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09.11.2011 11:10 German industrial production declines sharply by 2.7% in September 2011

Government data show that industrial production in Germany fell by a sharper-than-expected 2.7 percent on the month in September - adding to signs that growth is sagging in Europe`s biggest economy. Economists had expected a smaller drop of 0.9 percent. However, the Economy Ministry said that the drop was exaggerated by the effect of public holidays and the previous month`s figure was revised upward. It now says production dipped by 0.4 percent in August rather than the 1 percent initially reported. Over the whole of the third quarter, industrial production rose 1.7 percent compared with the previous three months. The production figures come after the Economy Ministry said that industrial orders fell 4.3 percent in September.

02.11.2011 11:26 The European Debt Crisis Demonstrated Again Its Chokehold on Global Markets

The European debt crisis demonstrated again on November 1th the chokehold it maintains on investors worldwide, as a surprise move by Greece to put the terms of its planned bailout to a public referendum battered global financial markets. Declines that started in Asia accelerated in Europe where the major indexes slumped 5 percent. Bank stocks led the sell-offs, and the broad United States stock market slid nearly 3 percent. In the credit markets, crucial stress gauges moved toward recent highs, while rising interest rates on Italian debt underscored investors` growing doubts about that highly indebted country, which has become the new focus of concern in the euro zone. The Greek referendum threatened to undo the work of the summit meeting last week in Brussels, where leaders outlined a rescue plan that cheered markets and contributed to the biggest monthly United States stock market rally in October since 1982.

23.10.2011 12:30 Industrial production increased 0.2 percent in September after having been unchanged in August

Industrial production increased 0.2 percent in September after having been unchanged in August. Previously, industrial production was reported to have stepped up 0.2 percent in August. For the third quarter as a whole, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 5.1 percent. Manufacturing output moved up 0.4 percent in September after having gained 0.3 percent in August. Production at mines advanced 0.8 percent in September, while the output of utilities decreased 1.8 percent. At 94.2 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production for September was 3.2 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for total industry edged up to 77.4 percent, a rate 1.7 percentage points above its level from a year earlier but 3.0 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2010) average.

13.10.2011 22:30 Industrial production up by 1.2% in euro area in August 2011

In August 2011 compared with July 2011, seasonally adjusted industrial production rose by 1.2% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.9% in the EU27. In July production grew by 1.1% and 0.9% respectively. In August 2011 compared with August 2010, industrial production increased by 5.3% in the euro area and by 4.3% in the EU27. These estimates are released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In August 2011 compared with July 2011, production of capital goods grew by 2.1% in the euro area and by 1.6% in the EU27. Intermediate goods rose by 1.7% and 1.4% respectively. Non-durable consumer goods increased by 1.1% in the euro-area and by 0.7% in the EU27. Production of energy remained stable in the euro area and gained 0.3% in the EU27. Durable consumer goods remained stable in both zones. Among the Member States for which data are available, industrial production rose in twelve and fell in ten. The largest increases were registered in Portugal (+8.2%), Ireland (+4.4%) and Italy (+4.3%), and the highest decreases in Denmark (-3.0%), Sweden (-2.7%) and Bulgaria (-2.1%). In August 2011 compared with August 2010, production of capital goods increased by 12.2% in the euro area and by 10.6% in the EU27. Intermediate goods rose by 5.3% and 4.7% respectively. Durable consumer goods grew by 2.8% in the euro-area and by 1.1% in the EU27. Non-durable consumer goods gained 1.9% and 1.8% respectively. Production of energy fell by 3.5% in the euro area and by 3.6% in the EU27. Among the Member States for which data are available, industrial production rose in seventeen and fell in five. The highest increases were registered in Estonia (+22.7%), Ireland (+10.1%), Germany (+7.8%) and Romania (+7.7%), and the largest decreases in Greece (-12.3%) and Malta (-2.2%).

02.10.2011 10:45 The U.S. economy grew slightly more than previously reported in the Q2 2011

