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06.04.2017 10:35 Putin`s illiberal stagnation in Russia offers a valuable lesson

Today, a quarter-century after the cold war`s end, the west and Russia are again at odds. This time, at least on one side, the dispute is more transparently about geopolitical power, not ideology. The west has supported in a variety of ways democratic movements in the post-Soviet region, hardly hiding its enthusiasm for the various colour revolutions that have replaced longstanding dictators with more responsive leaders though not all have turned out to be the committed democrats they pretended to be. Too many countries of the former Soviet bloc remain under the control of authoritarian leaders, including some, like the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, who have learned how to maintain a more convincing facade of elections than their communist predecessors. They sell their system of illiberal democracy on the basis of pragmatism, not some universal theory of history. These leaders claim they are simply more effective at getting things done.

04.04.2017 20:39 Global productivity slowdown risks creating instability, warns IMF

The head of the International Monetary Fund has issued a stark warning that living standards will fall around the world unless governments take urgent action to increase productivity by investing in education, cutting red tape and incentivizing research and development. Christine Lagarde used a speech in Washington to tell policymakers they could not simply wait for innovation to drive up productivity growth and help living standards recover from the legacy of the global financial crisis. She highlighted a poor global record on productivity growth in recent years and said IMF analysis suggested GDP in advanced economies would be about 5% higher today if the pre-crisis trend had continued for total factor productivity growth a broad measure of what goes into production, such as research spending.

02.04.2017 22:50 Russian Economy Crawled to Growth With Recession in Rearview

Russia`s economy returned to growth at the end of 2016, turning the page on seven consecutive quarters of contraction that laid waste to the middle class after oil prices crashed. Gross domestic product gained 0.3 percent from a year earlier in the fourth quarter after a decline of 0.4 percent in the previous three months, the Federal Statistics Service said Friday. That matched the median of 11 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. GDP shrank 0.2 percent in the full year, the statistics service said, confirming its first reading. The challenge for the world`s biggest energy exporter now is for its recovery to gain traction as consumer demand continues to sag and the outlook for oil remains dim. Russia may now be at a turning point as capital-intensive businesses come to life after three years of declining investment that followed the collapse in crude prices. GDP may grow as much as 2 percent this year, according to officials.

30.03.2017 11:47 Here`s how Trump`s presidency is impacting Russian markets

Donald Trump`s election was initially said to be positive for the Russian economy, but less than 100 days into his presidency, analysts are concerned geopolitical tensions could hurt the U.S. and Russian economies. In a note in November, Germany`s Deutsche Bank said Russia should be a clear beneficiary of Trump`s policies and a stabilization is within reach. "The U.S. president can remove sanctions by a National Security Waiver. We therefore see relative value trade opportunities in ruble, move to over-weight sovereign credit and selected corporates," the bank said. However, with tensions between Russia and the United States rising, many analysts feel this may start to affect growth in both economies.

28.03.2017 13:19 OPEC be warned! Russia seeing oil at $40 does not bode well for crude market

Perhaps the Bank of Russia knows something the world doesn`t. As the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies met for a review of their production cuts last weekend, the central bank of the world`s biggest energy exporter was hunkering down for years of oil near $40 a barrel. While analysts in a Bloomberg survey see the price of benchmark Brent crude -- which trades at a small premium to Russia`s Urals export blend -- rising 16 per cent from current levels by the end of the year, oil`s 10 per cent decline in March alone amid supply woes is making the market nervous. Russia, a key partner in the deal and a participant in the talks in Kuwait, might only add to those jitters.

26.03.2017 20:53 Russian government revises GDP growth estimate higher

As crude oil prices recover from last year`s historic decline, the Russian finance minister said the outlook for gains in gross domestic product have improved. Russia last year was producing oil at or near post-Soviet highs. According to economists at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russian oil companies were winning out because a decline in the value of the ruble made it economic to produce more oil for more revenue. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the ruble was overvalued at the moment. Looking ahead, growth in gross domestic production should settle between 1.5 percent and 2 percent, an improvement from previous estimates. "On the whole we agree that the economy will be growing faster than initially expected," he was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying. "Previously the outlook for this year was 0.6 percent."

25.03.2017 11:58 World Bank trims Indonesia 2017 GDP forecast

The World Bank has revised down its growth forecast for Indonesia this year a touch, blaming global uncertainty and warning that rising inflation could crimp consumption in Southeast Asia`s biggest economy. In a quarterly report released on Wednesday, the bank projected Indonesia`s growth at 5.2% in 2017, down from its previous 5.3% estimate. Growth should be supported by higher private consumption, as well as investment and exports as global economic growth improves and commodity prices recover, the report said. However, consumption may be pressured by rising inflation due to price increases in government-set prices, such as electricity tariffs. "Should inflation remain elevated longer than expected, consumer spending may be dampened, resulting in lower output growth," the report said. "In addition, Bank Indonesia may be compelled to tighten monetary policy, which would also cool investment growth." The World Bank expects 2017 inflation to be 4.3%, up from last year`s 3.5%. The central bank target for 2017 is 3-5%.

23.03.2017 12:25 Global economy could get $19T boost from Paris Climate Agreement

Attaining the goals outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement would not only have the effect of slowing global warming but also boost the global economy by US$19 trillion. According to a report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency on Monday, achieving the landmark goal of limiting global temperature rise to less than 2 C, as stated in the deal, would increase the world`s economy by 0.8 per cent by 2050. Rapid technological advancements in renewables are indeed taking place, and in many circumstances renewables are becoming the cheapest source of energy, a trend that is likely to continue in the future, said the authors of the report, which was produced for the German government in anticipation of upcoming G20 climate talks over the coming months. The first of these discussions is set to take place this week. Such changes can be a driver for the economic impacts of decarbonization to become positive.

21.03.2017 12:12 WTTC: Tourism supports 1 in 10 jobs, outpacing global economy for 6th consecutive year

Travel & Tourism generated 1 in 10 of the world`s jobs in 2016 as the sector grew by 3.3%, outpacing the global economy for the sixth year in a row, reads a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). WTTC`s Economic Impact Report 2017, which is conducted in conjunction with Oxford Economics, researches the economic impact of Travel & Tourism impact on global level, for 25 regions, and 185 countries. According to the research, Travel & Tourism grew by 3.3% in 2016, generating US$7.6 trillion worldwide, which is 10.2% of global GDP when the direct, indirect and induced impacts are taken into account. The sector supported a total of 292 million jobs in 2016, which is 1 in 10 of all jobs in the world. Additionally, global visitor exports, which is money spent by foreign visitors, accounted for 6.6% of total world exports, and almost 30% of total world services exports.

19.03.2017 11:57 India, Russia hold talks to boost economic cooperation

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev today held discussions with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on ways to boost economic cooperation including in the energy and diamond processing sectors. "The two leaders discussed wide-ranging issues regarding India-Russia economic relations. They agreed that the privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia is based on long-standing and time-tested ties, is very deep and extends to all spheres of mutual interest," an External Affairs Ministry release said. They also discussed issues related to further strengthening of trade and investment cooperation between India and the regions of the resource-rich Russian Far East, it said. Swaraj specifically stressed the growing mutual beneficial ties between India and Russia in the energy sector, particularly in the Russian Far East, it said.


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