Aussie economy up:

SYDNEY: Australia’s economy is poised to enter a period of strong and sustained growth. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading index, which indicates the likely pace of economic activity three to nine months into the future, was up by 6.7 per cent in April, well above its long-term trend of 4.4 per cent. Westpac economist said stronger than expected March quarter growth of 1.6 per cent had led to upward revisions of the index’s productivity and profit estimates. — AFP

Sweden raises rate:

STOCKHOLM: The Swedish central bank Riksbank said that it had decided to raise its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 3.50 per cent to counter inflationary pressures. The bank also said in a statement that this rate, the repo rate, ‘is expected to be around four percent at the end of the year.’ — AFP

BoJ rate rise mooted:

TOKYO: The Bank of Japan (BoJ) is ready to raise super-low interest rates gradually to adjust inflation but the timetable is not set. “It is important to have a forward-looking monetary policy” as it would take a long time for rate hikes to affect economic growth and inflation. The degrees of improvement in the economy and prices will decide the pace of necessary adjustment and the schedule is not set in advance. The bank “will adjust interest rates gradually in accordance with the degrees of improvement.” — AFP

BoE avoids rate hike:

LONDON: The Bank of England (BoE) came close to another quarter-point interest rate rise earlier this month. Four of the BoE’s nine-member Monetary Policy Committee called for the central bank to raise interest rates to 5.75 per cent at the meeting, which took place between June 6 and June 7. The MPC voted 5-4 in favour of freezing rates at a six-year high of 5.50 per cent, as it took stock of a quarter-point increase in May that was aimed at tackling rising inflation. — AFP

Business aviation:

Dubai: A new airline has been launched in the UAE to cater to the growing demands of business aviation in the Middle East. The airline, named Empire Aviation Group, was launched by Emirates Investments Group. According to Middle East Business Aviation Association, the Gulf Cooperation Council owns 300 aircraft of different types and capacities, 43 of which are in the UAE. — HNS

US eyes India’s market:

Bangalore: Fair Isaac Corporation (FIC), the US-based analytical applications firm, is expanding its India operations to hard sell its software products. Besides leveraging the Indian talent pool for servicing its global customers from its Bangalore centre, the $825 million FIC is opening an office in Mumbai. — HNS