New York -- U.S. consumer confidence hit a six-year high, the Conference Board reported Tuesday.
The business group's consumer-confidence index rose to 112.6 in July, its highest level since August 2001 and more than seven points higher than June's 105.3 reading. Many analysts had expected the confidence level to remain flat between June and July.
Seoul -- South Korea, spurred by strong exports, saw its GDP jump 1.7 percent in the second quarter from year-ago level, its central bank reported Wednesday.
Yonhap news agency, quoting the Bank of Korea, reported that in the first half of this year, South Korea's GDP grew 4.9 percent from last year.
"Although the construction sector was sluggish, the service industry maintained a sound growth and the manufacturing sector switched to an upturn," the central bank said. "Construction investment dipped and private consumption growth weakened, but facility investment and exports continued strong growth."
Beijing -- China's gross domestic product rose 11.9 percent in the second quarter, official figures said Thursday.
The GDP hit an 11.5 percent growth rate for the first half, 0.5 percentage points higher than the same period last year and much faster than the expected 8 percent, spokesman Li Xiaochao with the National Bureau of Statistics told a news conference in Beijing.
Beijing -- China said Thursday its gross domestic product grew 11.5 percent in the first half of 2007 to $1.39 trillion, while first-half inflation rose 3.2 percent.
The first-half GDP growth was boosted by second-quarter growth of 11.9 percent, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported, quoting the National Bureau of Statistics. In the first quarter, GDP was up 11.1 percent, higher than what the central bank reportedly had forecast.
Washington -- The Bush administration warned lawmakers that a proposal to raise the tax rate of private equity and hedge funds would injure the U.S. economy.
Eric Solomon, the assistant treasury secretary for tax policy, urged the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday to be "cautious" in contemplating "significant changes" to partnership tax and capital gain rules, The New York Times reported.
Washington -- The U.S. economy overall is growing at a moderate pace, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday in its Beige Book, the Fed's occasional report on the economy.
Most regions reported steady, modest growth from mid-April through May, the Fed reported. Consumer spending and retail sales were generally up in late April and May, with a number of the Fed's 12 districts reporting luxury items were selling better than lower-end merchandise.
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