Immigrants' remittances from Spain to home countries totalled 1.95 billion Euros in the first three quarters of 2008, down 7% from the same period a year ago, reported the Banco de España.
The inflation rate reached 30.9% in 2008, an 11-year high, according to the latest release from the Venezuelan Central bank. The bank also said prices rose 31.9% in the capital, Caracas, the highest level since 1997, outstripping the 2007 figure, 22.5%.
In response to the collapse of commodity prices and demand giant Australian-UK minerals corporation Rio Tinto announced the postponement of one of its key iron ore expansion projects, the 2.15 billion US dollars Corumba mine in the heartland of Brazil.
Ecuador quietly made overdue payments to Brazil on a loan for the construction of a controversial hydroelectric project, helping to end a months-long diplomatic dispute, revealed Brazil's Foreign Affairs ministry.
Following weeks of farmers' demands for emergency support, Uruguay's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries finally admitted the seriousness of the drought for the farming industry and the country's main source of exports.
Britain's Lloyds TSB bank has agreed to pay a 350 million US dollars penalty to US authorities over financial transfers that violated US sanctions. The US Justice Department said Lloyds TSB had acknowledged criminal conduct and agreed to forfeit the funds in return for an end to its investigation.
The number of registered jobless in Spain topped 3 million for the first time ever in December and the government said unemployment would worsen in 2009 as the global economic crisis continues to wreak havoc on the country's construction and tourism industries.
An investigation has been launched into the British activities of alleged multi-billion-pound fraudster Bernard Ponzi Madoff. UK officials will focus on investors who lost huge sums when Madoff's financial business collapsed, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said.
The Euro zone economy entered its first official recession in the third quarter, EU data confirmed in a third reading on Thursday. The bloc's combined economy shrank by 0.2% in the third quarter after contracting by the same amount in the second quarter, the Eurostat data agency said.
Yet another bank cut the 2009 economic growth forecast for Brazil: JPMorgan Chase & Co. downed Latinamerica's largest economy expansion estimate for this year from 2% to 1.5%, as global recession takes its toll on industrial production and business confidence.