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22.08.2007 22:34 Russia`s GDP grew 8.0 percent in July and 7.9 percent in January-July 2007

Russia`s GDP grew 8.0 percent in July and 7.9 percent in January-July 2007, Russian Economy Minister German Gref told during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Gref also believes that Russia`s annual inflation will remain within the forecast of 8 percent. The Minister added that inflation stood at 6.6 percent in January-July 2007. The real disposable cash incomes (net of obligatory payments and adjusted against the consumer price index) of Russians increased by 15.5 percent in July 2007 compared to the same month a year earlier, the Russian Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) reported. Meanwhile, this figure is 1.3 percent greater than that of June 2007. Real disposable cash incomes stepped up 11.9 percent in January-July 2007 compared to the first seven months of 2006. According to Rossat`s preliminary data, the average accrued wages rose 25.4 percent to RUR13,575 (approx. USD527) in July 2007 compared to July 2006 and 1 percent less than in June 2007. Fixed investment in Russia grew 24.7 percent to RUR531.4bn (approx. USD20.645bn) in July 2007 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service`s (Rosstat) data. Fixed investment rose 22.7 percent between January and July compared to the first six months of 2006.

20.08.2007 22:33 US industrial production up 0.3 pct in July, capacity utilisation 81.9 pct

US industrial production rose 0.3 pct in July, the Federal Reserve reported, as factory and mining output offset a cool-weather drop at utilities. July`s 0.3 pct increase wasn`t far out of line with analyst expectations of a 0.2 pct increase. June production was revised up a tenth of a point to +0.6 pct. The 81.9 pct capacity use was also in line with the 81.8 pct expectation and followed an 81.8 pct rate in June, also revised up a tenth. Utility output fell 2.1 pct as unusually cool July weather reduced the electricity demand. Manufacturing was up 0.6 pct, including a sharp 2.6 pct jump in the auto industry. Business equipment rose 0.9 pct overall, but machinery at +1.1 pct and computers and electronics at +1.0 pct, did somewhat better. Construction fell 0.1 pct as commercial building appears to be compensating to a degree for the housing slump. Mining output rose 0.7 pct last month. Year-on-year, US industrial output was up 1.4 pct in July.

17.08.2007 00:24 Eurozone economy slows down in the second quarter

The eurozone economy slowed down in the second quarter of this year, compared to the first quarter, the European Union`s statistics bureau Eurostat estimated on Tuesday. During the second quarter, the gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.3 percent quarter on quarter in the 13-nation bloc sharing the same currency euro, slowing down from 0.7 percent in the first quarter. GDP growth dropped more sharply than expected in Germany and France, the two largest economies in the euro zone, with both slowing down from 0.5 percent to 0.3 percent. Compared to a year ago, seasonally adjusted GDP grew by 2.5 percent in the euro zone, after 3.1 percent in the previous quarter. Economists said the economic slowdown may persuade the European Central Bank to have a second thought on its plan to raise the eurozone benchmark interest rate in September, while others expected the eurozone economy to gather strength in the second half of this year. In the 27-nation EU, GDP growth also slowed to 0.5 percent quarter on quarter in the second quarter from 0.7 percent in the first quarter.

14.08.2007 00:11 Russia generated trading surplus of $70.7 billion in the first half of 2007

Russia generated trading surplus of $70.7 billion in the first half of this year, 15.4 percent down on year, the Federal Custom Service of Russian Federation (FCS) reported. The January-June exports of Russia surged 8.6 percent on year to $155.3 billion, while the imports stepped up 48.7 percent to $84.6 billion. So, the foreign turnover amounted to $239.9 billion, according to the FCS. But Russia`s Economic Development and Trade Ministry reported a bit different figures not long ago. According to the ministry, the H1 exports stood at $160.5 billion, having stepped up 11.6 percent on year. The growth was 31.1 percent in the first half of 2006. The ministry blamed some slowdown on lower prices for crude oil exports and some decline in exported quantity of vital goods. Under the ministry`s calculation, H1 imports of Russia amounted to $96.7 billion, 38.5 percent up on year (vs. the acceleration of 26.6 percent generated from January to June of 2006). The growth in rates, the ministry explained, could be attributed to more aggressive demand of the population coupled with improved investment activity.

11.08.2007 19:23 Japan`s industrial output rises by revised 1.3 percent in June from May

Japan`s industrial output rose by a seasonally adjusted 1.3 pct in June from May, a faster rise than the initial estimate of 1.2 percent, according to revised data released by the government Friday. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry`s revised figures show shipments rose 1.1 percent in June. It had initially estimated a rise of 0.7 percent. Inventories fell a revised 0.3 percent, the same as the initial estimate. The production capacity index for factories and mines was at 94.1, down 0.1 percentage point. The seasonally adjusted operating ratio was at 105.8, up 0.8 percentage point.

