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03.07.2012 11:56 Official unemployment in Russia went down by 4.4% in June and now equals 1.14mln people

Official unemployment in Russia went down by 4.4% in June and now equals 1.14mln people, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security press-service reported. In June, the number of the unemployed dropped in 81 out of 83 regions of the country. According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, in May the total unemployment in Russia equalled 4.1mln people, which is 5.4% of the economically active population - the lowest level in at least 13 years. That`s less than the 5.7 percent median forecast of 12 economists in a Bloomberg survey. That`s less than the 5.7 percent median forecast of 12 economists in a Bloomberg survey. Retail sales grew 6.8 percent from a year earlier in May, the statistics service said. That`s quicker than April`s 6.4 percent advance, which was the slowest pace in nine months, and more than the 6.1 percent median estimate of 15 economists in a Bloomberg survey. Real wages grew 11.1 percent and real disposable incomes rose 3.6 percent in May, compared with 9.6 percent and 2.7 percent median estimates in two Bloomberg polls. Fixed-capital investment advanced 7.7 percent compared with 7.8 percent in April, beating the 6.9 percent median forecast in a separate Bloomberg survey. The government reduced its projection for economic growth this year to 3.4 percent from 3.7 percent, saying investment will be weaker than initially estimated.

28.06.2012 15:47 Fitch revised down it world GDP forecast by 0.1 point for both 2012 and 2013

The latest economic forecasts from rating agencies Standard & Poor`s and Fitch show the latter remains more optimistic about U.S. economic growth than its larger rival, especially for next year. Fitch released for the first time its GDP projection for 2014, expecting the U.S. economy to grow at a pace of 3.0%, slightly more than the 2.9% expected by Standard & Poor`s. The gap between the two agencies` GDP projections is slightly wider for this year: 2.2% for Fitch and 2.0% for S&P. But the largest divergence is for 2013, when the U.S. GDP growth rate is expected to reach 2.1% by S&P and 2.6% by Fitch`s estimate. In its Global Economic Outlook, Fitch revised down it world GDP forecast by 0.1 point for both 2012 and 2013, led by downward revisions in the euro zone but even more so -- for 2012 -- by emerging markets. The latter are losing steam, the rating agency said, expecting BRICs -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- to grow at a pace of 6.0% this year and 6.6%, revised down by 0.3 point, and 6.6% in 2013, which was unrevised. Even as emerging markets growth is still expected to outpace that of major advanced economies by a significant margin over the next two years, "The vulnerabilities of future BRICs growth to domestic and global shocks have increased," Fitch said. In the eurozone, GDP is expected to decline this year by 0.4% before recovering 0.9% in 2013, both revised down 0.2 point. "Financial tension has resurfaced in the eurozone and the negative impact on GDP growth will be significant," Fitch said. Fitch`s global growth forecast is 2.2% for 2012 and 2.8% in 2013, compared with 2.3% and 2.9% in the previous Global Economic Outlook. In the U.S., noting the recent slowdown in the job market signaling weaker business sentiment, Fitch expects it "to be offset by continued resilience in consumer spending." For 2012 and 2013, Fitch has kept its U.S. growth forecast unchanged at 2.2% and 2.6% respectively, and projects and average growth of 3.0% in 2014. Turning to monetary policy in major advanced economies, Fitch said record low interest rates are likely to stay in place through mid-2013, warning that "The impact of further monetary stimulus would be doubtful given the already minimal yields of safe haven assets at longer maturity." Standard & Poor`s expects the U.S. GDP to grow at a pace of 2.0% this year, 2.1% in 2013, 2.9% in 2014 and 3.4% in 2015. It does not expect the unemployment rate to fall below 8% before 2014, with the improvement accelerating the following year to 7.1%. Standard & Poor`s remains the most pessimistic of the Big Three, as Moody`s sees U.S. real GDP rate rising to 2.6% next year from 2.3% this year, slightly more than Fitch`s 2.2% forecast. However, Moody`s forecasts included in its May 15 Credit Opinion refer to fiscal years.

22.06.2012 13:43 Germany`s Ifw think tank raised its 2012 growth forecast for Europe`s largest economy

Germany`s Ifw think tank raised its 2012 growth forecast for Europe`s largest economy by 0.2 percentage points to 0.9 percent due to low interest rates but cut its 2013 forecast, saying the euro zone debt crisis had dampened prospects. The Kiel-based Institute for World Economy (IfW) said that the crisis was having a negative impact on business sentiment and was reducing investment. It added however that this had not substantially altered the outlook for a strong increase in production this year. The German economy grew by 0.5 percent in the first quarter but the IfW said its growth dynamics would be weaker in the rest of the year. The institute downgraded its forecast for 2013 gross domestic product by 0.2 percentage points to 1.7 percent. The institute said the benefits to the German economy from low interest rates would feed through even more in 2013 as long as the euro zone crisis did not worsen further. Companies will invest more in equipment, while private consumption will benefit from the good outlook on the labour market, the institute said. The IfW also said exports would gradually pick up, especially as the economy in Germany`s trading partners recovers. But it warned that growth in exports would not be significant and that foreign trade overall would slow down Germany`s economic expansion as imports increased more quickly.

19.06.2012 12:09 Russia`s GDP grew at an annual rate of 4 percent in the first quarter of 2012

Russia`s gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 4 percent in the first quarter of 2012, down from of the 4.9 percent estimate reported by the Federal Statistics Service Rosstat, according to data on the government`s website. In the first quarter of 2012, GDP amounted to 12.869 trillion rubles [$402 billion] and expanded by 4 percent from the same period last year, the data said. In mid-May, Rosstat reported Russia`s GDP had expanded 4.9 percent on an annual basis in January-March 2012, exceeding the 4 percent initial estimate of Russia`s Economic Development Ministry. According to Rosstat data, Russia`s GDP grew 4.3 percent last year, with a first quarter rise of four percent year-on-year. Russia`s industrial production grew 3.4 percent year-on-year from January to May 2012, the Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat) reported. Russia`s industrial output growth accelerated to 1 percent in May from 0.1 percent in April, excluding seasonal factors, Rosstat said. Output in the mining sector increased by 2.2 percent in May 2012 after a 5 percent fall in April. Production in the manufacturing industries grew by 6 percent in May compared to the previous month after a 2.5 percent decrease from March to April. Russia`s gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 4 percent in the first quarter of 2012, matching its growth in the same period last year.

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.


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