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28.09.2007 21:37 Russia`s GDP surged 7.7 percent in January to August, IP grew 7.0 percent

Russia`s GDP grew 7.7 percent in January to August of this year vs. 6.2 percent a year earlier, signaled the survey of current economic situation elaborated by the RF Economic Development Ministry. Russia`s economy maintained the accelerating rates in summer, though the pace slowed down in August vs the speed manifested in May through July. The August growth in GDP was just 6.4 percent. Less seasonal and calendar factors, the monthly growth in GDP was still rather high (0.7 percent a month on average from January through August of 2007). The economy accelerated on high rates of investment growth, construction, consumer demand coupled with increasing impact of imports in meeting domestic demand in the environment of some slowdown in processing industries and exports. Russia`s industrial production grew 7.0 percent in Junuary to August compared to 4.3 percent a year earlier. In August industrial production grew only 3.8 percent. Economic Development Ministry also provided the inflation estimate for January through September, saying the inflation was 7 percent to 7.1 percent during the period. Consumer inflation went down to 0.1 percent in August because of the seasonal drop in prices for fruit and vegetables from 0.9 percent to 1 percent posted in June through July. The inflation was 6.7 percent from early this year (vs. 7.1 percent a year ago) and 8.6 percent for a year`s period (August 2007 to August 2006). At the same time, the external surplus of Russia shed 17.9 percent on year to $82.1 billion in January through August 2007. Exports reached $216.9 billion, while imports stood at $134.8 billion.

27.09.2007 21:28 US economic growth in Q2 2007 revised down to annual rate of 3.8% from earlier estimate of 4.0%

The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.8 percent in the second quarter, following 0.6-percent growth in the first quarter, according to the "final" estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The second-quarter growth rate was revised down from the "preliminary" estimate of 4.0 percent. The acceleration in real GDP growth reflected upturns in net exports, Federal government spending, and inventory investment; an acceleration in business investment; and a smaller decrease in residential home investment. In contrast, consumer spending decelerated sharply. The downward revision to GDP growth reflected updated estimates of net exports and business spending for structures; both were smaller than previously estimated. In contrast, business investment in equipment and software was higher than previously estimated.

24.09.2007 22:32 Russia`s Economy Ministry increased the 2007 GDP forecast to 7.3 percent

Russia`s Economy Ministry predicts stronger GDP growth for 2007-2010. The 2007 GDP forecast increased to 7.3 percent, up 0.8 percent. According to new estimates, Russia`s economic growth is projected at 6.4 percent in 2008, 6.0 percent in 2009 and a 6.3 percent rise is forecast for 2010. Acting First Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said that Russia`s gross domestic product in 2007 will grow by more than 7.5 percent. Speaking at the 6th International Investment Forum Sochi 2007 on Saturday, Zhukov said the average annual GDP growth in 2000-2006 was 6.8 percent. In his words, the high economic growth over the past several years was accompanied by "a sustainable budget surplus" and the sevenfold increase in the state`s expenditures. All this and purposeful policy of the state have created favourable conditions for foreign investments in the country. "Over the first seven months of this year investments in fixed capital in the Russian economy was 23 percent, and over 60 billion U.S. dollars were attracted in foreign investments in the first half of the year, which is almost three times more than in 2006", Zhukov said. He stressed that investment demand had grown most intensively in industry, construction, and high-tech industries. In his view, Russia has reserves to improve the investment climate, including by perfecting tax administration, antimonopoly legislation and ownership rights legislation.

18.09.2007 21:39 IMF has cut US 2008 GDP forecast to 2.2 percent from 2.8 percent

The International Monetary Fund has sharply cut its forecast for 2008 economic growth in the United States and made a more modest reduction in its outlook for the euro zone, Italian news agencies reported on Tuesday. Citing a draft version of the IMF`s Economic Outlook to be released next month, news agency AGI said the IMF slashed its 2008 U.S. growth forecast to 2.2 percent from 2.8 percent, largely due to the fall-out from the crisis of the subprime mortgage sector. The IMF`s forecast for the euro zone has been trimmed to 2.3 percent from a previous 2.5 percent projection, AGI and several other Italian news agencies reported. The IMF`s growth forecast for Germany was cut to 2.2 percent from 2.4 percent, the agencies said, while France`s growth was left unchanged at 2.3 percent and Italy`s was trimmed to 1.6 percent from 1.7 percent. The IMF left its forecast for this year`s Italian growth at 1.8 percent.

14.09.2007 21:25 US Industrial Production Rose 0.2% in August on Utility Gain

Production at U.S. factories, mines and utilities edged up in August at the slowest pace in three months. The Federal Reserve reported that industrial production was up just 0.2 percent in August. That was slower than the 0.3 percent gain that analysts had been expecting. It was the poorest performance in three months and reflected a 0.3 percent drop in output at U.S. factories, the first decline in manufacturing after five straight increases. The 0.3 percent gain in industrial output followed much stronger increases of 0.5 percent in July and 0.6 percent in June. The drop in manufacturing output was accompanied by a decline of 0.6 percent in mining, the category that includes oil production. These declines were offset by a 5.3 percent surge in output at U.S. utilities, reflecting a hotter-than-usual August. Capacity utilization, measuring the proportion of plants in use, held at 82.2 percent in August, the Fed said.

