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All across Europe people are waking up to an inconvenient truth: The cushy, lifelong government and employer pensions they’ve enjoyed for more than half a century are unsustainable.  Although it lagged the U.S. by several years, Europe also experienced a baby boom after World War II followed by a “baby bust” resulting in its own Generation X when the boom ended and birthrates fell.In addition, thanks to medical advances, Europeans have enjoyed increases in life expectancy similar to those seen on this side of the Atlantic, and the continent is also feeling the impact of having fewer individuals in the […]

BERLIN Ford Motor Co may scrap more plants and lay off more workers in Europe as the euro zone debt crisis continues to exacerbate the auto sector’s overcapacity. The situation in European markets remains “very volatile”, Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally said at a conference in Berlin on Wednesday, two weeks after the company announced it was cutting 6,200 jobs and production capacity in the region. “We don’t know whether it (European economy) will stabilize or hit bottom or not because it’s continuing to decrease,” said Mulally. The second largest U.S. car maker said last month it will shutter a […]

LONDON In the politically packed days ahead, an election, a coronation and a two-part parliamentary vote each has the potential to alter the course of the global economy for years to come. The election, of course, is on Tuesday for the White House and Congress. Two days later, China’s ruling Communist party begins the 18th congress in its history. Barring one of the biggest political surprises in modern times, the carefully choreographed gathering will culminate a week later in the crowning of Xi Jinping as successor to Hu Jintao. He will hold the reins of power for the next decade. […]

PARIS/DETROIT Ford Motor Co, which clung to the road with a timely swerve before the 2009 crisis that bankrupted General Motors Co, may now be pulling a similar stunt in Europe. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker is scrapping three European plants and thousands of jobs while its rival appears to be stuck on the starting grid. The speed of Ford’s restructuring plan – and the comparatively slow pace of GM’s – has become more important during a protracted slump in Europe’s auto market, with sales down another 7.2 percent so far this year. Both companies unveiled hefty third-quarter losses in the […]

Europe’s financial crisis remains the biggest hurdle to global economic recovery and will be in focus at a meeting of world finance chiefs in Mexico City this weekend, a senior U.S. Treasury official said on Friday. “Recognizing that Europe remains the strongest headwind to global growth, there will be considerable interest among the G20 on the European crisis response,” the official said. The comments contrast with those from some other members of the Group of 20 leading economies, who said the United States’ own fiscal problems will loom largest at the G20 meetings. The senior U.S. Treasury official, who spoke […]

The European debt crisis remains the “greatest headwind” to global growth and therefore will be a focus of the G-20 meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in Mexico City this weekend, a senior U.S. Treasury official said Friday. “There will be considerable interest among the G-20 on the European crisis response,” the official said. Officials of other G-20 nations have said they would press the U.S. to avoid the fiscal cliff, the automatic spending cuts and tax hikes set to hit the economy early next year. The U.S. officials sidestepped the issue, saying only that there is “broad support” […]

LONDON European stock markets extended gains in afternoon action on Thursday, after a gauge of U.S. consumer confidence rose to the highest level since 2008 and the Institute for Supply Management’s index of purchasing managers exceeded expectations. The Stoxx Europe 600 index jumped 1% to 272.96. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index rallied 1.2% to 5,851.80, while France’s CAC 40 index rose 1.2% to 3,469.75. Germany’s DAX 30 index climbed 1% to 7,334.43.

DETROIT General Motors Co on Wednesday posted a far stronger-than-expected profit and said it was targeting a return to break-even levels in its money-losing European operations by mid-decade after a loss of as much as $ 1.8 billion in that region this year. GM’s net income attributable to common shareholders in the third quarter fell to $ 1.48 billion, or 89 cents a share, compared with $ 1.74 billion, or $ 1.03 a share, in the year earlier quarter. Excluding one-time items, GM earned 93 cents a share, far above the 60 cents analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had […]

OTTAWA This weekend’s meetings of the Group of 20 leading nations are likely to keep pushing Europe and the United States to confront their debt troubles, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Tuesday. The Mexico City meetings of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors follow talks in Tokyo more than two weeks ago, which endorsed a checklist of policy reforms aimed at pressuring Europe and the United States to tackle their debt troubles. “I hope we will continue the discussions that we had in Tokyo to encourage our European colleagues to get on with the structural reform that […]

ZURICH Swiss dental implant maker Straumann said it would cut roughly 150 jobs to improver margins as it grapples with sluggish demand in Europe. Straumann posted a 4 percent rise in third-quarter sales to 156.8 million Swiss francs ($ 167.41 million), compared to an average estimate in a Reuters poll of 158 million. The dental implant market was hit hard by the financial crisis and has been further hamstrung by the euro zone debt crisis as cash-strapped Europeans worried about the downturn cut back on non-essential dental treatment. “With our margins reaching unacceptable levels in the first half of the […]

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