MANCHESTER, England (AP):Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal cast doubt on his team’s chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League after a 2-1 loss at relegation-threatened Sunderland in the Premier League, placing the Dutchman under fresh scrutiny yesterday.The latest embarrassing loss for United this season was sealed by a late own goal by David de Gea in the 82nd minute, with a goal-line clearance from Anthony Martial cannoning off the back of the goalkeeper and into the net.Martial had equalised for United in the 39th minute after recently signed Wahbi Khazri put Sunderland ahead in the third minute.The loss left United six points behind fourth-place Manchester City, having played one more game.great chanceWith the top four in action against each other today – leaders Leicester are at Arsenal, and Manchester City host Tottenham – United wasted a great chance to close the gap on the Champions League places.”It will be very difficult now,” van Gaal said about United finishing in the top four. “It’s too much at this time. I think after this match, winning the Europa League is the best route.”Chelsea have endured an even more miserable season, but the ailing champions did manage to produce their most emphatic win of the campaign yesterday by routing Newcastle 5-1 to climb to 12th place. Manager Guus Hiddink remains unbeaten since replacing fired JosÈ Mourinho in December, but Chelsea are 14 points from fourth place.Diego Costa, wearing a mask after breaking his nose, took just five minutes to put Chelsea in front, and Pedro Rodriguez intercepted sloppy Newcastle, passing to score in the 9th minute.Willian completed a counterattack after being set up by Costa in the 17th, Pedro netted again in the 59th and Bertrand Traore became the first player from Burkina Faso to score in the Premier League in the 83rd.relegation zoneMeanwhile, Norwich threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to West Ham and stay in the relegation zone, now only a point above Sunderland. Swansea lost 1-0 at home to Southampton and are only three points above the bottom three in 16th place.Stoke beat Bournemouth 3-1 and Watford won 2-1 at Crystal Palace, for whom Emmanuel Adebayor scored his first Premier League goal since October 2014. Troy Deeney scored both of Watford’s goals.West Bromwich produced a steely defensive display to beat Everton 1-0 away, courtesy of a goal by Salomon Rondon.
Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced But will he be fit to play Friday’s opening game on the day he turns 26? Millions of Egyptians are anxious to know, and the intense interest isn’t restricted to Egypt.The presence of the country’s national hero is a key factor for his team’s chances against Uruguay, and perhaps advancing from the group stage for the first time.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownUruguay’s World Cup experience and the depth of the squad make the South American team a favorite for the game and in Group A, which also host Russia and Saudi Arabia. The Russians meet the Saudi’s in Thursday’s tournament opener.SALAH’S INFLUENCE MOST READ China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations View comments LATEST STORIES Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Michigan OKs Nassar-related laws to give victims time to sue Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary may very well make history on Friday, when he’s hoping to become the oldest player ever to play in a World Cup. But the 45-year-old El Hadary’s spot is far from sure.He’s vying for selection with Sherif Ekramy and Mohamed Elshenawy in what team officials say is a “heated but healthy and decent ” competition to be top choice.Egypts defense, anchored by West Bromwich defenders Ahmed Hegazi and Ali Gabr, will be seriously tested by Uruguay’s strike duo of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez.URUGAYAN ATTACKCavani was in great shape for Paris Saint-Germain with 40 goals during the season and also had a tournament-leading 10 goals in South American qualifying — three more than the likes of Lionel Messi and Gabriel Jesus.He has 42 goals for Uruguay and poses a significant threat to the Egyptian defense.Suarez is also poised to perform on the sport’s biggest stage, aiming to make a mark for his attacking prowess. At the 2010 World Cup, he was part of the squad that placed fourth but he was mostly remembered for his red card for handling a goal-bound header by Ghana’s Dominic Adiyiah.Four years later, Suarez was expelled from the tournament in Brazil for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini. Uruguay subsequently lost to Colombia in the round of 16.EL MAESTRO’S MILESTONECoach Oscar Tabarez leads two-time champion Uruguay into his fourth World Cup, and third in a row. He was in charge in 1990 and again in 2010 and 2014. Tabarez’s teams have always made it out of the group stage, including a semifinal appearance in South Africa in 2010. Nicknamed “El Maestro” (The Teacher), Tabarez brought the much needed discipline to Uruguay teams. Salah is a player who inspires and delivers for both his club and country. He scored 44 goals in all competitions in his debut season for Liverpool and became the leading scorer in the Premier League. His goals fired Egypt to the World Cup for the first time since 1990, earning Salah the deep gratitude of his nation and respect from rivals.Salah scored five of Egypt’s eight goals in the last round of Africa qualifying, including one from the spot in injury time against Congo that secured a spot in Russia with a game to spare. Without him, Egypt was struggling to find the back of the net in warmup games against Colombia (0-0) and Belgium (3-0).Salah showed clear signs of progress in his recovery Tuesday, dribbling the ball around the pitch and running at pace after working on his shoulder with a physiotherapist on the sidelines.