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20.10.2009 21:37 US industrial production up 0.7% in September 2009; Capacity utilization at 70.5%

US industrial production rose for the third consecutive month in September, by 0.7%, more than the 0.2% economists were expecting, the Federal Reserve reported today. Adding to today`s better than expected reading, was a sharp upward revision to August`s output gain, from 0.8% to 1.2%. Output, which now stands at a level of 98.5, has advanced at an annual rate of 5.2% over the third quarter overall. That`s the first quarterly increase since the Q1 2008 and the largest gain since Q1 2005. Over the year, output is still down 6.1%. September`s increased output was due largely to a 3.5% increase in durable output, including a 7.4% increase in the production of automotive products. Nondurable output increased 0.5% in September. Within major industry groups, manufacturing output rose 0.9%, mining output rose 0.7%%, while utilities fell 0.7%. Capacity use in US factories rose to 70.5% in September, marking the third consecutive monthly increase. Economists were expecting capacity use to come in at 69.7% from the 69.6% rate first reported for August (since revised up to 69.9%).

08.10.2009 21:46 Eurozone GDP fell 4.8% year on year in the second quarter of 2009

The euro zone`s economy shrank more than previously thought in the second quarter of 2009, data showed, because contributions from household demand and trade turned out to be smaller than initially estimated. Gross domestic product in the 16-country area shrank by 0.2 percent in the April-June period quarter-on-quarter and by 4.8 percent in annual terms, compared with the previously reported falls of 0.1 percent and 4.7 percent, Eurostat said. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the European Union`s statistical office to confirm its previous estimates.A plunge in inventories was slightly smaller than previously reported, as the drop in stocks of finished goods took away 0.6 percentage point from the overall second-quarter result rather than the 0.7 percentage point reported previously. But this was offset by a downward revision of the positive contributions of household demand and trade -- that from consumers was zero and from trade, 0.5 percentage point. The recession turned out deeper than previously estimated in the Netherlands and Austria, Eurostat said. The data still showed that government efforts to support the economy with fiscal stimulus bore fruit as government expenditure added 0.2 percentage point. The data is likely to add to European Central Bank caution not to withdraw its monetary stimulus prematurely when the ECB meets to decide interest rates on October 8th. Economists believe the ECB will keep rates at a record low 1 percent until the third quarter of 2010 despite signs the euro zone may have returned to growth in the third quarter of 2009.

28.09.2009 23:46 The International Monetary Fund will raise its forecasts for the world gdp growth

The International Monetary Fund now forecast that global activity will contract by 1.4 percent in 2009 and will expand by 2.5 percent in 2010, which is 0.6 percentage point higher than envisaged in the April 2009 World Economic Outlook. Also the International Monetary Fund has raised its forecasts for the euro zone economy this year and next but warns that the global recovery is still fragile. The latest draft of the IMF`s World Economic Outlook hikes its forecast for euro zone gross domestic product to -4.2 percent this year from -4.8 percent and raises next year`s outlook to zero from -0.3 percent. However, the global economic recovery remains "vulnerable to a series of shocks" including a more virulent diffusion of the new H1N1 flu virus. The Fund urged governments around the world to keep stimulus measures in place until the recovery is `well consolidated`. Euro zone unemployment will rise to above 10 percent this year and to "nearly 12 percent in 2011".

17.09.2009 00:46 Russia`s industrial output declined by 3 percent in August 2009

Russia`s industrial output declined by 3 percent in August, reversing growth of the previous two months and indicating that recovery is still a distant prospect, according to new government figures released. Industrial production fell 14 percent in January-August compared to a year ago, and 3 percent compared to July, the Federal Statistics Service said. Manufacturing was on the rise in June and July. The drop came a few weeks after several top officials announced a modest growth of the economy month-on-month. In the second quarter, GDP rose by 7.4 percent compared to the first quarter, although it is still down 10.9 percent year-on-year. Analysts said the low industrial output figures were largely unexpected. Yulia Tsyplyaeva, of Merrill Lynch in Moscow, said the results were disappointing but added that they don`t mean that Russia`s recovery ran out of steam. "The economy is still moving toward a way out of the crisis, although it`s happening at a slower pace than we would wish," she said. The economy`s rebound has proven to be "much more volatile" than expected. Russia has been hit harder by the global economic troubles than most other emerging markets, in part because of its heavy dependence on oil. The ruble has lost some 25 percent of its value since last summer and stock markets shrank by nearly 30 percent since August 2008 as oil and commodities prices took a hit. Observers and officials have since called for a diversification of the economy, but the recent surge in oil prices makes this goal less important. "There isn`t much urgency (of diversification) any more now that oil prices have stabilized," Ruben Vardanian, chief executive of Russia`s oldest private investment bank, Troika Dialog, said. "But this doesn`t change things. There is a lot to be done to diversify and modernize the country." Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, meanwhile, said in televised comments that the third quarter would herald a full-fledged start of the recovery in Russia. President Dmitry Medvedev toned down the optimism, warning at a meeting with experts that quarter-on-quarter improvements suggest that "this is still a recession." He said in televised remarks the government expects Russia`s economy to contract by 8.5 percent this year.

