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10.06.2010 23:18 Japan`s economy grew 5.0 percent in the first quarter of 2010

Japan`s economy grew slightly more in the first three months of the year than first estimated, the government said. Gross domestic product expanded at an annualized pace of 5 percent in the January-March quarter, revised up from 4.9 percent in a preliminary report last month. The results underscore a solid recovery underpinned by exports to a surging Asia and China, which is poised to overtake Japan as the world`s No. 2 economy sometime this year. The annualized figure corresponds to quarterly growth of 1.2 percent, which is unchanged from initial estimates. The updated calculations by the Cabinet Office revealed higher consumption by consumers and a milder decline in government investment. Capital expenditures grew a less-than-expected 0.6 percent instead of 1 percent.

24.05.2010 21:31 U.S. industrial production up 0.8% as capacity utilization rises to 73.7%

U.S. manufacturing output surged in April, up 1% for the second month in a row, on broad-based increases across most factory sectors, the Federal Reserve reported. Total output of the nation`s mines, utilities and factories increased 0.8% last month, as expected, despite a 1.3% decline in utility production in response to mild temperatures. See our complete economic calendar and consensus forecast. Industrial production was 5.2% higher than it was a year earlier. Manufacturing output has increased 6% in the past year after suffering through the worst downturn since the aftermath of World War II. However, output is still 9% lower than it was at the peak in December 2007. Manufacturing output has increased 1% or more in four of the past six months. Output rose a revised 1% in March. "The industrial sector is benefiting from increased domestic demand, a strong export expansion, and to an important extent from a cyclical inventory swing," said Dan Meckstroth, chief economist for the Manufacturers Alliance. In a separate report, the Commerce Department said the inventory-to-sales ratio fell to 1.24 in March, matching the record low. Inventories are likely far too lean at most businesses, which should lead to strong growth in U.S. industrial output and imports. Industrial production is one of four key monthly indicators used to determine whether the economy is in a recession or expansion. The other three are incomes, sales and payrolls, of which only incomes have failed to rebound. Most economists believe the recession probably ended in June or July.

12.05.2010 21:32 Eurozone GDP Grows 0.2% In the First Quarter of 2010

Eurozone gross domestic product, or GDP, grew 0.2% on a sequential basis in the first quarter of 2010, flash estimate from the Eurostat showed. Economists had foreseen 0.5% growth. The 16-nation economy stagnated in the fourth quarter of 2009. On an annual basis, GDP climbed 0.5% following a 2.2% contraction in the final quarter of 2010. GDP was expected to log just 0.1% growth. Data showed Greek GDP contracted 0.8 percent in the first quarter compared to the last quarter of 2009, better than the 1.4 percent drop forecast by economists polled by Reuters. The Greek economy shrank by 2.3 percent year-on-year in the first three months of the year, the Eurostat data showed, also less than the 2.7 percent drop forecast by economists.

29.04.2010 22:20 The International Monetary Fund nudged up its 2010 global growth forecast to 4.2%

The global economy has recovered from recession more quickly than expected but emergency rescue efforts have worsened public finances, leaving countries vulnerable to new shocks, the IMF said. In its World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund nudged up its 2010 global growth forecast to 4.2% from its January estimate of 3.9%, and kept next year`s view unchanged at 4.3%. "The outlook for activity remains unusually uncertain," the Fund said, adding that risks were generally tilted to the downside. Government debt burdens were top of the worry list. The main concern is that room for policy manoeuvre in many advanced economies has either been largely exhausted or has become much more limited, leaving these fragile recoveries exposed to new shocks," the Fund said. Emerging economies are leading the upturn, with 2010 growth expected to be nearly three times as fast as that in advanced economies. The IMF forecast growth in emerging and developing economies would rise to 6.3% this year and 6.5% next year. In advanced economies it would reach only 2.3% in 2010 and 2.45% in 2011. China will grow fastest by 10% this year and 9.9% in 2011. Elsewhere, Brazil, India and Indonesia are also staging strong rebounds. Rich countries are shouldering a much heavier debt burden, with debt-to-GDP ratios approaching World War Two highs. While the IMF urged countries to "urgently" adopt credible debt-reduction strategies, it said most stimulus measures planned for 2010 should be fully implemented because the recovery remained fragile and unemployment high.

22.04.2010 21:00 Russia`s economy grew 0.6 percent in the first quarter this year

Russia`s economic development minister said Wednesday that the country`s economy grew 0.6 percent in the first quarter this year, extending the recovery to three consecutive quarters. Elvira Nabiullina also said Russia`s GDP went up by 4.9 percent in March year-on-year, but warned that the recovery is still fragile. "Signs of recovery are evident, but it is still too early to talk about stability yet," she said in comments carried by Russian news agencies. Consumer demand and investment flows remain volatile, she said. Russia started to recover from the downturn last year, but industrial production and other statistics have sent mixed signals on how soon it will emerge from the slump. In his annual address to parliament, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned Tuesday that although Russia has emerged from recession, "it doesn`t mean that the crisis is over." He called for prudent budget spending and pledged to cut the budget deficit in half by 2012. Russia`s GDP contracted by 7.9 percent last year in the sharpest decline in more than a decade as the country struggled under low energy prices and a flagging demand for its natural resources. Finance Ministry Alexei Kudrin said Tuesday that the government expects the GDP to rise by 4 percent compared to an earlier estimate of 3 percent. Many investment banks and financial institutions predict GDP growth as high as 5 percent.

