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11.01.2012 14:32 German economy grew 3.0% in 2011 before slump

Germany grew by a robust 3.0 percent last year but the debt crisis brought Europe`s biggest economy almost to a halt in the final months, official data showed. German gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 3.0 percent in 2011, compared with record growth of 3.7 percent the previous year, the national statistics office Destatis calculated. The strong performance enabled Europe`s economic powerhouse to bring down its public deficit -- the shortfall between government spending and income -- to just 1.0 percent of GDP last year from 4.3 percent in 2010. That is the first time since 2008 that the German deficit ratio has been below the European Union`s ceiling of 3.0 percent. At the same time, GDP likely shrank by "around a quarter of a percentage point" in the final quarter, Destatis official Norbert Raeth told a news conference. The driving force behind growth was domestic demand, with consumer spending up 1.5 percent, the strongest increase in five years. In addition, investment was also strong, with investment in equipment rising by 8.3 percent. Foreign trade also contributed to growth, adding 0.8 percentage points to the overall GDP figure, with German exports rising 8.2 percent in 2011 and imports up by 7.2 percent, Destatis calculated. At 3.0 percent, German growth is double both the anticipated average for both the European Union and the eurozone, as well as for the United States.

25.12.2011 15:26 US GDP Growth Revised Down To 1.8% In Q3 2011

The U.S. economy expanded less than thought during the third quarter as consumer spending fell short of an earlier estimate, though signs point to stronger growth in the final months of the year. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of all the goods and services produced in an economy, grew at an inflation-adjusted annual rate of 1.8% in the July to September period. While still the strongest performance of the year, the Commerce Departments third estimate of GDP is lower than the previous reading of 2.0%. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast 2.0% growth. The economys lower growth level was largely due to a downward revision of how much consumers spent, especially for services such as health care. The latest estimate showed personal consumption expenditure, which accounts for about two-thirds of spending in the economy, rose by 1.7% in the third quarter. That compares to a previous estimate of a 2.3% increase.

19.12.2011 15:18 Russia gained approval Dec 16th to join the World Trade Organization

After nearly two decades of trying, Russia gained approval Dec 16th to join the World Trade Organization, a move likely to boost its economy and that of its biggest trading partner, the European Union, at a time of global financial turmoil. The vote by international trade ministers also provides a measure of victory for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who faces popular discontent after allegations of fraud in recent parliamentary elections. Russia, with the sixth largest economy in the world and a population of 143 million, has been the only member of the Group of 20 leading world economies still outside the 153-nation WTO. Once it formally joins - presumably early next year after ratification from the Russian Duma - Moscow will be subject to the Geneva-based body`s rules for global trade and settling disputes, a change likely to give more confidence to investors outside the country. The 27-nation EU is Russia`s biggest trading partner for agriculture, fuels, mining and manufacturing. The EU buys 52 percent of Russia`s exports, including the fossil fuels that keep Europe running. Russia, in turn, is third-biggest customer for EU exports, after the U.S. and China. Russia`s WTO membership is expected to quickly increase EU exports by some $5.2 billion a year, EU trade officials say. Under the agreement, Russians will be able to buy European-made goods at far lower prices and to sell their oil and gas more efficiently. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said the development "represents a great cause for celebration." Russia`s WTO membership won`t automatically apply to the U.S. A 1974 law requires the U.S. Congress to first approve of permanent normal trade relations with Russia. The Cold War-era law was intended to pressure the Soviet Union to allow emigration, primarily of Jews. Kirk told the AP that the U.S. recognizes there`s a potential "damaging impact to U.S. exporters" if Congress doesn`t agree.

11.12.2011 16:32 Japan`s economy grew an annualized 5.6 percent on quarter in the July-September period

Japan`s economy grew an annualized 5.6 percent on quarter in the July-September period, downwardly revised from a preliminary expansion of six percent, the Cabinet Office said. On an inflation-adjusted basis gross domestic product (GDP) equates to a revised 1.4 percent increase from the previous quarter, down from a preliminary 1.5 percent increase, but higher than median economists` forecasts for a revised 1.3 percent expansion, the office said. The downward revision was largely expected by economists following the government stating recently it was lowering its capital spending estimate, a key factor in calculating gross domestic product. Capital spending was revised downward to a 0.4 percent quarter- on-quarter decline, from a preliminary 1.1 percent rise, the government`s latest figures showed. In addition the cabinet office said that private consumption was downwardly revised to a 0.7 percent increase on quarter, from a preliminary one percent rise. Capital investment by Japanese non-financial companies slumped 9.8 percent in the reporting quarter and on a seasonally adjusted basis, capex, excluding spending on software, declined 2.7 percent to mark a fourth straight quarterly drop, following a 6.3 recent in the previous quarter, the cabinet office said. Japan`s third-quarter economic expansion was its first growth in four quarters and came after the earthquake and tsunami disaster in March. According to the latest figures from the finance ministry, Japanese companies cut capital spending by 9.8 percent from a year earlier in the three months ended Sept. 30, marking the second quarter of retraction and the cabinet office noted that in October Machinery orders, a key indicator of future capital spending, decreased 6.9 percent from the previous month. Economists expect Japan`s economy to contract in the next quarter as the rebound loses momentum, weighed down by the nation` s persistently strong yen that has forced some firms to move manufacturing operations from Japan to more economically viable countries and seen firms` overseas profits eroded on unfavorable exchange rates and stripped companies here of their competitiveness in global markets.

