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18.06.2007 22:38 Japan Says Economy Is Recovering, Production Weak

Corporate profits in Japan are improving although production remains weak, the government said, maintaining its monthly assessment that the world`s second- largest economy is recovering. "The economy is recovering, despite weakness in industrial production in some sectors", - the Cabinet Office said in its monthly economic report in Tokyo today. Japan`s longest postwar expansion is in its 65th month. The Cabinet Office upgraded its evaluation of consumer spending to "picking up" from "showing signs of picking up". Households increased spending for a fourth month in April, capping the longest winning streak in three years even as wages declined for a fifth month. Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Hiroko Ota said the recovery in private consumption remains fragile. Spending "isn`t that strong as wage growth has stalled", - she told reporters in Tokyo today.

14.06.2007 22:21 Statistics service confirms Russia`s GDP at 7.9% in the first quarter of 2007

Russia`s National Statistics Service released official data Thursday confirming that the country`s GDP growth in the first three months of 2007 was 7.9%, up three points year-on-year. The Finance Ministry forecasts GDP growth for the whole of 2007 at 6.5%-6.7%. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank expect Russia`s GDP to expand more than 7% in 2007. Chief Economist for Russia John Litwack said GDP would grow by more than 7% in 2007, which is considerably higher than the government`s forecast of 6.5%. According to the World Bank, economic growth also facilitated an increase in wages: "Current trends in wage growth, together with the continued real appreciation of the ruble, suggest that the average monthly dollar wage in Russia for 2007 should exceed $500". In the current situation, Russians would like their wages to grow faster than inflation, which went up to 4.7% in January-May, according to the Russian government. The World Bank reported that official estimates placed wage growth at 18.5% in January-April.

12.06.2007 21:44 Japan`s GDP grew at an annualised pace of 3.3 percent in the first quarter

Japan`s economy grew at an annualised pace of 3.3 percent in the first quarter, much faster than previously thought as firms raised capital spending on new plant and equipment, the government said Monday. Japan`s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.8 percent in the three months to March, the Cabinet Office said, better than an initial estimate of 0.6 percent quarter-on-quarter and an annualised rate of 2.4 percent. It was a ninth straight quarter of growth for the world`s second largest economy, although slower than the three months to December when GDP grew by a revised 1.3 percent quarter-on-quarter. The main reason for the upward revision was an upgrade to corporate capital spending to a 0.3 percent gain quarter-on-quarter compared with a 0.9 percent drop previously, after the fourth quarter`s 2.7 percent expansion.

08.06.2007 23:35 Japan`s machinery orders rose 2.2% in April but gain was slower than expected

Japanese machinery orders rose in April for the first time in three months but a slower-than-expected pace, the government said, prompting concerns about the outlook for business investment in the world`s second-largest economy. Core machinery orders rose 2.2 per cent in April from March, helped by orders from non-manufacturers such as financial firms and insurers, the cabinet Office said. The rise undershot economists` forecast for 4.4 per cent rise. Moreover, unadjusted core orders in April plunged 9.0 per cent from the year-earlier month - the biggest fall since a 9.9 per cent drop in October 2004. Machinery orders are widely regarded as a leading indicator of corporate capital investment, which accounts for about 15 per cent of Japan`s gross domestic product. Still, the data marked the first on-month rise since January, rebounding from a 4.5 per cent fall in March and a 4.9 per cent drop in February, and analysts were optimistic that machinery orders will likely get back into an uptrend in the near future.

06.06.2007 21:21 The Eurozone manufacturing PMI index slipped slightly in May, non-manufacturing PMI index improved

May`s NTC Economics manufacturing survey indicated continued buoyant growth of the Eurozone manufacturing sector, with month-on-month expansion extending into a 23rd successive month. The Royal Bank of Scotland/NTC Manufacturing Purchasing Managers` Index slipped slightly further from the highs seen last summer but, at 55.0, remained well above the no-change mark of 50.0 and also well up on the long-run series average of 52.7. Growth of manufacturing output was recorded for a 24th consecutive month in May. Expansion was again strong and up on the long-run series average, but the rate of growth continued to moderate from the six-year high recorded last June, dipping for the eighth time in the past 12 months to the slowest since January 2006. Germany`s PMI fell to 56.1 from 57.0, France`s rose to 54.3 from 53.9 and Italy`s PMI rose to 55.0 from 53.9. The Eurozone non-manufacturing PMI survey improved to 57.3 in May from 57.0 in April, above expectations, while the prices charged component fell to 53.1 from 54.4.

