The Lastest Macroeconomic News

20.03.2007 22:49 Euro area and EU25 GDP both grew by 0.9% in the fourth quarter of 2006

Euro area (EA12) and EU25 GDP both grew by 0.9% in the fourth quarter of 2006, compared to the previous quarter, according to first estimates released by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. In the third quarter of 2006, growth rates were +0.6% in both the euro area and the EU25. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2005, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 3.3% in the euro area and by 3.4% in the EU25, after +2.7% and +3.0% respectively for the previous quarter. During the fourth quarter of 2006, household final consumption expenditure increased by 0.6% in both zones (after +0.7% in the euro area and +0.6% in the EU25 in the third quarter of 2006). Investments grew by 1.2% in the euro area and by 1.5% in the EU25 (after +0.6% and +0.9%). Exports rose by 3.7% in the euro area and by 2.9% in the EU25 (after +1.8% and +0.3%). Imports increased by 1.9% in the euro area and by 1.7% in the EU25 (after +2.2% and +0.2%). Over the whole year 2006, GDP grew by 2.6% in the euro area and by 2.9% in the EU25, compared to +1.4% and +1.7% respectively for 2005.

16.03.2007 20:16 US Industrial Production Rose 1,0% in February, Most Since 2005

Industrial production in the U.S. rose last month by the most since November 2005, as manufacturing rebounded and the return of cold weather prompted a surge in utility use. The 1 percent increase in production at factories, mines and utilities was more than forecast and followed a 0.3 percent January decline, the Federal Reserve`s figures showed today. Capacity utilization, which measures the proportion of plants in use, rose to a five-month high of 82 percent from 81.4 percent. The report suggests factories are making headway in their efforts to reduce inventories, pointing to a rebound in manufacturing that`s been a source of weakness for the economy. Improved factory demand backs the Federal Reserve`s forecast that growth will strengthen in the second half of the year.

13.03.2007 21:44 The Russian Economy Ministry has hiked the GDP forecast for 2007 by 0.1%

The Russian Economy Ministry has hiked the GDP forecast for 2007 by 0.1 percentage points from 6.1 percent to 6.2 percent, Gennady Kuranov, deputy head of the ministry`s macroeconomic forecasting department, told journalists today. According to him, this forecast was included in Russia`s social and economic development program for 2008-2010. Kuranov pointed out that the secondary adjustment in the program had been made due to the lower inflation forecast for 2009-2010. Thus, inflation forecast for 2009 and 2010 was lowered from 5.5-6.8 percent to 5.5-6.5 percent and from 5.0-6.5 percent to 5-6 percent, respectively.

11.03.2007 19:47 Japan`s Machinery Orders Increase Most in Five Months

Japan`s machinery orders rose the most in five months in January, signaling that capital spending will keep fueling growth in the world`s second-largest economy. Non-government machinery orders, excluding shipping and utilities, rose a seasonally adjusted 3.9 percent to 1.09 trillion yen ($9.4 billion) from December, when they fell 0.7 percent, according to a Cabinet Office report released in Tokyo today. The median estimate of 40 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 1.4 percent gain. The machinery report indicates spending plans within six months and may offset concern growth will slow after industrial output fell in January. Tokyo Electron Ltd. said yesterday it would build its first factory in a decade, joining companies upgrading machinery as the economy emerges from a decade of post 1980s asset-bubble stagnation.

08.03.2007 11:16 US labor productivity rose at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter

U.S. workers were less productive last quarter than initially estimated and labor costs jumped, making it harder for the Federal Reserve to reduce interest rates even as manufacturing and housing continue to slump. Productivity, a measure of how much an employee produces for each hour of work, rose at an annual rate of 1.6 percent, down from the 3 percent pace reported last month, the Labor Department said in Washington. Labor costs climbed 6.6 percent, reflecting a one-time increase in bonuses. Separately, the Commerce Department said factory orders fell in January by the most in more than six years. A February 28 report from the Commerce Department showed the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, slower than the 3.5 percent rate the government first estimated.

