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23.07.2008 22:53 Russia`s GDP grew 8.0 percent in the first half of the year, 6.5 percent in June

Rosstat said that Russia`s GDP was 6.5% higher in June than in the same month a year earlier. GDP growth totaled 8% in the first half of the year compared to the same period of 2007, it said. Russia had GDP growth of 7.8% in the first half of 2007, including 9.3% in June. Excluding calendar and seasonal factors, GDP grew 0.2% in June 2008 compared to May, the lowest growth rates since the start of the year, Rosstat said. Industrial production growth rates unexpectedly plummeted in Russia in June 2008, falling to 0.9% in annual terms, the lowest level since November 2002. Many analysts have said the plunge in industrial production was the result of Russia`s successful showing at the Euro 2008 football championship, which could have resulted in Russians taking more days off work than usual in June. Investment in fixed capital in June was also at its lowest level since July 2006, totaling only 10.8%, which could be explained by the worsening in crediting terms due to the global financial crisis. In addition, slight growth has been seen in retail and construction over the last few months. The Economic Development Ministry raised its 2008 GDP growth forecast to 7.6% in April from 7.1%. A consensus forecast of analysts compiled by Interfax at the end of June predicted GDP growth of 7.6% in 2008. Russian GDP grew 8.1% in 2007. Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach told Interfax in early July that Russian GDP growth could top 7.8% in 2008 due to the current high oil prices. The disappointing results of June, however, will likely keep the ministry from raising its forecast. The Economic Development Ministry will submit an updated macroeconomic forecast for 2008-2011 to the government at the end of July.

19.07.2008 14:34 Industrial production down by 1.9% in euro area, down by 1.4% in EU27

In May 2008 compared with April 2008, seasonally adjusted industrial production1 fell by 1.9% in the euro area (EA15) and by 1.4% in the EU27. In April production grew by 1.0% and 0.3% respectively. In May 2008 compared with May 2007, industrial production decreased by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.5% in the EU27. In May 2008 compared with April 2008, production of non-durable consumer goods fell by 1.2% in the euro area and by 1.1% in the EU27. Intermediate goods dropped by 1.4% and 1.0% respectively. Capital goods declined by 2.4% in the euro area and 2.1% in the EU27. Energy fell by 2.7% and 1.8% respectively. Durable consumer goods decreased by 3.3% in the euro area and by 2.3% in the EU27. Among the Member States for which data are available for May 2008, industrial production fell in eighteen and only rose in Ireland (+13.3%), Bulgaria (+3.3%) and Romania (+0.5%). The most significant falls were registered in Lithuania (-7.5%), the Netherlands (-6.0%), Portugal (-5.7%) and Latvia (-5.6%). In May 2008 compared with May 2007, production of capital goods increased by 2.2% in the euro area and by 1.9% in the EU27. Intermediate goods fell by 0.6% in both zones. Energy dropped by 1.2% in the euro area and by 1.1% in the EU27. Non-durable consumer goods declined by 3.2% and 2.8% respectively. Durable consumer goods decreased by 5.2% in the euro area and by 2.6% in the EU27. Among the Member States for which data are available for May 2008, industrial production rose in twelve and fell in nine. The highest increases were registered in Ireland (+9.2%), Bulgaria (+8.6%) and Denmark (+7.4%), while the most significant decreases were recorded in Latvia (-8.1%), Estonia (-6.7%) and Greece (-6.6%).

17.07.2008 20:31 China`s GDP grew 10.4 percent in the first half of 2008 compared with the same period last year

China`s economy is slowing but growth was still in double digits in the second quarter despite a credit tightening campaign, weakening exports and the devastating Sichuan earthquake. Gross domestic product grew 10.4 percent in the first half of 2008 compared with the same period last year, two official sources familiar with the data said. Economists polled by Reuters forecast 10.4 percent. But in light of the first-quarter growth rate of 10.6 percent, the figure provided by the sources suggests the outcome will be 10.1 percent or 10.2 percent. Here are some other first-half figures that official sources say will be reported, subject to late revisions: retail sales up 21.4 percent in value terms and 12.9 percent in volume terms; urban fixed-asset investment up 26.8 percent; CPI up 7.9 percent; food prices were up 20.4 percent, accounting for 6.6 percentage points of the overall rise in CPI. Consumer price inflation ebbed to 7.1 percent in the year to June from 7.7 percent in May, government sources familiar with the data have told Reuters. That would be well down from February`s peak of 8.7 percent. Economists expect the producer price index to have risen 8.4 percent in the year to June, up from May`s 8.2 percent.

