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28.06.2007 23:02 Russia saw its GDP surge by 7.7 percent in the first five months of 2007

Russia saw its GDP surge by 7.7 percent in the first five months of 2007 (compared to 6 percent in January-May 2006), and by 7.9 percent in May 2007, Russia`s Economy Minister German Gref told journalists today. Gref explained that in May 2007 the Russian economy managed to overcome a certain slowdown in the GDP growth registered in April and recovered its pace seen in Q1. The minister referred to increased investment demand and expanding construction and manufacturing as the chief driving factors. Thus, net of seasonal and calendar factors, the monthly average GDP growth is set at 0.7 percent. Gref elaborated that industrial production rose by 7.4 percent, agricultural production by 2.3 percent and construction by 25.2 percent in 5M 2007. Meanwhile, manufacturing grew by 11.9 percent in 5M 2007, while mining by 3.4 percent alone, which the minister believes to be a positive sign. Russia is likely to revise its GDP growth forecast upwards as it should reach 7 pct in 2007, Russian media reported Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref as saying. "Soon from now, we`ll see our GDP forecast raised from 6.5 pct to 7 pct for 2007", - he said.

26.06.2007 21:13 U.S. New-Home Sales Decreased 1.6% in May

Purchases of new homes in the U.S. dropped in May, signaling demand is still faltering in the second year of the housing slowdown. Sales fell 1.6 percent to an annual pace of 915,000 last month from a revised 930,000 rate the prior month that was lower than previously estimated, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The supply of unsold homes at the current sales pace rose. A jump in mortgage rates this month and a glut of unsold properties on the market will continue to discourage home construction, economists said. The housing slump, already the worst since 1991, will restrain the economy for the rest of the year and potentially into next. The median price of a new home fell 0.9 percent to $236,100 last month from $238,200 a year earlier, today`s sales report from Commerce showed. Sales of new homes were down 16 percent from the same time last year. The number of homes that are completed and waiting to be sold fell by 2,000 to 177,000.

25.06.2007 21:26 The IFO business climate index fell from 108.6 to 107.0 in June

The IFO business climate index fell from 108.6 to 107.0 in June, falling short of the estimate of 108.4. The expectations index came out at 102.8, down from 104.8 in the previous month. The current assessment index declined to 111.4, below the estimate of 112.5 and the prior reading of 112. IFO, one of five institutes that produce twice-yearly forecasts for the German government, also increased its prediction for growth this year to 2.6 percent from a December estimate of 1.9 percent. The economy`s expansion will slow to 2.5 percent next year, Ifo said in an e-mailed report. The economy grew 2.8 percent last year. But IFO`s projection is lower than that of other forecasters. The Kiel-based Institute for World Economics, one of the five, said June 14 that economic growth will accelerate to 3.2 percent this year. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicts the pace of growth will hold at 2.8 percent.

21.06.2007 00:00 US Industrial Production Unchanged in May; Capacity at 81.3%

Industrial production in the U.S. stalled last month as mild weather reduced demand for electricity and manufacturers of cars and machinery scaled back. Production at factories, mines and utilities was unchanged in May following a 0.4 percent gain in April that was smaller than originally reported, Federal Reserve figures showed. Economists had forecast industrial production would rise 0.2 percent after a previously reported gain of 0.7 percent the prior month, according to the median of 79 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. Capacity utilization, which measures the proportion of plants in use, fell to 81.3 percent from 81.5 percent the prior month. Factory output, which accounts for about four-fifths of the total, rose 0.1 percent after a 0.2 percent increase the prior month, according to the Fed`s production report. Mining output, which includes oil drilling, increased 0.5 percent last month, after falling 0.6 percent. Utility production fell 1.3 percent after increasing 3.4 percent, the report showed.

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.


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