The Lastest Macroeconomic News

12.12.2009 19:25 Japan`s Q3 2009 GDP growth revised down to 1.3 percent

Japan`s economy grew at a much slower rate than previously thought in the third quarter, fresh data showed, as the country struggles to emerge from a crushing recession weighed by a soaring yen. The world`s number two economy expanded at an annualised rate of 1.3 percent in the July-September quarter, sharply down from the original estimate of 4.8 percent, the Cabinet Office said. It meant the economy -- which early this year emerged from its worst post-war recession -- expanded just 0.3 percent in the three months, compared with the initial estimate of 1.2 percent. The revision came as capital investment, the amount companies spend, was revised down to reveal a contraction of 2.8 percent from an original estimate of 1.6 percent growth, the Cabinet Office said. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama admitted the difficulty of navigating the economy out of deep stagnation and stressed the benefits of a new government stimulus package announced Dec 8th. His government announced a fresh stimulus package worth 274 billion dollars, with 80 billion dollars in direct spending, that includes environmental programmes, assistance for small businesses and help to local communities. Hatoyama has been criticised as being too slow to act, with the latest package seen as likely to have only a limited effect on the economy. Private economists on average expected the revised data to show annualised growth of 2.7 percent, with most saying the original estimate was too high.Japan`s economy has struggled as the yen strengthens against the greenback -- with it hitting a 14-year high around 84 to the dollar -- hurting exporters by making their products expensive and reducing overseas earnings when converted back into yen. The government last month declared the nation was in deflation, while consumer spending remained weak.

30.11.2009 21:07 Japanese industrial production rose 0.5 per cent in October 2009

Japanese industrial production rose 0.5 per cent in October when compared to the previous month, delivering a result that was much lower than economists had expected. Tokyo said the result marked the eighth month of gains, but the rise was much smaller than the 2.5 per cent increase that had been tipped by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires and the Nikkei. The figure was also lower than the revised 2.1 per cent increase in September, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said. Manufacturers polled by the ministry said they expected their output to rise 3.3 per cent in November and register an increase of 1 per cent in December. The jobless rate unexpectedly fell to a six-month low of 5.1 percent last month, the statistics bureau said last week. The gauge has been declining since reaching a postwar high of 5.7 percent in July. Consumer prices excluding fresh food tumbled 2.2 percent, an eighth monthly drop.

22.11.2009 15:40 US Industrial Production Up 0.1% in October 2009; CapU at 70.7%

US industrial production rose for the fourth consecutive month in October, by 0.1%, less than the 0.4% economists were expecting, the Federal Reserve reported. The Fed also made a slight downward revision to September`s output gain, from 0.7% to 0.6%. Output, which now stands at a level of 98.6, is down 7.1% over the year. October`s increased output was due to a meager 0.3% increase in non-durable output, led entirely by gains in non-energy goods like chemicals. After three consecutive months of gains, durable output fell 1.4% in October, carried by a 2.0% decline in auto output. Within major industry groups, manufacturing output fell 0.1%, mining output fell 0.2%, while utilities jumped 1.6%. Capacity use in US factories rose to 70.7% in October, marking the fourth consecutive monthly increase. Economists were expecting capacity use to rise to 70.8% from the 70.5% unrevised rate reported for September.

16.11.2009 20:50 Euro area GDP up by 0.4% and EU27 GDP up by 0.2%

GDP increased by 0.4% in the euro area (EA16) and by 0.2% in the EU27 during the third quarter of 2009, compared with the previous quarter, according to flash estimates published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. In the second quarter of 2009, growth rates were -0.2% in the euro area and -0.3% in the EU27. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 4.1% in the euro area and by 4.3% in the EU27 in the third quarter of 2009, after -4.8% and -4.9% respectively in the previous quarter. In September 2009 compared with August 2009, seasonally adjusted industrial production1 grew by 0.3% in the euro area (EA16) and by 0.2% in the EU27. In August production increased by 1.2% and 0.8% respectively. In September 2009 compared with September 2008, industrial production declined by 12.9% in the euro area and by 12.1% in the EU27.

11.11.2009 21:34 Japan`s industrial output rose 1.4 percent in September 2009

Japan`s industrial output rose 1.4 percent in September and manufacturers forecast further rises in the following two months, a sign that a recovery in the world economy continues to propel the export-driven Japanese economy. A recovery in factory production has been a major driving force in turning around the Japanese economy in April-June from its deepest recession in many decades. The rise in September output was smaller than the 1.6 percent increase in August but above the 1.0 percent rise expected by economists, according to the median estimate of a Reuters survey. Manufacturers surveyed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry expect output to rise 3.1 percent in October and increase 1.9 percent in November. Output is growing firmly, supported by the economic expansion in Asia. Recently, export growth is broadening to various products such as machines.

28.10.2009 22:24 Russia`s GDP contracts 10 percent in the first 9 months of 2009

The Russian economy contracted 8.6 percent in September, year-on-year, the Economy Ministry said, confirming its earlier estimate. The pace of contraction eased from the 10.5 percent seen in August. The ministry said the improvement was `linked both to a low base -- last year the fall in GDP accelerated in September -- and a resumption of monthly growth`. GDP has been growing on a month-on-month seasonal adjusted basis since June, and in September the increase was 0.5 percent. For the first nine months of 2009, gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 10 percent, the data showed. The Economy Ministry also forecast that in October, year-on-year inflation could come in at 9.9-10.0 percent. Russia`s industrial production grew 5.1 percent during September, according to official figures released, bolstering belief that economic recovery is under way. Output was still down 9.5 percent year on year, although that was less than the 12.6 percent drop seen in August, the Federal Statistics Service said. For the third quarter, output was up nearly 7 percent from the preceding quarter, the second consecutive quarterly rise.

