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04.02.2007 11:42 U.S. ISM Manufacturing Index Falls to 49.3 in January 2007

The Institute for Supply Management`s manufacturing index fell to 49.3, the lowest since April 2003, from December`s 51.4, the private industry group said today in Tempe, Arizona. Readings less than 50 signal contraction. The report suggests last quarter`s production slump may carry over into 2007 as construction slows and automakers trim inventories of unsold vehicles. A factory setback would restrain growth and keep Federal Reserve policy makers on the sidelines, neither raising nor lowering interest rates, in coming months. The manufacturing index was projected to rise to 51.7, according to the median estimate of 72 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The index averaged 53.9 in 2006. The supply managers` group`s measure of prices paid for raw materials rose to 53 from 47.5 the month before. The Tempe, Arizona-based institute`s new orders index, which makes up about a third of the total, fell to 50.3 from 51.9. The production index, a measure of work being performed, dropped to 49.6 from 52.4. The inventory index slumped to 39.9, the lowest since February 2002, from 48.5. The 8.6-point decline was the biggest since 1984. The large correction in inventory may shorten the factory slowdown, some economists said.

31.01.2007 20:50 Real US GDP increased 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006

Real US gross domestic product (GDP) increased 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006 after increasing 2.0 percent in the third quarter, according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Annual growth in 2006 was 3.4 percent, compared with 3.2 percent in 2005. The rise of 3.4% in 2006, compared to a 3.2% increase in 2005 and 3.9% growth in 2004. Inflation indicators within the GDP report indicated that consumer prices softened significantly during the fourth quarter. The price index for personal-consumption expenditures (PCE) fell, declining by 0.8% after rising 2.4% in the third quarter and 4.0% in the second quarter. The fall was the biggest since 1.2% in third-quarter 1954, fuelled by declining energy costs. The PCE price index excluding food and energy rose 2.1%, after increasing 2.2% in the third quarter. The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by US residents, only rose 0.1%, after rising to 2.2% in the third quarter. The chain-weighted GDP price index increased 1.5%, after rising 1.9% in the third quarter.

27.01.2007 12:04 The Japanese economic growth will accelerate next fiscal year

The Japanese economic growth will accelerate next fiscal year as corporate profits spread to households, fueling consumer spending, the government said. The world`s second-biggest economy will probably grow 2 percent in the year starting April 1 from 1.9 percent in the current period, the Cabinet said. The Japanese economic expansion, the longest in the postwar era, is being driven by business investment and exports amid a slump in consumer spending. Slower export growth as global demand cools will make the economy more reliant on a rebound in spending by Japanese households. "The economic recovery will be driven by the private sector", - the government said in the report. "Solid corporate profits will spread to households through improvement in the job market and wages".

25.01.2007 20:40 China GDP growth fastest in a decade

Economy of China expanded faster than expected in 2006 with a full-year growth of 10.7%, according to published reports. Gross domestic product increased 10.4% in the fourth quarter of 2006 - an expansion that some predict will continue into 2007. But weak consumer spending and low farm income remains a concern for the government given the high values in banking, Xie Fuzhan, commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics, told a news conference today, reports said. Officials have passed measures to clamp down on foreign investment with limits on construction and money lending by banks. In addition, China may soon end tax breaks for foreign companies as they are not necessary to stimulate growth anymore, reports said. The country will now refocus on growth in domestic companies.

22.01.2007 21:37 Russian industrial output grew 3.9% in 2006

Russian industrial output grew 3.9%, year-on-year, in 2006, the Federal State Statistic Service (Rosstat) said. Rosstat said industrial production increased 1.9%, year-on-year, and 4.9%, month-on-month, in December 2006. Industrial output expanded more slowly in December 2006 compared with December 2005, as heat generation fell 8.2% due to warm weather. Industrial production increased 3%, year-on-year, in the fourth quarter of 2006, with output growing 1.9% in Q4 and 2.3% in 2006 in mining, 3.8% and 4.4%, respectively, in manufacturing industries, and 1.3% and 4.2% in electricity, gas and water production and distribution. In 2006, Russia produced 309 million metric tons of coal (up 3.6% on 2005), 480 million metric tons (3.5 billion barrels) of oil (an increase of 2.1%), and 656 billion cubic meters of gas (a growth of 2.4%). Car production expanded 9.9% in 2006, to 1.2 million vehicles, the service said.

