Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s government announced plans to upgrade infrastructure as it boosts health and education spending, in a budget seeking to woo back voters while restoring economic credibility four months before an election.
Tim Hortons Inc., Canada’s largest coffee and doughnuts chain, fell the most in almost three months after a slowing economy prompted sales at its Canadian stores to drop for the first time since the company went public.
China Mengniu Dairy Co., the country’s largest dairy producer, agreed to buy 26.9 percent of China Modern Dairy Holdings Ltd. for HK$3.18 billion ($409 million) to gain greater control of milk supplies amid food safety concerns in the country.
Symrise AG, the fourth-biggest maker of flavors and fragrances, forecast a “favorable” development in consumer confidence in 2013 as it reiterated plans to grow faster than competitors on average. The stock rose the most in almost a year.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index measures Americans' perceptions on three important variables: the state of the economy, personal finances and whether it's a good time to buy needed goods or services. A new index reading is generated every week, making it a timely sentiment gauge.