20.10.2009 21:37 US industrial production up 0.7% in September 2009; Capacity utilization at 70.5%

US industrial production rose for the third consecutive month in September, by 0.7%, more than the 0.2% economists were expecting, the Federal Reserve reported today. Adding to today`s better than expected reading, was a sharp upward revision to August`s output gain, from 0.8% to 1.2%. Output, which now stands at a level of 98.5, has advanced at an annual rate of 5.2% over the third quarter overall. That`s the first quarterly increase since the Q1 2008 and the largest gain since Q1 2005. Over the year, output is still down 6.1%. September`s increased output was due largely to a 3.5% increase in durable output, including a 7.4% increase in the production of automotive products. Nondurable output increased 0.5% in September. Within major industry groups, manufacturing output rose 0.9%, mining output rose 0.7%%, while utilities fell 0.7%. Capacity use in US factories rose to 70.5% in September, marking the third consecutive monthly increase. Economists were expecting capacity use to come in at 69.7% from the 69.6% rate first reported for August (since revised up to 69.9%).

08.10.2009 21:46 Eurozone GDP fell 4.8% year on year in the second quarter of 2009

The euro zone`s economy shrank more than previously thought in the second quarter of 2009, data showed, because contributions from household demand and trade turned out to be smaller than initially estimated. Gross domestic product in the 16-country area shrank by 0.2 percent in the April-June period quarter-on-quarter and by 4.8 percent in annual terms, compared with the previously reported falls of 0.1 percent and 4.7 percent, Eurostat said. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the European Union`s statistical office to confirm its previous estimates.A plunge in inventories was slightly smaller than previously reported, as the drop in stocks of finished goods took away 0.6 percentage point from the overall second-quarter result rather than the 0.7 percentage point reported previously. But this was offset by a downward revision of the positive contributions of household demand and trade -- that from consumers was zero and from trade, 0.5 percentage point. The recession turned out deeper than previously estimated in the Netherlands and Austria, Eurostat said. The data still showed that government efforts to support the economy with fiscal stimulus bore fruit as government expenditure added 0.2 percentage point. The data is likely to add to European Central Bank caution not to withdraw its monetary stimulus prematurely when the ECB meets to decide interest rates on October 8th. Economists believe the ECB will keep rates at a record low 1 percent until the third quarter of 2010 despite signs the euro zone may have returned to growth in the third quarter of 2009.

28.09.2009 23:46 The International Monetary Fund will raise its forecasts for the world gdp growth

The International Monetary Fund now forecast that global activity will contract by 1.4 percent in 2009 and will expand by 2.5 percent in 2010, which is 0.6 percentage point higher than envisaged in the April 2009 World Economic Outlook. Also the International Monetary Fund has raised its forecasts for the euro zone economy this year and next but warns that the global recovery is still fragile. The latest draft of the IMF`s World Economic Outlook hikes its forecast for euro zone gross domestic product to -4.2 percent this year from -4.8 percent and raises next year`s outlook to zero from -0.3 percent. However, the global economic recovery remains "vulnerable to a series of shocks" including a more virulent diffusion of the new H1N1 flu virus. The Fund urged governments around the world to keep stimulus measures in place until the recovery is `well consolidated`. Euro zone unemployment will rise to above 10 percent this year and to "nearly 12 percent in 2011".

17.09.2009 00:46 Russia`s industrial output declined by 3 percent in August 2009

Russia`s industrial output declined by 3 percent in August, reversing growth of the previous two months and indicating that recovery is still a distant prospect, according to new government figures released. Industrial production fell 14 percent in January-August compared to a year ago, and 3 percent compared to July, the Federal Statistics Service said. Manufacturing was on the rise in June and July. The drop came a few weeks after several top officials announced a modest growth of the economy month-on-month. In the second quarter, GDP rose by 7.4 percent compared to the first quarter, although it is still down 10.9 percent year-on-year. Analysts said the low industrial output figures were largely unexpected. Yulia Tsyplyaeva, of Merrill Lynch in Moscow, said the results were disappointing but added that they don`t mean that Russia`s recovery ran out of steam. "The economy is still moving toward a way out of the crisis, although it`s happening at a slower pace than we would wish," she said. The economy`s rebound has proven to be "much more volatile" than expected. Russia has been hit harder by the global economic troubles than most other emerging markets, in part because of its heavy dependence on oil. The ruble has lost some 25 percent of its value since last summer and stock markets shrank by nearly 30 percent since August 2008 as oil and commodities prices took a hit. Observers and officials have since called for a diversification of the economy, but the recent surge in oil prices makes this goal less important. "There isn`t much urgency (of diversification) any more now that oil prices have stabilized," Ruben Vardanian, chief executive of Russia`s oldest private investment bank, Troika Dialog, said. "But this doesn`t change things. There is a lot to be done to diversify and modernize the country." Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, meanwhile, said in televised comments that the third quarter would herald a full-fledged start of the recovery in Russia. President Dmitry Medvedev toned down the optimism, warning at a meeting with experts that quarter-on-quarter improvements suggest that "this is still a recession." He said in televised remarks the government expects Russia`s economy to contract by 8.5 percent this year.

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