In his second major policy speech in two weeks Mr
Gore said Mr Bush was trying to dodge his responsibilities on the issue.
Mr Gore was the Democratic presidential candidate in
2000 and he is currently considering whether to stand again.
"How can it be essential that we go to war prior
to the election but absolutely fine to wait until after the election
before we take any action to deal with the economy?" Mr Gore said.
"He needs to take responsibility for the fact
that these policy failures have contributed to the crisis in confidence
in US economic leadership," he added.
Some Democrats are concerned that a focus on Iraq
will put them at a disadvantage when voters go to the polls for mid-term
congressional elections on 5 November.
"We've got an election five weeks from now and a
lot of the most important issues don't seem to be being discussed very
much," Mr Gore said.
"If we turn a blind eye to our weak economy it
will eventually undermine everything else that we are trying to
accomplish — whether it's winning the war against terrorism or giving
all families the economic opportunities they deserve," he added.
Republicans have been swift to criticise Mr Gore's
PORT LOCKOUT RISKS ASIAN RECESSION
The lockout which has shut down 29 ports on the US
West Coast could trigger a recession in East Asia, investment bank
Morgan Stanley has warned.
In a note sent to clients, Morgan Stanley economist
Andy Xie said the dispute risked "horrendous" consequences if
it lasts longer than a month.
Over $1bn (£640m) worth of goods pass into the US by
ship from East Asia every day, he said, and a prolonged disruption could
ravage the "just-in-time" production systems used across Asia.
The weak recovery seen in many Asian countries is
export-led, and a slump in sales overseas to the US, by far the biggest
market, could cause serious damage.
Japan's carmakers are keen to take advantage of
continuing high demand for automobiles in the US, but are now looking at
temporary closures of their US plants as parts imported from factories
in Asia grow scarce.
The latest figures show that almost every Asian
exporter bar Singapore and Indonesia has seen a sharp slowdown in
deliveries to the US over the past two years.
But in 2002 the slowdown has abated.
Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and China are showing
export growth that in some cases is reaching 10% in a single three-month
Los Angeles alone normally brings in more than 300
containers a day of furniture alone, while computer equipment fills
That is now grinding to a halt as the containers
stack up on the West Coast.
BORROWING LESS FROM DEBT MARKET
Asia borrowed less in the first nine months of this
year with bond issues and loans falling six per cent from a year earlier
to $101.9 billion, a financial research firm said on Tuesday.
Domestic bond issuances in Asia excluding Japan and
Australasia declined three per cent to $45.5 billion in the period from
$46.7 billion last year, Thomson Financial said in a statement.
A slowdown in bond issues in Singapore and Malaysia
contrasted with a 43 per cent increase in domestic bond market offerings
in Hong Kong and South Korea, it said.
South Korea saw 82 deals from January to September
worth $14.7 billion equalling issuance volumes in Hong Kong.
Foreign currency bond volumes in Malaysia, the
Philippines and South Korea however remained strong, Thomson Financial
said. The largest deal was a $650m eurobond issue by Korea Electric
US PROPOSES AFRICA SMALL BUSINESS LOANS
The World Bank should set up a fund dedicated to
backing small businesses in Africa, the US Treasury has proposed.
In a speech on Wednesday, Undersecretary for
International Affairs John Taylor said the Bank should set aside $135m
(£86m) to be distributed over the next four years, with extra money
coming from the US and other countries.
The money, he suggested, would be funnelled through
the Bank's International Finance Corporation, which concentrates on
private sector lending, but would come from the lowest-cost lending arm
of the Bank, the International Development Association.
Mr Taylor's proposal would have to be approved by the
Bank's board of directors before going into operation.
It envisages loans and grants ranging from $1,000 to
$50,000, with about $35m going on technical assistance to set up local
banks which could run the loan programme.
EU PREPARES FOR US NUCLEAR TRADE WAR
The European Commission is preparing to retaliate
against US import duties on European uranium, raising fears of another
damaging trade dispute.
Earlier this year the US Department of Commerce
imposed tariffs on European producers of low enriched uranium (LEU),
claiming they received unfair state subsidises.
The Commission, which values the LEU exports at $500m
(£320m) — or one third of the US market — has condemned the duties
An EU spokeswoman told BBC News Online it had failed
to reach an "amicable" solution after months of talks with the
US and would now seek to refer the case to the World Trade Organisation
EUROPE BACKS DOWN IN STEEL WAR
The European Commission has decided to back down from
a plan to impose sanctions on the United States as a punishment for high
tariffs on steel imports.
The US imposed extra duties of up to 30% on foreign
steel imports in March, saying they were unfairly subsidised.
The move sparked a global trade dispute as the EU,
Japan and other countries filed complaints at the World Trade
The EU's executive body has now decided against going
ahead with a list of potential sanctions worth more than $300m "at
this stage", and will recommend a delay to the meeting of EU
foreign ministers on Monday.
US 'TO BAN' TIE-UP OF SATELLITE TV GIANTS
Regulators are reportedly preparing to block the
merger of the US's two biggest satellite TV operators, news agency
Bloomberg has reported.
The agency, quoting sources "familiar with"
the matter, said Echostar Communications' $23bn purchase of Hughes
Electronics faced rejection by watchdog the Federal Communications
NASDAQ FALLS TO SIX-YEAR LOW
Down beat corporate news has pushed the iconic Nasdaq
index of hi-tech stocks to its weakest close in six years.
