China moves up in World Bank ranks
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WASHINGTON — The World Bank recognized China's growing economic influence by agreeing yesterday to elevate Beijing's voting power to behind only that of the U.S. and Japan in the 186-nation lending organization.
Lifting China above a number of Western powers, including Germany, France and Britain, also gives other nations with emerging economies more voice and say in how the bank operates and lends money.
Bank members also decided to increase the institution's capital by $3.5 billion, the first hike in more than 20 years.
ECONOMIC OPTIMISM RISING IN U.S.
NEW YORK — Economists are more optimistic about prospects for growth this year as industries increasingly report better profits and add new jobs, though they still expect the recovery to remain slow, a new survey finds.
Seventy percent of those recently surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics believe real GDP will grow by more than 2 percent this year, up from 61 percent who said the same in January. Twenty-four percent are predicting real GDP will grow by more than 3 percent in 2010, up from 14 percent earlier this year.
The NABE forecast, out today, shows fewer jobs are being shed, more are being created and more companies are making money. The survey of 68 NABE members takes into account first-quarter results and near-term outlook.
GREECE CONFIDENT OF ECONOMIC BAILOUT
WASHINGTON — A key Greek economic official expressed confidence yesterday that his country will be able to secure billions of dollars in emergency loans from European countries and the International Monetary Fund to avoid a crippling debt default.
Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou described as a "red herring" the market speculation that Greece may still have to default on some of its debt, forcing investors to accept less than full repayment on the Greek bonds they are holding. He said any such restructuring of Greek debt was "off the table."