Sep 09 - 15, 2002










New York City's economy is up to $95bn out of pocket as a result of the attacks on the World Trade Center of 11 September.
The numbers have been released by the Comptroller, New York City's chief financial officer, which said that there are 83,000 fewer jobs in the city than at this time last year.


Whether the final cost rises as high as $95bn the low-end estimate is $83bn will depend largely on how many of those jobs are permanently shifted out of the city, said the Comptroller, William Thompson.

The city had been suffering from a mild downturn before the twin towers were hit by hijacked jetliners, collapsing both and killing thousands.

But the tragedy and its aftermath made things worse, snuffing out a nascent recovery which could have created 60,000 new posts and destroying property which the Comptroller estimates will cost $21.8bn to replace.

Added to which, many of the victims of the disaster were well-paid financial operators. Given an average $130,000 annual salary, the city estimates, their lifetime earnings would have contributed $8.7bn to the city's economy.

In the wake of the disaster, New York had an unemployment rate of 7.7% in July, up from 5.8% at the same time last year and well above the national average of 5.9%.

Part of the job losses have come from firms including the high-profile financial firms which were forced to scramble for space in New Jersey, across the Hudson River which have yet to return.

About 13 million square feet of office space enough to fill the business district of Atlanta or Miami was wiped out.

The federal government has come through with promises of aid totalling $21.4bn, of which $2.7bn has thus far arrived.


The World Bank has urged more balanced global approach to development in South Asia. "The World Development Report (WDR) 2003" of the World Bank released here on Monday also called upon heads of state, ministers, private sector leaders and civil society representatives at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg to reach an agreement on steps that can be taken to ensure that poverty-reducing growth does not come at great cost to future generations.

The next 50 years, the report said, could see a fourfold increase in the size of the global economy and significant reduction in poverty, provided that governments act now to avert a growing risk of severe damage to the environmental and profound social unrest.

"In nearly 50 years, the world could have a GDP of $140 trillion and a total population of nine billion up, from six billion today. Without better policies and institutions, social and environmental strains may derail development progress, leading to higher poverty levels and a decline in the quality of life for everybody", the report said.

Talking about Pakistan, the report pointed out, that resource degradation has reduced overall productivity growth from technical change, education, and infrastructure investment by one third.

It said that intensification of land and water use in Pakistan and India have resulted in resource degradation that is lowering overall productivity growth.

The WB report also said that today more poor people depend on fragile natural resources to survive. Similarly, trust between individuals, which can be eroded or destroyed by civil unrest, is a social asset with important economic benefits, since it enables people to make agreements and undertake transactions that would otherwise not be possible.


The US Senate has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would arm airline pilots on a voluntary basis.

Endorsed by a vote of 87-6, the controversial measure gives commercial pilots the authority to use lethal force in defence of their aircraft.

It is part of an amendment to a bill creating US President George W Bush's new Homeland Security Department, which the Senate began debating this week.

The House of Representatives has already passed legislation that would allow all 70,000 commercial airline pilots to carry guns in the cockpit on a voluntary basis after training by a government-approved agency.

The moves follow concerns about aircraft security in the wake of the 11 September attacks.


British membership of the euro has fallen below 50% for the first time since the cash launch of the currency, a survey has suggested.

"The introduction of the euro on the continent eight months ago gave a positive boost to UK business views of the currency, but this has now waned," said David Coles, managing director of DHL UK, which conducted the survey.

The survey suggested 49% of UK exporters believed British membership would have a positive impact on their businesses.

This compared with a figure of 58% for April-June of this year and 52% for January-March.

The reading has yet to rescale levels hit immediately after the euro's January 1999 launch as a virtual currency when 71% of UK exporters favoured British membership.


UK interest rates have been left unchanged at 4% for the 10th month in a row.

The Bank of England's decision to hold rates steady at a 38-year low was widely predicted by economists, who pointed to uncertainty about the health of the US economy coupled with nervous trading in financial markets.

Although major stock markets may have steadied after steep falls and roller-coaster days in the past couple of months, the Bank did not want to deliver any shocks by raising rates now, economists said.


Argentina has been told it can delay a $2.8bn (1.8bn) loan repayment for one year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to defer the payment, due on 9 September, and said the situation in Argentina remained "very difficult".

It is the second time in three months that the loan has been extended.

The country is struggling with debt and a run on its banks ended with bank accounts being frozen.


Shares have fallen sharply once again in Asia, intensifying the gloomy tone set by Wall Street on Thursday.

In the mid-afternoon Tokyo time, the Nikkei 225 share index was down 142 points at 9,080, having briefly dipped below the 9,000-point mark.

On Thursday, New York's Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 141 points at 8,283.

Hong Kong shares were down another 0.5% by the middle of the trading day, with Sydney down 1% and Seoul by almost 2%.

