US current account deficit falls 3.6% in Q4
WASHINGTON • The United States current account deficit narrowed in the fourth quarter, but the improvement is unlikely to be sustained as a strong dollar continues to undercut the export of goods.
The Commerce Department said yesterday that the current account deficit, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments into and out of the country, fell 3.6 per cent to US$125.3 billion (S$170 billion).
The deficit represented 2.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), down from 2.9 per cent in the July-September quarter. T he deficit has declined from a record high of 6.3 per cent of GDP in the fourth quarter of 2005, as rising domestic oil production and lower international oil prices keep the import bill in check.
GlaxoSmithKline CEO to retire next year
LONDON • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) chief executive officer Andrew Witty plans to step down next year, after almost a decade at the helm that brought both transformation and discontent.
The 51-year-old executive will retire on March 31 next year, and the board will begin a search for a successor, the firm said in a statement.
Mr Witty began leading Britain's largest drugmaker in 2008 after a 20-year career at the company that included postings in the United States, Asia and Africa.
He has faced criticism for GSK's lagging share performance, sluggish US sales and a pipeline lacking promising medicines. A bribery scandal in China that led to a US$489 million (S$664 million) fine last year also tarnished his image.
GSK said its board would consider both internal and external candidates for the role of its new CEO.