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Top Business Stories in 2015

As 2015 (1)________________, here are some of the top business stories of the year:
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) created the world’s largest (2)_________________ among 12 nations around the Pacific.
Together, they account for (3)_____________ in combined gross domestic product, or (4)___________ of the world’s economic output. The TPP spans four continents and 800 million people. The agreement (5)_____________ strengthen economic ties, (6)____________ and foster trade among the member countries.
The 12 nations (7)_____________ are the U.S., Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore,Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.
The TPP is a counterweight to China’s growing economic (8)__________.
This year, the International Monetary Fund (9)______________ China’s yuan to be in the group of top global currencies. Experts said this showed a (10)______________ for Europe in global financial markets, and an (11)________________ for China. It is the world’s second-largest economy.
China had an economic slowdown in the (12)__________, but analysts disagreed over its scope. There is a lack of (13)______________ in the economic data that China provides to the rest of the world.
China also set up the Asian (14)_________________ Investment Bank (AIIB). It is an international development bank with 57 countries (15)______________. China will use the new bank to expand its (16)________________ in Asia and compete with the World Bank in Washington, D.C.
Greek bailout
The (17)______________ of the Greek economy was another big story this year. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (ECB) issued $97.6 billion to avoid a Greek (18)_______________.
It was feared that if Greece (19)________________ and left the Eurozone, it would cause a global (20)____________. In exchange for the bailout, the lenders demanded major (21)________________ from Greece. Despite these measures, the Greek economy (22)_______________ by a quarter in five years, and unemployment is above 25 percent.
Volkswagen admits to lying
Volkswagen, Europe’s largest automaker, was (23)____________. The German automaker (24)______________ about carbon dioxide emissions from its cars.VW (25)_____________ that fooled regulators into thinking the cars emitted less pollution than they did.  
The cars gave off up to nine times more pollution than the (26)______________ by the U.S. government. In September, Volkswagen admitted that (27)______________ cars globally could have the misleading devices. Bringing all these vehicles into compliance with pollution (28)____________ will be one of the most complex and costly fixes in automotive history.
U.S. Fed raises interest rate
Lastly, in the face of an (29)_______________, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised the key (30)_________________ for the first time in seven years. The rate increase was just ¼ of a point. During the (31)_____________ of 2007 and 2008, the Federal Reserve cut the key interest rate to almost zero for the (32)______________.
This was done to (33)______________ with cheap money and boost hiring.Since the start of the Great Recession, unemployment (34)___________ from 10 percent to 5 percent.
And those are some of the top business and economic stories from 2015.
I’m Mary Gotschall.             
Mary Gotschall reported on this story using a variety of sources for LearningEnglish. Hai Do was the editor.
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Words in This Story

zone – n. an area that is different from other areas in a particular way
strengthen – v. to make (someone or something) stronger, more forceful,more effective, etc.
tariff n. a tax on goods coming into or leaving a country
counterweight – n. a weight that provides a balance against something ofequal weight
transparency – n. the quality that makes something obvious or easy tounderstand
boost – v.  to increase the force, power, or amount of (something)
bailoutn. the act of saving or rescuing something (such as a business) from money problems
bankruptcyn. the condition of being bankrupt : a condition of financialfailure caused by not having the money that you need to pay your debts
defaultv. to fail to make the payments you must make on a loan
pollution n. the action or process of making land, water, air, etc., dirtyand not safe or suitable to use
compliancen. the act or process of doing what you have been asked orordered to do : the act or process of complying

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