16.07.2008 21:03 US June industrial production up 0.5%, capacity utilization rises to 79.9%

US industrial production rose unexpectedly in June after two months of declines, while capacity use across a range of industries also rose unexpectedly for the first time in four months, the Federal Reserve said. The Fed reported a 0.5% rise in June industrial output following an unrevised 0.2% decline in May and a 0.7% decline in April. Capacity utilization in US factories rose slightly to 79.9%, the first increase seen in four months. The Fed also upwardly revised May`s capacity utilization rate to 79.6% - the 79.4% it originally reported in May was the lowest level seen since since September 2005. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters IFR Markets were expecting industrial production to remain unchanged in June, and anticipated a decline in capacity utilization to 79.3%. June`s increased output was due to a 0.7% rise in output of durable manufacturing, a 2.1% increase in utilities output, and a 1.1% increase in mining output. Output among makers of automotive products rose 6.2% in June. Capacity utilization among manufacturers remained steady at 77.6%, but increased to 91.2% for mining industry and rose to 86.5% for utilities.

14.07.2008 22:56 Japan`s revised May industrial output up 2.8 pct, slower than initial reading

Japan`s industrial output rose by a seasonally adjusted 2.8 percent in May from April, slightly slower than the initially expected 2.9 percent rise, the government said on Friday citing revised figures. Shipments rose 2.0 percent in May, also slower than the preliminary reading of a 2.1 percent increase, according to government figures. Inventories rose 0.5 percent, in line with the preliminary reading. The production capacity index for factories and mines stood at 105.8, down 0.1 percentage points from the preceding month, while the seasonally adjusted operating ratio rose 2.2 percentage points to 104.1.

10.07.2008 21:29 Fitch predicts world economic growth will make 2,6% in 2008

Growth rates of global economy in the current year become the lowest for the last fifth anniversary, despite essential growth of the countries with developing economy (emerging markets), and the next 18 months will be for it "times of trouble", is spoken in the message extended on Wednesday on data of report Global Economic Outlook of international agency Fitch Ratings. To so-called emerging markets the countries BRICK (Brazil, Russia, India and China) concern, in particular. As it is marked, reduction of growth rates f economic passes against recession in housing and consumer sectors of the countries with the developed economy. Under forecasts Fitch, gross national product growth in 2008 will make 1 % in the USA, 1,3 % Ч in Japan, 1,4 % Ч to the Great Britain and 1,7 % Ч in an eurozone. "The economic will worry a time of trouble the next 18 months. In the conditions of movement towards recession in economy of the USA in 2008 Fitch predicts growth at level of 1,3 % in the leading countries with the developed economy (which number includes the USA, the eurozone countries, Japan and the Great Britain), that does not exceed level of 2001", Ч is spoken in the message. In Fitch notice, that 2001 was "especially weak year for the leading countries with the developed economy when the technological bubble has burst and stagnation in Japan was observed, and exclusively synchronous recession" became the culmination. Growth of world gross national product in the current year will be above level of 2001, including thanks to economic stability of Brazil observed recently, Russia, India, China and other countries with emerging markets. "At the same time, if to start with the market exchange rate, world economic growth will make 2,6 % that is the weakest significance for the last five years", Ч ascertain in Fitch.

08.07.2008 20:32 Russia`s GDP could exceed 7.8% in 2008 and 8.3% in H1 2008

Russia`s deputy economic development and trade minister Andrei Klepach said GDP growth could exceed 7.8% in 2008 and 8.3% in H1 2008. The official government forecast calls for GDP to grow by 7.6 percent in the current year. Russia`s GDP growth stood at 7.7% in May and was 8.4% for the first five months of 2008, a deputy economics minister said. "There was a certain slowdown (in May), but we will only be able to speak about a trend after the first half of the year," Andrei Klepach said. As Russia continues to reap the benefits of high world oil prices, consumer price growth has proved to be a major problem for the Russian authorities, who plan to keep inflation within the projected 10.5% in 2008. Meanwhile inflation in June was 1,0% m/m and 15,1% y/y. Last year inflation in Russia stood at 11.9%, up from 9.0% the previous year. Klepach said the economics ministry had submitted a package of anti-inflationary measures to the government.

