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The Week In Numbers: Faster, Faster

The US economy has grown at its fastest rate for 11 years. The world’s largest economy has clocked up an annualised growth rate of 5% in the third quarter. It seems that consumers spent more and businesses invested more between the months of July and September.

With consumers feeling a bit more confident and businesses a bit more prepared to finally put their vast piles of cash to work, the signs could be good for the final three months of 2014. Add into the mix lower oil prices, which could boost disposable income, 2015 looks like being a bumper year not only for the US of A but for the rest of the world too.

TheWeekInNumbersFasterFaster

Vladimir Putin is hoping to pour some Christmas cheer into the empty glasses of Russian drinkers. The Russian President has ordered his government to curb rising vodka prices. It seems that the plunging value of the rouble has pushed up the price of Russia’s favourite tipple. But with inflation running at 9.4%, Western sanctions biting hard and falling oil prices hurting the rouble, Russia could enter recession next year.

The US market is ending the year on a high – an all-time high. In a holiday-shortened trading week for the US stock exchange, the Dow Jones Industrial Index climbed to 18,020 points. The market has apparently taken comfort from signs of benign inflation and a pledge from the US Federal Reserve to be “patient” over interest rates.

The positive news from the US lifted Singapore shares too. At the close of play on Christmas Eve, the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) stood at 3,346 points.

It would seem that Christmas has come early for some people in Hong Kong. A lorry spilled as much as HK$15m onto a busy road in Wan Chai, following a minor accident. Hong Kong police have appealed to the public to return the money. It reckons that it could use the serial numbers on the bills to conduct an investigation. Could the money, therefore, be tainted? Well it ‘taint your and it ‘taint mine!

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