The Lastest Macroeconomic News

09.12.2008 23:23 Japan`s GDP shrinks 1.8% in July-September 2008, enters recession

Japan`s gross domestic product contracted more than first estimated in the July-September quarter, the government said, further evidence of a deepening slump in the world`s second largest economy. The Cabinet Office said GDP Ч a measure of the value of goods and services Ч shrank at a 1.8 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter compared with the initial estimate of a 0.4 percent contraction. Japan`s economy slipped into recession in the third quarter of this year with GDP contracting 0.5 percent from the previous quarter. A recession is usually defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Last week, Japan raised its estimate of fiscal 2007 economic growth to 1.9 percent from 1.7 percent, citing a stronger-than-expected rise in capital investment. But the U.S. has been in a recession for a year now, adding to pressure on Japan`s export-dependent economy.

04.12.2008 21:38 Eurozone third quarter GDP shows unrevised 0.2% decline

Third-quarter gross domestic product in the 15-nation euro zone shrank by 0.2% from the second quarter, the Eurostat reported Thursday, matching the statistical agency`s preliminary estimate. On an annual basis, Eurostat revised down third quarter GDP growth to 0.6% from its preliminary estimate of 0.7%. The euro-zone economy has matched a commonly used definition of recession by contracting for two consecutive quarters. Eurostat has estimated that euro-zone GDP declined by 0.2% in the second quarter. The euro-zone announcement came a day after Europe`s biggest national economy and the world`s fourth-largest, Germany, announced its own recession. Many economists say the situation is unlikely to improve before 2010. "It`s just the beginning," Bank of America economist Gilles Moec said in a research note on Friday. "The full impact... has yet to be felt on corporate investment."

26.11.2008 22:30 US GDP revised down to a 0.5% decline in the 3Q 2008

U.S. Gross domestic product, the output of goods and services produced by property located in the U.S, has declined in the third quarter of the year, according to preliminary estimates by the Department of Commerce. The GDP estimate for the third quarter of 2008 shows a 0.5% decline, down from the 0.3% decline previously estimated the decline reflects negative contributions from Personal Consumption Expenditures, residential fixed investment, and equipment and software, partially offset by positive contributions from federal government spending, private inventory investment, exports, non-residential structures, and state and local government spending. Imports, which substract from the GDP, have declined. The price index for gross domestic purchases has increased 4.7% in the third quarter, down from the 4.8% increase in the previous quarter. Real Personal Consumption expenditures have decreased 3.7% in the third quarter, after a 1.2% increase in the previous quaetter.

24.11.2008 22:27 Unemployment in Russia grew by 1.7%, to 4.624 million people in October

Unemployment in Russia grew by 1.7%, to 4.624 million people in October, according to the state statistics service, Rosstat. However, the number of formally registered jobless people keeps declining. The Healthcare and Social Development Ministry, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and trade unions have agreed to meet weekly to exchange information and select struggling companies in non-financial sectors requiring urgent assistance. Until last week, official estimates said the liquidity crisis was not affecting the labor market. In early November, Deputy Healthcare Minister Maxim Topilin said with conviction that they were not expecting employment layoffs to be higher than statistical average. The reduced working week at industrial giants KamAZ, GAZ or MMK had been long planned according to him. However, the Independent Trade Unions Federation said business activity was plummeting in various sectors of the national economy, including metals, construction, engineering and the automobile industry, and that settlements were delayed under contracts including state orders (in the light industry and in radio electronics). As a result, companies resort to shortening working hours or cutting personnel. And yet, the number of people registered as unemployed keeps decreasing, to 1.245 million in October from 1.552 million at the beginning of this year.

20.11.2008 23:03 Russia`s industrial production grew 4.9 percent in January-October 2008

Industrial production grew 4.9 percent in January-October 2008 compared to the same period a year earlier, the Russian Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) reported. In October alone, output grew 0.6 percent, down from 2.8 percent during the previous month. As reported earlier, industrial production growth stood at 6.3 percent in September for a 12-month period from the same month in 2007, and 5.4 percent for the year to date in 2008, down from 6.6 percent for the same period of the previous year. The government earlier projected a full-year industrial output growth of 5.2 percent in 2008, based on data provided by the Economy Ministry. According to Rosstat, output rose 0.5 percent in the primary sector in January-October 2008, 7.1 percent in manufacturing, and 4.1 percent in electricity, gas, and water production and distribution. Meanwhile, oil production (with gas condensate) fell 0.6 percent to 406m tonnes, natural gas output increased 1.4 percent to 540bn cubic meters, and power generation went up 4.1 percent to 851bn kilowatt-hours.

18.11.2008 23:47 U.S. industrial production rebounded by 1.3 percent in October 2008

U.S. industrial production rebounded by a stronger-than-expected 1.3 percent in October after a downwardly revised September drop that was the biggest fall in more than 62 years, according to a government report that is likely to reinforce fears of a recession. The Federal Reserve on Monday attributed the October output rebound to a return to production of energy and chemical facilities shut down by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav in September. These storm-related effects added 2 percentage points to output in October, so without them, industrial production would have fallen by around 0.7 percent, according to the Fed. Compared with a year ago, October`s industrial output fell 4.1 percent. Economists polled by Reuters had expected October industrial output to rise 0.2 percent in October, following an initially reported 2.8 percent fall in September. But the Fed revised the September fall to 3.7 percent - making it the steepest drop since a 5.0 percent decline in February 1946 as World War II production ended. Meanwhile, total capacity utilization edged higher to 76.4 percent from a downwardly revised 75.5 percent in September. The 1.3 percent rebound in October output was the sharpest increase since a matching rise in October 1999. October`s manufacturing output rose 0.6 percent after a revised 3.7 percent fall in September, while October mining output rose 6.1 percent after an 8.5 percent fall in September. Utility output rose 0.4 percent in October after a 2.4 percent rise in September.

