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Eurozone retail sales in unexpectedly big slide PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by PAN PYLAS, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 07:37

LONDON (AP) — Disappointing retail sales figures are likely to reinforce concerns at the European Central Bank that the eurozone economic recovery is failing to gain momentum at a time when inflation is stubbornly low.

A day ahead of the ECB's monthly policy meeting, official figures showed that the retail sales across the 18-country eurozone suffered their biggest drop in over two and a half years in the crucial shopping month of December.

Eurostat, the EU's statistics agency, said Wednesday that retail sales across the bloc fell by 1.6 percent in December, more than offsetting the previous month's 0.9 percent rise.

That was way worse than the 0.5 percent fall anticipated in the markets and represented the biggest monthly decline since May 2011. The drop, which means retail sales in the eurozone ended the year 0.9 percent lower than where they started, was broad-based, with the region's top-two economies faring particularly badly. Germany saw a sharp 2.5 percent monthly decline while France posted a 1 percent drop.

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Silicon Valley economy back at dot-com era levels PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARTHA MENDOZA, AP National Writer   
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 15:06

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A new report shows Silicon Valley is booming with higher jobs and income. But soaring housing costs are driving a larger wedge between the region's rich and poor.

The region added nearly 47,000 jobs in 2013, up 3 percent over the previous year. Forty-five percent of households now earn more than $100,000.

However, Silicon Valley Community Foundation president Emmett Carson says not everyone is benefiting.

He sees a growing divide between rich and poor that is driven by an overwhelming demand for housing. Last year, the region gained more than 33,000 new residents but only 6,500 new homes.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Google makes more concessions in EU antitrust case PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 07:37

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's antitrust watchdog says Google is offering new and far-reaching concessions to address allegations it is abusing its dominant position in Internet searches.

The EU's executive said Wednesday that Google guarantees it will display results from three competitors in a similar way whenever it promotes its own specialized search services like Google shopping.

Antitrust Commissioner Joaquin Almunia says this "provides users with a real choice between competing services presented in a comparable way."

He says Google's offer of concessions, its third, will be sent to the plaintiffs for evaluation before the Commission makes a final decision on a settlement in the case opened in late 2010.

Google has a market share of about 90 percent of Internet searches in Europe, compared with around 70 percent in the U.S.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Nadella to head Microsoft; Gates leaves chair role PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 10:56

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft has named Satya Nadella, an executive in charge of the company's small, but growing business of delivering software and services over the Internet its new CEO. Company founder Bill Gates is also leaving the chairman role for a new role as technology adviser.

The software company announced Tuesday that Nadella will replace Steve Ballmer, who said in August that he would leave the company within 12 months. Nadella will become only the third leader in the software giant's 38-year history, after founder Bill Gates and Ballmer. Board member John Thompson will serve as Microsoft's new chairman.

Microsoft shares edged up in premarket trading.

Nadella, who is 46 and has worked at Microsoft for 22 years, has been an executive in some of the company's fastest-growing and most profitable businesses, including its Office and server and tools business.

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