Police looking for robbery suspects

Niagara police are searching for two men after a gun was fired during an early morning break-in.Investigators say two gunmen burst into a home on Grantham Avenue in St. Catharines early in the morning. They say the gunmen broke the front door and roughed up one of the people inside. That person needed treatment for head injures. The gunmen fired two shots into the wall before taking off toward Facer Street. The suspects are both described as black men.The first suspect has a stocky build and a scruffy beard. He was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt with light shirt underneath.The other suspect has a thin build and was wearing a grey shirt. The incident happened before 5:30 Wednesday morning.00:00:00 | 00:00:00::Projekktor V1.3.09 read more

Chinas economic growth dips to 6year low but consumer spending helps avert

BEIJING, China – China’s economy decelerated in the latest quarter but stronger spending by consumers who are emerging as an important pillar of growth helped to avert a deeper downturn.The world’s second-largest economy grew by 6.9 per cent in the three months ended in September, the slowest since early 2009 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, data showed Monday. That was down from the previous quarter’s 7 per cent.China’s economic prospects are being scrutinized around the world. Its slowdown has unnerved global financial markets and held down growth in countries such as Brazil and Australia that export raw materials to China.Last month, the Federal Reserve mentioned China’s slowdown and deteriorating global economic conditions when it delayed a long-anticipated increase in short-term American interest rates. The central bank’s main concern, however, was low U.S. inflation which suggests underlying weakness in the world’s No. 1 economy.Weakening trade and manufacturing have fueled concern in China about possible job losses and unrest. The communist government has cut interest rates five times since last November in an effort to shore up growth.The latest data highlight the two-speed nature of China’s economy in the midst of a marathon effort by the Communist Party to nurture self-sustaining growth based on domestic consumption and reduce reliance on trade and investment. Manufacturers are shrinking and shedding millions of jobs while consumer-oriented businesses expand.In September, growth in factory output slowed to 5.7 per cent from August’s 6.1 per cent. At the same time, retail sales growth rose to 10.9 per cent from July’s 10.5 per cent. E-commerce spending leaped ahead, rising 36 per cent in the third quarter over a year earlier.“Continued downward pressures from real estate and exports caused GDP growth to drop,” said Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics in a report. “But robust consumption and infrastructure prevented a sharper slowdown.”The decline in Chinese heavy industry and construction has depressed demand for oil, iron ore and other commodities, dragging on growth in Australia, Brazil and other supplier countries.At the same time, rising Chinese incomes are propelling demand for European wines, wheat and fresh fruit from Australia and the United States, medical technology and other imports.Private sector forecasters have cut their outlook for China’s growth this year to between 6.5 and 7 per cent. That still would be the second-strongest of any major country, surpassed only by India, where the International Monetary Fund expects 7.5 per cent. It would be more than double the 3.1 per cent growth forecast by the IMF for the United States.Much of China’s 5-year-old slowdown has been self-imposed but an unexpectedly sharp decline over the past year, due in part to weak demand for Chinese exports, prompted concern the downturn might be deepening too sharply. Forecasters expect Beijing to cut interest rates further and take other steps to shore up growth.The IMF expects growth to slow to 6.3 per cent next year and 6 per cent in 2017.“We think there is further slowing to go,” said Wei Li of Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a report. “Although we do not foresee China falling into a crisis, the economic growth rate is set to stay lower for longer.”Communist leaders set an official growth target of “about 7 per cent” for this year but have tried to discourage investors and the public from focusing on that figure. The top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, said in September he would accept growth below that level so long as the economy keeps creating enough new jobs.“In order to restructure, the economy will face some downward pressure,” said Sheng Laiyun, a spokesman for the Chinese statistics agency.“China does not lack growth momentum,” said Sheng at a news conference. “Despite a slowdown in the industrial sector, China’s services sector is growing rapidly.”Already, e-commerce, restaurants and other services for China’s own consumers account for 41.7 per cent of the country’s employment, well ahead of manufacturing’s 34.7 per cent share, according to government data.The economy’s latest performance was slightly better than forecast, defying expectations the collapse of a stock market boom the previous quarter would drag down consumer spending.September imports plunged in dollar value but analysts said that was due to lower prices for oil and other commodities. They noted the volume of imports of iron ore, oil and some other raw materials increased slightly, suggesting construction and manufacturing might be accelerating.Exports in the first nine months of the year were down 1.9 per cent from a year earlier, threatening the health of manufacturers that employ millions of workers. Weak global demand makes it unlikely Beijing can meet its trade growth target of 6 per cent for this year.Some forecasters suggest Beijing overstates growth and the true rate might be as low as 5 per cent.“Today’s data suggest that while the official GDP figures continue to overstate the actual pace of growth in China by a significant margin, underlying conditions are subdued but stable,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a report.___National Bureau of Statistics of China (in Chinese): www.stats.gov.cn FILE – In this Oct. 6, 2015 file photo, a worker tosses boards onto the back of a truck at a construction site in Beijing. China’s economic growth decelerated in the latest quarter but relatively robust spending by Chinese consumers helped to avert a deeper downturn. The world’s second-largest economy grew by 6.9 percent in the three months ended in September, the slowest since early 2009 in the aftermath of the global crisis, data showed Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. That was down from the previous quarter’s 7 percent. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File) China’s economic growth dips to 6-year low but consumer spending helps avert deeper downturn by Joe McDonald, The Associated Press Posted Oct 18, 2015 8:12 pm MDT Last Updated Oct 19, 2015 at 8:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more