17.11.2008 21:38 Japan slides into recession for the first time since 2001

Japan`s economy slid into a recession for the first time since 2001, the government said Monday, as companies sharply cut back on spending in the third quarter amid the unfolding global financial crisis. Government officials and economists warned that the world`s second-largest economy could contract further in coming months. Japan`s economy shrank at an annual pace of 0.4 percent in the July-September period after a declining an annualized 3.7 percent in the second quarter. That means Japan, along with the 15-nation euro-zone, is now technically in a recession, defined as two straight quarters of contraction. The result was worse than expected. Economists surveyed by Kyodo News agency had predicted gross domestic product would gain an annualized 0.1 percent. Japan`s Economy Minister Kaoru Yosano said following the data`s release that "the economy is in a recessionary phase." But the worst may be yet to come, especially with dramatic declines in demand from consumers overseas for Japan`s autos and electronics gadgets. Hurt also by a strengthening yen, a growing number of exporters big and small are slashing their profit, sales and spending projections for the full fiscal year through March. Compared to the previous quarter, GDP shrank 0.1 percent, the Cabinet Office said. Business investment Ч a main driver of Japan`s six-year economic recovery since 2002 Ч dropped 1.7 percent from the previous quarter. At its last meeting, the Bank of Japan cut its key interest rate for the first time in more than seven years, lowering it to 0.3 percent, joining central banks around the world in trimming borrowing costs.

15.11.2008 11:53 The economy of the euro zone slipped into recession for the first time in the third quarter

The economy of the euro zone slipped into recession for the first time in the third quarter, the European Union`s statistics agency said, as the financial crisis continued to depress manufacturing activity and consumer demand. The economy in the 15 countries that use the euro shrank 0.2 percent in the third and second quarters from the quarter before, further stoking expectations that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates to try to limit the damage. The weakness in the third quarter was particularly marked in Germany and Italy, both of which have entered a recession with gross domestic product contractions of 0.5 percent from the previous quarter after a similar decline in the second period. France`s economy grew 0.1 percent. Spanish GDP also fell, by 0.2 percent, posting the first quarterly decline since 1993. Dutch GDP was flat, after also stagnating in the second quarter. Outside of euro countries, British growth was down 0.5 percent after a flat reading the previous quarter. "The euro zone is not immune to what`s going on in the world economy generally, and exporting nations, like Germany, are totally plugged into the fortunes of the world economy," said Neil Mackinnon, chief economist at ECU Group. "We`re in for a pretty severe economic slump." Compared with the quarter a year earlier, GDP grew 0.7 percent in the euro zone and 0.8 percent for the 27 countries of the European Union. But economists said that a further contraction in euro zone GDP this quarter seems virtually assured and that the downturn is likely to endure well into next year. The European Commission forecasts that the aggregate budget gap of the euro countries would rise to 1.8 percent of gross domestic product in 2009 from 1.3 percent seen this year and to 2.0 percent in 2010, unless policies change. They also supported the Commission`s estimate that euro zone economic growth would slow to a mere 0.1 percent next year from 1.2 percent expected in 2008 in the wake of the financial crisis. The economy of the euro zone is to shrink 0.1 percent in quarterly terms in the fourth quarter, it said, and warned that further worsening in financial markets could push the euro zone into outright recession.

11.11.2008 21:01 Japan`s economy is teetering on the edge of recession

Economists say Japan, the world`s second-biggest economy, is teetering on the edge of recession. Third-quarter gross domestic product figures are due out Nov. 17. Central bank Deputy Governor Hirohide Yamaguchi promised lawmakers that the Bank of Japan, which cut its benchmark rate to 0.3 percent from 0.5 percent on Oct. 31, will stay focused on downside risks to the economy. "It will take a significant time before conditions for Japan`s economic recovery fall into place," Yamaguchi told an upper house parliamentary committee. Japan`s trade surplus has all but evaporated in the past couple of months, as high prices of oil and other raw materials boosted the value of imports, while exports languished as the global economy weakened in the face of its worst crisis in decades. The current account surplus in September fell 49 percent from a year earlier to 1.5 trillion yen ($15 billion), the finance ministry said. Japan`s economy shrank at the fastest pace in seven years in the second quarter, and some economists think it may have contracted again in the July-September third quarter, which would meet the common definition of a recession. However, the median forecast in a Reuters poll on third-quarter GDP suggested the economy skirted a recession by growing 0.1 percent.

09.11.2008 13:24 Russia`s inflation at 0.9% in October, 11.6% in January-October

Russia`s inflation stood at 0.9 percent for October, and 11.6 percent for the year to November, according to the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat). For reference, Rosstat cited 2007 figures: 1.6 percent for October, and 9.3 percent for ten months. The base consumer price index which excludes changes in prices for products induced by seasonal or administrative factors ran up to 101.3 percent in October, and 111.5 percent for the year to November. Despite the general price rise, however, gasoline prices sank 1.5-2.5 percent depending on the grade. So far, the Russian authorities have stuck to their official inflation forecast of 11.8% for 2008 although the government and the Central Bank have conceded that consumer price growth is likely to hit 13% this year. Most analysts predict inflation to hit 13-14% in 2008. The Russian authorities are planning to adjust their 2008 inflation forecast in November, taking into account the need to shore up liquidity in the domestic financial market by injecting billions of U.S. dollars into the economy.

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