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01.06.2012 19:41 US GDP up 1.9% in first quarter of 2012, revised lower

The U.S. economy ran into a deeper soft patch in the first quarter than initially estimated, a government report showed. The Commerce Department estimated that the economy grew at a 1.9% pace in the first quarter, slower than the 2.2% rate initially reported. This is down from a 3.0% growth rate of real gross domestic product, the output of goods and services produced in the U.S., in the fourth quarter. The figures are seasonally adjusted and adjusted for price changes. The revisions come from more complete data than was available at the first estimate. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had been expecting a downward revision to a 1.8% rate. See comprehensive MarketWatch economic calendar. Economists were already disappointed with the first quarter even before the downward revision. The takeaway from this report is simply that the economy has been unable to sustain the burst of momentum in the fourth quarter, said Millan Mulraine, economist at TD Securities. While the recovery has remained largely on track, it continues to struggle to generate sufficient positive momentum in a sustained manner to make any meaningful progress in absorbing the significant amount of slack in the economy, he added. Economists are forecasting slightly stronger growth about 2.2% on an annualized basis in the second quarter ending June 30. The economy is slowly improving, analysts said, but remains held back by too much consumer indebtedness, a weak housing market, and renewed uncertainty over the mix of tax and spending policies that will be needed to trim the federal deficit. As has been true throughout the recovery to date, the current expansion is neither as robust as optimists may hope nor as vulnerable as pessimists may fear, said economists at Royal Bank of Scotland ahead of the GDP report.

15.05.2012 17:40 GDP remained stable in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27 during the first quarter of 2012

GDP remained stable in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27 during the first quarter of 2012, compared with the previous quarter, according to flash estimates published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the fourth quarter of 2011, growth rates were -0.3% in both zones. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP remained stable in the euro area and increased by 0.1% in the EU27 in the first quarter of 2012, after +0.7% and +0.8% respectively in the previous quarter. In March 2012 compared with February 2012, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 0.3% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.4% in the EU27. In February production rose by 0.8% and 0.4% respectively. In March 2012 compared with March 2011, industrial production dropped by 2.2% in the euro area and by 1.9% in the EU27.

05.05.2012 16:42 Russia`s inflation rate fell to a post-Soviet low in April 2012

Russia`s inflation rate fell to a post-Soviet low in April as prices for grains and vegetables fell from a month earlier. Consumer prices rose 3.6 percent in April from a year earlier, compared with the previous record of 3.7 percent in the previous two months, the Moscow-based Federal Statistics Service said in an e-mailed statement. The median forecast of 15 economists in a Bloomberg survey was 3.7 percent. Prices rose 0.3 percent from March. The decrease puts Russia, the worlds largest energy exporter, closer to its target of keeping inflation between 5 percent and 6 percent following a record-low 6.1 percent last year. While delayed increases to utility prices and a strong harvest are still restraining prices, monetary policy is also playing a role, according to Ivan Tchakarov, chief economist at Renaissance Capital in Moscow. The central bank, unfortunately in my view, is giving much more weight to inflation concerns rather than to growth concerns, he said. Core inflation, which strips out some volatile items, was 0.4 percent in the month, the statistics service said.

18.04.2012 17:14 IMF: The global economy is on track to expand this year by 3.5 per cent and by 4.1 per cent next year

GLOBAL growth is slowly improving as the US recovery gains traction and dangers from Europe recede, but risks remain elevated and the situation is very fragile, the International Monetary Fund said. Another flare-up of the eurozone sovereign debt crisis or sharp escalation in oil prices on geopolitical uncertainty could disrupt the world economy finding its feet now tensions in the eurozone have subsided. The global economy is on track to expand this year by 3.5 per cent and by 4.1 per cent next year, up slightly from 3.3 per cent and 3.9 per cent gross domestic product output respectively that the IMF had forecast in January, when market concern was rampant that Greece could default and Italy and Spain were facing budget crises. Since then, Greece has restructured its debt, Italy and Spain are adopting tough fiscal measures and eurozone leaders have agreed to enlarge their bailout fund, causing financial market tensions to ease. The United States, meanwhile, is gradually gaining momentum while China and other emerging economies appear on track for gradual slowdowns without crashing, the IMF said. But the gains are precarious. Should the eurozone crisis erupt once more, it could trigger a widespread dumping of risky assets and rob two per cent from global growth over two years and 3.5 per cent from the eurozone, the Fund warned. Additionally, a 50 per cent increase in the price of oil would lower global output by 1.25 per cent, it said. To secure the global recovery, the IMF urged central banks in the United States, eurozone and Japan to stand ready to deliver further monetary easing; governments to exercise caution over the pace of budget cutbacks wherever feasible; and Europe to consider using public funds to recapitalise banks. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that Russia`s 2012 GDP growth could reach 4 percent, up from its January prediction of 3.3 percent. In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF also raised its 2013 growth outlook for Russia from 3.5 percent to 3.9 percent.

