The Lastest Macroeconomic News
28.07.2015 15:49 Russian economy decline slows, but recovery elusive
The sharp decline in Russia`s economy may have almost run its course, official data showed on Tuesday, slowed by a huge devaluation of the rouble and heavy government spending on anti-crisis measures. Recovery prospects are cloudy, however, with many analysts warning of a sluggish rebound at best. The economy has slumped as a result of Western sanctions linked to the Ukraine conflict and last year`s collapse in the price of oil. But the decline now appears to arrested. While gross domestic product continued to decline in year-on-year terms in June - down 4.2 percent compared with 4.8 percent in May - seasonally-adjusted output fell just 0.1 percent month-on-month. The figure tallies with other recent data, leading analysts to conclude the decline is close to a bottom - a silver lining to data which still show most macroeconomic indicators sharply down compared with a year earlier. "It is kind of premature to speak about the recovery in sequential terms, which actually lies ahead," said Alexander Isakov, economist at VTB Capital in Moscow. "But in terms of year-on-year comparisons - the headline figure that everybody focuses on - we are bottoming out."
24.07.2015 15:06 Global economy begins second half of 2015 on shaky note
The global economy started the second half of the year on shaky ground as business activity in the euro zone was weaker than expected and China`s vast factory sector appeared to be contracting at the fastest pace in 15 months in July. The surveys come just months after the European Central Bank embarked on a 60 billion euro a month bond-buying programme and as Beijing said it would allow its yuan currency to fluctuate more widely within its trading band as a way to support trade. Markit`s purchasing managers` indexes (PMI) are one of the earliest monthly economic indicators and could dampen hopes that ECB bond-buying and the tumbling euro are boosting growth and driving inflation higher in Europe. Although Athens has accepted the conditions imposed on it by its international lenders, and on Thursday approved a second package of reforms required to start talks on a financial rescue deal, Greece`s brush with bankruptcy meant July was a turbulent month for the euro zone. The euro has sunk more than 9 per cent against the dollar since the start of the year, hit by the ECB`s massive cash injection and fears a Greek exit from the bloc would bring the whole union crashing down. That has made the bloc`s goods cheaper abroad but done little for demand.
21.07.2015 20:07 Iran deal a mixed economic win for Russia
The landmark deal on Iran`s nuclear program that Russia helped steer through marathon talks is a diplomatic fillip for Moscow which will boost trade with Tehran but could also hit much-needed energy revenues, analysts say. Iran and the P5+1 group -- Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France and Germany -- struck an agreement on Tuesday that would progressively lift economic sanctions against Tehran in exchange for limitations on its nuclear program. As an Iranian ally, Moscow appears to have been central in securing the deal and experts say it could help burnish Russia`s international image that has taken a beating over the crisis in Ukraine. US President Barack Obama pointedly praised his counterpart Vladimir Putin for his help, a rare hint of goodwill between the two men locked in a standoff over Russia`s meddling in its ex-Soviet neighbour. "Russia`s biggest victory in the deal is one of prestige," said Sergei Seregichev, a Middle East scholar at the Russian State Humanitarian University. "Who made Iran agree with the United States? It was Russia. Without Russia, there would have been no deal." And once Iran`s sanctions are lifted, Russia -- which has seen its own economy suffer due in part to Western sanctions over Ukraine -- could likely be first in line to win lucrative contracts in key sectors such as energy and transport.
17.07.2015 15:40 Putin knows his military muscle isn`t much without economic muscle
While Ukraine is the central point of conflict between Russia and NATO, economics may be the next battlefront. According to Robert Dannenberg, a Goldman Sachs security analyst and CIA veteran, Russia`s President Vladimir Putin recognizes the importance of gaining power through international economic agencies. "Putin is conservative and nostalgic, but he also understands that it takes more than just rebuilding or modernizing your nuclear arsenal to create a bi-polar world. You need to have economic power," Dannenberg said. Russia seems far from realizing these goals. Lowered oil prices and economic sanctions by NATO due to the Ukraine conflict have crippled the Russian economy in the past few years. The country`s bonds have been downgraded to junk status, and its GDP contracted 1.9% in the first quarter of 2015. It does not seem that Russia is ready to flex its economic muscle. In spite of the weak economy, Russia is attempting to boost its fortune by allying with more friendly economic powers, particularly China, and burgeoning markets.