04.03.2007 11:24 Eurozone Manufacturing Shows Moderate Advance In February

Reflecting an improvement in Eurozone business conditions for the 20th consecutive month, the seasonally adjusted RBS/NTC Manufacturing PMI rose for the first time in four months in February, up slightly to 55.6 from the 11-month low of 55.5 in January, according to statistics released Thursday by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). This improved performance indicated by the PMI is a result of stronger growth in new orders for February, which increased for the first time in four months,if only moderately. The UK manufacturing sector PMI rose more than expected in February. The latest survey by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) and the Royal Bank of Scotland showed its index of manufacturing activity at 55.4 in February. The 19th successive month of expansion was stronger than the 53.2 in January. The JPMorgan Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose from January`s 1.5-year low of 52.4 to record a four-month peak of 53.7. The PMI was led higher by stronger trends in production, new orders and employment. Improved growth of international trade volumes also contributed to the latest expansion.

27.02.2007 21:27 The Conference Board consumer confidence index hits five-and-a-half year high

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had marginally increased in January, improved in February. The Index now stands at 112.5 (1985=100), up from 110.2 in January. The Present Situation Index increased to 139.0 from 133.9. The Expectations Index edged up slightly to 94.8 from 94.4 last month.The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. "Consumer Confidence now stands at a five-and-a-half year high (August 2001, 114.0), as improving present-day business conditions and an easing in the proportion of consumers claiming jobs are hard to get have combined to lift consumers` spirits", - Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center said.

24.02.2007 17:24 Japan`s economy grew 1.2% in the fourth quarter of 2006

The Japan`s economy grew 1.2 percent in real terms in the October-December period, an annualized rate of 4.8 percent, according to a preliminary government report. The quarterly rise marks the eighth straight quarterly increase since the January-March period in 2005, the Cabinet Office report showed. A rebound in consumer spending, which plunged in the summer due to cooler weather, and strong investment in plant and equipment is believed to be behind the rise, suggesting the economy was being boosted by domestic demand. The nominal GDP, which reflects price changes, increased 1.2 percent for the last quarter compared with the previous quarter, and 5 percent at an annualized rate. The quarterly rise was the first increase in the last two quarters. The figures also indicated that the situation in which real growth rates exceed nominal growth rates, resulting from a drop in price levels, had ended after eight successive quarters since the October-December period in 2004.

21.02.2007 20:26 Russia`s industrial production index stood at 108.4 percent in January 2007

Russia`s industrial production index stood at 108.4 percent in January 2007 (compared to the same month a year ago) against 104.4 percent in January 2006, the Russian Industry and Energy Ministry`s documents state. The acceleration in industrial production growth in January is attributed chiefly to a considerable increase in the manufacturing industry (117.3 percent against 104.1 percent in January 2006). Manufacturing expanded amid a relatively small advance in mining (104.2 percent against 100.9 percent in January 2006) and a decline in the generation and distribution of electricity, gas, and water. The industrial production index is calculated for the following entities: mining and processing companies, as well as electric power, gas and water generating and distributing enterprises, based on the dynamics of 730 of the most important commodities. Industrial production growth is forecast to reach 4.2 percent in 2007, up from 3.9 percent in 2006.

19.02.2007 21:50 Russia`s economics ministry reduced GDP growth forecast for 2007-2010

Russia`s economics ministry said it has reduced its GDP growth forecast for 2007 to 6.1% from 6.2%, and for 2009 to 5.9% from 6%. The Economic Development and Trade Ministry also said it has left its GDP growth forecast for 2008 and 2010 unchanged - 5.9% and 6.1%, respectively. The ministry said direct foreign investment in Russia by 2010 could grow 41.9% on 2006, to $44 billion. "The volume of direct foreign investment in 2006 was $31 billion, and it could grow to $44 billion by 2010," the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said on its Web site in its scenario for the country`s social and economic development until 2010. It also said inflation in Russia will be at 6.5-7.0% in 2008, 6.3-6.8% in 2009, and 5.8-6.5% in 2010. Russia`s national statistics body said January 31 that the country`s gross domestic product grew by an estimated 6.7%, year-on-year, in 2006, to 26.621 trillion rubles ($1.002 trillion). Inflation in Russia stood at 9% in 2006.

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