11.09.2009 13:34 Japan`s gross domestic product rose a price-adjusted 0.6% on quarter

The Japanese economy grew less than initially reported in the second quarter, highlighting the weakness of Japan`s recovery. The downward revision might not be a wholly negative sign for the world`s second-largest economy. Much of the revision was a result of a bigger-than-expected drop in inventories, something that will likely prompt companies to boost production to refill their warehouses. The Cabinet Office said Friday that gross domestic product rose a price-adjusted 0.6% on quarter, compared with the preliminary reading of a 0.9% expansion. That works out to a revised 2.3% increase in annualized terms, a slower clip than the initial reading of a 3.7% rise.Private economists had expected no revision in GDP growth. Companies have rushed to reduce them in the face of stagnant consumer demand. Because companies have made progress in cutting their inventories, they could soon begin to boost output again, analysts said. "The results should be taken positively," said Norio Miyagawa, an economist at Shinko Research Institute. "Firms succeeded in decreasing inventories at a very fast pace. It appears they can start increasing their output anytime, if demand for their goods increases." The revised GDP figures also highlighted that some key parts of the economy are still struggling. While Japan`s overseas markets are recovering, companies don`t expect a solid improvement soon in the domestic economy and are cutting expenses and staff. That is hurting consumer sentiment, leading to decreased spending and lower profits for firms. Capital spending, for example, was revised down to a 4.8% on-quarter fall from the preliminary 4.3% drop, in another reminder that companies are holding off from spending on capital due to the uncertain economic outlook. Private consumption, which makes up about 55% of GDP, increased a little less than expected. It was revised to show a 0.7% increase from the previous quarter compared with a 0.8% rise.

25.08.2009 15:30 Russia`s GDP declined by 10.2% in January-July 2009 year-on-year

Russia`s GDP declined by 9.3% in July 2009 year-on-year and 10.2% in the first seven months of the year, a deputy economics minister said. However, Andrei Klepach said the economic slump has now ended, and that the economy is showing signs of revival. According to Economics Ministry data, investment increased 0.3% in July from June, taking into account the seasonal factor, but fell by 18.9% year-on-year. "Although the revival is not yet stable or intense, this is a major positive development, which means that the recession is now over, with slight growth emerging," the official said. However, he said it would take Russia several years to overcome the consequences of the crisis, and bring production volumes back to pre-crisis levels. Russia`s trade surplus halved to $9 billion in July 2009 against last July`s $8.7 billion, according to ministry data. The ministry has estimated that Russian exports in July stood at $25 billion against $24 billion in June, but fell by 47.2% against last July`s $47.3 billion. The ministry`s forecast for inflation is 0.3%-0.4% in August. The statistics service Rosstat put inflation at 0.6% in July, and 8.3% since the start of the year.

22.08.2009 16:07 GDP of Japan grew 3.7 percent from the year earlier in the second quarter

The world`s second-biggest economy grew by 0.9pc in the second quarter – bringing to an end a year of severe recession, official figures showed. From the year earlier GDP of Japan grew 3.7 percent. The news means three of the seven G7 members which have now published statistics are expanding again. However, economists warned both that the fast pace of growth in the second quarter was unlikely to be sustained and that Japan still had many more years of expansion before it makes up for the output lost during the past year. Japan`s bounce owes a large part to its massive programme of fiscal stimulus, in which the Government boosted spending and cut taxes, at the cost of around 4pc of gross domestic product. The Government figures showed that exports grew by 6.3pc during the quarter while private consumption grew 0.8pc. Fears rally is over as shares tumble However, much like France and Germany, Japan`s nominal gross domestic product, which also takes into account the prices of goods, still fell by 0.2pc, since during the period prices dropped by 1.1pc. As such, the figures do little to dispel continuing concerns that the world remains close to a deflation trap as the weight of falling asset prices depresses growth. Unemployment is still high and rising even in economies which have recovered their growth. In Japan, the jobless rate has risen to a six-year high of 5.4pc.

