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28.04.2016 22:33 Russia facing reversal of inflation, creating background for easing of monetary policy

Russia is facing a reversal of inflation and inflationary expectations, which is creating background for easing of the monetary policy, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Nikolai Podguzov said. "We have a feeling that the reversal of inflation and inflationary expectations is already there, which has created a background for easing of the monetary policy," he said, adding though that "this is largely for the Central Bank to decide whether it`s reasonable to slash rates at the nearest meeting." According to Podguzov, the Economic Development Ministry expects the regulator to ease the rhetoric regarding its monetary policy. "The background for the rates` reduction is in place. This cycle may be launched via some verbal interventions and the rhetoric of the press release following the board meeting of the Central Bank on its key interest rate, or it may be done simply by cutting the rate," Deputy Minister said.

28.04.2016 16:03 Cities’ share of global GDP up to 70%

Saying that cities have changed into the engine of GDP in the world, the head of international conference on urban economics said, cities’ share of global GDP is more than 70 percent according to the statistics. Referring to the Leader’s speeches regarding 10 key actions to save the country, Hossein Mohammadpour Zarandi, the head of international conference on urban economics in an interview said, “one of the most important provisions of this measure proposed under Resistance Economy model is improvement of energy efficacy; as the Leader emphasized it is possible to save 100 billion USD by optimizing energy.” Noting that improvement of energy efficiency is one of the fields linking Resistance Rconomy and urban economy to each other, Pourzarandi said, according to statistics, urban areas will be extended several times by 2030, which means increase in energy consumption.

27.04.2016 15:12 India to clock nearly 8 per cent GDP growth in 2016-17

India`s economy is likely to clock nearly 8 per cent growth in the current fiscal on the back of robust private consumption, which has benefited from lower energy prices and higher real incomes, according to PHD Chamber of Commerce. The Reserve Bank had retained its growth projection for 2016-17 at 7.6 per cent. “Going ahead, growth in India is projected to notch up to 8 per cent in 2016-17. Growth will continue to be driven by private consumption, which has benefited from lower energy prices and higher real incomes. “Further, with the revival of sentiment and pick-up in industrial activity, a recovery of private investment is expected to strengthen growth in the coming times,” it said. The chamber also estimated that India`s share in world GDP has doubled from 1.43 per cent in 2000 to 2.86 per cent in 2015. “India`s GDP stood at $ 477 billion in 2000 and increased to $ 2,091 billion in the year 2015, showing more than four-fold increase over a period of 15 years,” PHD Chamber President Mahesh Gupta said.

26.04.2016 13:06 Russian Economy Ministry forecast sees oil at $40 until 2019

Russia should use an average oil price of $40 per barrel as the benchmark for its 2017-2019 budgets, the Economy Ministry said on Thursday, giving in to Finance Ministry arguments for fiscal caution. A slide in oil prices and Western sanctions have pushed Russia into recession, complicating the Finance Ministry`s task of keeping the budget deficit manageable. The Economy Ministry last week submitted forecasts that proposed a base budget scenario in which oil prices rose to $45 per barrel next year and $50 in 2018-2019, an official in policy-making circles said. But it has since bowed to the Finance Ministry`s pressure. "The lower the price (in the forecast), the better for the (finance) ministry," the source said. "Spending is cut automatically." Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev presented the forecasts as prudent, although his ministry has often backed more government spending to stimulate the economy. "I believe the base scenario has a healthy dose of conservatism," he said in televised comments. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said conservatism was justified. "It is better to lean in projections towards understating potential revenues than later try to find additional reserves to balance the budget," Medvedev said.

25.04.2016 15:27 Russia Economy 2016: No GDP Growth Expected Amid Low Oil Prices and Sanctions

There`s more bad news for the Russian economy. The country`s government officials admitted there would be no gross domestic product growth in 2016. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said as much Thursday while giving a more optimistic forecast than the World Bank`s prediction of a 1.9 percent contraction this year. “In the basic version [of the government`s macroeconomic forecast], GDP growth this year will remain at around zero or be slightly negative. A slight growth of 1 to 2 percent is expected in 2017-2019,” Medvedev said. Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev forecasted an economic contraction of 0.2 percent in 2016 with no growth in Russia`s industrial output. He said he expected consumer price inflation to hit 6.5 percent in 2016. That was good news compared to the World Bank`s forecast. “Russia`s longer-term growth path will depend on the strength of its structural reforms. Economic reforms designed to bolster investor confidence could greatly enhance Russia`s long-term growth prospects,” Andras Horvai, World Bank country director for the Russian Federation, said earlier this month.

