Accessibility links

Breaking News

Weekly Economic Highlights, <i>Week of April 11</i>

Here is a look at business highlights for this week, including a slowdown in global growth, and a gathering of top officials trying to ease poverty and cope with high oil costs.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says global economic growth will slow to a 4.3 percent pace this year and speed up a little in 2006.

The world economy grew at a brisk 5.1 percent pace in 2004, boosted by strong growth in the United States and China.

Economists warned that further oil price hikes could hurt growth. They also noted higher prices are helping oil producers in Africa lead the economically-troubled continent to strong 5.2 percent growth this year.

IMF experts spoke as top economic officials from around the world gather for talks in Washington. They'll discuss debt relief for poor nations, soaring oil prices, and other topics.

Oil prices eased this week, but still dominated economic discussions. Higher oil prices may be slowing the world's biggest economy.

A government report says U.S. retail sales rose less-than-expected in March. Higher gasoline costs took money that consumers could have used to buy clothing, furniture, or electronics.

The U.S. trade deficit surged to a record $61 billion in February.

The Commerce Department says the deficit was widened by the rising price of imported oil and the rising tide of Chinese textiles in U.S. market after textile quotas ended.

India and the United States have signed a new aviation agreement allowing more flights between the two countries.

Under the "Open Skies" deal, airlines of both countries will be able to select routes and destinations based on consumer demand. An estimated two million passengers travel between India and the United States every year.