12.04.2012 10:39 U.S. unemployment at 8.2 percent in March, little change from prior month

The country`s employers added 120,000 jobs in March as the unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent, the Labor Department reported. The stock markets in the U.S. are closed today for the Good Friday holiday, so investors won`t get a chance to act on the jobs news until Monday. Stock futures, which indicate how the market will react when trading resumes, showed the Dow Jones industrial average down 120 points. The job additions may disappoint some people. Economists expected 210,000 jobs to be added in March and the unemployment rate to stay at 8.3 percent as more discouraged workers reentered the job market. February`s jobs added was revised up to 275,000 from 227,000 jobs, which was slightly more than expected and capped the best six-month streak for job additions since the depths of the financial crisis in 2008. January was revised lower to 275,000 from 284,000 jobs added.

08.04.2012 16:38 The Russian Economic Development Ministry forecasts GDP will grow 3.4% in 2012

The Russian Economic Development Ministry forecasts GDP will grow 3.4% in 2012, 3.8% in 2013 and 4.4% in 2014. Urals crude could trade at $125 a barrel in 2012, $125 in 2013 and $115 in 2014. GDP grew 4.3% in 2011, as in 2010. Russia`s Economy Ministry expects $10-$20 billion in net capital outflows to flee the country in 2012, Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach said. Klepach told a briefing that the ministry has revised its 2012 forecast of an average ruble rate to 29.2 rubles per dollar from 31.1 rubles. Budget deficit in 2012 is seen at 0.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) while the economy itself will grow 3.8 percent in 2013 compared to a previous forecast of a 3.9 percent growth, he said. The ministry also lowered its forecast for industrial output growth to 3.1 percent from 3.6 percent in 2012, and to 3.4 percent from 3.8 percent in 2013, Klepach said.

16.03.2012 17:53 US industrial production was unchanged in February 2012

Industrial production was unchanged in February after having risen 0.4 percent in January. Previously, industrial production was reported to have been unchanged in January. Manufacturing output moved up 0.3 percent in February. Within manufacturing, the index for motor vehicles and parts fell 1.1 percent after jumping 8.6 percent in January, but the index for manufacturing excluding motor vehicles and parts increased 0.4 percent in February. Production at mines fell 1.2 percent, while the output of utilities was unchanged. At 96.2 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production for February was 4.0 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for total industry edged down to 78.7 percent, a rate 1.2 percentage points above its level from a year earlier but 1.6 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2011) average.

15.03.2012 20:21 G20 GDP for the fourth quarter of 2011 slows to +0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2011

Quarterly GDP growth in the G20 slowed to +0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with +0.9% in the third quarter, according to provisional results. In 2011 as a whole, G20 GDP rose by 2.8%, a marked deceleration compared with the +5.0% growth recorded in 2010. The G20 GDP aggregate masks diverging patterns among the world`s largest economies. In the United States, GDP growth increased to +0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with +0.5% in the third quarter. In India and Indonesia growth increased strongly, but slowed in China to +2.0%, compared with +2.3% in the third quarter. In Japan, economic growth decreased to -0.2%, following the strong rebound (+1.7%) in the third quarter. GDP fell by 0.3% in both the EU27 and the euro area in the fourth quarter of 2011, the first fall since the second quarter of 2009. The release of the G20 GDP aggregate marks the first release of a G20 aggregate in the context of the implementation of the Data Gaps Initiative - a set of 20 recommendations on the further enhancement of statistics as agreed by the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. The process is coordinated by the Inter Agency Group on Economic and Financial Statistics: International Monetary Fund, Bank for International Settlements, European Central Bank, Eurostat, OECD, United Nations and the World Bank. The dissemination of this G20 aggregate provides a timely measure of economic growth for the G20. In the future the G20 aggregate will become part of a new regular OECD quarterly News Release on economic growth at around 70 days after the end of the reference quarter. In addition to providing the data for the EU27 and the euro area, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, will also publish the quarterly G20 GDP growth on its website.