04.06.2007 21:11 ISM survey shows growth in the manufacturing sector

The nation`s manufacturing sector expanded for the fourth consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 67th-straight month, the Institute for Supply Management reported. According to the report from the Tempe-based group, the Purchasing Manufacturers Index for the manufacturing sector rose to 55, up from the April reading of 54.7. A reading above 50 indicates the manufacturing sector is generally expanding, and a reading below 50 indicates that the sector is contracting. Additionally, a reading above 41.9 over a period of time indicates an expansion of the overall economy. Among the component sub-indexes, the categories of New Orders, Production and Employment grew, while Inventories contracted and Deliveries slowed, according to the ISM. The ISM, established in 1915, seeks to lead the supply management field through its standards of excellence, research, promotional activities and education.

31.05.2007 21:37 US GDP growth in Q1 2007 revised down to annual rate of 0.6%

The US economy grew at an annual rate of 0.6 percent in the first quarter, according to the "preliminary" estimates released by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. Based on newly available data that showed a marked reduction in business inventories and a surge in imports in March, the GDP growth rate was revised down 0.7 percentage point from the "advance" estimate of 1.3 percent. BEA also released its first estimate of first-quarter corporate profits. The deceleration in first-quarter GDP growth primarily reflected a downturn in net exports. First-quarter corporate profits increased 6.3 percent from the same quarter a year ago. In the fourth quarter, profits grew 18.3 percent. Profits of financial corporations increased 13.1 percent in the first quarter, and profits of nonfinancial corporations decreased 0.4 percent.

29.05.2007 21:00 US May consumer confidence index up to 108.0 vs 104.8 expected

US consumer confidence rebounded in May as shoppers became relatively more satisfied with the current state of the economy, a closely-watched gauge of the economy showed on Tuesday. The New York-based Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 108.0 in May, from a revised 106.3 in April. The April number is itself 2.3 points higher than the original 104.0 report. Analysts had expected a May reading of 104.8. A more detailed look at the survey showed that the Present Situation Index, which measures how shoppers feel now about economic conditions, increased to 136.1 from 133.5 in April. Meanwhile, the Expectations Index, which measures consumers` outlook for the next six months, rose 89.2 to from 88.2. In an earlier report, the University of Michigan`s preliminary consumer confidence index for May rose to 88.7 from 87.1 in April, with a decline in the present situation and rise in its expectations index.

24.05.2007 21:15 Solid world economic growth forecast in OECD report

In 2007 and 2008, the economy of the 31 OECD countries would experience a growth in GDP of 2.7%, according to the OECD forecast. Germany would continue to experience strong growth, with GDP set to expand by 2.9% in 2007, and there would be `soft landing` in the US after several boom years. Growth in the US economy was slowing down from 3.3% in 2006 to 2.1% in 2007. Predicted growth for 2008 was 2.5%. Thanks to recovery in Germany and Italy, the Euro zone would experience a growth rate of 2.7% in 2007. In 2008, the predicted growth of 2.3% was above potential growth of 2%.The Germany economy`s expansion rate would be 2.2% in 2008, 0.6 percentage points above potential growth rate. Growth would remain solid in Japan for 2007, up to 2.4% compared to 2.2% in 2006. Growth in China and India would be buoyant, the report predicted. However, it also warned of risks posed by imbalances in current accounts and, possibly, in financial and housing markets.

22.05.2007 22:12 The Russia`s GDP grew by 7.1% y/y in April of 2007

The Russia`s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 7.1% in April, and 7.7% in January-April (both compared to the same period of 2006), Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref said Monday at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Last year, the country`s gross domestic product (GDP), which measures the value of goods and services produced in an economy, grew 5.1% in the same period. Industrial output rose 7.5% in January-April, compared with 3.5% in January-April last year, Gref said thus confirming earlier reported figures. Consumer prices rose 0.3% in May 1 through May 14, Gref also said, adding that consumer prices accelerated slightly from the same period of 2006. He attributed the consumer price inflation in the first two weeks of May to a seasonal increase in the prices of meat and vegetables.


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