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05.04.2007 23:22 Eurozone economic growth will be strong this year

An upbeat commission report last month said Eurozone gross domestic product (GDP) would grow by 2.4 percent growth in 2007, marking continuing economic dynamism across the 13-nation currency bloc. It said GDP growth through the euro area had risen by 2.7 percent in 2006, the strongest growth in the currency zone in six years, despite higher energy prices, tighter monetary conditions and a slowdown in the US. "We continue to have an optimistic view of 2007," European Union economic affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters. "However, anticipated buoyant growth in the 13-nation euro area could slow down in the face of "downside risks from the external side," -Almunia warned. Jean-Claude Juncker, who is Eurogroup chairman and Luxembourg`s prime minister said there was "no reason for us to be worried. Eurozone economic growth remains strong".

02.04.2007 20:41 U.S. Factory Index Drops Amid Auto, Housing Weakness

Manufacturing growth in the U.S. slowed in March and an index of costs rose to the highest since August as weakness in auto demand and a slump in housing restrained production, an industry report said. The Institute for Supply Management`s manufacturing index fell to 50.9 from 52.3 in February. Readings of more than 50 signal expansion. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected the manufacturing index to fall to 51.4 from 52.3 the prior month. Forecasts in the survey ranged from 48 to 55. The index averaged 53.9 in 2006 and fell below 50 in November and January. An index of prices paid jumped to 65.5, the highest since August, from 59.

31.03.2007 19:06 US GDP in Q4 2006 revised upward to 2.5% annual rate

The US economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the "final" estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The growth rate was 0.3 percentage point more than in the "preliminary" estimates released in February. In the third quarter, real gross domestic product grew 2.0 percent. For 2006, the annual growth rate was 3.3 percent, compared with 3.2 percent in 2005. The step up in fourth quarter GDP growth primarily reflected accelerations in consumer spending, exports, and Federal government spending and a downturn in imports-moderated by downturns in investment in inventories and in equipment and software. The higher GDP growth rate, in comparison to the preliminary estimate, reflected upward revisions to inventory investment and consumer spending. In contrast, investment in equipment and software was revised down.

28.03.2007 19:42 UK`s GDP grows 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2006

A report issued by the British Office for National Statistics showed that the U.K. economic growth in the fourth quarter has unexpectedly gone down as services expanded less than previously estimated. According to the report, Britain`s gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter, the same pace as the previous quarter, while overall investment growth in the quarter was 2.6 percent from the previous three months. The Bank of England Governor said that the U.K. economy showed no obvious signs of concern after steady expansion in the past five quarters. He added that the new report could allow policy makers to issue three rate increases beginning with August to slow the economy down. The report also showed that in 2006 as a whole, the U.K. economy has expanded 2.8 percent, as the workforce reached a record 32 million jobs in December and house prices gained 10 percent.

24.03.2007 12:33 The Federal Open Market Committee holds funds rate at 5.25%

As widely expected by the markets, the Federal Open Market Committee FOMC has left its overnight target rate fixed at 5.25%, pointing the risk of inflationary pressures as their main worry. The Fed acknowledges recent data showing both higher inflation and a weaker economy. According to the FOMC statement, "the Committee`s predominant policy concern remains the risk that inflation will fail to moderate as expected. Future policy adjustments will depend on the evolution of the outlook for both inflation and economic growth, as implied by incoming information". The Fed has held its key short-term rate at 5.25% since last June. Given the statement many economists continue to see the FOMC on hold for the most of 2007.

20.03.2007 22:49 Euro area and EU25 GDP both grew by 0.9% in the fourth quarter of 2006

Euro area (EA12) and EU25 GDP both grew by 0.9% in the fourth quarter of 2006, compared to the previous quarter, according to first estimates released by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. In the third quarter of 2006, growth rates were +0.6% in both the euro area and the EU25. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2005, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 3.3% in the euro area and by 3.4% in the EU25, after +2.7% and +3.0% respectively for the previous quarter. During the fourth quarter of 2006, household final consumption expenditure increased by 0.6% in both zones (after +0.7% in the euro area and +0.6% in the EU25 in the third quarter of 2006). Investments grew by 1.2% in the euro area and by 1.5% in the EU25 (after +0.6% and +0.9%). Exports rose by 3.7% in the euro area and by 2.9% in the EU25 (after +1.8% and +0.3%). Imports increased by 1.9% in the euro area and by 1.7% in the EU25 (after +2.2% and +0.2%). Over the whole year 2006, GDP grew by 2.6% in the euro area and by 2.9% in the EU25, compared to +1.4% and +1.7% respectively for 2005.

16.03.2007 20:16 US Industrial Production Rose 1,0% in February, Most Since 2005

Industrial production in the U.S. rose last month by the most since November 2005, as manufacturing rebounded and the return of cold weather prompted a surge in utility use. The 1 percent increase in production at factories, mines and utilities was more than forecast and followed a 0.3 percent January decline, the Federal Reserve`s figures showed today. Capacity utilization, which measures the proportion of plants in use, rose to a five-month high of 82 percent from 81.4 percent. The report suggests factories are making headway in their efforts to reduce inventories, pointing to a rebound in manufacturing that`s been a source of weakness for the economy. Improved factory demand backs the Federal Reserve`s forecast that growth will strengthen in the second half of the year.

13.03.2007 21:44 The Russian Economy Ministry has hiked the GDP forecast for 2007 by 0.1%

The Russian Economy Ministry has hiked the GDP forecast for 2007 by 0.1 percentage points from 6.1 percent to 6.2 percent, Gennady Kuranov, deputy head of the ministry`s macroeconomic forecasting department, told journalists today. According to him, this forecast was included in Russia`s social and economic development program for 2008-2010. Kuranov pointed out that the secondary adjustment in the program had been made due to the lower inflation forecast for 2009-2010. Thus, inflation forecast for 2009 and 2010 was lowered from 5.5-6.8 percent to 5.5-6.5 percent and from 5.0-6.5 percent to 5-6 percent, respectively.

11.03.2007 19:47 Japan`s Machinery Orders Increase Most in Five Months

Japan`s machinery orders rose the most in five months in January, signaling that capital spending will keep fueling growth in the world`s second-largest economy. Non-government machinery orders, excluding shipping and utilities, rose a seasonally adjusted 3.9 percent to 1.09 trillion yen ($9.4 billion) from December, when they fell 0.7 percent, according to a Cabinet Office report released in Tokyo today. The median estimate of 40 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 1.4 percent gain. The machinery report indicates spending plans within six months and may offset concern growth will slow after industrial output fell in January. Tokyo Electron Ltd. said yesterday it would build its first factory in a decade, joining companies upgrading machinery as the economy emerges from a decade of post 1980s asset-bubble stagnation.

08.03.2007 11:16 US labor productivity rose at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter

U.S. workers were less productive last quarter than initially estimated and labor costs jumped, making it harder for the Federal Reserve to reduce interest rates even as manufacturing and housing continue to slump. Productivity, a measure of how much an employee produces for each hour of work, rose at an annual rate of 1.6 percent, down from the 3 percent pace reported last month, the Labor Department said in Washington. Labor costs climbed 6.6 percent, reflecting a one-time increase in bonuses. Separately, the Commerce Department said factory orders fell in January by the most in more than six years. A February 28 report from the Commerce Department showed the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, slower than the 3.5 percent rate the government first estimated.


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