Morning business round-up: Unemployment biggest fear


What made the business news in Asia and Europe this morning? Here's our daily business round-up:

Unemployment is the world's fastest-rising worry, a BBC World Service survey covering 11,000 people in 23 countries suggests.

The annual poll, called The World Speaks, gave people a list of concerns and asked which they had discussed with friends or family in the past month.

Corruption and poverty still ranked the highest, but unemployment was mentioned by 18% - six times the rate citing it in the first survey in 2009.

In the UK, the economy is to contract by more than previously thought, according to a leading forecaster.

Economists at Standard Chartered bank said the economy would contract by 1.3% in 2012, having previously predicted growth of 0.6% for next year.

The eurozone economy will perform even more badly, the bank forecast, contracting by 1.5%.

And more glum news for European economies.

The credit ratings agency reiterated that it will review the ratings of all EU countries in the first three months of 2012.

Another agency, Standard & Poor's, is considering downgrading the debt of 15 of the 17 eurozone countries.

Outside the eurozone, more than 10,000 Latvians have withdrawn deposits from Swedish-owned Swedbank after rumours the firm was in financial difficulty.

The run on the bank started on Sunday, because of rumours that the bank was facing liquidity and legal problems in Estonia and Sweden.

The bank's chief executive, Maris Macinskis, has called the rumours "absurd".

Media caption,
Biz Heads

In Asian business news, India's industrial output slowed more than expected in October, dropping for the first time in more than two years.

Output from factories and mines tumbled by 5.1% compared with October 2010. A fall of about 0.5% had been expected.

It is another sign of a sharp slowdown in the Indian economy, after almost two years of rising interest rates.

The Ministry of Strategy and Finance says Asia's fourth-largest economy is likely to grow by 3.8% in 2011 and 3.7% in 2012.

Previously, it had forecast expansion of 4.5% for both years.

China's President Hu Jintao has promised to increase imports, in an effort to boost global trade.

Speaking on the 10th anniversary of China's entry into the World Trade Organization, Mr Hu said "imports may exceed $8 trillion (£5.1tn) over the next five years".

Last year, China bought only $1.39tn worth of products from overseas.

Global trade has slowed this year as business with Europe, China's largest business partner, moderated.

The latest edition of the Business Daily programme asks whether inflation is the only way out for the eurozone and Rob Young has been to Libya to look at the challenge of youth unemployment.

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