20.04.2010 21:55 U.S. industrial production grew 0.1 percent in March 2010

U.S. industrial production inched higher last month as a cutback in utility use after an exceptionally cold February had the effect of dampening expansion, the Federal Reserve reported. Industrial output, measuring overall production at the nation`s factories, mines and utilities, rose 0.1% in March and extended the monthly string of increases to nine, but the increase wasn`t nearly as strong as expected. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.8% increase in industrial production. See MarketWatch calendar of major indicators. Production in February was revised higher by the Fed to an increase of 0.3%, up from the initial estimate of a 0.1% gain. Factory activity alone rebounded in March, recovering after having been held in check by snowstorms in the prior month. Factory production rose 0.9% in March, stepping up from a 0.2% gain in the prior month. The nation`s industrial sector has been enjoying a rapid recovery: Industrial production increased at a 7.8% annual rate in the first quarter, with the factory sector alone rising at a 6.6% rate. "Manufacturing is doing better than rest of the economy," wrote Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics. Utilities output dropped 6.4% in March as heating demand declined after February`s cold. Capacity utilization for total industry increased 0.2 of a percentage point to stand at 73.2% in March, the Fed`s data showed. This is the highest level since November 2008. In addition, capacity utilization is now 3.7 percentage points above the rate seen a year ago. Production of high-technology goods continued to expand at a solid pace, rising 1.9% in March after a 3.0% gain in the prior month. And motor-vehicle and auto-part production increased 2.2% last month, a reversal after having fallen 3.0% in February.

11.04.2010 13:19 China swings to $7.24 bln trade deficit in March 2010 that is the first in six years

China reported a March trade deficit Saturday that was significantly wider than expected, as a surge in imports outpaced exports and commodities prices rose, according to media reports. March exports from China rose 24.3% to $112.11 billion, while imports jumped 66% to $119.35 billion, resulting in a $7.24 billion deficit, the state news agency Xinhua reported on its Web site. A poll of 13 economists conducted by Dow Jones Newswires had estimated a March trade deficit of $280 million. The monthly trade deficit marks China`s first in nearly six years; the country reported an April deficit in 2004. By comparison, China had a trade surplus of $14.2 billion in January of this year and of $7.6 billion in February, down from a high of $42.1 billion in January 2009. Many analysts see the deficit as temporary and anticipate China will swing back to a trade surplus in the coming months.

05.04.2010 23:06 Russian Inflation Slows to 12-Year-Low 6.5% as Ruble Gains

Russia`s inflation rate fell to the lowest level in 12 years as a stronger ruble made imports cheaper and a sluggish recovery damps consumer demand, allowing the central bank to continue cutting rates. The rate dropped to an annual 6.5 percent last month from 7.2 percent in February, the Federal Statistics Service said in an e-mailed statement today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 15 economists was for the rate to decline to 6.6 percent. Prices advanced 0.6 percent from February. Bank Rossii has cut its benchmark refinancing rate 12 times in the last year to 8.25 percent to help the economy recover from its worst slump on record. Interest rates will fall further if the government meets its inflation target of between 6.5 percent and 7.5 percent for the year, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said in March. A steady decline in inflation was one of Russia`s main economic achievements last year, Alfa Bank economists led by Natalia Orlova in Moscow said in a research note on April 1. By keeping real interest rates in positive territory, the Russian central bank is helping to generate retail deposit inflows to banks. Even so, banks are unable to take advantage of slowing consumer-price growth as loan demand remains weak and companies struggle to pass on producer-cost increases, Alfa said. Price increases for services and non-food items led inflation last month, the statistics service said.

27.03.2010 12:35 U.S. GDP Revision Fail to Downplay Strength of Q4 Recovery

The growth of U.S. GDP in the final quarter of 2009 was most significant in the last six years. According to verified data, U.S. GDP rose in fourth quarter to 5,6%. Initially, a month ago, reported the growth of the economy during the reporting period by 5,9%. Compared with the same period of 2008, GDP increased by 0,1%. For all the same in 2009 U.S. GDP declined by 2.4%. Compared with the originally published, the government revised downward investment in business structures, expenditure on services and investment in inventory. The downward revision to U.S. GDP is not good but at the same time it is important to realize that 5.6 percent GDP is still the strongest pace of growth reported since the third quarter of 2003, more than 6 years ago. It is also the fastest pace of fourth quarter GDP growth of all G7 nations which is not something to dismiss. In the fourth quarter, the U.S. economy grew at least 5 times faster than the Eurozone and U.K. A downward revision in personal consumption, weaker gross private investment and a larger than previously estimated decline in government consumption all contributed to the downward revision of GDP.

20.03.2010 13:41 Russian Industrial Production Grew 1.9% in February 2010

Russian industrial production expanded at a slower pace in February, led by manufacturers of steel pipes and rail freight containers, signaling the recovery of domestic demand hasn`t gained full steam. Output at factories, mines and utilities rose 1.9 percent after a 7.8 percent gain in January, the Federal Statistics Service in Moscow said. Non-seasonally adjusted output rose 4.8 percent from January, which began with a 10-day holiday. The median estimate of 12 economists in a Bloomberg survey was for annual and monthly increases of 6.6 percent. In January-February period Russian industrial production grew 5.8 percent from the year earlier. Domestic demand is still suffering; it hasn`t fully recovered, Tatiana Orlova, an economist at ING Bank NV in Moscow said by telephone today. Among external factors, oil prices didn`t provide a big boost because they only shot up at the end of the month. Urals oil, Russia`s chief export blend of crude, reached last month`s low of $68.66 on Feb. 8 before climbing back up to $75.26 a barrel at the end of the month. A government stimulus, companies` efforts to stabilize inventories and growing exports have prompted a recovery this year after industrial output contracted for 12 months in a row since October 2008. The economy shrank 7.9 percent last year, the worst slump since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.


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