07.08.2007 21:00 Eurozone sees gloom amid US credit fear

Morale among Eurozone investors deteriorated for a second straight month in August, amid concern problems in the US markets could unleash a global credit squeeze, the Sentix research group said. The group`s latest monthly sentiment indicator, based on a survey of more than 2,600 European investors between August 2 and 4, fell to 26.3, the lowest since November, from 34.7 in July. A Sentix gauge of investor sentiment about current economic conditions fell to 55.0, from July`s 61.75, while a measure of expectations for the next six months dropped to 0.5 from 10.5. "The problems on the US credit markets are no longer being seen in isolation and shrugged off as an issue that only affects a single sector or country," Sentix said. "The latest survey results mean that a clear slowdown in activity must be expected," it added.

04.08.2007 12:39 US GDP grew at a 3.4% annual rate in the second quarter

U.S. economic growth rebounded during the second quarter to its strongest pace since the beginning of last year on a surge in business investment, more government spending and a better trade performance, the Commerce Department reported. Gross domestic product that measures total output within U.S. borders gained at a 3.4 percent annual rate - the fastest since 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2006 - after barely growing at a downwardly revised 0.6 percent pace in the first quarter. Second-quarter growth exceeded Wall Street economists` forecasts for a 3.2 percent rate of increase. The GDP data showed the business sector picking up some of the slack left by consumers who cut back on their spending. Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, slowed to a 1.3 percent annual pace, the weakest since the last three months of 2005, from 3.7 percent the previous three months. The price index rose at an annual rate of 2.7 percent, down from 4.2 percent in the first quarter. The trade deficit narrowed to an annual pace of $577.9 billion last quarter from $612.1 billion. The smaller gap added 1.2 percent to growth, after subtracting 0.5 percent the prior quarter.

01.08.2007 21:06 Russia`s PMI index for manufacturing sector rose to 53.4 in July from 53 in June

Russia`s manufacturing sector expanded further in July, backed by faster growth of output and incoming new orders, according to London-based VTB Bank Europe`s survey of the Russian manufacturing sector released Wednesday. The seasonally adjusted headline Manufacturing Purchasing Managers` Index (PMI) rose to 53.4 in July from 53 in June, VTB Bank Europe said. Readings above 50.0 signal an increase on the previous month while readings below 50.0 signal a contraction. Russian manufacturing production expanded in July at a rate that was the second-sharpest indicated by the survey over the past 10 months, VTB Bank Europe said. Faster gains in new orders underpinned the latest acceleration in output growth. The VTB Bank Europe Manufacturing PMI is derived from a monthly survey of 300 purchasing executives in Russian manufacturing companies and has been conducted since September 1997.

30.07.2007 21:33 Russia`s trade surplus drops 13.8% to $63.8 bln in 1H07

Russia`s trade surplus in the first six months of 2007 dropped 13.8%, year-on-year, to $63.8 billion, the Russian economics ministry reported. The ministry said Russian exports stood at $160.5 billion in January-June 2007, up 11.6% against the same period last year, while imports increased 38.5% to $96.7 billion in the same period. The share of non-Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries in Russian exports fell from 86.3% to 84.8%, with the CIS share increasing from 13.7% to 15.2%. The export of almost all goods, except fuel and energy, went up in January-May 2007. Import growth was caused by higher consumer demand, investment growth and ruble strengthening, the report reads. Non-CIS countries accounted for 85% for Russian imports, and the CIS share was 15%. The greatest import growth in the reporting period was for machinery, equipment, cars, metals, textiles and footwear. Russia`s economics ministry also said it still hoped to keep the country`s inflation no higher than its 8% target for 2007. Consumer prices increased 5.7% in the first half of the year, and the ministry said inflation would be 2.2-2.5% in the second half, or 0.2-0.4% lower that in the same period last year.

26.07.2007 21:20 IMF ups 2007-2008 world economic growth forecast to 5.2 per cent

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its world economic growth forecast for 2007 and 2008 to 5.2 per cent, up 0.3 per cent from the 4.9 per cent growth forecast for both years in its World Economic Outlook (WEO), published in April. The IMF hiked the growth forecast by 0.3 percentage points on the back of robust growth in emerging markets, with China poised to become its most powerful growth driver. Under the revised estimates, China will see growth of 11.2 per cent in 2007, 1.2 percentage points higher than forecast in April. The IMF also revised India`s growth rate upward by 0.6 points to 9.0 per cent, and Russia`s to 7.0 per cent. The US growth forecast for 2008 was left unchanged at a 2.8 per cent. For Japan, the world`s second-biggest economy, the IMF raised its growth forecast to 2.6 per cent in 2007, up 0.3 percentage points, and to 2.0 in 2008, up 0.1 point. In Europe, the IMF expects the 27-nation euro to expand at a faster rate of 2.6 per cent in 2007 and 2.5 per cent in 2008, up 0.3 points and 0.2 points, respectively.


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