Japan 's government approved on Friday a bill to double the nation's consumption tax by 2015, which is seen as an important step towards putting the public finances on a sustainable path. This will happen in two stages with the first increase from the current 5 percent rate to 8 percent taking place in April 2014.
Tom Sowanick is Co-President and Chief Investment Officer at Omnivest Group in Princeton, N.J. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke , in his speech to the National Association for Business Economics, was skeptical that the improvement in the labor market was sustainable. He started the speech by stating that the “better job numbers seem somewhat out of synch with the overall pace of economic expansion”.
The BRICS nations -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - met for a summit in New Delhi, where, among other subjects, they discussed the possible formation of a joint development bank, closer integration of their respective stock exchanges, energy security and ongoing tensions in the Middle East.