Russia's economy shrank by 0.5 percent in the first three months of 2014 from the previous quarter, a minister said on Wednesday, fuelling concerns the Ukraine crisis could tip it into recession. Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said that Russia's economy grew just 0.8 percent in the first quarter of 2014, compared to activity in the same period last year. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of shrinking economic output. Many analysts believe Russia will fall into recession owing to the impact of the Ukraine crisis.
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. industrial production rose at a faster-than-expected clip in March, the latest sign the economy was gaining momentum. Groundbreaking for new homes also increased but remained well below the post-recession peak hit in November, signaling the drag the housing market is placing on the economy. The increase in industrial production, which beat economists' expectations for a 0.5 percent gain, reflected in part a 0.5 percent rise in manufacturing output.