“We are here after 28 years. We are happy about that, but every one of us has big ambitions and hopes,” Salah told reporters in Grozny.ONE FOR THE AGESADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award FILE – In this Oct. 8, 2017 file photo, Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, center, battles for the ball with Congo’s Delvin N’Dinga, right, and Tobias Badila during the 2018 World Cup group E qualifying soccer match at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)YEKATERINBURG, Russia — The emphasis on the team returning to the World Cup after 28 years has given way to attention on an individual player ahead of Egypt’s World Cup opener against Uruguay.Liverpool star Mohamed Salah is expected to recover from a shoulder injury he sustained in the Champions League final in time to play at least some part of Egypt’s World Cup campaign.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next
In the wake of the fight against Ebola, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Nimba Branch on Saturday 20th September 2014 destroyed a huge quantity of expired, contaminated consumable goods from a store belonging to the Jungle Waters Group of Investment located at the Guinea Road Junction in Ganta City.The destruction of the goods brought great dismay to the residents of Ganta wondering why the proprietor of the business center should allow such huge quantities of goods to expire.The goods contained varieties of biscuit including cream crackers, nice biscuit, peanut snack, milk energy Tuts, Tac – Tac biscuit, among others.Some of the biscuit expired since October 2012, but was still kept in the store along with others goods for sale, making buyers or consumers to be astonished.The total of over 500 cartons of biscuits were loaded on a truck and taken to the Zuamill Sub – Port Area where a pit was hug and everything placed in it and set ablaze in the presence of the Environmental Protection Agency, LNP, Commerce Inspector of Nimba and inspectors from the Ganta City Authority.“This is just a portion of the goods you are seeing here, because of lateness in time the rest, which include bags of sugar, some brewery products, and butter amongst others, will be burnt on Monday 22nd September 2014, said Roosevelt Gbormie, Commerce Nimba Inspector.Prior to Monday, police confiscated 18 bags of the expired sugar Saturday night when the management of the store was trying to relocate them.Again on Sunday, over 50 cartons of can Beer were seen loaded on board a pickup under the guidance of LNP, which got people to speculate that they were relocating the goods.Bees were flying all in the store because the sugar was spilling with water around the entry of the store where the sugar bags were packed of the leakage.“They still continue to sell expired goods to the public and when people get sick from running stomach, then they say you get Ebola,’ said a lady who was standing by.Harry Carlson, an EPA Nimba Agent, “we are making sure that the people dispose of all these goods properly before it is taken away; this is the reason we ordered them to dig a pit for the goods to be burnt in.”Jungle Waters Group of Company is one of the largest service providers in Nimba, and it is involved in distribution of dry goods, drinks of all kinds, cold water and petroleum, and is running a mini mineral water factory.Effort to get the proprietor, Mr. Flolyd Tomah proved futile as his phone ran endlessly without a response. The head of the Crime Services Department in Nimba, James Kartoe said police was still investigating allegation of relocating the expired goods overnight.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
We are all products of our experience-which is a good reason to examine carefully the past experiences and present action of those communities who took matters into their own hands in the fight against Ebola Virus Disease.Winning communities acknowledge that community organizers, change agents, opinion and community leaders played important roles in community health belief systems and health seeking behaviours of others. Most communities started as vigilante groups, setting up road blocks, placing hand washing buckets at strategic locations, conducting temperature screening and managing Ebola committees, transportation and isolations centers.While health policies and established health practices are acknowledged and are an integral and valued part to the community, the media (particularly this medium) also played a critical role in the dissemination of valued health information and in providing unwritten community protocols for safety, health, education and basic hygienic necessities for the prevention and control of Ebola Virus Disease. (EVD)We recognized that all that was necessary for EVD to flourish was for the community to do nothing. We take special note of the roles played by community health volunteers, vigilante groups and faith-based organizations like the Catholic Church in drafting the blueprint for community protocols.Our community outreach education programmes at Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia during the Ebola crisis were specifically designed to accommodate new materials. We were not only immersed in community based activities but involved in promoting programmes, policies and practices that increased cooperation, interaction and exchanges between communities-enabling all social groups to share their resources and support each other in the war against Ebola.MOP-Liberia article in this column on -“It takes a village” and other Ebola prevention programmes were cited at different international arena for their significant contributions to community protocols in the fight against EVD.Liberia, with more than four thousand Ebola deaths, has learned its lessons well. We need to document these best practices, having produced the most successful fight against Ebola. We also need to ensure that conditions in our schools and communities are as safe as possible. It takes just one hidden case of Ebola to reignite the fire.Helping communities get back to their normal way of life is critical to ensuring that Liberia recovers from the Ebola crisis. Community health workers and leaders need to advocate for survivors, shelter and school for orphans and others who lost loved ones and incomes. Psychosocial support to affected and neighboring communities is important and more importantly is strict border control strategies.Early recovery efforts in Liberia should establish how communities could practice careful hygiene by washing hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer; avoid contact with blood and body fluids of an infected person, avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola and avoid contact with animals particularly bats, non human primates or raw bush meat. Government of Liberia should focus on protection of households through the distribution of disinfection kits and materials for contact tracing in various communities.Other measures to be included in the protocols for safe community environments in post Ebola era should include guidance for contact tracing, early surveillance system before suspected cases appear and Ebola Disease Modeling (EDM) to assess the future scope of the epidemic.With no single new cases of Ebola over the past week, we can proudly write that we are only weeks away from when (not if) Liberia would be declared “Ebola-free”. Until then and with an end in sight, we need to redouble our community action to stop and eradicate Ebola from our country. Support the “Ebola Educates” Campaign in kind through your stories or with your generous cash donation. Until next week, when we come to you with another article on: “Ebola Educates-Work Place Protocols”, Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Government of Liberia (GOL) has announced plans to launch a new economic roadmap for the coming year. The Economic Stabilization and Recovery Plan (ESRP) is expected to go live in January, 2015 and is projected to cost the government roughly US$174 million with key sectors of the economy including heath, education, agriculture, information communications technology and road infrastructure, targeted for public investment. It is not yet clear whether ESRP will meet the approval of the National Legislature, but it was announced last week by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) Mr. Amara M. Konneh, who said the measure will address some of the country’s vexing issues undermining trade and its overall economic strength. Liberia is hit hardest by the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa, which has killed nearly 3,000 people in the post-conflict economy and infected over 5,000.The EVD outbreak has ruined the country’s gains over the years and posed further threats to its recovery programs.Foreign contractors and investors have declared force majeure and left the country to avoid being infected by the virus. The economy has receded by more than six percent with real GDP growth rate dwindling to (-) 0.4 percent and many people have lost their jobs amidst reduction of public revenues and increasing spending due to the Ebola virus outbreak. As part of its safety measures, the government has sent thousands of workers to stay home creating further bleak posture for the economy. Speaking to reporters last week, Konneh said he has been working with his colleagues in government including development partners to address some of the incommodious issues undermining the country’s trade position and overall economic strength. “The result is the development of an economic stabilization and recovery