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04.01.2007 17:21 The ISM manufacturing index rose to 51.4 in December 2006

Manufacturing in the U.S. unexpectedly expanded and construction spending fell less than forecast, signaling the worst of the economic slowdown is over. The ISM manufacturing index rose to 51.4 in December from 49.5 in November, when activity contracted for the first time in more than three years. Spending on construction dropped 0.2 percent in November after a 0.3 percent drop in October that was smaller than originally reported, the Commerce Department said. The ISM measure of prices paid for raw materials fell to 47.5 from 53.5 the month before. The ISM new orders index, which makes up about a third of the total index, rose to 52.1 from 48.7. The production index, a measure of work being performed, rose to 51.8 from 48.5. The inventory index fell to 48.4 in December from 49.7.

03.01.2007 13:49 European manufacturing growth unexpectedly slowed in December 2006

European manufacturing growth unexpectedly slowed in December 2006 after interest rates rose and the stronger euro clouded the outlook for exports. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said today its manufacturing index fell to 56.5, the lowest in nine months, from 56.6 in November. A reading above 50 indicates growth. Economists expected the gauge, compiled by NTC Economics Ltd. from a survey of 3,000 purchasing managers, to rise to 56.8, the median of 25 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey showed. A gauge of manufacturing in Germany, the largest economy in Europe, jumped to 59.4 from 58.3. Growth accelerated in Italy and Spain and slowed in France.

30.12.2006 13:18 The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose to 109.0 in December 2006

The Conference Board said that its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 109.0 in December from a revised 105.3 in November and 105.1 in October. The reading was the highest since the index registered 109.8 in April 2006 and was better than Wall Street anticipated. Analysts had been expecting a slight dip in the December reading to about 102.5. Lynn Franco, director of the consumer research center, said in a statement accompanying the report that despite the reading, "there is little to suggest that the pace of economic activity in the final quarter of 2006 is anything but moderately better than its uninspiring performance earlier this year." She added: "Given the seesaw pattern in recent months, it is too soon to tell if this boost in confidence is a genuine signal that better times are ahead."

25.12.2006 23:32 Russian GDP grew 6,8% in January-October 2006

Russian GDP grew by 8,2% in October, and reached 6.8% in the first ten months of 2007, topping the target of 6,6%, Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref said. Trade has shown the largest growth 14.6%, he said. "Half of the trade growth results from larger retail imports". Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said that Russian GDP grew 6,8% from January to November this year. "This year, our economic growth can reach 7,0%. This is a rather good index". Industrial production grew 4,1% in January to October 2006 against 3,7% in the same period last year. Investments grew 12,9% in January to November this year and this is the most gratifying figure in our economic development this year.

22.12.2006 20:34 Industrial production down by 0.1% in euro area in October 2006

Seasonally adjusted industrial production decreased by 0.1% in the euro area in October 2006 compared to September 2006. Production declined by 1.1% in September and rose by 1.6% in August. In the EU25 output fell by 0.1% in October 2006 after a decrease of 0.6% in September and an increase of 1.1% in August. In October 2006 compared to October 2005, industrial production rose by 3.6% in the euro area and by 3.4% in the EU25. The euro area industrial new orders index dropped by 0.6% in October 2006 compared to September 2006. The index fell by 1.4% in September and rose by 3.8% in August. EU25 new orders gained 0.2% in October 2006, after a decrease of 1.0% in September and an increase of 2.7% in August. Excluding ships, railway and aerospace equipment industrial new orders rose by 1.0% in the euro area and by 0.7% in the EU25 in October 2006. In October 2006 compared to October 2005, industrial new orders increased by 12.5% in both zones. Total industry excluding ships, railway and aerospace equipment grew by 12.6% in the euro area and by 11.2% in the EU25. The first estimate for the euro area trade balance with the rest of the world in October 2006 gave a 2.4 bn euro surplus compared with +0.1 bn in October 2005. The September 20062 balance was +2.1 bn, compared with +1.1 bn in September 2005. In October 2006 compared with September 2006, exports, seasonally adjusted, remained stable, while imports rose by 0.6%. The first estimate for October 2006 extra-EU25 trade was a deficit of 13.2 bn euro, compared with -11.0 bn in October 2005. In September 2006, the balance was also -13.2 bn, compared with -9.6 bn in September 2005. In October 2006 compared with September 2006, exports, seasonally adjusted, fell by 1.2% and imports by 0.4%.

