Retirement age now 62 in France
THE French government yesterday unveiled a sweeping overhaul of its pensions system, raising the retirement age to 62 as it seeks to plug a hole in its finances and avoid a clash with unions. Reforming the system is shaping up as the centrepiece of President Nicolas Sarkozy's agenda as he heads for a re-election fight in 2012 -- but unions have vowed to oppose the changes with strikes.
US shipment rise good for Smurfit
PACKAGING giant Smurfit Kappa Group is "well positioned" to capitalise on news that US box shipments increased in May by 5.3pc year on year, according to analysts. A fall in inventories of 134,000 tonnes means that they are now at their lowest levels since 1974. As Smurfit is a net seller in the box business any price increase will immediately be seen on the P&L with no lag effects.
Irish prices drop most in Europe
IRISH consumers have seen the biggest price drops in Europe in the past year, with average annual inflation of -2.5pc in the past 12 months. This compared with EU-wide price increases of 1.2pc, the latest figures from Eurostat show. However, the annual Irish inflation rate has now eased to -1.9pc, while the EU annual inflation rate has increased to 1.6pc.
Revaluing of yuan essential -- IMF
CHINA must revalue its currency yuan "as soon as possible" for the sake of the global economic recovery, the International Monetary Fund's economist Olivier Blanchard warned yesterday.
Bitbuzz to expand into UK market
IRISH Wi-Fi service provider Bitbuzz yesterday announced plans to expand into the UK. It will compete in the London Wi-Fi market by offering a premium service to hotels.