plan, designed to mitigate the effects of the slump in economic activities in the short term, and institute measures to restore the economy to its former trajectory of sustained, rapid growth, consistent with our medium and long term development goals,” said Minister Konneh. “The government is fully committed to investing its meager resource envelope to demonstrate ownership of this plan, while we also engage our development partners to support it directly through our national budget. In fact, we have already mobilized some resources to this effect, while a significant gap remains.” Although many Liberians are still very skeptical about the success of the government’s new strategy judging from the unsuccessful records of other strategies including the poverty reduction strategy (PRS) and the Agenda for Transformation (AfT), which is still struggling, Minister Konneh assured that the ESRP will promote investment activities that would restore the provision of basic services currently suspended or limited as a result of the crisis. According to the Finance Minister, the funds will be allocated as follows: US$60 million in revitalizing the health sector and improving basic health service delivery throughout the country, in addition to ongoing support to the sector to eradicate Ebola; US$30 million in support to the educational sector, to reduce the illiteracy rate and enhance national human capacity development efforts and US$25 million towards conditional cash transfers, to provide a social safety net for the significant portion of the Liberian populace affected by the Ebola virus disease crisis. Finance Minister Konneh also announced US$35 million to the agriculture sector, which he said is the lowest hanging fruit to the economic growth and development of Liberia; US$10 million into the activities of the domestic private sector, considered the engine of growth by the government, to reverse the slowdown in economic activity and create jobs; another US$10 million to be invested in developing the ICT sector, to promote innovation and efficiency in our economy; and the remaining US$4 million will be invested in road maintenance equipment, to improve the country’s road network and thereby enhance the farm to market value chain. The Liberian Finance Minister explained that the government is working with infrastructure contractors, who declared force majeure few months ago to resume their infrastructure rehabilitation work. He described these projects as crucial to jumpstart the economy. “They earlier stalled these activities, citing the force majeure clause in their contracts, due to the Ebola outbreak, but things have now begun to improve so we want them back,” Konneh added.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
One day after the United States warned its citizens about the high crime rate in Guyana, the Government said the travel advisory is incorrect, adding that the country is a “safe place”.Director General at the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP), Joseph HarmonIn a statement on its website, the US State Department urged its citizens to exercise caution when visiting Guyana due to the evident spike in the country’s crime rate.However, Director General at the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP), Joseph Harmon has touted Guyana as a safe place to not only visit but invest.“From the level of the Cabinet, I wish to assure all of our citizens, including those citizens who are abroad and are making decisions to travel to Guyana, that Guyana is a safe place. Guyana is a safe place to live, it’s a safe place to work, it’s a safe place to invest and that’s the word I wish to give to all persons who might be thinking twice as a result of this advisory,” Harmon told reporters at the post-Cabinet press briefing on Friday.According to the State Department, Guyana’s police network is hindered to effectively alleviate these incidents due to the lack of resources.“Violent crimes such as armed robbery and murder is common. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents,” the notice stated.But Harmon pointed out that the coalition Government is fully confident in the ability of local police officers to tackle crime in this country.The Director General at MOTP said that Government is unhappy about the US travel advisory on Guyana’s high crime rate.“Every time an advisory comes out, people think twice about travelling to your country [and] they think twice about investing. So we cannot say we’re happy at all with advisories that speak towards the security of the State and affect the way in which people make decisions to travel to our country,” the Government spokesperson said on Friday.The State Department further advised all travellers from the United States to be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs and avoid walking or driving in the nights. Persons were also cautioned not to resist any robbery attempts they might encounter and desist from displaying signs of wealth, such as expensive watches or jewellery.In Guyana’s Crime and Safety Report for 2018, which was created by the State Department, Georgetown was assessed as “a critical-threat location for crime