17.08.2009 20:52 Industrial output in Russia shrank by 10.8 percent in July from a year before

Industrial output in Russia shrank by 10.8 percent in July from a year before but rose by nearly 5 percent compared to a month earlier, the Federal Statistics Service reported August 17th, suggesting the worst of the recession is over. The yearly rate of decline in manufacturing was the slowest this year after a 12.1 percent drop in June, when the sector showed its first signs of stabilization. Russia`s economy shrank by 10.1 percent in the January-June period, but some analysts believe it has passed the worst of its economic downturn, with investment and retail sales figures in particular showing improvement. Russia is weathering its first recession in a decade as oil prices -- the backbone of its economy -- slumped and many foreign investors fled the country.

15.08.2009 11:56 Euro area GDP down by 0.1% and EU27 GDP down by 0.3%

GDP declined by 0.1% in the euro area (EA16) and by 0.3% in the EU27 during the second quarter of 2009, compared with the previous quarter, according to flash estimates published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. In the first quarter of 2009, growth rates were -2.5% in the euro area and -2.4% in the EU27. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 4.6% in the euro area and by 4.8% in the EU27 in the second quarter of 2009, after -4.9% and -4.7% respectively in the previous quarter. During the second quarter of 2009, US GDP decreased by 0.3% compared with the previous quarter, after -1.6% in the first quarter. US GDP decreased by 3.9% compared with the same quarter of the previous year (-3.3% in the previous quarter). In June 2009 compared with May 2009, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 0.6% in the euro area (EA16) and by 0.2% in the EU27. In May production grew by 0.6% in the euro area and remained stable in the EU27. In June 2009 compared with June 2008, industrial production declined by 17.0% in the euro area and by 15.6% in the EU27. These estimates are released by Eurostat. In June 2009 compared with May 2009, production of non-durable consumer goods increased by 0.2% in the euro area, but fell by 0.1% in the EU27. Capital goods dropped by 0.3% in the euro area, but grew by 0.4% in the EU27. Intermediate goods declined by 0.5% and 0.4% respectively. Production of energy decreased by 1.1% in the euro area, but rose by 0.4% in the EU27. Durable consumer goods fell by 4.2% and 3.9% respectively. In June 2009 compared with June 2008, production of non-durable consumer goods fell by 2.2% in the euro area and by 2.4% in the EU27. Production of energy decreased by 9.0% and 4.2% respectively. Capital goods declined by 21.9% in the euro area and by 20.5% in the EU27. Intermediate goods dropped by 22.2% and 21.3% respectively. Durable consumer goods fell by 24.9% in the euro area and by 21.8% in the EU27.

11.08.2009 22:20 China has reported GDP growth in the 2nd quarter of 7.9%, relative to 6.1% in Q1

Surpassing even recent upgraded forecasts, China has reported GDP growth in the 2nd quarter of 7.9%, relative to 6.1% in Q1. Forecasts for the full year include the International Monetary Fund at 7.5%, Goldman`s at 8.3% and the Chinese government`s own estimate of 8.0%. Responding to the news, other economists scrambled to improve their targets for this year and 2010. Also announced were strong increases in industrial output 10.7% better in June, year-on-year whilst fixed asset investment jumped more than 30% in H1 2009 relative to the same period a year earlier. The Chinese economy has enjoyed substantial fiscal and monetary stimulus during 2009 which has attracted significant investment, partly due to the paucity of attractive big-ticket opportunities elsewhere globally. The stimulus has effectively off-set the loss of export generated revenue due to reduced demand from key trading partners. The news follows the confirmation of China, for the first time, reaching $2 trillion in reserves. UBS economist Wang Tao too raised GDP projections for 2009 (from 7.5% to 8.2%), but pointed out that inflation expectation had risen and increasing concerns about asset market bubble and future non-performing loans had already led to the central bank stepping up its sterilisation operations and stricter enforcement of existing regulations on bank lending. "In the coming months, we expect these types of targeted adjustment in policies to continue as the government tries to avoid large volatilities in the economy."


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