Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 17th 2014 Contents A27
Thursday, April 17, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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United States industrial production
rose at a faster-than-expected clip in
March, the latest sign the economy
was gaining momentum.
Groundbreaking for new homes also
increased, but remained well below the
post-recession peak hit in November,
signalling the drag the housing market
is placing on the economy.
Output at the nation s factories,
mines and utilities rose 0.7 per cent
last month after an upwardly revised
gain of 1.2 per cent in February, the
Federal Reserve said yesterday.
The increase in industrial production,
which beat economists expectations
for a 0.5 per cent gain, reflected in part
a 0.5 per cent rise in manufacturing
output. There were also hefty increases
in production at mines and utilities.
The report added to data such as
retail sales and employment in painting
a bullish picture of the economy at the
end of the first quarter after it was
slammed by an unusually cold and dis-
Forecasting firm Macroeconomic
Advisers estimates the brutal weather
sliced off 1.4 percentage points from
first-quarter gross domestic product
and its end will boost second-quarter
growth by 1.6 percentage points.
Growth estimates for the first three
months of this year range as low as a
0.6 per cent annual rate, which would
mark a sharp deceleration from the
fourth-quarter s 2.6 per cent rate.
While the rest of the economy is
perking up, housing continues to strug-
gle. A separate report from the Com-
merce Department showed housing
starts failed to bounce back as strongly
as expected from winter s doldrums.
Groundbreaking activity increased
2.8 per cent in March to a seasonally
adjusted annual rate of 946,000, well
below economists expectations for a
Compared to March last year, starts
were down 5.9 per cent, the biggest
decline since April 2011.
While the cold winter weighed on
homebuilding in December and January,
activity has also been hampered by
shortages of building lots and skilled
labour, as well as rising prices for mate-
Stocks on Wall Street were trading
higher as investors were heartened by
data that showed stronger-than-
expected economic growth in China.
An index tracking shares of home-
builders was up modestly. Prices for
US Treasuries fell and the dollar was
little changed against a basket of cur-
British engine marker Rolls-Royce
and German carmaker Daimler have
agreed to value the 50 per cent stake
in a jointly owned power systems
company that Daimler is selling to
Rolls-Royce at 2.43 billion euros
In March, Rolls-Royce said it would
take full ownership of three-year-old
Rolls-Royce Power Systems and would
pay Daimler using cash and debt.
Daimler said at the time that it
expected a "significant cash flow"
from the deal.
The companies said on Monday the
deal was now expected to complete
within the next five months and was
subject to the usual regulatory
"We are pleased to reach an agree-
ment with Rolls-Royce in such a short
period of time," said Wolfgang Bern-
hard, Daimler s board management
member for trucks and buses, "Irre-
spective of the ownership situation, we
will keep connections to RRPS based
on our existing supplier relationship."
shows some vigour
Rolls-Royce, Daimler price power
systems stake at US$3.36bn
SWISS BANK SUFFERS LOSS
In this May 12, 2010, file photo the logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is pictured
at an office building in Zurich, Switzerland. Credit Suisse says yesterday its net
profit fell 34 per cent in the first quarter, more than expected, as bond-market
woes hurt earnings at its investment banking business. Profit dropped to 859
million Swiss francs (US$979 million) from 1.303 billion francs in the same
quarter a year ago. AP PHOTO
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