19.01.2007 21:02 U.S. Industrial Production Rises 0.4% in December 2006

Industrial production in the U.S. rose more than forecast in December 2006, driven by demand for computers, home electronics and automobiles. Production at factories, mines and utilities rose 0.4 percent, following a 0.1 percent November drop, the Federal Reserve said this week. Capacity utilization, which measures the proportion of plants in use, rose to 81.8 percent, from 81.6 percent a month earlier. Manufacturing, which accounts for about four-fifths of the industrial production report, rose 0.7 percent last month, the most since June, after no change the prior month. Excluding autos, factory production rose 0.6 percent and followed a 0.3 percent drop in November. Mining output in the U.S. rose 0.8 percent last month, following a 0.4 percent decrease.

16.01.2007 20:23 Industrial production up by 0.2% in euro area in November 2006

Seasonally adjusted industrial production increased by 0.2% in the euro area in November 2006 compared to October 2006. Production fell by 0.1% in October and by 1.0% in September. In the EU25 output rose by 0.3% in November, after remaining unchanged in October and decreasing by 0.5% in September. In November 2006 compared to November 2005, industrial production grew by 2.5% in the euro area and by 2.8% in the EU25. In November 2006 compared to October 2006, production of capital goods grew by 1.2% in the euro area and by 1.3% in the EU25. Durable consumer goods increased by 1.0% and 0.9% respectively. Production of energy rose by 0.9% in the euro area and by 1.1% in the EU25. Non-durable consumer goods remained unchanged in both zones. Intermediate goods decreased by 0.1% in the euro area and by 0.2% in the EU25.

13.01.2007 14:06 The monitoring report on the current economic situation in Russia in January-November 2006

Russian gross domestic product (GDP) grew 6.8% year-on-year in January-November 2006, the economics ministry said this week. GDP growth in the first eleven months of last year was in line with the projected figure of 6.8% for the whole of 2006. In January-November 2005, Russian GDP grew 6.2%, the ministry said. Industrial output expanded 4.1% year-on-year during the period, while inflation increased 8.2% against 10% in the first eleven months of 2005. Russian foreign trade totaled $419.1 billion with a surplus of $130.5 billion in January-November 2006, the ministry said. Goods exports grew by an estimated 25.42% year-on-year in January-November 2006 to $274.8 billion, while imports were up 29.53% to $144.3 billion. The economics ministry projects GDP growth at 6.2% and inflation at 6.5-8% in 2007.

11.01.2007 20:07 UN predicts slowdown of world economy

The United Nations has predicted a deceleration of the world economy this year after three straight years of growth with American economy weakening dragged down by softening housing market. The growth of world gross product (WFP) is forecast to moderate its pace to 3.2 percent from estimated 3.8 percent during the last year. The report holds out the possibility of much stronger slowdown in American economy, leading to sustained risks. These include dollar losing its value too fast or inability of the United States to draw outside investments. The economic growth rate in Europe is expected to slow down to 2 percent and in Japan below 2 percent.

08.01.2007 12:59 The OECD said the euro zone economic recovery seems set to continue over the next year or two

The OECD said the euro zone economic recovery seems set to continue over the next year or two. The latest economic news is encouraging and bodes well for the immediate future, - it said. Growth in the near term is likely to be at or slightly above the potential growth rate of just over 2 pct annually, it said. The OECD reiterated its forecasts for GDP growth of 2.2 pct in 2007 and 2.3 pct in 2008, after growth of 2.6 pct last year. This points to growth rates of around 0.6 pct per quarter in 2007 and 2008, it said. But it said the growth forecast for the euro zone is still modest by OECD standards, and action is needed to boost its potential growth rate and increase its resilience to shocks. This means easing employment protection legislation, increasing wage flexibility and reducing barriers to labour mobility.


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