AMAZON has quenched the Kindle Fire, saying its first tablet computer is now sold out.
The Internet retailer has a major press conference scheduled for next Thursday in Santa Monica, California. It's widely expected to reveal a new model of the Fire there. Amazon.com launched the $358.6 tablet last November. It was the first Kindle with a colour screen and the ability to run third-party applications, placing it in competition with Apple's iPad. Amazon doesn't say how many Fires it has sold, but says it captured 22 per cent of U.S. tablet sales over nine months. That would make it the second-most popular tablet, after the iPad. Based on iPad sales reported by Apple, Fire sales can be estimated at somewhere around 5 million units.
Rates on hold
THE Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is expected to keep interest rates on hold when its board meets on Tuesday. However a rate cut is likely some time in the months afterwards, as a slowdown in China, falling prices for mineral exports, and the continuing euro zone crisis weigh on the outlook for domestic economic growth. The RBA has keep its cash rate on hold since its June board meeting, at 3.5 per cent, when they were cut by a quarter of a percentage point. RBC senior economist Su-Lin Ong said the Australian economy performed well in the first half of 2012 but it would need some help from the RBA in the latter part of the year. "A lot of that comes from a drop in the terms of trade and the knock-on impact to lower national income," Ms Ong said. "The second part of that story is a softer labour market and we are looking for the unemployment rate to rise as we go into the end of the year and next year."
SOUTH Korea's industrial output has registered a second straight month of decline in July amid a deepening global slowdown, government statistics show. Production in the mining, manufacturing, gas and electricity industries fell 1.6 per cent from the previous month following a revised 0.6 per cent contraction in June, Statistics Korea data said on Friday. Year-on-year, the output inched up 0.3 per cent last month but decelerated from a revised 1.4 per cent on-year gain in June. Service-sector production increased 1.5 per cent on-year in July and inched up 0.7 per cent from the previous month, the data showed.
CHINA has signed a $6.3 billion deal to buy 50 Airbus A320 jets during a visit by German leader Angela Merkel, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The agreement between ICBC Leasing and Airbus was part of a series of agreements signed by China and Germany at the start of a two-day visit by Merkel aimed at boosting trade between the two economic powers. ICBC Leasing is a unit of state-owned bank ICBC. Other agreements include one relating to assembling Airbus planes in China, Xinhua said, as well as deals in areas such as automobiles, energy, the environment and health. China, the world's second largest economy, has a fast growing aviation sector and manufacturers are racing to capture orders as the country's increasingly affluent consumers more frequently take to the air when travelling.