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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.

16.01.2008 21:13 U.S. Industrial Production Was Unchanged in December 2007

Industrial production in the U.S. was greater than forecast in December as growth in exports helped make up for weakness in auto and housing-related industries. Production at factories, mines and utilities was unchanged following a 0.3 percent increase in November, Federal Reserve figures showed today. Economists had forecast a decline in production. Capacity utilization, which measures the proportion of plants in use, fell to 81.4 percent from 81.6 percent the prior month. Utility production fell 0.2 percent after two months of no change, the report showed. Mining output, which includes oil drilling, increased 0.1 percent last month, after rising 1 percent.

16.01.2008 00:13 Industrial production down by 0.5% in euro area, down by 0.3% in EU27

In November 2007 compared with October 2007, seasonally adjusted industrial production1 fell by 0.5% in the euro area (EA13) and by 0.3% in the EU27. In October production grew by 0.5% in both zones. In November 2007 compared with November 2006, industrial production rose by 2.7% in the euro area and by 2.6% in the EU27. These estimates are released by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. In November 2007 compared with October 2007, production of energy increased by 0.4% in the euro area and by 0.3% in the EU27. Non-durable consumer goods grew by 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. Intermediate goods fell by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.5% in the EU27. Capital goods decreased by 0.7% and 0.6% respectively. Durable consumer goods declined by 1.9% in the euro area and by 1.4% in the EU27. In November 2007 compared with November 2006, production of energy increased by 6.2% in the euro area and by 4.2% in the EU27. Capital goods grew by 3.7% and 4.2% respectively. Non-durable consumer goods rose by 1.9% in the euro area and by 1.2% in the EU27. Intermediate goods gained 1.8% in both zones. Durable consumer goods fell by 3.4% in the euro area and by 1.0% in the EU27.

11.01.2008 21:19 U.N. sees rising risk of world economic recession

The world economy faces serious challenges in sustaining the strong economic growth of the last few years in 2008, the United Nations said in World Economic Situation and Prospects 2008 released Wednesday in New York. The baseline forecast of the United Nations is for world economic growth to moderate to 3.4 percent this year, following the trend line down from 3.9 percent in 2006 and 3.7 percent in 2007. But there is a clear and present danger of the world economy coming to a near standstill, the annual report warned. In the second half of 2007, the bursting of the housing market bubble in the United States and the unfolding credit crisis have induced uncertainty across global financial markets. This together with the decline of the U.S. dollar and the unresolved problem of the large global imbalances could combine to further drag world output down. To prevent this from happening, the United Nations advised concerted international policy action to address the global imbalances and calm currency markets.

09.01.2008 21:42 Euro zone Q3 GDP growth revised to 0.8 pct from 0.7 pct

Euro zone GDP grew 0.8 pct in the third quarter from the second quarter, and was up 2.7 pct year-on-year, EU statistics office Eurostat said. The figures show an upward revision to provisional figures reported on Nov 30. Eurostat previously put Q3 quarter growth at 0.7 pct quarter-on-quarter and 2.7 pct year-on-year. In the second quarter, GDP was up 0.3 pct from the first quarter and was up 2.5 pct year-on-year. Among the components of third-quarter GDP, Eurostat revised its estimate for investment to a rise of 1.2 pct from 0.9 pct growth. It confirmed that household consumption rose 0.5 pct quarter-on-quarter and that government spending was up 0.6 pct. Meanwhile, exports increased 2.2 pct and imports rose 2.6 pct, compared with earlier figures of 2.5 pct and 2.7 pct respectively. Household consumption made a positive contribution of 0.3 percentage points to the quarterly GDP figure, while investment made a positive contribution of 0.3 points. Net exports made a negative contribution of 0.2 points. Euro-zone GDP growth is expected to slow to 0.5 pct in the fourth quarter of last year and to 0.4 pct in the first and second quarters of 2008, according to the main economic institutes of Germany, France and Italy.

