The Lastest Macroeconomic News

15.02.2008 23:37 Eurozone GDP rose 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2007

Eurozone quarterly GDP rose 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2007, down from the previous period`s 0.8% increase but marginally higher than the consensus 0.3% increase. Annual GDP rose 2.3% in Q4 compared to forecasts for a 2.2% increase and previous 2.7% gain. All individual euro-members experienced quarter-over-quarter GDP gains in the fourth quarter, with Germany growing by 0.3%, Spain by 0.8%, Portugal by 0.7% and France by 0.3%. On the other hand, Portugal`s economy contracted in the third quarter, shrinking 0.1% quarter-over-quarter, while Germany, France and Spain had all witnessed GDP expansion during the same period, growing 0.7%, 0.8% and 0.7% respectively. Growth in the Eurozone GDP is expected to be between 1.6 and 1.8 pct in 2008.

12.02.2008 22:13 Russia`s GDP could grow 7.0% in 2008 instead of the planned 6.6%

Russia`s GDP could grow by 7.0% in 2008 instead of the planned 6.6%, while food prices are unlikely to follow last year`s trend of sharp increases, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said. Speaking in Japan at a meeting of finance ministers from the G7 group of industrialized nations plus Russia, Kudrin said Russia had a good chance of keeping inflation within 8.5% in 2008. According to Russia`s statistics service, the country`s GDP grew 8.1% in 2007. In the past five years, the Russian economy has grown at an annual rate of 7% plus, except for 2005, when GDP expanded 6.4%. In 2006, GDP grew 7.4%. Inflation in Russia stood at 11.9% in 2007, exceeding the government`s initial target of 8% for last year. Inflation in 2006 was 9%, in line with government targets.

07.02.2008 22:39 Russia`s trade surplus stood at $152.8bn in 2007 vs $163.4 in 2006

Russia`s trade surplus stood at $152.8bn in 2007, which is 6.49 percent lower than a year earlier, the Russian Federal Customs Service reported. Meanwhile, Russia`s foreign trade jumped 25.8 percent to $552.2bn compared to 2006, including trade worth $469.8bn with countries outside the CIS (up 25.5 percent) and $82.4bn with the CIS (up 27.4 percent). Russia`s exports amounted to $352.5bn (up 17 percent), including $299.9bn worth of goods exported to countries outside the CIS up (15.8-percent increase), and $52.6bn worth of goods sold to the CIS ( 24.3-percent rise). Imports totaled $199.7bn, up 44.9 percent from the previous year, including $169.9bn worth of goods received from countries outside the CIS (up 47.2 percent), and $29.8bn (up 33.4 percent) from the CIS.

05.02.2008 21:33 U.S. service industries unexpectedly contracted in January at the fastest pace since the 2001 recession

U.S. service industries unexpectedly contracted in January at the fastest pace since the 2001 recession as the housing slump deepened and consumer spending cooled. The Institute for Supply Management`s non-manufacturing index, which reflects almost 90 percent of the economy, fell to 41.9, from 54.4 the prior month, the Tempe, Arizona-based ISM said. The index was projected to fall to 53, the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 65 economists. The ISM group`s index of new orders for non-manufacturing industries fell to 43.5 from 53.9 the prior month. An index of employment dropped to 43.9 from 51.8, and a gauge of supplier deliveries decreased to 49 from 52.5. A measure of prices paid also dropped to 70.7 from 71.5.

31.01.2008 22:30 US GDP slows to 0.6% in fourth quarter, 2.2% in 2007

The U.S. economy barely grew in the fourth quarter, pulled down by a worsening slump in housing and heightened caution by consumers and businesses, the Commerce Department reported. The 0.6% annualized growth rate in gross domestic product was lower than the 1.1% expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. The drag from inventories was larger than expected. Consumer spending and business investments slowed slightly in the fourth quarter, while investments in houses fell at the fastest rate in 26 years. Businesses reduced their inventories. Exports grew at a slower pace as well. The economy grew at a 4.9% pace in the third quarter. For all of 2007, GDP grew 2.2%, the slowest growth since 2002. GDP increased at a 2.9% rate in 2006.