The Nasdaq settled down 1.83% at 1,165 on Thursday,
its lowest close since 12 September 1996.
The latest decline came as investors digested news
that semiconductor giant Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) expects to
undershoot its sales targets for the July to September period by as much
France Telecom may need to cut up to 10% of its
workforce to tackle its debts, according to a report in the French
newspaper Le Figaro.
The paper said that between 10,000 and 11,000 jobs
could go at the phone firm, though it did not say who its sources were.
NIGERIA BANS TEXTILE IMPORTS
Nigeria's government has banned imports of all
printed fabrics in order to protect its own ailing industry.
The number of local textile factories in Nigeria has
fallen to just 40, a quarter of the number seen in the mid-1980s.
The government said it took the decision in order to
protect against dumping when exported goods are sold below their normal
US JOBS PAINT SLOW-GROWTH PICTURE
Every month Wall Street waits with bated breath the
release of the monthly US jobs report.
No other indicator of the economy is so widely
anticipated or paid so much attention.
The report, issued the first Friday of each month, is
considered the single best measure of the health of the economy and
generally sets the tone for other economic releases that follow it.
The report contains not only the closely-watched
unemployment rate but also information about job and wage growth.
It is the lack of expansion in employment and
earnings, some analysts argue, that should alarm the Republican Bush
administration and set his team of conservative economic advisers into
HOUSE PRICES STORM AHEAD
UK house prices surged by a further 4.3% last month,
according to latest figures from the Halifax.
The rise means house prices have increased by 24.2%
over the past year.
The Halifax said the recent strength in property
prices had caused it to revise its forecast for annual house price
inflation at the end of 2002 upwards from 15% to 24%.
SCORES IN US TRADE BATTLE
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has ruled that the
European Union (EU) can impose $4bn (£2.6bn) worth of sanctions against
the US in a dispute over tax breaks for its exporters.
The WTO has backed the EU's claim that the tax scheme
amounts to a massive illegal subsidy which costs European companies
billions a year in lost trade.
This is the biggest transatlantic trade dispute in
history. The damages are the highest awarded by the Geneva-based WTO,
since its creation in 1995.
FEAR GRIPS JAPAN'S BANKS
Only days after Japan's foremost economic reformer
was given a free hand, the euphoria about the chances for real change is
Heizo Takenaka, appointed financial services minister
on Monday as well as keeping his job as economics minister, has kicked
off a top-to-bottom review of banking policy.
But while investors are sick of the trillions in bad
debts crippling the banking system and want reform, they are also scared
that the pain caused by any cure could be unbearable.
A mass selloff of banking stocks on Thursday, driving
the benchmark Nikkei down below the key 9,000 level to yet another
19-year lows as fears of a 'hard landing' grew.
The Nikkei index of leading shares closed down 1.25%
at 8,936.43, the lowest finish since August 1983.
US BANK IN $4BN CLERICAL ERROR
The US investment bank Bear Stearns entered an order
to sell $4bn (£2.6bn) worth of stocks by accident in late trade on
Wednesday, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has said.
The exchange said the order was the result of a
"clerical error" and should have been for $4m.
All but $622m of the order was cancelled before
execution the NYSE said.
US MANUFACTURING SLACKENS PACE
US manufacturing activity shrank in September for the
first time in eight months in a sign that economic growth may be
weakening, an influential survey has suggested.
"After a strong first quarter, the manufacturing
sector has softened significantly," said Norbert Ore, who oversees
the Institute for Supply Management survey.
"Stagnant and sluggish are apt descriptions for
manufacturing at this time."
INDONESIA DEBTS RESCHEDULED
The United States has agreed to reschedule $500m of
Under the deal, Indonesia will be allowed to delay
the repayment of the debts and low interest rates will be charged.
The agreement "gives Indonesia the most
favourable terms the US government is able to offer", the US
embassy in Jakarta said.
"It offers Indonesia breathing room as it
continues to recover from the economic crisis."
The government pocketed a record £2.7bn in stamp
duty from homebuyers last year, official figures have revealed.
More than half of the tax was paid by homeowners in
the London and south east of England, the Inland Revenue said.
BROWN ADMITS UK GROWTH TO SLOW
The UK Government appears to have admitted that it
will not reach its economic growth targets for 2002 and 2003.
A key aide to the Chancellor has suggested to
journalists during the Labour Party conference at Blackpool that the UK
economy will not grow by 2-2.5% this year, and 3-3.5% next year, as
forecast in July.
At that time Gordon Brown announced the biggest ever
increase in public spending to fund improvements in health and
Now those improvements could be put in jeopardy if
the economic slowdown continues to intensify — unless the Chancellor
is prepared to raise taxes further in future Budgets.
JAPANESE BOSSES CAST DOUBT ON REVIVAL
Corporate confidence among Japanese executives has
hit an 18-month high, the Bank of Japan's benchmark Tankan survey has
But, with the pace in the revival of business
optimism slowing, the survey was seen by many observers as evidence that
the recovery in the world's second largest economy was slowing.
GERMAN VOTERS REJECT ECONOMIC REFORM
The clear message from the recent general election in
Germany that returned Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to power is that
there is little appetite among voters for radical economic changes.
That is bad news for Germany's small businesses,
which are staggering under the burden of taxes that add an extra 50% to
the cost of employing anyone.