Eurozone inflation rise eases pressure on ECB
LONDON — Welcome news on inflation and unemployment on Friday will ease pressure on the European Central Bank to act again next week to shore up the 17-country eurozone economy. But they do little to ease longer-term worries over the recovery.
Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, said unemployment was down for the first time since early 2011 and that inflation edged higher in November, dampening fears that the eurozone is about to face a debilitating period of falling prices, also known as deflation.
SKorea to start talks on America-led trade pact
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea said Friday it will start negotiations to join a U.S.-led trade pact covering a dozen Pacific and Asian nations.
The finance ministry said in a statement that officials will explore the possibility of joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership through the preliminary negotiations. The move is a first step and doesn’t commit South Korea to becoming part of the agreement but the trade ministry has been talking up its benefits for the economy.
Export-reliant South Korea has free trade deals with the U.S. and European Union. It is negotiating a free trade deal with China, which is not part of the U.S.-led pact.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not in effect yet but the U.S. and other countries hope for an agreement by the end of this year. Apart from reducing trade barriers, the pact also requires its members to meet environmental, labor and intellectual property protection standards.
India’s growth up, but still weak at 4.8 percent
MUMBAI, India — India says its economic growth has risen to 4.8 percent in the quarter ending in September. It is an improvement over the previous quarter’s dismal figure but still far below what it needs to pull millions out of poverty.
Asia’s third-largest economy had averaged a healthy 8 percent expansion for the last decade but recently has been faltering. The previous quarter’s growth of 4.4 percent was the lowest in 10 years.
India’s government estimates it needs 8 percent growth to provide jobs for the 13 million people entering the workforce each year out of a population of 1.2 billion. Friday’s figures for the July-September quarter were dragged down by a weak manufacturing expansion of just 1.0 percent.
Limited whiskey priced around $4,000 a bottle
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A new whiskey created in Kentucky features a blend of age and scarcity that spiked demand — and its price.
Whiskey fans including celebrities and CEOs are angling to snatch up the fewer than 300 bottles of Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash Whiskey at nearly $4,000 per bottle.
Limited-edition offerings with heftier prices are common as American whiskey-makers dabble in new flavors to lure more customers. But this latest offering by Michter’s Distillery is bringing the high end of the American whiskey business closer to the rarest bottles of Scotch, cognac and brandy.
The product reaches shelves Monday in select stores, restaurants, bars and hotels in a handful of U.S. cities.
Pizza manager canned for closing on holiday
ELKHART, Ind. — Pizza Hut has offered to rehire the manager of an Indiana restaurant who was fired over his refusal to open up on Thanksgiving Day.
Tony Rohr said he has worked at the restaurant for more than 10 years but was told to write a letter of resignation after his refusal. He said he declined in a meeting with his boss and instead wrote that he believed the company should care more about its employees.
Pizza Hut’s corporate office said in a statement it respects an employee’s right to not work on the holiday, and the store owner has agreed to reinstate Rohr. Rohr said he hasn’t decided yet whether to accept the offer.