02.12.2011 12:38 The International Monetary Fund said it would probably lower its global economic growth

The International Monetary Fund said on Dec 01th that it would probably lower its global economic growth, but did not expect a double-dip recession in the United States. "We will likely be revising downwards our forecast," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said at a regularly scheduled news briefing, refusing to give further details. There has been a sharp slowdown, particularly in Europe, and financial market turmoil has clouded forecasting since the IMF`s World Economic Outlook report was issued in October, he said. "The global recovery remains unbalanced and bumpy. Since that WEO there has been a marked slowdown in economic activity, especially as we all known, in Europe. The turmoil in the financial market is also contributing to further uncertainty about the economic forecast. WEO updates will be issued "toward the end" of January, he added. Asked whether the IMF sees the United States, where economic growth has been sluggish, falling back into recession, Rice said: "Our forecast is not for a double-dip recession." He also said the IMF has received no requests for short-term credit lines amid the current slowdown.

25.11.2011 18:34 US GDP grew at 2.0 percent in Q3 2011 compared with earlier estimations of 2.5 percent

The US Commerce Department said that during the third quarter, the country`s gross domestic product (GDP) grew at 2 percent, compared with earlier estimations of 2.5 percent, reported Khaleej Times.The department added that the rate of growth recorded in the period was higher than second quarter`s 1.3 percent pace, a period which was affected by high gasoline prices that hampered spending, in addition to the consequences of Japan`s earthquake and tsunami which restrained auto output.It also said that during the third quarter, business inventories declined by USD8.5 billion, which trimmed 1.55 percentage points from GDP growth, on the other hand, consumer spending during the period was revised slightly down to a 2.3 percent growth pace due to adjustments to motor vehicle fuels and lubricants. It is worth noting that during the fourth quarter, pace of economic growth might surpass 3 percent, recording the fastest pace in eighteen months.

16.11.2011 13:49 Eurozone GDP grew by 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter of 2011

Eurozone GDP grew by 0.2% quarter-on-quarter (q/q) in the third quarter driven by a rebound in activity in Germany and France. The figure matched the 0.2% seen in the second quarter and compares with a 0.5% rise in UK output in the third quarter. However, it remains down sharply on the 0.8% growth the eurozone posted in the first quarter and experts are still predicting an overall contraction in the fourth quarter. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, eurozone GDP increased by 1.4% despite increasing fears over sovereign debt in the 17 nation euro area. Germany`s GDP rose 0.5% q/q and France`s at a rate 0.4%q/q. At the other end of the scale Greek output fell 5.2% in the third quarter compared to the year before. Quarter-on-uarter figures were not available. Germany`s said it growth was driven by consumer spending, despite the figure coming as the ZEW economic sentiment index for Germany showed its lowest reading since August 2008 on worries over the state of Greece and Italy. Cyprus, the Netherlands and Portugal all posted falls in GDP compared to the second quarter. Growth of Eurozone`s GDP from July to September was the same as in the second quarter, but the outlook for the last three months of 2011 is dim, with the region`s deepening debt crisis weighing on sentiment and consumer confidence. The European Commission expects the economy of the 17 countries using the euro to shrink 0.1 percent in the last three months of the year against the third quarter and to stagnate in the first quarter of 2012.

09.11.2011 11:10 German industrial production declines sharply by 2.7% in September 2011

Government data show that industrial production in Germany fell by a sharper-than-expected 2.7 percent on the month in September - adding to signs that growth is sagging in Europe`s biggest economy. Economists had expected a smaller drop of 0.9 percent. However, the Economy Ministry said that the drop was exaggerated by the effect of public holidays and the previous month`s figure was revised upward. It now says production dipped by 0.4 percent in August rather than the 1 percent initially reported. Over the whole of the third quarter, industrial production rose 1.7 percent compared with the previous three months. The production figures come after the Economy Ministry said that industrial orders fell 4.3 percent in September.

02.11.2011 11:26 The European Debt Crisis Demonstrated Again Its Chokehold on Global Markets

The European debt crisis demonstrated again on November 1th the chokehold it maintains on investors worldwide, as a surprise move by Greece to put the terms of its planned bailout to a public referendum battered global financial markets. Declines that started in Asia accelerated in Europe where the major indexes slumped 5 percent. Bank stocks led the sell-offs, and the broad United States stock market slid nearly 3 percent. In the credit markets, crucial stress gauges moved toward recent highs, while rising interest rates on Italian debt underscored investors` growing doubts about that highly indebted country, which has become the new focus of concern in the euro zone. The Greek referendum threatened to undo the work of the summit meeting last week in Brussels, where leaders outlined a rescue plan that cheered markets and contributed to the biggest monthly United States stock market rally in October since 1982.

23.10.2011 12:30 Industrial production increased 0.2 percent in September after having been unchanged in August

Industrial production increased 0.2 percent in September after having been unchanged in August. Previously, industrial production was reported to have stepped up 0.2 percent in August. For the third quarter as a whole, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 5.1 percent. Manufacturing output moved up 0.4 percent in September after having gained 0.3 percent in August. Production at mines advanced 0.8 percent in September, while the output of utilities decreased 1.8 percent. At 94.2 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production for September was 3.2 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for total industry edged up to 77.4 percent, a rate 1.7 percentage points above its level from a year earlier but 3.0 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2010) average.


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