18.02.2012 17:26 GDP fell by 0.3% in both the euro area and the EU27 during the fourth quarter of 2011

GDP fell by 0.3% in both the euro area (EA17) and the EU27 during the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with the previous quarter, according to flash estimates published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the third quarter of 2011, growth rates were +0.1% and +0.3% respectively. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP increased by 0.7% in the euro area and by 0.9% in the EU27 in the fourth quarter of 2011, after +1.3% and +1.4% respectively in the previous quarter. Over the whole year 2011, GDP increased by 1.5% in the euro area and by 1.6% in the EU27. In December 2011 compared with November 2011, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 1.1% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.6% in the EU27. In November production remained stable in both zones. In December 2011 compared with December 2010, industrial production dropped by 2.0% in the euro area and by 0.9% in the EU27. Compared with 2010, the average production index for 2011 increased by 3.5% in the euro area and by 3.3% in the EU27. In December 2011 compared with November 2011, production of energy fell by 2.0% in the euro area and by 1.2% in the EU27. Capital goods decreased by 0.8% and 0.1% respectively. Intermediate goods dropped by 0.7% in the euro area and by 0.2% in the EU27. Non-durable consumer goods remained stable in the euro area and rose by 0.4% in the EU27. Production of durable consumer goods increased by 0.2% and 0.4% respectively. Among the Member States for which data are available, industrial production fell in twelve and rose in eleven. The largest decreases were registered in Malta (-2.9%), Germany (-2.7%), Greece and Latvia (both -2.4%), and the highest increases in Denmark (+3.3%), Finland (+2.6%) and Ireland (+2.5%). In December 2011 compared with December 2010, production of energy fell by 11.9% in the euro area and by 10.6% in the EU27. Durable consumer goods decreased by 3.9% and 0.7% respectively. Non-durable consumer goods dropped by 0.8% in the euro area, but rose by 0.8% in the EU27. Intermediate goods fell by 0.5% in the euro area, but grew by 0.5% in the EU27. Capital goods increased by 0.8% and 2.3% respectively. Among the Member States for which data are available, industrial production fell in fifteen and rose in eight. The highest decreases were registered in Greece (-12.4%), Luxembourg (-9.6%) and Portugal (-8.9%), and the largest increases in Poland (+10.0%), the Czech Republic (+4.4%) and Latvia (+3.2%). The first estimate for the euro area (EA17) trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in December 2011 gave a 9.7 bn euro surplus, compared with -1.7 bn in December 2010. The November 2011 balance was +6.3 bn, compared with -2.3 bn in November 2010. In December 2011 compared with November 2011, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 0.1% while imports fell by 0.9%. The first estimate for the December 2011 extra-EU271 trade balance was a 1.7 bn euro surplus, compared with -12.1 bn in December 2010. In November 20112 the balance was -7.5 bn, compared with -16.8 bn in November 2010. In December 2011 compared with November 2011, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 1.4% while imports fell by 0.5%. During 2011, euro area trade recorded a deficit of 7.7 bn euro, compared with -14.7 bn in 2010. The EU27 recorded a deficit of 152.8 bn in 2011, compared with -159.5 bn in 2010.

05.02.2012 17:46 Saxo Bank Outlook 2012: A Year of Great Change

Saxo Bank, the online trading and investment specialist, in its Q1 2012 Financial Outlook, believes that a perfect storm is pending as tensions are mounting unbearably. The combination of the ongoing EU crisis, slowing aggregated global demand and rising social tensions will leave no nation untouched and could result in the most pivotal year by far since 2008. Overall, the Bank looks for world growth to slow in 2012 to 3 percent. Saxo Bank believes that a renewed crisis in the EU is inevitable as the leaders of the Union have failed to address the fact that the sovereign debt crisis is one of solvency and not liquidity provision, and its growth outlook for Europe is mostly negative. In the US, growth will likely be somewhat stronger than elsewhere. In Asia, growth will likely look far weaker than consensus, as China faces some heavy lifting on rebalancing its economy. Uncertainty is great in this area as the regime is capable of forcing activity and behaviour to a degree not attainable elsewhere. The surge in commodities in 2011, partly due to the initiation of the US Federal Reserve`s Quantitative Easing 2 programme, saw the outlook for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) improve. As the effects of commodity speculation fade, the MENA region faces headwinds though it should manage around 3.5 percent growth in GDP as domestic demand returns. Crucial for economic growth are stabilisation in the political sphere following a roller coaster ride in 2011, which saw several changes of government including that of Libya. Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank comments: "The perfect storm is coming but there is no need to panic. We are optimistic that 2012 will be a year of great change and a perfect storm in the MENA area is based on good underlying fundamentals combined with almost imperfect visibility on geopolitical risk."


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