Wholesale inventories and sales up in August
Washington – Businesses have been restocking store shelves since the recession ended, a sign that they expect the economic recovery to continue.
Inventories at the wholesale level rose by 0.8 percent in August, following a 1.5 percent increase the month before, the Commerce Department said Friday. Sales rose by 0.5 percent, a slightly smaller gain than the 0.8 percent rise in July.
Businesses helped drive the early stage of the recovery last year by rebuilding inventories that grew thin during the recession.
IMF warns countries against currency wars
Washington – The head of the International Monetary Fund on Friday urged global finance ministers to stop trying to manipulate their currencies for economic advantage and instead to join to save a fragile recovery.
The global economy is struggling to emerge from the worst recession since the end of World War II, said IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Unless the pace of job growth quickens, he said, “we really face the risk of a lost generation” of young people unable to get work.
Strauss-Kahn’s remarks came as finance ministers from around the world gathered for the annual meetings of the 187-nation IMF and its sister lending organization, the World Bank.
German company drops female sex pill
Berlin – Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH says it has stopped the development of a pill designed to boost sex drive in women following a skeptical response from U.S. regulators.
The company said Friday it made the decision because of the “complexity and extent of further questions that would need to be addressed to potentially obtain registration.”
In a review in June, the Food and Drug Administration said two Boehringer studies failed to show a significant increase in sexual desire in women who took the drug as recorded by them in a daily journal.
The company said that despite its decision it “continues to believe in the value” that its drug, flibanserin, could have.
UAE, BlackBerry resolve dispute, averting ban
Dubai, United Arab Emirates – The United Arab Emirates on Friday backed off a threat to cut key BlackBerry services, just days before a planned ban that could have harmed the country’s business-friendly reputation.
The last-minute decision ended more than two months of brinkmanship with the Canadian company that makes the smart phones, a tool popular both with businesspeople and gadget-loving consumers in this Gulf federation.
The ban on e-mail, messaging and Web services – which the government threatened to impose over security concerns – was due to take effect Monday.