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War fears contribute to lower UN forecast for US European economies

The ECE’s Economic Survey of Europe 2003, which covers Western and Eastern Europe, the United States and Canada, forecasts 2.5 per cent growth in US gross domestic product (GDP) and 1.6 per cent for the European Union (EU). By contrast, a UN report on the world economic situation issued two months ago projected US GDP growth at 3 per cent and EU GDP growth at 2 per cent.”Uncertainty surrounding the short-term economic outlook is amplified by the increasing possibility of war with Iraq,” the ECE said in a statement regarding its survey. “This has already contributed to the weakening of consumer and business confidence and has fostered a wait-and-see attitude with regard to big spending items. Even the available baseline forecasts, which assume that there will be no military conflict, however, suggest only a moderate strengthening of growth in the global economy in the course of 2003.”Both reports allow that a variety of risks exist that could push growth rates for the world and key regions even lower. These include geopolitical tensions in West Asia, rising petroleum prices and macro-economic imbalances.One bright spot noted by the ECE is the continuing resilience of economies in transition in Eastern Europe and the former states of the Soviet Union, where 4.2 per cent growth in GDP is forecast for 2003. These economies grew by 4.8 per cent and 4.1 per cent, respectively, in the difficult economic years of 2001 and 2002. read more

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Exxon earnings up 6 per cent easily beating expectations as refining offsets

Exxon earnings up 6 per cent, easily beating expectations, as refining offsets low oil prices by The Associated Press Posted Oct 31, 2014 6:32 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email IRVING, Texas – ExxonMobil Corp. profits rose 3 per cent in the third quarter as strong refining performance offset lower revenues from falling oil prices and production.The company said Friday it earned $8.07 billion on revenue of $107.49 billion in the third quarter. Last year during the same period, Exxon earned $7.87 billion on revenue of $112.37 billion.On a per share basis, the company earned $1.89, up from $1.79 last year and far above the $1.71 per share analysts polled by FactSet had predicted on average.Oil and gas production fell 4.7 per cent compared with the same period a year ago, and lower prices reduced earnings by $670 million.But profit at the company’s refining operations, which makes chemicals and fuels, rose 38 per cent in the quarter and boosted overall profit. read more