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29.10.2017 20:27 Russia Central Bank Cuts Rate Again, Signals More

Russia`s central bank slashed its key interest rate for a second successive policy session and suggested that more reductions are likely, as policymakers remained worried about inflation overshooting the bank`s 4% target for this year. The Board of Directors decided to cut the key rate by 25 basis points to 8.25%, the Bank of Russia said in a statement on Friday. The reduction was in line with economists` expectations. In September, the bank had cut the rate by half a percentage point. The latest reduction was the fifth this year. "Medium-term risks of inflation overshooting the target dominate over the risks of its persistent downward deviation," the bank said. "In recognition of this, the Bank of Russia`s ongoing transition from moderately tight to neutral monetary policy is gradual."

26.10.2017 13:30 Poll: Global economy set to do better in 2018; not much inflation pressure

The global economy is on its best roll in years and set to do better in 2018, but economists in Reuters polls around the world mostly said synchronous growth is not about to spawn significant price pressures. Indeed, while several major central banks have shifted their bias away from ultra-easy monetary policy, with a few notable exceptions, inflation remains below their targets and is generally set to stay that way in the year ahead. "It is becoming a familiar refrain. Another quarter, another set of upward revisions to our global growth forecasts, another downward revision to our global inflation forecasts," said Janet Henry, global chief economist at HSBC. "But for developed world central banks, the task is getting ever harder. Tackling both low inflation and rising financial stability risks will demand a delicate balancing act by central banks and a more nuanced approach to inflation targeting if the global expansion is to be sustained." In Reuters surveys taken Oct 3-24 of more than 500 economists across Asia, Europe and the Americas, 2017 and 2018 growth forecasts for nearly three-quarters of the 48 economies polled were raised or left unchanged.

25.10.2017 17:15 Red October: Russia of 1917 and 2017 closer than might be expected

It is 100 years on Wednesday, using Russia`s old calendar, since Vladimir Lenin`s Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace in what is now St Petersburg and took power. Not a lot has changed. Well, not in economic terms, according to research by Renaissance Capital, an investment bank specializing in the region. It says the Russias of 1917 and 2017 have more in common than might be expected. Take, for example, debt. Just before the Red October revolution, around a third of Russian debt was held by foreigners. Same today. Pre-1917, foreigners got 5-8 percent dividend yields from Russian utility shares. Same today. Pre-Soviet Russia lagged the major world powers in industrial might, but was considered on a par with Brazil and Mexico. Pretty much the same as today. Raw materials were pre-1917 Russia`s mainstay, comprising two-thirds of its exports. It is still two-thirds in 2017, Renaissance, an emerging markets-focused investment bank, says.

23.10.2017 23:16 China Propels Global Economy Through Best Performance in Decade

China`s robust expansion is boosting a global economy that`s already racking up its best performance in a decade. China on Thursday announced that the world`s second-biggest economy expanded by 6.8 percent in the third quarter, following on from weekend musings from central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan of a 7 percent pace for the second half. And in a sign the consensus view of a sharp slowdown next year is fading, Goldman Sachs economists raised their forecast for 2018`s expansion to 6.5 percent. Evidence of the upswing was on display in Asia Thursday: South Korea`s central bank lifted its economic growth estimate for 2017, Japanese exports grew by double digits for a third straight month in September and Australian unemployment unexpectedly dropped. The International Monetary Fund last week upgraded its growth outlook for the U.S., the euro area, Japan and China and said the global economy`s performing at its best pace in the last ten years.

20.10.2017 15:18 BRICS takes the lead in technological innovation rage

BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) brings together five major emerging economies with a combined GDP of over $16.8 trillion, which is nearly 22.3 per cent of the global GDP valued at $75.54 trillion in 2016. The World Bank statistics show that BRICS contributed over 18 per cent of total global trade in 2015. As China and India continue to grow faster than the rest of the world, BRICS`s share of global trade is bound to rise in the future too. Further, recovery of Russia and Brazil is poised to boost BRICS`s trade growth. In addition, BRICS`s population, 43 per cent of the global population, remains a major driver of demand for goods and services; shaping BRICS-centric global trade. BRICS emerged as an important multi-country trading group. From the first BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) Summit on June 16, 2009, in Yekaterinburg, Russia, to 9th BRICS Summit (2017) in Xiamen, China, the partnering countries have travelled a long distance. BRICS`s progress and partnership are founded upon sources of strength like “mutual respect and understanding, equality, solidarity, openness, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation”. Over the years, BRICS deliberated on a host of issues bothering global citizens. BRICS`s leaders have been collectively developing, implementing, and monitoring innovative solutions to address emerging and contemporary challenges. Besides, the BRICS think-tank puts enormous efforts to tackle challenges to sustainable development, energy access, and energy security.

