Airport blacktopping

SURKHET: Preliminary works on blacktopping of Surkhet Airport in Birendranagar, the headquarters of Mid-western Development Region, has begun from last week. Due to the construction works, flights have been suspended at the airport for a week. The work has begun at the time when Jumla Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been obstructing flight services at the airport demanding the cancellation of syndicate system. — RSS

Philippine exports up

MANILA: Philippine exports sustained a double-digit growth rate for a fourth straight month in May, rising by 17.3 per cent from a year earlier to $3.88 billion. Electronics, the country’s main export, grew by 9.9 per cent to $2.29 billion but the figure was down by 9.6 per cent from April. The US was the top export destination for May, accounting for 18.1 per cent of the total, followed by Japan on 17.3 per cent, Singapore 9.1 per cent and China 8.9 per cent. — AFP

Bank lending drops

BEIJING: China’s bank lending fell by 22 per cent last month, suggesting official efforts to cool off the sizzling economy are taking effect. New bank loans in June totalled $45 billion, down by $13 billion from the same month in 2005. The decline “showed a slew of central bank moves meant to rein in excessive lending and cool down the economy, including an interest rate hike at the end of April, were working. — AP

British trade deficit

LONDON: Britain’s deficit for trade in goods widened in May from the previous month. Britain’s trade-in-goods deficit stood at $12.434 billion in May, compared with a downwardly-revised 5.568 billion pounds in April. Analysts’ consensus forecast had been for a shortfall of 5.9 billion pounds in May. — AFP

French deficit falls

PARIS: The French trade balance showed a narrowed deficit in May of 1.797 billion euros from April. The revised, adjusted figures from the customs service showed that exports had grown to 33.113 billion euros from 32.486 billion euros in April while imports had increased by a smaller amount, to 34.910 billion euros. — AFP

Budget estimate cut

WASHINGTON: The US budget deficit will be trimmed to an estimated $296 billion in the current fiscal year, down sharply from earlier projections, president George W Bush said on Tuesday. Bush said surging tax revenues from economic growth would help reduce the deficit, compared with last year’s White House projection of a $423 billion budget shortfall. — AFP