03.07.2008 22:04 U.S. Payrolls Down By 62,000 Jobs; Unemployment Rate At 5.5%

The report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed that the U.S. June nonfarm payrolls declined for a six consecutive month more-than-expected. U.S. payrolls last month fell by 62,000 workers, while the jobless rate remained at a four-year high of 5.5 percent after jumping in May by the most in two decades. Last month, the unemployment rate jumped up from 5 percent in April. The Labor Department report Thursday showed the unemployment rate for workers with unemployment insurance, which tends to track the U.S. jobless rate, increased to 2.4 percent from 2.3 percent. Over the period of six months, payrolls have now declined for a total loss of 438,000 workers and the payroll in the month of April and May was revised to 52,000 more jobs. Any figure above 350,000 indicates that the labor market is weak; the weekly jobless claims has remained above that level since the month of April this year. Labor Department stated that an average hourly earnings moved up by 6 cents to $18.01, which has increased by 3.4 percent from a year earlier.

30.06.2008 21:08 Euro zone inflation leapt to a record 4.0 percent in June 2008

Euro zone inflation leapt to a record 4.0 percent in June, the European Union statistics office said, cementing expectations that the European Central Bank will raise interest rates when it meets on July 3. "We think a hike this week is a done deal", said Stephane Deo, chief European economist at UBS bank. "It`s a bit of a shocker," said Gilles Moec, an economist at Bank of America (nyse: BAC - news - people ) who like many others had predicted a marginally lower figure of 3.9 percent for the annual inflation rate. The inflation-fighting ECB holds a meeting of its Governing Council on Thursday and is widely expected to raise its key interest rate to 4.25 percent from 4.0 percent, even though the economy appears to be slowing markedly. June`s inflation rate of 4.0 percent year-on-year compared with 3.7 percent in May and marked a further departure from the ECB target of just below 2 percent for medium-term inflation. Euro zone interest rate futures extended falls and short-dated bond yields rose after the data.

27.06.2008 20:35 Japan Q1 GDP growth was revised up to 4.0 percent on higher capital spending

The Japanese economy grew at a faster pace than previously estimated in the first quarter due to an increase in corporate capital spending, government data showed. Gross domestic product rose 1.0 percent, in real terms, in the three months to March from the fourth quarter of 2007, or an annualised rate of 4.0 percent, according to revised data from the Cabinet Office. It was the fastest pace of growth since January-March 2007 when the economy expanded 1.1 percent on quarter and at an annualised rate of 4.5 percent, the Cabinet Office said. The government reported last month that GDP grew 0.8 percent during the quarter and at annualised 3.3 percent. Economists had expected annualised growth to come in between 3.7 percent and 4.0 percent. But many are saying the momentum may fizzle in coming quarters and could even contract in the current quarter amid a slowing global economy and high commodity prices. The biggest contributor to the upward revision in GDP was non-residential investment, which accounts for about 15 percent of the world`s second-largest economy. Non-residential investment, which is equivalent to corporate capital spending, rose 0.2 percent, a reversal from the initial estimate of a 0.9 percent fall. Still, that was far slower than the 1.2 percent increase in the last quarter of 2007 as Japanese companies cut back on spending due to higher material costs and sluggish demand at home and abroad. Private consumption, which makes up nearly 55 percent of GDP, rose 0.8 percent in the first quarter, in line with the preliminary reading, thanks to increased spending on heating charges amid the cold weather condition as well as the relatively high growth in wages. Elsewhere, net exports - or the difference between exports and imports - pushed up GDP by 0.5 percentage point, thanks to strong exports to Europe and Asia which more than offset falling shipments to the United States. Housing investment rose 4.6 percent, the first positive reading in five quarters. It followed a 9.2 percent fall in the fourth quarter, which was the biggest decline since April-June 1997 as the sector reeled from tighter building regulations implemented since last June. The GDP deflator, the broadest gauge of deflation, was down by 1.5 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, compared to the preliminary estimate of a 1.4 percent drop.


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