19.12.2006 20:14 The European Commission said recovery in the euro zone was broad-based and sustainable

The European Commission said recovery in the euro zone was broad-based and sustainable, with domestic demand emerging as the mainstay of economic expansion. "The euro area is therefore well placed to face a somewhat less favourable international environment deriving from the US slowdown," - the commission said. The commission said recent developments were consistent with the earlier forecasts putting euro area average growth at 2,6% for 2006, the best performance in 6 years. Looking ahead, the EU executive said some deceleration in growth was expected for 2007, reflecting the effects of an increase in value added tax in Germany and a somewhat less favourable international environment. Gross domestic product will increase 2,1% next year.

17.12.2006 21:27 U.S. November Industrial Production Up 0.2%, Capacity at 81.8%

Industrial production in the U.S. unexpectedly rose in November, reflecting a jump in auto manufacturing that may not be sustained. The 0.2 percent increase last month followed no change in October, the Federal Reserve said today. Capacity utilization, which measures the proportion of plants in use, held at 81.8 percent for a second month. Economists expected industrial production to be unchanged after rising 0.2 percent in October, according to the median of 67 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. Capacity utilization was forecast to rise to 82.1 percent, from 82 percent. Projections for industrial production ranged from a drop of 0.4 percent to a gain of 0.3 percent. Those for capacity utilization ranged from 81.5 percent to 82.4 percent. Manufacturing output, which accounts for about four-fifths of total production, rose 0.3 percent, the most since August, after a 0.5 percent drop in October. Excluding autos, factory production was unchanged, following a 0.3 percent decline.

15.12.2006 19:24 Gross domestic product (GDP) of Russia grew 6.5% on the year in January-September

Gross domestic product (GDP) of Russia grew 6.5% on the year in January-September, the Federal State Statistics Service said this week. Earlier this month the service reported its estimate of GDP growth in July-September, which was also at 6.5%. Russian GDP rose 6.4% on the year in 2005, slowing from 7.1% in 2004, according to the Federal Statistics Service. Inflation in Russia is estimated at 0.5%-0.6% in November, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry said Wednesday. The ministry projects January-November inflation at 8,0%-8.1% against 10% in the same period of last year. The chairman of Central Bank, Sergei Ignatyev, said on November 22 that annual inflation in 2006 will be about 9,0%, in line with the national target inflation level. The economics ministry said consumer prices grew 7.5% in January-October 2006. The ministry also said the foreign trade in the first 10 months of 2006 aggregated $377.8 billion, with a trade surplus of $122.2 billion.

13.12.2006 20:41 Japan GDP grew just 0,2% from the previous quarter and was up 0,8% year-on-year

The Cabinet Office said economy of Japan in the September quarter grew by just a third of the pace seen in the March quarter and was also slower than that in the quarter to June, as private demand contracted for the first time in seven quarters. Citing revised data, it said third quarter GDP grew just 0,2% from the previous quarter, lower than the preliminary estimate of 0,5% growth, and was up 0,8% year-on-year against the initial estimate of an annualized rise of 2,0%. In the preceding quarters, GDP had grown 0,7% quarter-on-quarter in the three months to March or at annual rate of 2,7%, and was up 0,3% quarter-on-quarter and up 1,1% year-on-year in the three months to June. The Cabinet Office said private demand subtracted 0,1% from the third-quarter GDP, the first negative contribution since the fourth quarter of 2004.

11.12.2006 20:47 Economists expect slower U.S. growth in the forth quarter 2006

The economy will grow at an annual rate of 2 percent this quarter and will expand at a 2.4 percent pace in the first three months of next year, according to the median forecast of 80 economists surveyed from Dec. 1 through Dec. 8. Both estimates are down from the previous survey. A report this month showed manufacturing contracted for the first time in more than three years in November as automakers trimmed production and inventories piled up, suggesting the economic slowdown is spreading beyond housing. Still, job and income growth will be strong enough to keep consumers spending and the economy growing, allowing the Federal Reserve to hold rates steady through March, economists said. The fourth-quarter estimate compares with a 2.5 percent median forecast in November. The forecast of 2.4 percent growth in the first quarter is down from the 2.6 percent forecast last month. Economists trimmed second-quarter forecasts by two-tenths of a percentage point, to 2.5 percent.


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