World Bulletin / News Desk
Optimism among UK businesses slumped to a 20-year low last month, according to a survey by accountancy group BDO.
BDO's Optimism Index, which measures business performance expectations two quarters ahead, fell to 89.1 in August from 93.1 in July, the sixth consecutive month showing a drop, BDO said in a statement. Figures above 95 indicate a return to growth.
Meanwhile, BDO's Output Index, which measures short-term turnover expectations, fell to 90.8 in August, its lowest level in 40 months, from 93.9 in July.
The survey comes as Britain's economy, facing headwinds from the euro zone debt crisis and the government's tough austerity plans, struggles to emerge from the recession it slipped back into late last year.
Data on Friday showed British industrial output grew at its fastest pace in 25 years in July, while the National Institute of Economic Research said Britain's economy grew in the three months through August.
"The government's efforts to cut current spending may not be working out quite as planned, though we believe that the strategy in essence remains correct," said BDO partner Peter Hemington.
"But we have long been concerned that the cuts to investment spending were too drastic and that steps to redress this have been taken too slowly. We welcome positive signs that the government now wishes to boost its investment in UK infrastructure."
Varying degrees of drought are hitting almost two thirds of the limited arable land across Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Iraq.
Turkey deems Iranian gas too expensive compared with other suppliers like Russia and Azerbaijan, an assertion rejected by Tehran.
Satoshi Nakamoto, a name known to legions of bitcoin traders, practitioners and boosters around the world, appeared to lose his anonymity on Thursday after Newsweek published a story that said he lived in Temple City, California, just east of Los Angeles.
BP's exploration and production sharing agreement with Libya covers onshore acreage in Ghadames, near the border between Libya, Algeria and Tunisia, and offshore acreage in the central Sirte basin
There are discussions at high levels within the U.S. government on how to use U.S. natural gas resources
The judicial sources said on Thursday that prosecutors suspected the companies of working together on campaigns to favour Lucentis, including promoting it to local doctors
Scotland's Energy Minister Fergus Ewing offered to meet Shell to discuss the future of the oil and gas industry if Scotland votes to end its 307-year tie with England
European Commission President said that from a purely financial standpoint the crisis in Ukraine should not have much impact on the euro zone but there was potential for far greater instability
The rouble-traded MICEX lost 1.9 percent on the news to trade at 1,322.2 points. It had earlier traded in positive territory.
If tensions eventually escalate into economic sanctions, the single biggest point of vulnerability for the Gulf would probably be the Dolphin Energy pipeline carrying about 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day from Qatar to the UAE and Oman
The former Soviet republic is strategically important to Moscow as the main gas transit route to the European Union, Russia's biggest customer
Iran will soon receive a second installment of previously frozen assets which are being returned to it under an interim nuclear agreement with world powers
Economic growth jumped to 5.2 percent in the last quarter, but Romania remains the second poorest country in the European Union
Brent crude prices decreased by 1.8 percent, more than US$2 per barrel on Wednesday.
The southeast European country sets out to achieve price stability by increasing the share of private entities in its state dominated energy sector.
Premier Li Keqiang also said at the start of the China's annual parliamentary session, that the country's 2014 growth target will be kept at 7.5 percent, inflation at 3.5 percent and broad M2 money supply growth at 13 percent.