The U.S. economy grew slightly more than previously reported in the second quarter, helped by consumer spending and export growth that was stronger than earlier estimated, according to a government report on Thursday that pointed to slow growth rather than a recession. Gross domestic product grew at annual rate of 1.3 percent, the Commerce Department said in its third and final estimate for the quarter, up from the previously estimated 1.0 percent. The revision was a touch above economists` expectations for a 1.2 percent pace and took GDP growth back to the government`s original estimate of 1.3 percent. The economy expanded at a 0.4 percent rate in the first three months of the year. While the expenditure side of the economy showed severe weakness in the first half, economic activity as measured by income fared a little better. Gross domestic income rose at a 1.3 percent rate in the second quarter after increasing 2.4 percent in the first quarter. The report also showed after-tax corporate profits rising at a 4.3 percent rate in the second quarter, the largest increase in a year, instead of 4.1 percent. Profit ticked up 0.1 percent in the first quarter. Consumer spending growth was revised up to a 0.7 percent rate from 0.4 percent. The increase in spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, was still the smallest since the fourth quarter of 2009. Export growth was stronger than previously estimated, rising at a 3.6 percent rate instead of 3.1 percent. Imports increased at a 1.4 percent rate rather than 1.9 percent. That left a smaller trade deficit, and trade contributed 0.24 percentage point to GDP growth. Businesses accumulated less stock than previously estimated in the quarter, which should support growth in the July-September quarter. Business inventories increased $39.1 billion instead of $40.6 billion, cutting 0.28 percentage point from GDP growth during the quarter. Excluding inventories, the economy grew at a 1.6 percent pace instead of 1.2 percent. Business spending was revised to a 10.3 percent rate from 9.9 percent rate as investment in nonresidential structures offset a slight slowdown in outlays in equipment and software. Spending on nonresidential structures was the fastest since the third quarter of 2007. The GDP report also showed inflation pressures remaining elevated during the quarter, with the personal consumption expenditures price index rising at a revised 3.3 percent rate. That compared to 3.9 percent in the first quarter. The core PCE index closely watched by the Federal Reserve advanced at a 2.3 percent rate, the largest increase since the second quarter of 2008. It was revised up from 2.2 percent.

27.09.2011 16:52 The World Trade Organization cut its 2011 trade growth forecast

The World Trade Organization cut its 2011 trade growth forecast to 5.8 percent from 6.5 percent as earlier predicted, amid increasing economic uncertainty on Sept 23th. "Members must remain vigilant. This is not the time for go-it-alone measures. This is the time to strengthen and preserve the global trading system so that it keeps performing this vital function in the future," warned Pascal Lamy, director-general of the WTO, in a statement. Trade volumes in developed economies are now projected to grow by 3.7 percent for 2011, as opposed to the 4.5 percent predicted in April. For developing economies, full year trade growth is expected to reach 8.5 percent, down from the earlier forecast of 9.5 percent. WTO economists said that since their previous forecast, "developed economies in particular have been buffeted by strong headwinds, including the lingering effects of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the prolonged budget impasse and credit downgrade in the United States, and the ongoing euro area sovereign debt crisis." Poor output and employment data have also hammered consumer confidence and contributed to the turmoil in the financial markets. German exports have recently "turned ominously downward" with year-on-year growth falling from 36 percent in May to 16 percent in July. Likewise in France, export growth tumbled from 44 percent in May to 9 percent in July. Strong growth in China and other emerging economies are currently helping to buffer the overall slowdown. But the economists warned that the current forecast still carries "an unusually high degree of uncertainty" as it is made on the assumption that trade would slow down instead of declining drastically. On the upside, the economy may see a pick up in growth if policymakers are able to find credible solutions to the debt crisis. "On the other hand, policy missteps could trigger wider instability along the lines of the crisis that followed the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008," the WTO said. "Weighing these factors, we believe that risks to the forecast are firmly rooted on the downside but we should not ignore the fact that there is some upside potential," it warned. The WTO noted that member states resisted protectionist pressures during the financial and economic crises of 2008 to 2009, but another sharp downturn could test their will. "Another downturn in the global economy could strain their resolve to the breaking point and trigger a descent into self-destructive protectionism," the trade body feared. Global trade expanded by a record-breaking 14.5 percent in 2010, making up some ground lost in 2009`s slump of 12 percent.