Earlier, stocks in London and the other European markets had fallen sharply because of worries about the economy and the situation in the Middle East.

But the FTSE 100 index of leading shares recovered most of its losses to end down 16 points at 4,011.


German unemployment has inched downwards, but remains above the crucial 4 million mark just three weeks before a hotly contested general election.

The Federal Labour Office reported that unadjusted unemployment fell by 28,700 in the month to 4.018 million in August, a rate of 9.6%.


The UK's biggest electricity generator British Energy has entered urgent talks with the government to try to prevent it collapsing.

On Thursday night the company which runs the UK's nuclear power stations warned that it faced insolvency unless immediate financial help was found.


North Korea has announced that it will open up its companies to more foreign investment, as part of a new policy to liberalise its economy. The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra) said that it would now allow foreign investors to take stakes in Korean companies of more than 50%.


A burst of new car sales in South Africa could lead to a further rise in the country's interest rates.

Economists believe South Africa's central bank could put up rates for the fourth time this year when it meets next week.

Their view was bolstered by new car sales figures for August which showed robust consumer demand despite price rises.

Sales of new cars in August rose to 30,525, up from 29,777 in the same month last year, figures from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) showed.


Sri Lanka is considering tapping the international capital markets for about $300m to help rebuild its shattered economy.

This would be the country's first foray into the markets since it agreed a ceasefire with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels last year.


UK inflation has risen higher than expected, casting doubt on the need for another interest rate cut.

The annual underlying rate of inflation rose by half a percentage point last month to 2%, official figures showed on Tuesday.

But it was still well below the Bank of England's target rate of 2.5%, with 1% leeway either way.

The headline rate of inflation, which includes mortgage interest payments, also rose half a percentage point to 1.5%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.


The European Union has taken a step forward in its attempt to forge a common position over Washington's demands that US citizens should be granted immunity from prosecution before the new International Criminal Court (or ICC).

Top EU legal experts, meeting in Brussels, agreed that a request for blanket immunity for all Americans was unacceptable.

The row over the ICC has split the EU, with Italy and Britain hinting they could sign bilateral agreements with the US.

But there is hope a common stance could be achieved by the end of the month.


Soaring UK house price inflation is showing the first signs of cooling down, according to the Halifax.

The giant mortgage lender said house prices rose at an annual rate of 18.8% in August, compared with 20.8% in July.

Average earnings have failed to keep pace with house prices over the last 12 months, the Halifax said.


Britain's manufacturing firms remain stuck in the doldrums, according to the Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF). Engineering output and orders have now been shrinking for a year and a half, according to an EEF survey of 1,200 firms.


Greece's main consumer group has claimed massive support for a boycott of shops on Tuesday, as part of continuing protests over price rises caused by the introduction of the euro.

"On Tuesday we are not buying anything. No food, no clothes, no fuel. Absolutely nothing," the Institute of Consumer Protection (Inka) said in a statement.


Australia's previously impressive rate of economic growth has slowed for the third consecutive quarter.

Despite the diminishing strength, the economy still managed to expand by 0.6% compared with the previous three months and by 3.8% compared with the same months a year earlier.

Treasurer Peter Costello blamed the slowdown which was worse than expected on falling stock markets and the worsening drought.

Retail spending also fell for the first time in 10 months, while a survey showed business confidence for the last half of the calendar year had slumped.


Negotiators at the world summit in Johannesburg have agreed on action aimed at halving the number of people in the world without water and sanitation by 2015.

About 1.1 billion people around the world lack access to adequate drinking water, according to the United Nations many of them in Africa.

Richard Jolly, a UN adviser on water, said African ministers had agreed that a permanent African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) would meet regularly "to find ways of providing water to all Africans".

Mr Jolly announced the deal by the WaterDome, an exhibition site in Johannesburg where water projects are on show during the 10-day World Summit on Sustainable Development.


Portugal's public deficit is set to come in within EU standards this year, reducing fears of EU sanctions.

Portugal's statistics office INE predicts the year to end with a 2.84% deficit, just within the 3% maximum limit set for members of the eurozone.

The deficit will thus have shrunk dramatically from 4.1% of the country's output in 2001.

The news came just over a month after the European Commission said it would initiate a sanctions procedure against Portugal due to 2001's excessive deficit.


Sudan is preparing to short-list companies to build a $1.73bn dam on the Nile in the country's north to provide more electricity and cut flooding.

The Hamdab Dam in Merowe, about 400 km (250 miles) north of Khartoum, will triple electricity generation in Sudan, Mutaz Musa Abdalla Salim, finance director for the dam project told Reuters

He said the government would next month short-list four firms from 69 to submit final bids to build the $650m dam wall.

Seven companies are competing to build the electricity turbines and generators at a cost of $700m. The dam is expected to be finished in about six years' time.