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28.08.2018 20:41 NBF: Can Russia live up to its geopolitical ambitions?

Russia`s geopolitical influence is at its highest level since the end of the cold war and fall of the Soviet Union nearly thirty years ago, points out Angelo Katsoras, Research Analyst at National Bank Financial. “Russia has partitioned Georgia (2008), annexed Crimea (2014), stopped Ukraine from joining the European Union and NATO, and kept the Assad regime in power in Syria. Russia has also been accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election by bombarding websites with fake news. “Though Russian President Vladimir Putin has proved a very shrewd geopolitical tactician, he faces many challenges. For one thing, Russia`s long-term structural economic weaknesses are at odds with its geopolitical ambitions. There is also the risk that the cost of these geopolitical successes may ultimately outweigh their benefits.”

20.08.2018 21:31 Rosstat: Russia`s GDP increases by 1.6 pct in H1

The Russian economy grew 1.6 percent year on year in the first half of 2018, Russia`s Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat) said Friday, citing preliminary data. The figure is slightly lower than the estimate of the Russian Economic Development Ministry, which forecasted the economic growth in the first half of 2018 to be 1.7 percent. Rosstat previously recorded an increase of Russia`s GDP growth at 1.8 percent in the second quarter, higher than the 1.3 percent registered in the first quarter. In July, the Russian Central Bank raised its estimate for Russia`s GDP growth in the second quarter of 2018 to 1.8 percent to 2.2 percent from the previous 1.0 percent to 1.4 percent, on account of the additional contribution by hosting the World Cup tournament.

12.08.2018 17:04 World GDP Growth Slowing

Over the course of 2017, one of the primary factors fueling investor optimism was the fact that, for the first time ever, global stocks rose in basically uninterrupted fashion, a sign of synchronized global growth that boded well for future prospects. Now that narrative is showing signs of unraveling, and while the US is seen as something of a haven, weakening trends abroad could pose another risk to Wall Street, which is already grappling with the geopolitical concern of trade uncertainty, MarketWatch reported. “We`re starting to see the end of the synchronized global growth that has prevailed over the last two years,” wrote Sara Potter, an associate director at FactSet who analyzes global markets. “While the US economy seems strong, growth in Europe and Japan is moderating, and emerging markets are under increasing economic and financial market pressure.” According to FactSet, which cited data from the International Monetary Fund, global GDP is expected to grow 3.9% in 2018 and hold at that level next year. The US is expected to grow 2.9% in 2018, an acceleration from the 2.2% expansion in 2017, and then cool slightly to 2.7% in 2019. FactSet`s own expectation, based on the mean estimate of analysts it polled, is that the US will grow 2.8% in 2018 and then slow to 2.4% in 2019.

12.08.2018 13:56 Russia-U.S. economic war looms larger as new sanctions near

The U.S. State Department said Wednesday that Washington will impose new sanctions on Russia on or around Aug. 22 over the alleged poison attack on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the British city of Salisbury in March. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the U.S. restrictions will possibly include a ban on foreign assistance to Russia and sale of military and dual-use items to the country, as well as renunciation of providing state loans and other financial aid. U.S. State Department officials estimated that the sanctions may affect hundreds of millions of dollars worth of exports, dealing a blow to some 70 percent of the Russian economy which may result in an approximately 40-percent fall in workforce. "All I can say is: if they ban banking operations or the use of any currency we will call it the declaration of an economic war," Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Friday. "And we`ll have to respond to it - economically, politically or in any other way, if need be. Our American friends should make no mistake about it," he warned.

06.08.2018 23:56 Russian inflation accelerates to 2.5pc in July

Russia`s consumer price index (CPI) rose 2.5 percent in July in year-on-year terms, up from 2.3 percent in the previous month, the statistics service said on Monday. Month-on-month inflation was at 0.3 percent, down from 0.5 percent in June. The year-on-year increase in the CPI was slightly below of the analysts` expectations for a rise of 2.6 percent in a Reuters poll. Russia`s recovery continues but remains fragile. Growth in the first quarter remains around the 2% mark and no surprises are expected for the rest of the year. The GDP growth forecast for this year was recently revised down to 1.9%, while the outlook for industry has dipped back into the red after the manufacturing PMI turned red in May and June. Inflation and unemployment remain at record lows, although inflation is expected to rise from the current 2.3% towards 4% over the next year.

01.08.2018 20:12 Russian central bank raises Q2 GDP estimate on World Cup

The Russian central bank Monday raised its estimate for the country`s gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the second quarter of this year to 1.8-2.2 percent from the previous 1.0-1.4 percent. "Holding the World Cup in Russia made a positive contribution. It is estimated that demand from foreign fans increased the volume of services in the hotel, transport and restaurant sectors," the bank said in a monthly analytical report. Russia`s GDP grew 1.3 percent in the first quarter, according to the country`s state statistics service Rosstat. The 2018 World Cup held between June 14 and July 15 attracted 7.7 million football fans, according to an official FIFA estimate. The central bank forecast that GDP growth will be 1.5-2.0 percent in both the third and the fourth quarters. Under these conditions, the expansion of consumer demand will result in a gradual inflation increase to 3.5-4.0 percent by the end of 2018, it said.

24.07.2018 18:18 G20: Trade is key engine of economic growth

Amid global trade tensions, the third G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Buenos Aires, Argentina, over the weekend reflected the support of the world`s main economies of international trade and investment as “important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development,” according to the issued communiqué. In the forum for the governments and central bank governors of Argentina (the current chair), Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union, more than 55 senior officials discussed the “risks and opportunities” of the world economy over a two-day meeting at the Buenos Aires Convention & Exhibition Centre (CEC).

17.07.2018 18:25 IMF: Trump`s trade war could inflict $500bn of damage on world economy

Donald Trump`s trade war could wipe up to half a trillion dollars off the global economy and financial markets are too complacent about the risk, the International Monetary Fund has warned. Unveiling the Fund`s latest outlook on Monday, the IMF`s economic counsellor, Maury Obstfeld, said the global economy was set to grow at 3.9 per cent this year and next, which would be its highest growth rate since 2011. But Mr Obstfeld also warned that the US President`s tariff hostilities were “the greatest near-term threat to global growth”. He said that IMF modelling shows global output could be about 0.5 per cent below current projections by 2020 if threatened tariffs materialised and business investment fell as a result. With the IMF projecting global GDP to be around $100 trillion (£75 trillion) in 2020, that implies a cost of $500bn.

10.07.2018 19:26 UK GDP growth recovers in May boost to Bank of England hawks

The British economy did not accelerate in the three months to May compared to the first quarter, according to monthly data released for the first time by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – although a bounceback during the month of May itself will relieve Bank of England hawks hoping to raise interest rates. UK GDP grew by 0.2 per cent in the three months to May, the same pace as the first three months of the year. However, the new monthly GDP estimate – which the government's statisticians caution is a more volatile measure – showed growth of 0.3 per cent during the month, up from 0.2 per cent in April, with the ONS crediting the royal wedding and warmer weather for a boost to retailers in particular.

04.07.2018 21:59 Global economy under threat as tariff war bites

Global economic growth is under threat as the world`s economic super powers trade tit-for-tat trade sanctions, according to the World Trade Organization. In its most sober assessment of the growing tariff war between the US, European Union and China, the WTO said the global system of agreed trade rules was at "potentially large risk". It said world economic growth was "in jeopardy" and pleaded for a "de-escalation". The threat of a tariff war was sparked after US President Donald Trump ordered tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the EU and China.


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