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REWIND: International Business News #58

Posted on March 1st, 2013 | Author: admin

  • German Unemployment Rate Holds Steady at 6.9% – The German government released the nation’s February unemployment figures on Thursday. According to a report published in Bloomberg, the unemployment rate remained at a seasonally-adjusted 6.9%, unchanged from January. A government official described the job market as “robust” and the 6.9% figure represents the lowest unemployment rate the country has enjoyed in almost two decades and is an indicator that a revival is likely underway in the German economy.
  • French President Hollande Travel to Russia with Trade a Focus – While the German economy continues to show signs of renewed vigor, the same cannot be said across the Rhine. France’s unemployment rate remains near 13% and the economic growth remains anemic at best. Against this backdrop, French President François Hollande makes his first visit to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to published reports, a key item for Hollande’s trip is encouraging Russian investment in France,  which lags compared to French investment in Russia.
  • Shell Suspends Arctic Exploratory Drilling for 2013 – Following a season of setbacks, Royal Dutch Shell has called off the rest of the 2013 season … in February. According a published report, problems with the company’s exploratory drilling rigs has led the company to reevaluate its methods. In a statement, Shell Oil Co. President Marvin Odum noted that the “decision to pause in 2013 will give us time to ensure the readiness of all our equipment and people.” According to the report, American depository receipts of Royal Dutch Shell rose 0.86%, or 56 cents, to $65.50 apiece in trading shortly after the announcement.
  • Pope Benedict XVI Leaves Legacy of Economic Morality  –  On Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign the office. While the connection between religious leaders and the marketplace are often not readily apparent, it is worth noting that the out-going pontiff sought during his term to interject morality into economic interactions. According to a letter published by Catholic Archbishop Denis Hart of Australia, Pope Benedict XVI repeatedly called for “civilizing” the world’s economy and argued that moral obligations must extend to the marketplace. In the Archbishop’s words, when “Pope Benedict steps down…one of his important legacies will be his significant contribution to Catholic social teaching, ensuring the economy is no longer viewed as a moral-free zone, but one where we have a better understanding of the importance of good relationships between people for our economic well-being.”