12.09.2007 21:13 Industrial production in the Eurozone expanded 0.6% in July; Up 3.7% in 12-month period

In July 2007, compared with June 2007, seasonally adjusted industrial production increased by 0.6% in the Eurozone (EA13) and by 0.4% in the EU27. In June production remained stable in the Eurozone and grew by 0.1% in the EU27. In July 2007 compared with July 2006, industrial production grew by 3.7% in the Eurozone and by 3.5% in the EU27. These estimates are released by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union. In July 2007 compared with June 2007, production of capital goods increased by 1.0% in the Eurozone and by 0.7% in the EU27. Intermediate goods grew by 0.5% in both zones. Non-durable consumer goods rose by 0.3% in the Eurozone and by 0.2% in the EU27. Energy gained 0.1% and 0.7% respectively. Durable consumer goods fell by 0.1% in the Eurozone , but remained stable in the EU27. In July 2007 compared with July 2006, production of capital goods increased by 6.3% in the Eurozone and by 6.1% in the EU27. Intermediate goods grew by 3.7% and 3.6% respectively. Non-durable consumer goods rose by 2.9% in the Eurozone and by 2.3% in the EU27. Durable consumer goods gained 1.8% and 3.5% respectively. The energy sector fell by 0.4% in the Eurozone and by 0.1% in the EU27.

08.09.2007 14:24 Russia`s trade surplus drops 17.5% in January-July 2007 to $82.5 billion

Russia`s trade surplus dropped 17.5 percent to $82.5 billion in January-July 2007 compared to the same period a year earlier, the Federal Custom Service (FCS) reported. According to the FCS, the foreign trade turnover increased 20.9%, to $286.7 billion in the reporting period. Exports amounted to $184.6 billion in January-July 2007, an increase of 9.5 percent from the same period of 2006. Imports totaled $102.1 billion, up 48.8 percent in the reporting period compared to the first seven months of 2006. Andrei Klepach, head of the ministry`s planning department, said the country would see its enormous current account surplus disappear in 2009, or even earlier, due to rapidly rising imports.

04.09.2007 23:11 US August ISM manufacturing index 52.9% vs 53.8% in July

The nation`s manufacturers cut back production in August, the Institute for Supply Management reported Tuesday. The ISM index fell to 52.9 in August from 53.8 in July. The decline was about in line with expectations. The consensus forecast of estimates collected by Marketwatch was for the index to slip to 53.0. Many economists were worried that there could have been a steeper decline because of the recent financial market turmoil. Readings above 50 indicate expansion, while readings below indicate contraction. New orders fell to 55.3 in August from 57.5 in July. The employment index rose to 51.3% from 50.2. The price index fell to 63.0 from 65.0. Markets largely ignored the report, which came in close to expectations for 53. "The Fed`s focus is more on market conditions and the ISM is neither strong enough (nor weak enough) to shift attention away from the markets," wrote Stephen Gallagher, U.S. economist for Societe Generale.

01.09.2007 15:09 US economy advanced by 4,0% in the second quarter

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 4 percent in the second quarter of 2007, the fastest pace since the first quarter of 2006, the Commerce Department reported. The growth in the gross domestic product (GDP), the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the Untied States, was stronger than the 3.4-percent rate previously estimated and followed a 0.6-percent increase in the first three months. The acceleration in GDP growth in the second quarter primarily reflected an improving trade deficit, with stronger export sales and fewer imports. In the second quarter, U.S. exports of goods and services rose by 7.6 percent, compared with an increase of 1.1 percent in the first. Imports of goods and services fell 3.2 percent, in contrast to an advance of 3.9 percent in the first. Business investment, in the form of restocking of inventories, and construction of shopping centers, office buildings and other nonresidential projects was also stronger than previously estimated. Consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of overall economic activity, was up 1.4 percent, much slower than the 3.7-percent pace in the first quarter. Residential fixed investment dropped 11.6 percent in the second quarter. That marked the sixth consecutive quarterly decline in this field but the drop was not as steep as the 16.3-percent decrease in the first quarter.

31.08.2007 21:33 Japan`s industrial production posts 0.4% drop for July

Japan`s Industrial production for July decreased 0.4 percent from June, the first decrease reported in two months. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reported the rate was 3.2 percent higher than the previous year. The results showed a better industrial performance than analysts` predictions of 0.5 percent. The Ministry identified the industry sectors mainly responsible for the decline as transport equipment, chemicals (excluding drugs) and fabricated metals. Commodities mainly contributing to the decrease included large passenger cars, small passenger cars and midget passenger cars. The Ministry also projected an increase of 6.8 percent in August and a decrease of 2.5 percent for September. Japan`s unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent in July from 3.7 percent in June. Core consumer prices, which exclude fresh food, fell 0.1 percent from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said.


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