Morning business round-up: ECB head says eurozone must change


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

The eurozone again dominates the news on Thursday after the head of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, said that eurozone leaders must decide what they want the bloc to look like in the future because the current set-up is "unsustainable".

He said that the ECB could not on creating growth or structural reforms.

EU economics commissioner Olli Rehn said more austerity was needed if the eurozone was to avoid disintegration.

Meanwhile, new figures showed eurozone inflation slowed more than expected this month.

Inflation in the 17 countries that use the euro eased to 2.4% in May from 2.6% in April.

The eurozone is at the forefront of minds in the Republic of Ireland, where people are voting on whether to ratify the EU's Fiscal Pact.

That is the agreement that sets strict limits for countries' budget deficits.

Rejecting it would bar Ireland from emergency EU funding when its current bailout package expires in 2013.

Ireland is the only one of 25 pro-pact EU nations putting it to a national vote. But only 12 of the 17 eurozone states need to ratify it, so an Irish "No" vote would be unlikely to halt it.

Data released in India showed the Indian economy grew at the slowest rate since 2003 in the first three months of 2012.

The slowdown was due to a widening trade gap and poor investment.

India's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.3% in the quarter compared with a year earlier, data showed, down from 6.1% in the previous quarter.

India is the third-largest economy in Asia, but has been struggling with inflation and currency weakness.

Media caption,
Biz Heads

Japan's factory output was weaker than expected in April because of slower demand for electronics goods, especially in China.

Output was 0.2% higher in April from March, the Trade and Industry Ministry said. Analysts had forecast a figure of 0.5%.

Sport makes the business pages with news that wages in the English Premier League are at new highs.

The proportion of income that Premier League clubs spend on players' pay hit a new high in the 2010-11 season, says a Deloitte report into football finance.

Clubs in England's top football league paid some 70% of their income on salaries for the first time.

Manchester United, who won the league that year, spent 46% of revenue on pay, but Manchester City spent 114%.

The Deloitte report says that control of wages "continues to be football's greatest commercial challenge".

General Motors (GM) has signed a deal that will see the carmaker's Chevrolet brand become the football club's official car sponsor.

The deal is to run for five years, but no financial details have been released.

The latest Business Daily podcast journeys back to the 1990s to one of the leading architects of the euro - a European Commissioner who called it then a breastplate against financial instability. Is he beating his breast now?

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