- WORLD ECONOMY SEEN SLOWING: The global economy is projected to lose momentum in the final quarter of this year in all regions, a survey from the International Chamber of Commerce and IFO Institute said. The study, which polled 1,020 economists in 90 countries, said predictions for the coming six months are also "significantly revised downwards." The survey noted that the Global Economic Climate Index fell in the fourth quarter to 99.3, down sharply from 113.6 in the previous quarter.

- BUYING BRINKHAUS: Montreal's Birks & Mayors has acquired the assets of luxury jeweler Brinkhaus, based in Vancouver. The acquisition includes Brinkhaus stores in Calgary and Vancouver, which will continue to operate under the Brinkhaus name. Terms were not disclosed. Brinkhaus will maintain its manufacturing facility in Vancouver, providing service exclusively to Birks & Mayors for at least three years, after which Birks intends to acquire the operation. Privately owned Brinkhaus had estimated sales of about $14 million. The former owners, Norbert and Kim Brinkhaus, will continue to operate the stores. Birks & Mayors operates 38 Birks stores across Canada and 31 Mayors stores in Florida and Georgia.

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