Morning business round-up: Call for action on recovery

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

The debate about what governments around the world should be doing to try to kick-start the sluggish economic recovery continued following President Obama's eagerly awaited plans to try to create jobs in the US.

Speaking at an event in London ahead of the gathering of the G7 group of leading economies, IMF head Christine Lagarde called on countries to "act boldly to steer their economies through this dangerous new phase of the recovery".

The G7 will be meeting in Marseille in the south of France for the next two days to discuss what they described as a "co-ordinated response" to slowing growth in some of the world's biggest economies.

There is also fresh concern about the state of the Japanese economy, as revised figures indicated that it had grown much more slowly than first thought.

Official figures showed that the economy shrank at an annual rate of 2.1% during the period, compared with the 1.3% drop reported previously.

Media caption,

Biz Heads

There were signs, however, that price pressure in China could be starting to ease.

China's rate of inflation eased in August to 6.2%, after hitting a three-year high in July of 6.5%, according to the National Statistics Bureau.

Economists said that it could indicate that government measures to slow the overheating economy were starting to work.

One of the UK's biggest pub chains, JD Wetherspoon, said the squeeze on consumers and its business of higher prices and energy bills was continuing. But despite that, it managed to post record sales, topping £1bn for the first time. Pre-tax profits fell slightly, however.

And High Street music and DVD retailer HMV said its sales were continuing to decline sharply.

Elsewhere, VW's statement revealing that its troubled merger with Porsche would not be completed this year caused shares in the luxury sportscar maker to fall more than 10%.

But the shares of oil exploration firm Tullow Oil were up more than 10% after it said that it had made an "important new discovery" off the coast of French Guiana.

The latest edition of the Business Daily programme from the BBC World Service hears from the Polish Finance Minister, Jacek Rostowski, who gives his prescription for saving the euro.

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