Economy Grows 9.5%

China's National Bureau of Statistics said the nation's economy surged 9.5 percent in the first six months compared with a year earlier, despite efforts to slow down the growth rate. It said GDP was about $811 billion, boosted by gains in exports and a resurgence in investment in construction and factory equipment. Exports rose 31 percent in the second quarter.

The agency gave a somewhat conflicted interpretation of the figures, saying the economy was developing in the "expected direction of macro-regulation and control," and that "the overall situation is good" but that the rebound in capital investment was "unreasonable."


E.U. Revives Job-Creation Plan

The European Union relaunched its plan to create jobs and boost growth in Europe by opening up national markets, reducing bureaucracy and investing in infrastructure.

Europe's economic growth lags behind the United States as well as rapidly expanding economies such as China and India.


Airbus, Boeing Subsidies Probed

The World Trade Organization set up panels to investigate allegedly illegal subsidies paid by the European Union and the United States to airplane makers Airbus and Boeing. The creation of the panels restarts what could become the costliest and highest-profile case in the 10-year history of the WTO.


Government Wary of Danone Takeover

The French government signaled hostility to a foreign takeover of Danone, in reaction to a rumor that PepsiCo would bid to take over the company.

Danone's stock price rose 5.8 percent to close at $112.49 a share, the Paris market's biggest gainer for a second straight day, after Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said Danone was "among the jewels of our industry."


Strong Sales of Cancer Drug Help Roche

Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant, said profit in the first six months of the year rose 4 percent, to $2.5 billion, from the comparable period last year. It credited strong sales, particularly of its cancer drug MabThera. Sales rose 14 percent, to $12.8 billion. The company does not break out quarterly figures.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.

Construction workers get stuck in traffic in Beijing, a price paid for a burgeoning economy.