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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."

27.01.2012 16:45 Russia`s industrial production rose in 2011 a total of 4.7 percent

Russia`s industrial production rose in 2011 a total of 4.7 percent. This is stated in a report on the country`s industrial production which the state statistics agency Rosstat published. The increase includes all major industry sectors: oil (+ 0.8 percent), gas (+ 2.9), cars (+ 44.5), trucks (+ 6.6 percent). Electricity production in Russia in 2011 increased from the previous year by 1.4 percent and has reached 1.05 trillion kilowatt hours. Oil production in the Russian Federation increased in 2011 by 0.8 percent compared to last year and amounted to 509 million tons. Gas production has increased in the reporting year by 2.9 percent to 669 billion cubic meters. The production of LNG (liquefied gas) was increased by 6.6 percent to 10.7 million tons. Production of passenger cars in Russia in 2011 increased compared to 2010 with 44.5 percent to 1.7 million. Production of buses rose in 2011 by 4.3 percent to 43,100 units. Production of trucks increased last year by 33.4 percent to 207,000 vehicles. Growth in industrial production in Russia in 2011 amounted to 4.7 percent. In December 2011 was the growth of industrial production from December 2010 2.5 percent, from November 2011 2.9 percent.

19.01.2012 21:08 World Bank slashes global GDP forecasts, outlook grim

The World Bank warned developing countries to prepare for the "real" risk that an escalation in the euro area debt crisis could tip the world into a slump on a par with the global downturn in 2008/09. In a report sharply cutting its world economic growth expectations, the World Bank said Europe was probably already in recession. If the euro area debt crisis deepened, global economic forecasts would be significantly lower. The World Bank predicted world economic growth of 2.5 per cent in 2012 and 3.1 per cent in 2013, well below the 3.6 per cent growth for each year projected in June. The World Bank said if the euro area debt crisis escalates, global growth would be about 4 per centage points lower. It forecast high-income economies would expand just 1.4 per cent in 2012 as the euro area shrinks 0.3 per cent, sharp downward revisions from growth forecasts last June of 2.7 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively. It cut its forecast for growth in developing economies to 5.4 per cent for 2012 from its previous forecast of 6.2 per cent, saying expansion in Brazil and India and to a lesser extent Russia, South Africa and Turkey, had slowed already. It saw a slight pick up in growth in developing economies in 2013 to 6 per cent. But the report said threats to growth are still rising, suggesting the outlook remained highly uncertain. It also cited failure so far to resolve high debts and deficits in Japan and the United States and slow growth in other high-income countries, and cautioned those could trigger sudden shocks. On top of that, political tensions in the Middle East and North Africa could disrupt oil supplies and add another blow to global prospects. It said that while Europe was moving toward a long-term solution to its debt problems, markets remained skittish. On balance, the World Bank said global economic conditions were "fragile and there remains great uncertainty as to how markets will evolve over the medium term."

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.


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