04.01.2008 12:27 Manufacturing in the U.S. unexpectedly shrank the most in almost five years

Manufacturing in the U.S. unexpectedly shrank the most in almost five years, reinforcing speculation that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again to stave off a recession. The Institute for Supply Management`s manufacturing index dropped to 47.7, the lowest reading since April 2003, from 50.8 the prior month, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. Fifty is the dividing line between contraction and expansion. Economists had expected the manufacturing gauge to fall to 50.5, according to the median of 69 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. Estimates ranged from 48.9 to 52. The index averaged 52.2 last year, down from 53.9 in 2006. The decrease in overall manufacturing index reflected a decline in new orders to the lowest level since October 2001. ISM`s new orders index fell to 45.7 from 52.6. The production measure fell to 47.3 from 51.9. The inventory index declined to 45.5 from 46.9.

30.12.2007 12:52 US new home sales dropped 9 percent to an annual rate of 647,000 in November

Sales of new U.S. homes fell in November to the lowest rate since 1995. New single-family home sales dropped 9 percent to an annual rate of 647,000 in November from a downwardly revised pace of 711,000 in October, the Commerce Department said. Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 720,000. The housing report suggested the new home market may have more room to fall as the inventory of houses for sale rose to 9.3 months` supply from 8.8 months in October. The median sales price of new houses sold in November dipped to $239,100 from $240,100 a year earlier. The number of homes for sale at the end of November decreased 1.8 percent to 505,000, the fewest in two years.

28.12.2007 22:07 Japan`s November industrial output down 1.6 percent from October

Japan`s industrial output fell a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent in November from a month earlier as semiconductor processing equipment makers and semiconductor chip makers reduced production, according to preliminary data released by the government on Friday. The rise in factory output was slightly smaller than the market`s consensus forecast for a fall of 1.7 percent and followed a 1.7 percent rise in October. Year-on-year, industrial output increased 2.9 percent in November after rising by 4.7 percent in the previous month. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry predicted that industrial output will rise by 4.0 percent in December from November, but will stay flat in January from December. The ministry maintained its view that the trend in industrial output is gradually picking up. "Industrial output has maintained a firm trend, but we would like to watch closely if there will be any fallout from the subprime loan mess and adverse impact from the introduction of tighter building permits", - a ministry official said.

27.12.2007 21:55 Russia`s GDP rose 7.7% in January-November, 7.4% in November

Russia`s gross domestic product (GDP) rose 7.7% in January-November, the Economic Development and trade Ministry said Thursday. In November, GDP grew 7.4%. GDP growth remained high in November 2007, although it slowed a little compared to October. Monthly GDP growth averaged an impressive 0.6 percent, net of seasonal factors. Russia`s fast economic development was triggered by high investment and consumer demand and foreign trade growth. Industrial output rose 6.3% on the year in January-November. In November, industrial output rose 4.7% on the year. Fixed asset investment rose 17.2% on the year in November. The figure for January-November was not provided. In January-November 2006, GDP rose 6.8%, the ministry said earlier. The ministry said earlier that it expected GDP to grow 7.6%, fixed asset investment to increase 20% and industrial output to increase 6.0% in 2007.

25.12.2007 18:33 The Japanese economy will grow 2.1 percent in FY2008

The economists of eight scientific research institutes said the japanese economy will grow 2.1 percent in price-adjusted real terms in FY 2008. They predicted investments in housing market to grow 10.0 percent and export to increase 5.0 percent. Earlier, Bank of Japan said the Japanese economy will grow 2.0 percent in in the fiscal year starting from April, backed by firm domestic demand under stable prices. The GDP deflator, one of the broadest measures of price trends that is used to derive real GDP from nominal GDP by adjusting for price changes, is seen rising 0.1 percent in fiscal 2008/09, which would be the first rise in more than a decade. Underlining tepid inflation, the overall consumer price index is expected to rise 0.3 percent in fiscal 2008/09, following a 0.2 percent gain expected in the current fiscal year, according to the projections. This year Japan`s GDP will grow 1.3 percent.


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