directed at or affecting official US Government interests”. It was indicated that the country’s crime statistics are above the national average.However, Harmon, who is a United States citizen himself, contended on Friday that the Police Force is now better led by a cadre of senior officers who are ensuring that operations are intelligence-led, thus resulting in successes such as the recent breakthroughs in the local criminal network.Within the past weeks, local police have shot and killed six bandits – three in Black Bush Polder on the Corentyne and three in Georgetown during the course of armed robberies.The US travel advisory came on the heels of a recent statement from the local Private Sector Commission (PSC) calling for more to be done to curb the spate of violent crimes across the country.While commending the recent successes of the police in confronting violent crimes, the Commission in a statement on Wednesday underscored the importance of equipping the Force with the necessary equipment to tackle the growing challenges threatening the safety and wellbeing of citizens.“The Commission is convinced of the need for significantly greater human and financial resources being placed at the disposal of the Police Force… The Commission believes that there is considerable room for enhancement in intelligence gathering and analysis than is currently in place,” the Commission said its missive.According to the umbrella Private Sector body, its Governance and Security Committee met on Wednesday to address the increasing and widespread public concern over the manifestly “frightening and disturbing” incidents of violent crime across the country.Coming out of that meeting, the Committee decided to request a joint meeting with Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan and Commissioner of Police Leslie James to discuss the matter.“The Commission believes that there is a much greater need for public confidence and trust in the Police Force… The Commission looks forward to a strong and uncompromising standard of leadership in our security forces,” it added.Further, the PSC went on to highlight its deep concerns over the “insufficient progress” being made with regards to the implementation of Security Sector Reforms.
But after a discouraging meeting with city Public Works officials Tuesday, MEND staff decided to unpack their medical and dental equipment and begin rescheduling appointments that had been set for the new site. “It’s detracting, in a lot of ways, from what we’re about and what we’re doing,” said MEND Executive Director Maryanne Haver Hill. “We got stuck in this awkward situation with the city bureaucracy. It’s not one person’s fault. It’s the whole system that’s broken and we’re stuck in the middle of it.” MEND had suspended its medical and dental clinics in anticipation of the move. “What’s at stake here is services,” Alarc n said. “Sometimes people get locked into doing things from the perspective of the permit process and they’re not looking at the outcomes. The outcomes here are medical and social services including food, clothing, dental and medical care … to some of the most disenfranchised people in the northeast San Fernando Valley and the entire San Fernando Valley.” email@example.com (818) 713-3722160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MEND has been operating for more than 35 years out of a 10,000-square-foot warehouse on Van Nuys Boulevard and was scheduled to begin moving last Friday into the larger new complex nearby. But delays and miscommunication by the Department of Water and Power – which donated more than $200,000 in services to the charity – and the city’s Department of Public Works prevented the charity from getting its required temporary certificate of occupancy. Public Works officials have said they want to help but their hands are tied by a city ordinance that requires all public improvements to be completed before they sign off on a temporary certificate of occupancy. Alarc n said he has asked for clarification of the law and is working with the building and safety department. “I’m very pleased that it seems that building and safety and public works are motivated to get this done and are moving very expeditiously, and if we can get past this one glitch, we believe we can possibly see a temporary certificate of occupancy,” Alarc n said. Caught in a bureaucratic tangle that has stymied a planned move to a brand-new center, San Fernando Valley’s largest poverty-assistance group Wednesday had to unpack equipment at its old site in order to continue to serve needy residents. Officials with Meet Each Need With Dignity said, however, that they will still hold a ceremonial “opening” Saturday at the $8.5 million complex nearby even though they will not be able to move in immediately. And while city officials have estimated it could take up to six weeks to issue a temporary certificate of occupancy for the new building, City Councilman Richard Alarc n said Wednesday he is trying to expedite the move for the Pacoima-based group. Alarc n, a former president of MEND, said he’s negotiating with city departments and hopes to persuade them to allow the group to move in this week.