30.01.2008 20:56 Russian industrial output up 6.3 percent in 2007

Russia`s annual industrial output growth quickened to 6.3 percent in 2007 from 3.9 percent in 2006 due to rapid expansion of the manufacturing sector, the Federal Statistics Service said. Manufacturing rose 9.3 percent last year, while mining output increased 1.9 percent. Production and distribution of electricity, gas and water was down 0.2 percent from 2006. "I think this is a good result, which shows that industrial production supports high rates of economic growth," said Natalia Orlova, analyst at Alfa Bank. "These numbers show that the competitiveness of Russian producers is declining as a result of the rouble strengthening, but they are still good to measure by global standards," she said. In December, industrial production rose 6.5 percent compared with 4.7 percent in November and 1.9 percent in December 2006.

29.01.2008 21:48 Russia`s GDP climbed 7.8 percent in 2007 and 8.4 percent in December

Russia`s GDP climbed 8.4 percent in December 2007 compared to the same month a year earlier, and annual GDP growth is estimated at 7.7-7.8 percent, Russian Economy Minister Elvira Nabiullina said during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. She noted that the GDP growth rate was rather high and that investments in Russia`s economy increased 24 percent in December 2007, the Vesti TV channel reported today. Nabiullina also noted that thanks to this increase, annual investment estimate for 2007 went up from 20 percent to 21.1 percent. The Minister also pointed out high growth of retail sales, as well as steady increase in industrial production, which amounted to 6.5 percent in the last month of 2007. Russia`s GDP growth is estimated to be 6.7 percent in 2008, 6.3 percent in 2009, and 6.4 percent in 2010.

26.01.2008 13:30 Japan`s trade surplus dropped 20.9 percent to 877.87 billion yen from a year earlier

Japan`s merchandise trade surplus fell for the second straight month in December as higher crude oil prices inflated imports and exports to the US dropped for the fourth month in a row, the Ministry of Finance said. The trade surplus dropped 20.9 percent to 877.87 billion yen from a year earlier, smaller than the market`s consensus forecast for a surplus of 926.9 billion yen. The fall followed a 12.2 percent decline in November. Imports increased 12.1 percent to a record 6.559 trillion yen as the average price of crude oil rose 54.6 percent to a record 90.60 dollars per barrel. Exports rose by a moderate 6.9 percent to 7.437 trillion yen, rising for the 49th straight month, on higher shipments of cars and telecommunications equipment.

23.01.2008 23:33 Russian industrial production grew 6.3% in 2007 y-o-y

Russia`s industrial production rose 6.5% in December and 6.3% in 2007, year on year, the Federal Statistics Service said. The figures surpassed preliminary forecasts that suggested the figure would reach around 4-5%. Russian manufacturing, which posted a 4.4% growth in 2006, showed a 9.3% rise last year. Experts say that the overall growth indicates that Russia successfully coped with the "first wave" of the U.S. subprime loan crisis in August 2007 and ensuing global downturn. "For now, we can say that the financial crisis has had no negative impact on Russia`s economic growth" - Yarislav Lisovolik, a Deutsche Bank expert, said. "This gives us reason to hope that Russia will successfully cope with the new crisis, which erupted in January". Deutsche Bank forecasts 6.2% growth in industrial production, with GDP reaching 7.0% in 2008.

22.01.2008 21:31 World financial crisis will have no major impact on Russia

A senior Russian Central Bank official said on Tuesday that the ongoing crisis on the world financial markets would have no major implications for Russian banks. Gennady Melikyan, the bank`s first deputy chairman, said that a crisis would not prove "fatal" for the Russian banking system as its resources and financial instruments would allow it to come through any difficulties largely unscathed. He said the crisis in the West would continue, since "the Western financial system has yet to restructure radically." Asked how the decline in stock exchange indexes could affect Russian banks, he replied that, "our banks are not so stupid: they have already dumped securities that are now depreciating." He said Russian banks started reducing their securities portfolio - by 2.3% in August, 12.2% in September, and 12.6% in October 2007, adding however, that in November and December their securities portfolio had grown somewhat. Melikyan said Russian banks had shown a record equity capital growth in 2007 of 57%. "That is an absolute record," he said, adding that the CBR`s figures were not final, but only an estimate. He also said Russian banks had increased their assets last year by a total of 43% (as compared to 44.1% in 2006), reaching 20.08 trillion rubles ($800 billion) by the year`s end.

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