Business

Morning business round-up: Italian concerns continue

What made the business news in Asia and Europe this morning? Here's our daily business round-up:

Concerns about Italy's public finances again topped the business news agenda in Europe.

As the Italian government continues to work on an austerity budget, the International Monetary Fund urged it to take "decisive" action on cutting spending.

In the UK there was mixed news from the latest jobs report.

Official figures showed that the number of unemployed people in the UK fell 26,000 in the three months to May., and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7%.

However, the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in June rose by 24,500 to 1.52 million - the biggest such increase in two years.

Also in the UK, leading retailer Marks and Spencer reported sales growth and a bigger market share despite the stagnant UK clothes market.

Its like-for-like UK sales excluding VAT in the 13 weeks to 2 July rose 1.7% versus a year ago, in line with expectations.

UK fashion brand Burberry has unveiled a 34% increase in revenues in its latest quarterly results.

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The clothes retailer, famous for its camel, red and black check pattern, reported revenues of £367m for the three months to 30 June, slightly ahead of expectations.

The main headline coming out of Asia was China's growth rate slowing to 9.5% in the three months to the end of June, against growth of 9.7% in the previous quarter.

Also in China, a report by environmental pressure group Greenpeace said suppliers to several global clothing brands are polluting two of the country's main rivers.

Wednesday's Business Daily podcast asks whether the head or the heart should rule when making business decisions.

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