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POLITICAL ECONOMY
US expects to release jobless data Friday as planned
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Oct 29, 2012


The US Labor Department said Tuesday it expects to release its most recent unemployment data -- a key marker of the economy ahead of the November 6 election -- on schedule despite Hurricane Sandy.

"The employees at the Bureau of Labor Statistics are working hard to ensure the timely release of employment data on Friday, November 2," spokesman Carl Fillichio told AFP.

"It is our intention that Friday will be business as usual regarding the October Employment Situation Report."

Questions have been raised over whether the data can be completed because government offices in Washington were completely shut down Monday ahead of the landfall of Hurricane Sandy, and could remain shut Tuesday.

The update on the unemployment rate and the number of jobs created in October is hotly awaited as the last major data release before voters decide between incumbent Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney for the US presidency.

The high level of joblessness and the feeble growth of the economy remains the biggest challenge to Obama being reelected, with Romney assailing him on not having restored growth after the deep 2008-2009 recession.

In the report on September, 12.1 million people remained officially unemployed. The jobless rate slipped to 7.8 percent but only 114,000 new jobs were generated, barely enough to keep up with the natural growth of the working-age population.

Analysts say that the rate could tick up to 7.9 percent on Friday.

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China's yuan currency hits fresh record high
Shanghai (AFP) Oct 26, 2012
China's currency hit a record high against the US dollar for the second straight day on Friday, amid US political pressure and growing confidence in the domestic economy, analysts said. The currency touched an intra-day high of 6.2380 to the dollar at the open, marking the highest level since 1994 when the country launched its modern foreign exchange market. Analysts said China may be al ... read more


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