Business Digest, February 1, 2013

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 February, 2013, 5:22am


US consumer spending rises as incomes grow

Consumer spending in the United States rose last month as incomes grew by the most in eight years, a sign the biggest part of the economy was contributing to the expansion as the year drew to a close. Household purchases, which account for about 70 per cent of the economy, rose 0.2 per cent after a 0.4 per cent gain in November, a Commerce Department report showed. Incomes rose 2.6 per cent, pushing the savings rate up to a more than three-year high. Bloomberg


New housing starts fall short of official target

Construction started on 13,142 flats last year, one-third fewer than the government's target of 20,000 flats a year, research by Ricacorp Properties shows. According to the Buildings Department, only four private housing projects began construction last month. It involved a total of 145 flats, half the 289 flats in November, and the least in 14 months. Yvonne Liu


Taiwan forecasts 3.5pc expansion this year

Taiwan raised its growth forecast for the economy to 3.53 per cent from a previous 3.15 per cent for this year yesterday, after it expanded faster than expected in the fourth quarter. The economy posted the highest growth in five quarters on improved demand for the island's electronics exports and stronger consumption. Reuters


Daimler eyeing stake in partner BAIC Group

German carmaker Daimler is planning to buy a 10-20 per cent stake in the passenger car unit of its Chinese partner BAIC Group and could sign the deal today, a state-backed newspaper said. The National Business Daily said the deal for a portion of BAIC Motor will enhance Daimler's presence in China, the world's largest vehicle market. AFP