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25.05.2013 11:19 S&P warns of economic slowdown if Russia fails to improve investment climate

US RATINGS agency Standard & Poor`s (S&P) warned that Russia faced harsh economic times unless the government improved its poor investment climate and implemented long-delayed privatisation and reform. Russia has seen more than a decade of largely uninterrupted economic growth, thanks to its lucrative oil and gas industries, to become the world`s eighth-largest economy. However, now that energy prices had stabilised, experts warn Russia is unlikely to grow as quickly unless it aggressively reforms its economy. S&P said in a report published on Thursday that it expected Russia`s economic growth to slow to 3% this year — the slowest rate the country had seen since 1999 — and that "growth will remain constrained without structural reforms to support it". The ratings agency`s report adds to a growing list of warnings for the Russian economy. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development forecasts just 1.8% growth while the country`s own economic ministry predicts 2.4% growth. Even the country`s Economic Development Minister Andrei Belousov has warned Russia risks a recession unless rapid steps are taken. S&P is concerned the authorities would not be ready for tough measures if the economic situation gets worse.

16.05.2013 11:20 Euro area GDP down by 0.2% and EU27 down by 0.1% during the first quarter of 2013

GDP fell by 0.2% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.1% in the EU27 during the first quarter of 2013, compared with the previous quarter, according to flash estimates2 published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the fourth quarter of 2012, growth rates were -0.6% and -0.5% respectively. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP fell by 1.0% in the euro area and by 0.7% in the EU27 in the first quarter of 2013, after -0.9% and -0.6% respectively in the previous quarter. During the first quarter of 2013, GDP in the United States grew by 0.6% compared with the previous quarter (after +0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012). Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, GDP rose by 1.8% (after +1.7% in the previous quarter). In March 2013 compared with February 2013, seasonally adjusted industrial production1 grew by 1.0% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.9% in the EU27, according to estimates released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In February3 production increased by 0.3% in both zones. In March 2013 compared with March 20124, industrial production decreased by 1.7% in the euro area and by 1.1% in the EU27.

27.04.2013 13:31 The US economy grew at a pace of 2.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2013

The US economy grew at a pace of 2.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2013, with cuts in government spending offsetting private consumption and investment gains, the Commerce Department says. The first estimate of GDP growth in the first quarter was a solid rebound from the previous quarter`s poor 0.4 per cent pace, but it came in below the average analyst forecast of 2.8 per cent. Consumer spending gained 3.2 per cent, a pick-up from the fourth quarter, and business investment continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace, gaining 2.1 per cent. But federal government spending, hit by the "sequester" budget cuts which took effect during the quarter, continued to drag on the economy, falling 8.4 per cent. US industrial production rose by 0.4 percent in March following an upwardly revised 1.1 percent increase in February, the Federal Reserve said. Economists had expected production to edge up by 0.2 percent. The increase in production in March was largely due to a 5.3 percent jump in utilities output, which came on the heels of a 2.5 percent increase in February. The sharp increase in utilities output more than offset a 0.1 percent drop in manufacturing output as well as a 0.2 percent decrease in mining output. The modest drop in manufacturing output came despite a continued increase in the production of motor vehicles and parts, which jumped by 2.9 percent in March after rising by 2.0 percent in February. The report also showed that the capacity utilization rate edged up to 78.5 percent in March from 78.3 percent in February. While capacity utilization in the utilities sector jumped to 82.9 percent from 78.7 percent, capacity utilization in the manufacturing and mining sectors edged down to 76.4 percent and 87.5 percent, respectively.

08.04.2013 11:04 Russia`s economy expanded by a less-than-expected 1 percent in the first quarter of 2013

Russia`s economy expanded by a less-than-expected 1 percent in the first quarter of 2013, which is likely to force a cut in the growth forecast for the full year, Economy Minister Andrei Belousov said. "The results of the first quarter seem to be worse (than expected)," Belousov told journalists on the way to Hanover as part of an official visit, adding that growth in gross domestic product in the first quarter was probably around 1 percent. He said the ministry would cut the 2013 GDP forecast to below 3 percent in a conservative scenario or to around 3.2 percent in an optimistic one. The ministry had earlier estimated the economy was likely to grow by 3.6 percent this year. It warned at the end of March that it would probably cut its GDP forecast for 2013. "I can say for sure that in our (new) forecast for 2013 we will cut estimates for exports of natural gas, (and) investment estimates will be lowered. Consequently, the pace of GDP growth will also be lowered," Belousov said.

22.03.2013 20:21 Russia`s gross domestice product growth in February slowed to 0.1% year-on-year

Russia`s gross domestice product growth in February slowed to 0.1% year-on-year, Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach said. In January, the country`s GDP grew 1.6% from a year earlier, after rising 2.4% in December. Mr. Klepach was also cited by Prime news agency as saying he believes the financial crisis in Cyprus won`t be resolved soon and the long-term consequences would be serious. He added that monetary policy easing in Russia could be possible in April-May of this year as inflation slows, according to the Prime report. "As (head of Russia`s central bank Sergei) Ignatyev said, there are conditions for it," he said. Russian industrial output shrank in February, contracting by the most in more than three years as mining and utilities production weakened. Output dropped 2.1 percent from a year earlier, when February had 29 days, after a 0.8 percent contraction in January, the Federal Statistics Service in Moscow said. Output dropped 2.1 percent from a year earlier, when February had 29 days, after a 0.8 percent contraction in January, the Federal Statistics Service in Moscow said today in an e-mailed statement. The median estimate of 19 economists in a Bloomberg survey was a for a 1 percent contraction. Mining contracted 2.2 percent after a 1.2 percent drop in January, the statistics service said. Output at utilities fell 10 percent after a 1.8 percent gain the previous month, while manufacturing fell 0.1 percent, improving from a 0.3 percent decline.