The Donegal panel are expected to return home from Dubai later today.The Donegal Senior squad are due to return home from their team holiday later today after a week in the sun-soaked city of Dubai.However, the Donegal panel will be thrust straight back into action with training planned for both tomorrow and Sunday, with the focus now swiftly turning on their next league encounter with Cork.Manager Rory Gallagher who didn’t attend the trip to Dubai, was keen to gather his squad as quickly as possible following their return to Ireland. With preparations for the Cork match hampered by the team holiday, Gallagher will start his plans for that game when the squad assembles for training tomorrow morning.Donegal defeated Derry at home in their National League opener, but suffered defeat at the hands of Dublin in Croke Park prior to their departure for Dubai.That defeat meant Donegal’s miserable away record continues in the league.Donegal now face Cork in Ballyshannon on March the 1st and will be hoping to attain another crucial two points. After two rounds of games, it already looks like being a volatile league, with six teams on two points already.For the meantime the Donegal team will have to shake off their jet-lag and get back on the training park after a week of rest and relaxation in the UAE. DONEGAL TEAM RETURN HOME FROM DUBAI WITH FOCUS NOW ON CORK was last modified: February 20th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CorkdonegalDubaiGAAholidaynewsReturnSporttraining
LOS ANGELES — The Warriors’ championship fabric started to tear.The Warriors labored without Stephen Curry to guide them because of an injury. The Warriors struggled without Kevin Durant after fouling out. The Warriors became anxious, exhilarated and then anxious as Klay Thompson struggled with his shot, rediscovered it in crunch time and struggled again. And the Warriors saw Draymond Green fight through rustiness before having heated words with Durant on the bench.Yes, there is plenty to …
19 June 2014 South Africa’s current account deficit narrowed to 4.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter from a shortfall of 5.1% in the last quarter of 2013, the Reserve Bank said on Wednesday. “As a ratio of GDP, the deficit on the current account narrowed to 4.5%,” the central bank in its June Quarterly Bulletin. Market expectation had been for the deficit to widen to 6.1%. According to the bulletin, the annualised shortfall on the trade account widened to R75-billion in the first quarter from R45-billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. “The deficit on the services, income and current transfer account with the rest of the world narrowed considerably on account of notably lower net dividend payments to non-resident investors. The contraction in the deficit on this account more than neutralised the deterioration in the trade balance,” the bulletin noted. Nedbank said the improvement in the current account deficit was encouraging, adding that it could narrow further during the remainder of this year as global conditions continued to improve. “However, this will require a normalisation of production activity in the platinum sector and avoidance of further crippling disruptions in the local economy,” Nedbank added.Domestic expenditure grows 2.7% Meanwhile, spending in the country showed growth of 2.7% in the first quarter, the Reserve Bank’s bulletin shows. “[In] contrast to the contraction observed in domestic production in the first quarter of 2014, real gross domestic expenditure switched from negative growth at an annualised rate of 3.6% in the fourth quarter of 2013 to positive growth of 2.7% in the first quarter of 2014.” According to the bulletin, the acceleration was brought about by a moderation in the de-stocking of real inventories, while growth in all the components of final demand lost some momentum over the period. “The slower pace of inventory de-accumulation made the strongest contribution to growth in real gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2014.” Growth in real final consumption expenditure by households moderated for the eighth time in nine consecutive quarters. It grew at 1.8% from an annualised 2% rate in the fourth quarter of 2013. The ratio of household debt to disposable income edged down slightly to 74.5% from 74.6%. Nedbank said growth in domestic demand was likely to remain lacklustre in the second quarter as household finances remained weak and the government was still committed to reducing the fiscal deficit and growth in the public sector wage bill over the medium term. “Some improvement in household spending could be experienced during the second half of the year as the strike in the platinum mining sector ends,” Nedbank said, but added: “Firms will still be wary of expanding capacity aggressively in the current weak economic environment, while high input costs, persistent labour-related disputes in some of the key industries and general infrastructure constraints continue to hurt sentiment.” Source: SAnews.gov.za