20.09.2011 11:03 U.S. Industrial Production Rises Unexpectedly in August 2011

U.S. industrial production (IP) unexpectedly climbed 0.2% in August, above market expectations for an unchanged reading and following a solid 0.9% increase in July. With the increase in production, the capacity utilization rate edged up to 77.4 from a downwardly revised 77.3 in July (previously reported as 77.5). The rise in industrial production in August largely reflected surprisingly strong manufacturing activity along with continued gains in the mining sector, offset by a reversal in utilities output following an outsized gain the previous month. Despite an earlier reported 3,000 decline in manufacturing employment in the month, manufacturing output rose 0.5% in August, building further on an unrevised 0.6% gain in July. Part of the gain in August reflected a further 1.7% rise in motor vehicle output that built on a 4.5% surge in July. This provides additional evidence that transitory second-quarter 2011 weakness in production caused by supply-chain problems resulting from the natural disasters in Japan in March continued to reverse in August. Utilities output fell 3.0% as temperatures cooled after an unusually hot July boosted electricity use to power air conditioners in that month. Mining output rose for a sixth consecutive month, jumping 1.2% following a 1.1% increase in July. The rise in industrial production in August is encouraging, particularly given earlier indications that growth in manufacturing employment stalled in August as companies appeared reluctant to hire in the face of substantial financial market turmoil earlier in the month. Continued growth in output implies the potential for hiring to pick up in the coming months. The increase in August follows a solid 0.9% increase in July to leave the average level of industrial production for the combined two months at an annualized 4.6% above its second-quarter average. This points to a likely acceleration in the third quarter of the year from the modest 0.5% gain in IP in the second quarter. Ongoing concerns about the European sovereign-debt crisis and the durability of the U.S. economic recovery will likely continue to weigh on business confidence in the near term; however, much of the weakness in manufacturing in the second quarter was related to supply-chain disruptions in the auto industry that resulted from the natural disasters in Japan in March. The rebound in activity as these temporary impediments to growth reverse remains a key component of our forecast for GDP growth to pick up to a 2.4% rate in the third quarter of 2011 from the disappointingly weak 1.0% and 0.4% gains in second and first quarters respectively.

15.09.2011 12:25 IMF`s Lagarde Says Global Economy in `Dangerous New Phase`

Risks to the global economy are rising and countries must be quick in adopting the right policy mix to ensure a continued recovery, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said. The new IMF chief, a former French finance minister, said monetary policy should remain easy because the risks of recession are greater than inflation risks. Inflation pressures from energy and food prices are abating and inflation expectations in advanced economies such as the U.S. and Europe are well-anchored, Lagarde said. Economic growth slowed to an annualized rate of 0.5% in Germany during the second quarter. The gross domestic product of the 17 nations that have adopted the euro rose at an annualized rate of 0.7% during the quarter, according to data from the European Union`s statistics agency Eurostat. That was half the growth rate economists expected, stoking fears of a renewed recession. The U.S. should focus on boosting growth and jobs in the short term, while coming up soon with measures that can contain a rising public debt further down the road, Ms. Lagarde said. Ms. Lagarde discussed a range of economic matters with Mr. Obama on Friday, including the need to foster growth in the short run, while ensuring that high budget deficits are cut further down the road. It was their first meeting since the former French finance minister became the head of the global lender. Ms. Lagarde also urged Europe to recapitalize its banks urgently, and for politicians there to come up with a common vision for the continent`s future.

24.08.2011 17:48 Russia`s GDP grew 3.8 percent in January-July 2011

Russia`s GDP grew 3.8% in January-July, the Economic Development Ministry said in a monitoring report late Monday. Annualized GDP growth in July amounted to 4.2%. The country`s economic growth accelerated in July, with seasonally adjusted GDP reaching 0.4%, up from 0.2% in June, the ministry said. This growth was achieved primarily on the strength of performance in construction and retail trade. A fall was registered in industrial production, including mineral resource production, and processing industries. Russia`s economy grew by 3.7% in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2010, preliminary data from the Federal Statistics Service showed Wednesday, coming in below official expectations despite months of strong oil prices. The Economy Ministry last month forecast growth of 3.9% for the first six months of the year. Prices for oil--Russia`s chief export--stayed elevated in the period, prompting the country to raise the average oil price on which its 2011 budget is based, to $105 per barrel from $81 per barrel. Fixed investment also came in lower than expected, that data showed. It rose by 7.9% in the year to July, compared with an analyst forecast for an 8.8% increase.

19.08.2011 10:55 The US bank Morgan Stanley has worsened the forecast for the world GDP growth

The US bank Morgan Stanley has worsened the forecast for the world GDP growth: in 2011 it will go down from 4.2% to 3.9% and in the future from 4.5% to 3.8%. The bank states that the USA and Europe are close to recession. The bank also blames Europe for political mistakes and the Old World`s inadequate response to the sovereign debt crisis. The main reasons for our growth downgrade, apart from disappointing incoming data, are recent policy errors in the U.S. and Europe plus the prospect of further fiscal tightening there in 2012, Morgan Stanley analyst Joachim Fels wrote in the note. This is eroding business and consumer confidence and has weighed down on financial markets, the analyst added. A negative feedback loop between weak growth and soggy asset markets now appears to be in the making. Morgan Stanley also reduced its forecast for India`s 2012 gross domestic product growth to 7.4 per cent from 7.8 per cent and its estimate for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, to 7.6 per cent from 8 per cent.

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