15.03.2013 19:02 In January 2013 industrial production fell by 0.4% in both the euro area and the EU27

In January 2013 compared with December 2012, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 0.4% in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27, according to estimates released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In December 2012 production grew by 0.9% and 0.8% respectively. In January 2013 compared with January 2012, industrial production decreased by 1.3% in the euro area and by 1.7% in the EU27. In January 2013 compared with December 2012, production of durable consumer goods fell by 1.4% in the euro area and by 0.4% in the EU27. Capital goods decreased by 1.2% in both zones. Production of energy dropped by 1.0% in the euro area and by 1.2% in the EU27. Intermediate goods rose by 0.1% in the euro area and fell by 0.1% in the EU27. Non-durable consumer goods increased by 0.9% and 1.3% respectively. Among the Member States for which data are available, industrial production fell in nine and rose in nine. The largest decreases were registered in Finland (-4.1%), Luxembourg (-3.8%) and Latvia (-3.5%), and the highest increases in Lithuania (+4.4%), Denmark (+4.3%) and Portugal (+3.5%). In January 2013 compared with January 2012, production of durable consumer goods fell by 5.5% in the euro area and by 4.3% in the EU27. Intermediate goods dropped by 3.1% and 3.4% respectively. Capital goods decreased by 2.6% in both zones. Production of energy increased by 0.9% in the euro area and remained stable in the EU27. Non-durable consumer goods rose by 3.1% and 2.2% respectively. Among the Member States for which data are available, industrial production fell in eleven and rose in seven. The largest decreases were registered in Sweden (-5.9%), Finland (-5.4%), Greece and Spain (both -5.0%), and the highest increases in Bulgaria and Lithuania (both +8.0%) and Estonia (+5.5%).

05.03.2013 14:22 China maintains its 2013 GDP growth target unchanged at around 7.5 percent

China maintains its 2013 gross domestic product (GDP) growth target unchanged at around 7.5 percent this year to leave some leeway for economic restructuring, according to a government work report to be delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao at the annual legislative session Tuesday. The targeted growth also aims to create jobs and improve people`s wellbeing, according to the report. This marks the second consecutive year for the world`s second-largest economy to target growth at 7.5 percent. In 2012, the government cut the forecast rate for the first time in eight years from a longstanding annual goal of 8 percent. China`s economic growth eased further to a 13-year low of 7.8 percent in 2012, from 9.2 percent recorded in 2011 and 10.3 percent in 2010. The country`s GDP stood at 51.9 trillion yuan (about 8.3 trillion U.S. dollars) last year. In 2011, the government announced it targeted an average of 7 percent annual GDP growth in the years of 2011-2015, or the country`s 12th Five-Year Plan period.

03.03.2013 15:41 Brazil`s gross domestic product grew just 0.9 percent in 2012

Brazil`s gross domestic product grew just 0.9 percent in 2012, the government said. It was the worst annual result since 2009, when the GDP contracted 0.3 percent. The GDP grew 2.7 percent in 2011 and ballooned 7.5 percent in 2010. Brazil`s statistics bureau, known by its Portuguese acronym as the IBGE, said on its website that the country`s service sector posted the best performance last year, growing 1.7 percent. Industrial output dropped 0.8 percent and agricultural production fell 2.3 percent. The IBGE said the country`s GDP totaled 4.4 trillion reals ($2.2 trillion) last year, while per capita GDP amounted to 22,400 reals ($11,200). At the start of 2012, the government forecast annual GDP growth of 4.5 percent, but gradually lowered its expectations. "Employment levels are excellent and more Brazilians are buying cars and their own homes," Finance Minister Guido Mantega said at a news conference. "Although the GDP was lower than expected, the international crisis did not knock on the doors of Brazilian families." Mantega said that in the last quarter of 2012 GDP grew 0.6 percent and that January figures show that the economy is improving. "The scenario for 2013 is more benign," he added.

27.02.2013 11:29 Russia`s seasonally adjusted GDP decreased 0.3 percent month-on-month in January 2013

Russia`s seasonally adjusted GDP decreased 0.3 percent month-on-month in January 2013, according to the Ministry of Economic Development. This is the first time Russia has experienced a decline in seasonally adjusted GDP in the last ten months. Russia`s GDP grew 1.6 percent in January 2013 compared with the same month of 2012. Industrial production decreased 1.5 percent in January in annual terms. Russia`s economy will grow less than previously forecast this year as the deteriorating global outlook weighs on demand and inflation hurts domestic consumers. Gross domestic product will expand 3.3 percent in 2013, less than the 3.6 percent expansion forecast in the fall, the World Bank said in a report today. Output will begin to recover in 2014, with GDP advancing 3.6 percent. Russia, the world`s largest energy exporter, has limited prospects to bolster growth through traditional channels as oil prices hold near record highs, according to the report. Europe is facing a deepening recession, while consumer-price growth in Russia is curbing the household spending that accounts for about half the economy.

18.02.2013 23:58 GDP fell by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.5% in the EU27 during the fourth quarter of 2012

GDP fell by 0.6% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.5% in the EU27 during the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with the previous quarter, according to flash estimates published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the third quarter of 2012, growth rates were -0.1% and +0.1% respectively. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP fell by 0.9% in the euro area and by 0.6% in the EU27 in the fourth quarter of 2012, after -0.6% and -0.4% respectively in the previous quarter. During the fourth quarter of 2012, GDP in the United States was stable compared with the previous quarter (after +0.8% in the third quarter of 2012). Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, GDP rose by 1.5% in the United States (after +2.6% in the previous quarter). Over the whole year 20123, GDP fell by 0.5% in the euro area and by 0.3% in the EU27.


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