimates it will be around three per cent
by the end of this year. Unemployment,
which surged to a record 17 per cent after
the bailout, has fallen to 12 per cent.
"Portugal today is incomparably better
than it was four years ago," outgoing Finance
Minister Maria Luis Albuquerque told Par-
liament during the debate.
Among the measures planned by the left-
ist alliance are giving back government
workers cut pay; unblocking pension
increases; spending more on the national
health service; providing free nursery schools
for all three-year-olds and free school books
for all; reducing sales tax at restaurants from
23 per cent to 13 per cent; and restoring
four public holidays that were scrapped to
improve productivity. (AP)
Lawmakers fight against austerity moves
Portuguese Socialist Party leader Antonio Costa shakes hands with Prime Minister Pedro
Passos Coelho, centre, following the voting that rejected the government's four-year policy
programme in the Parliament yesterday. Anti-austerity lawmakers, led by the Socialists,
forced Portugal's new centre-right government to resign by rejecting its policy proposals.
NEW YORK---Federal authorities in New
York City say three people have been
charged in the largest theft of consumer
data from a US financial institution in
Authorities say the probe resulted from
a huge cyberattack against JPMorgan
Chase, the nation s biggest bank by assets.
They say there were also attacks against
several other financial institutions, financial
services corporations and financial news
Federal prosecutors say the cyberthieves
stole the personal information of more
than 100 million customers of the com-
An indictment unsealed yesterday in
Manhattan federal court says the computer
hacking crimes were carried out from 2012
until this past summer. US Attorney Preet
Bharara says the cybertheft "showcases a
brave new world of hacking for profit."
Two Israeli men and a US citizen are
Three charged for cyberattacks on finance firms
Portugal govt falls
Eurozone leaders had
pointed to Portugal, and
Ireland, as examples of how
austerity paid off as their
economies improved. Now,
the progress Portugal made
is in doubt, and some fear
the country could go down
the same road as Greece,
which has needed three
bailouts since 2010.
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