India oil minister says considering steps to keep fuel prices in check

Opposition leaders have criticized the Indian government for failing to rein in rising fuel prices, a politically-sensitive issue in one of the world’s biggest economies. (Reuters)
Updated 21 May 2018
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India oil minister says considering steps to keep fuel prices in check

NEW DELHI: India is looking at ways to keep rising fuel prices in check, its oil minister said on Monday, with retail rates for diesel and petrol touching record highs in capital city New Delhi and financial hub Mumbai.
Prices at the pump have surged on the back of rallying international markets for crude oil, which last week hit their strongest since late-2014 amid ongoing production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
“Various alternatives are being looked at,” Dharmendra Pradhan said in a televised speech, adding that he would “work out something soon.” He did not give details.
Opposition leaders have criticized the government for failing to rein in rising fuel prices, a politically-sensitive issue in one of the world’s biggest economies.
India is particularly at risk from stronger global prices for crude oil as it is the No.3 importer of the commodity, buying about 80 percent of its oil needs.
On Monday, industry lobby group FICCI called for an immediate cut in the excise duty on oil imports.
The cost of the growing thirst for oil around Asia will surpass $1 trillion this year, about twice as much as in 2015 and 2016, as oil prices touch $80 per barrel and continental demand hits a record.


UK core pay growth strongest in nearly 11 years, but jobs growth slows

Data showed the unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent as expected. (Shutterstock)
Updated 16 July 2019
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UK core pay growth strongest in nearly 11 years, but jobs growth slows

  • Core earnings have increased by 3.6 percent annually, beating the median forecast of 3.5 percent
  • The unemployment rate fell by 51,000 to just under 1.3 million

LONDON: British wages, excluding bonuses, rose at their fastest pace in more than a decade in the three months to May, official data showed, but there were some signs that the labor market might be weakening. Core earnings rose by an annual 3.6 percent, beating the median forecast of 3.5 percent in a Reuters poll of economists. Including bonuses, pay growth also picked up to 3.4 percent from 3.2 percent, stronger than the 3.1 percent forecast in the poll. Britain’s labor market has been a silver lining for the economy since the Brexit vote in June 2016, something many economists attribute to employers preferring to hire workers that they can later lay off over making longer-term commitments to investment. The pick-up in pay has been noted by the Bank of England which says it might need to raise interest rates in response, assuming Britain can avoid a no-deal Brexit. Tuesday’s data showed the unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent as expected, its joint-lowest since the three months to January 1975. The number of people out of work fell by 51,000 to just under 1.3 million. But the growth in employment slowed to 28,000, the weakest increase since the three months to August last year and vacancies fell to their lowest level in more than a year. Some recent surveys of companies have suggested employers are turning more cautious about hiring as Britain approaches its new Brexit deadline of Oct. 31. Both the contenders to be prime minister say they would leave the EU without a transition deal if necessary. A survey published last week showed that companies were more worried about Brexit than at any time since the decision to leave the European Union and they planned to reduce investment and hiring. “The labor market continues to be strong,” ONS statistician Matt Hughes said. “Regular pay is growing at its fastest rate for nearly 11 years in cash terms and its quickest for over three years after taking account of inflation.” The BoE said in May it expected wage growth of 3 percent at the end of this year.