20.10.2017 00:54 Kazakhstan`s economy expected to grow at least 3.4 percent in 2017

Kazakhstan`s economy retained a 4.3-percent growth rate from January-September and is expected to grow 3.4 percent by the end of the year, said Minister of National Economy Timur Suleimenov at an Oct. 17 government meeting. Macroeconomic stability, investment activity and favourable conditions in foreign markets influenced the trend, in addition to initiatives taken as part of the state and sectoral programmes. “The industry, construction, trade, transport and communication sectors became the main drivers of growth. The industry sector shows a steady growth of 8.3 percent since the beginning of the year,” said Suleimenov. Mining volume increased 11.3 percent and manufacturing by 5.7 percent. Pharmaceuticals, light industry, food, and beverage and petroleum production also demonstrated significant growth. Ferrous metallurgy production rose 7.8 percent; non-ferrous, 6.6 percent. Agricultural growth remains at 1.9 percent, while the construction industry rose from 0.1 percent to 3.5 percent in the nine-month period.

18.10.2017 19:06 Russian retail sales exceed expectations in September, underpin growth outlook

Russian retail sales rose more than expected in September, data showed on Wednesday, indicating economic recovery is under way. Retail sales are considered to be the gauge for consumer demand, the main economic driver in Russia. Such sales rose 3.1 percent in September in year-on-year terms after a 1.9 percent rise in the previous month. The Capital Economics research firm said in a note the data suggested "the economy remains in reasonably good shape, and the recovery in consumer spending is strengthening." "Consumers seem to have benefited from the further falls in inflation," Capital Economics said in a note. Annual inflation in Russia slowed to an all-time low of 3 percent in August, paving the way for more rate cuts by the central bank over the medium term. Analysts polled by Reuters in late September said they expected the central bank to cut the key rate to 8.00 percent from the current level of 8.50 percent. The retail sales data underpin latest official growth forecasts, which are more optimistic than predictions made earlier in 2017, the first year of economic growth after two years of contraction.

17.10.2017 22:18 EU-Russia trade bouncing back - despite sanctions

Earlier this year, analysts noted the deterioration of trade relations between the EU and Russia, after the imposition of sanctions in July 2014. It was a question of a sharp decline in both imports and exports in the sectors affected by the sanctions, as well as in other sectors of the economy that suffer from the uncertainties caused by the crises in Crimea and Ukraine. In September, the EU Parliament published a report confirming that this decline continued in 2016 and this news was also reported by EUobserver. However, the trend has changed in 2017. Eurostat data from the first seven months of the year shows that this decline has stopped and, in fact, the trend was reversed with an expected increase of 20 percent by the end of the year compared to 2016. EU-Russia trade was up to ˆ285 billion in 2014. In 2016, this number dropped to ˆ181 billion. In only three years, EU members imported ˆ64 billion less from Russia and exported to it ˆ31 billion less. This decline affected Germany, Italy, Austria and Lithuania above all, which constitute ˆ14.5 billion less in export towards Russia.

16.10.2017 17:47 Buried Treasure: How Much Is Hidden in Tax Havens?

Switzerland, which developed cross-border wealth-management in the 1920s, once was in a league of its own as a tax haven. Since the 1980s, however, tax-dodgers have had a rich menu to choose from: They can hide assets anywhere from the Bahamas to Hong Kong. The percentage of global wealth held offshore has increased dramatically—but it has been hard to say how much that is, and who owns it. Few offshore centers used to disclose such data. In 2016, however, many authorized the Bank for International Settlements to make banking statistics publicly available. Using these data, a new study by economists Annette Alstadsaeter, Niels Johannesen and Gabriel Zucman concludes that tax havens hoard wealth equivalent to about 10 percent of global GDP. This average masks big variations: Russian assets worth 50 percent of GDP are held offshore. Countries such as Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates climb into the 60 percent-to-70 percent range. Britain and continental Europe come in at 15 percent, but Scandinavia at only a few percent. One conclusion is that high tax rates, like those in Denmark or Sweden, do not drive people offshore. Rather, higher offshore wealth is correlated with factors such as political and economic instability and an abundance of natural resources.

15.10.2017 14:09 AfDB projects 3.7% GDP growth for Africa by 2018

The Africa Development Bank, AfDB, yesterday, revised downward its projected GDP growth rate for the continent to 3.7 percent from 4.2 percent by 2018. The bank in an updated forecast released in Abidjan, said: “The changes in previous forecasts released in the African Economic Outlook in May 2017 have followed the release of new data by some key countries - Nigeria, Algeria, and Egypt - which account for some 50% of the continent`s GDP and which revised their 2017 and 2018 forecasts downwards.” Abebe Shimeles, Acting Director, Macroeconomics Policy, Forecasting and Research, said that however, the continent`s averages compare favourably with global economic growth projections of 3.5% and 3.6% GDP growth in 2017 and 2018, respectively. “Africa`s economic outlook improved in 2017 compared with 2016 and is expected to gain momentum in 2018. GDP growth in 2017 is expected at 3.0% up from 2.2 in 2016 and projected to expand to 3.7% in 2018,” he said.


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