22.04.2016 07:29 Bank of Russia Warns Inflation May Stall at `Unacceptable` Level

Russian inflation is at risk of stalling at 6 percent to 7 percent after slowing for seven months, a level that central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina called “unacceptable” for speeding up the economy and spurring investment. “We shouldn`t lose vigilance,” Nabiullina said at the Finance Ministry`s annual meeting in Moscow on Wednesday. With annual inflation currently running at 7.2 percent, next year`s 4 percent target is “realistic,” she said. “Without low inflation, there will be no low long-term rates in the economy and no predictable conditions for running a business, which is critically necessary for economic growth,” she said. Wariness about the inflation outlook signals a measure of caution on the part of the central bank before it reviews interest rates in nine days. Policy makers overshot their target for price growth in 2015 for a fourth consecutive year and have previously conceded the central bank is at risk of missing next year`s goal after turmoil in the oil market and the ruble.

20.04.2016 14:46 How long can a strong US economy last?

The US economy has built itself back up since the financial crisis. But can its foundations support the success? Economists are concerned about a number of structural problems. Despite positive figures, experts from leading US think tanks are exercising caution when speaking about the state of the country`s economy. "It`s better than so-so," one commented. "Modest is the word that I would use." The US is "doing about as well as we would hope,” another said. A third saw “the glass as half full - or half empty." At around five percent, the US unemployment rate is almost back to where it was before the global financial crisis struck in 2008. Nevertheless, "finding a job is still pretty difficult for someone who didn`t graduate from high school," says Mark Calabria from the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. Plus, the unemployment rate masks the rise of underemployment, as companies offer more workers less work. "If you`ve got one person working 40 hours a week versus two people each working 20 hours a week, you`ve got two jobs but still 40 hours per week of work," Calabria said. But this is just one of the many problems that qualify recent reports of the US economy`s success.

18.04.2016 11:47 Russian Economy Struggles with Recession as Oil, Sanctions Weigh

The Russian economy contracted sharply last year, as the combination of plunging oil prices, international sanctions and a volatile ruble weighed on country`s prospects. Russia`s gross domestic product (GDP) – the value of all goods and services produced in the economy - contracted 3.7% in 2015. Moscow`s federal budget deficit widened in the first quarter, climbing to 3.7% of GDP, the country`s Finance Ministry reported Friday. As the world`s biggest oil producer, Russia has been hit hard by the oil price collapse that began in mid-2014. While prices have appreciated over 60% since February, the recovery has fallen well short of reversing the fortunes of major energy producers. In 2015, oil and gas represented 43% of Russian state revenues, according to the Ministry of Finance.

16.04.2016 13:54 Japan`s Economic Recovery Is Still Weak, Says BOJ`s Harada

There`s no denying that Japan`s economic recovery is weak and prices don`t seem to be rising, central bank board member Yutaka Harada said. The downbeat assessment from Harada, an academic economist who joined the policy board about a year ago, comes after the International Monetary Fund slashed its forecasts for Japanese growth for this year and next. The IMF predicts an economic contraction next year if Japan goes ahead with a planned sales-tax hike. Meanwhile, the BOJ`s main price gauge has been stuck around zero since mid-2015, even with massive monetary stimulus aimed at stoking inflation. "I am not denying that the economic recovery is still weak,” Harada said in a speech in Shimonoseki, in western Japan. "That is why the bank, after the introduction of QQE, has been enhancing its monetary easing by expanding QQE and by introducing QQE with a negative interest rate." At a press conference, Harada was asked if an expansion of the negative rate was possible at this month`s meeting. "You can`t say it`s impossible," he replied.

14.04.2016 11:24 IMF cuts eurozone growth forecast amid `major` challenges

The IMF cut its growth forecasts for the eurozone this week as the refugee crisis, terrorism and the threat of Britain choosing to exit the EU weighed on the outlook. Europe has never quite emerged from the debilitating debt crisis that erupted in 2010 in Greece before spreading across the eurozone, requiring massive German-led bailouts and sparking acrimony that nearly saw the single currency area implode. While predicting "weak growth", the IMF said deep problems endured in the eurozone, with unemployment still high and crucial reforms still not done in many of the bloc`s 19 member nations. The IMF said the eurozone should grow a modest 1.5 percent this year, down from the 1.7 percent estimated in January and slower than the 1.6 percent seen in 2015. Next year, the eurozone economy would likely expand 1.6 percent, down from the earlier forecast of 1.7 percent. Adding onto the "Brexit" danger, "is the tragedy of large scale refugee inflows, especially from the Middle East", said Maurice Obstfeld, the IMF`s chief economist. "The result could be a turn to toward more nationalistic policies, including protectionist ones," he warned.

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