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09.12.2006 17:30 University of Michigan U.S. Confidence Index Falls to 90.2 in December

The University of Michigan preliminary index of sentiment fell to 90.2 from 92.1 in November. The gauge rose to 93.6 in October, the highest since July of last year, and has averaged 88.1 since monthly data were first compiled in 1978. Americans are getting a smaller boost from declining gasoline prices, and the slumping real estate market is making them feel less wealthy, economists said. The Michigan index was expected to fall to 92, according to the median estimate of 62 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The gauge of current conditions, which reflects perceptions of the financial situation and whether it is a good time to buy big-ticket items like cars, increased to 108.2 from 106. The expectations index, which some economists view as an indicator of future consumer spending, fell to 78.6 from a November reading of 83.2. The preliminary Michigan sentiment index is based on a telephone survey of about 300 households. The final report for the month, due Dec. 22, will reflect about 500 responses.

08.12.2006 19:36 OECD October composite leading indicator rose to 109.7 from 109.5 in September

The OECD said its composite leading indicator rose to 109.7 in October from a revised 109.5 in September. The September figure was previously given as 109.6. The OECD said analysis of the CLI data points to a weakening of growth in the US and the euro zone in the period ahead, but to improved performance in Japan. For the US, the CLI edged up to 107.7 in October from 107.6 in September, but its six-month rate of change weakened. The CLI for the euro zone rose to 109.4 from 109.1 but its six-month rate of change fell for the fifth month in a row. Meanwhile, the Japan CLI rose to 100.8 from 100.6 and its six-month rate of change improved for the third month in succession. The UK CLI rose to 102.0 from 101.8 and its six-month rate of change improved after being relatively flat since June, the OECD said.

07.12.2006 20:03 Russian GDP will grow 6,8% in 2006 and 6,0% in 2007

Economic Development Ministry of Russia came up with its adjusted outlook. The expectations for GDP growth improved from 6,6% to 6,8%, but the 2007 advance is predicted at no more than 6,0%. The ministry expects the ruble to appreciate to 26,4 to the U.S. dollar by the year-end. Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said that growth of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006 is bound to prove 6,9-7,0%. The World Bank also expects Russian GDP up 7,0% this year. The fast growth of domestic market continues to stimulate sustainable economic growth in Russia. Significant net capital inflow together with revenues from natural resource exports feed the domestic demand. Under these conditions, starting in the second quarter of current year, acceleration of economic growth rates has taken place. Based on results of the year, GDP growth may reach 7%, the report noted.

05.12.2006 22:01 US Productivity Rises 0,2% in the third quarter of 2006

Worker productivity grew at the slowest pace of the year last quarter while labor costs were revised down more than expected, easing concern that surging incomes will stoke inflation. Productivity rose at an annual rate of 0,2% in the third quarter after a 1,2% gain the previous three months, said the Labor Department. A measure of labor costs rose at a 2,3% pace and was up 2,9% in the 12 months ended in September, less than first estimated. Economists expected productivity, a measure of how much an employee produces per hour, to rise at 0,5% annual rate for the third quarter, according to the median of 64 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. Unit labor costs, which are adjusted for efficiency gains, were projected to rise at a 3,2% pace.

04.12.2006 20:49 China 2006 GDP growth seen at 10,6% in 2006, slowing to 9,5% in 2007

JP Morgan said it has revised up its 2006 GDP growth forecast for China to 10.6 pct, as accelerating exports and strong consumption growth continue to offset a third quarter slowdown in investment. The brokerage said it expects the economy to grow at a solid, but somewhat slower pace of 9.5 pct in 2007, as fixed-asset investment (FAI) and export growth slow modestly, while consumption remains strong. Administrative controls on land use and bank lending are likely to continue next year, while the central bank is expected to increase interest rates only slightly, with hikes in the bank reserve ratio requirement (RRR) seen as the primary means to contain liquidity, JP Morgan said in a note.

03.12.2006 17:45 The Economic Sentiment Indicator in the EU reached 113,1 in November 2006

The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) in the EU, produced by the European Commission, continued to rise in November, reaching its highest level since the beginning of 2001, while it remained broadly stable in the Eurozone. The indicator rose by 1.6 points in the EU and decreased by 0.1 point in the Eurozone, to 113.1 and 110.3 respectively. In both areas, sentiment has been on an upward trend since mid-2005. The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the eurozone climbed to an all-time high in November, the European Commission said this week. After leveling off in October, the BCI for the 12 nations sharing the same currency picked up again in November, rebounding from 1.41 to 1.54, the highest level in record.

01.12.2006 21:45 The Institute for Supply Management factory index fell to 49.5 from 51.2 in the prior month

Manufacturing in the U.S. unexpectedly shrank last month for the first time in more than three years, dimming prospects for an economy that is already slowing because of a housing downturn. The Institute for Supply Management factory index (ISM index) fell to 49.5, from 51.2 in the prior month. A reading below 50 signals contraction in an industry that accounts for 12 percent of gross domestic product. ISM sub-indexes tracking production and new orders also declined along with employment. Prices climbed. Construction spending dropped by the most in five years in October, sliding 1 percent, the Commerce Department said in Washington today.

30.11.2006 21:14 Industrial production in Japan unexpectedly increased 1,6% in October 2006

Industrial production in Japan unexpectedly rose in October 2006, backing the assessment of central bank that the second-largest economy in the world is strong enough to withstand higher interest rates. Factory output climbed a seasonally adjusted 1,6% from a month earlier, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in Tokyo today. Gains were led by autos and semiconductors as production rose 7,4% from a year earlier, the biggest jump in more than two years.

29.11.2006 21:40 U.S. GDP growth revised higher to 2.2% rate in third quarter

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.2% annual pace in the third quarter, a bit faster than the 1.6% initially estimated, but down from the 2.6% in the previous quarter, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday in its first revision to the gross domestic product report. Revisions came largely from greater building of inventories and lower imports than originally assumed. Business investment also grew more than first estimated, while consumer spending was slightly slower. Final sales of domestic product increased 2.1%, up from the 1.7% originally reported. Meanwhile, a key measure of core inflation was revised a tenth of a percentage point lower, to 2.2%. Year-over-year growth in the core personal consumption expenditure price index was unrevised at 2.4%, thus remaining well above the implied target of 1% to 2%. The economy has grown 3% in the past year in real terms, just about the rate economists say is the long-term potential. In nominal terms, GDP was at an annual rate of $13.33 trillion in the third quarter.

28.11.2006 20:55 U.S. economy will not dent the recovery that is gathering pace in Europe

U.S. economy will not dent the recovery that is gathering pace in Europe, the OECD said Tuesday. The 12-nation euro zone will post 2,6% growth this year and 2,2% in 2007, it predicted, upgrading the previous forecasts of 2,2% and 2,1%. OECD also hiked its forecast for German GDP growth this year to 2,6% from 2,2% and its forecast for 2007 growth to 1,8% from 1,6%. It said it expects growth to pick up again to 2,1% in 2008. The OECD cut its 2006 forecast for France to 2,1% from 2,4%. It kept its 2007 forecast at 2,2% and said it expects the French economy to grow 2,3% in 2008.


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