Business and City in Brief

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Plunge forecast in German output

Western German companies expect industrial output to fall 8 per cent in 1993 and decline a further 0.5 per cent next year, according to a survey by the IFO economic research institute. Companies expect to see consumer goods production decline 6 per cent this year and 2 per cent next. Production of capital goods is seen falling 12 per cent in 1993, then remaining flat. Recovery should pick up in mid-1994.

Separately, retail sales in western Germany were reported to have totalled DM49bn ( pounds 20m) in August, down 0.4 per cent in real terms from the same month last year, but up 1.5 per cent in nominal terms. Nominal retail sales were off 9 per cent from July.

Opec earns 19% less

Oil revenues earned by the 12 members of Opec fell 19 per cent or dollars 7.4bn in the third quarter from the figure for the same period last year, the Petrostrategies Review said. Opec lifted output 2 per cent but income fell to dollars 31.9bn.

Girobank review

Alliance & Leicester, the building society, is looking at ways to integrate Girobank more closely with the society, three years after acquiring it. But a spokesman denied there was any intention of setting up a new bank alongside Girobank.

China savings leap

Private savings in China's four largest banks swelled to dollars 225.6bn by the end of September, reversing a sharp decline earlier in the year. Personal savings at the Bank of China increased by dollars 1.7bn from July to September, reaching dollars 17.3bn.

French prices rise

French consumer prices rose 0.4 per cent in September from August, for a year-on-year rise of 2.3 per cent, Insee, the national statistics office, said.

EC jobs rate flat

The European Community's unemployment rate remained stable at 10.4 per cent in August, unchanged from June and July, but a full percentage point above the 9.4 per cent recorded in August last year.

Norwich goes private

Norwich Health Authority will privatise its financial services arm, which provides payroll, credit control and audit services to the authority and to NHS trusts.

dollars 37m Nestle buy

Nestle, the Swiss food giant, will pay dollars 37m for a 47 per cent stake in Goplana, the Polish chocolate maker. It has agreed to invest dollars 25m-dollars 30m in the company and guaranteed to maintain staff numbers at their present level for the next two years.

World Markets

New York: With the bond market closed, shares lacked direction. By the close the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 8.67 points at 3,593.41.

Tokyo: Closed (holiday).

Hong Kong: Resuming its record-breaking spree, led by the property sector, the Hang Seng index powered ahead another 186.62 points to 8,192.98.

Sydney: Local buyers took up the baton as offshore interest flagged and lifted the All Ordinaries 13.6 points to 2,039.8.

Bombay: The upward trend triggered by lower carry-forward charges continued. The index added 17.17 points to 2,688.25.

Johannesburg: Strong gains in gold shares failed to spark a wider rally. The overall index finished 39 points higher at 3,909.

Paris: France's continued reluctance to cut interest rates was reflected in a 17.66-point decline by the CAC-40 index to 2,138.72.

Frankfurt: Moderate trade ended with the DAX index 6.01 points firmer at 2,011.02.

Milan: Political uncertainty following the industry minister's resignation hit shares, with the banking sector worst affected.

London: Report, page 35.