15.07.2015 11:23 IMF cuts 2015 global GDP forecast as advanced economies lag
Global economic growth will be slower this year than it was estimated two months ago as advanced economies led by the US and Canada are likely to perform weaker, the International Monetary Fund said. The world economic output is projected at 3.3% in the July edition of IMF`s world economic outlook (WEO), down by 0.2 percentage points in the April WEO. The 2016 forecast is kept at 3.8%. IMF said risks to global economic activity are still tilted to the downside. "Near-term risks include increased financial market volatility and disruptive asset price shifts, while lower potential output growth remains an important medium-term risk in both advanced and emerging market economies," the Fund said. "Lower commodity prices also pose risks to the outlook in low-income developing economies after many years of strong growth." Advanced economies together will grow 2.1% in 2015, lower than the April projection of 2.4% while the 2016 growth is seen unchanged from the last estimate of 2.4%.
13.07.2015 12:09 Inflation, unemployment rise sharply in Russia
Russian inflation rose sharply and unemployment increased dramatically in July, indicating that the economic sanctions and its offensive on the border of Ukraine is taking its toll domestically. The Russian Finance Ministry reported last week that inflation rose to 15.5 percent in July, and unemployment increased by 14 percent. AutoVAZ, one of Russia`s top car manufacturers, stopped its production indefinitely, The Daily Beast reported last week. The Russian government, under President Vladimir Putin, is asserting more control over its ruble currency in response to the fallout from the Greek debt crisis and other world economic maladies. The Kremlin is succeeding at keeping the ruble within an "acceptable corridor" while maintaining its reserves and positive trade balance, Putin told a BRICS summit meeting in Russia on July 9th, Bloomberg Business reported. Russia`s economy reportedly shrank by 2.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2015. Russian economic experts acknowledge the challenges in light of drops within the market, which have plagued Russian assets abroad like in China. "It`s probably premature to say that all of the risks have already been minimized and we`ll soon be enjoying at least a period of recovery," Deputy Economy Minister Nikolay Podguzov said at a St. Petersburg banking conference.
09.07.2015 17:44 Impact of Greek crisis on Kazakhstan
Kazakh experts have shared their opinions on the possible impact of the Greek debt crisis on Kazakhstan`s economy, TengriFM reports. According to the head of Analytics Department of Asyl Invest Aivar Baikenov, the crisis in Greece can influence Kazakhstan`s stock market and its economy. According to him, prices of London-listed Kazakhstani companies are already going down. For example, Kazakhstan`s Halyk Bank and Kazakhstan national oil and gas company KazMunaiGas had lowered by 2-3 percent. “If the Greek crisis causes a eurozone crisis, then it is quite possible that Kazakhstan`s economy will be severely affected. We all know that over 50 percent of Kazakhstan`s goods are exported to Europe. This is largely oil. The crisis in Europe will influence this sector, in particular Europe`s demand for our products,” Aivar Bakenov maintained. Meanwhile, head of the Center of Macroeconomic Analysis Olzhas Khudaibergenov believes that Greece is most likely to default on its debt soon and quit the eurozone. “If Greece decides to leave the eurozone, then Europe will do its best to minimize the impact on the international markets,” Khudaibergenov said. However, he expects no direct impact of the Greek crisis on Kazakhstan in general.
07.07.2015 14:21 Fitch Ratings: India to grow at 7.8% in 2015, surpass China
India is expected to grow at 7.8 percent in 2015, surpassing China`s growth rate, and further accelerate to 8 percent and 8.1 percent in subsequent years, global rating agency Fitch said. Among the BRICS grouping, GDP growth will range from 7.8 percent in India to a contraction of 3 percent in Russia and 1.5 percent in Brazil this year, said the Global Economic Outlook released by the Fitch Ratings. As regards China, the report said the growth rate "is in a gradual structural slowdown and our unchanged growth forecast is 6.8 percent in 2015, 6.5 percent in 2016 and 6 percent in 2017". "India`s GDP growth will surpass China`s this year for the first time since 1999, and accelerate to 8 percent in 2016 and 8.1 percent in 2017. Recovery from the recession in Russia and Brazil will be weak, with growth rates of only 1.5 percent by 2017," the report said. The global economy, it said, was expected to grow by 2.4 percent in 2015, followed by 2.9 percent in 2016 and 2.8 percent in 2017.
05.07.2015 17:47 Can the BRICS form an economic union?
Ever since BRICS was established, few experts have expected its members to form an informal economic union. Despite the fact that BRICS was created for informal discussions of global developmental issues, the new association is following more of a policy of economic integration and political interaction. The union of the world`s five largest developing economies has good potential for growth. These countries contain the most valuable resources for the global economy. Brazil is rich in agricultural production, Russia and South Africa in their natural and mineral resources, India has inexpensive intellectual resources and China has a powerful production base. The BRICS countries have the opportunity of forming a powerful economic bloc, which with time will be very difficult to oppose. The collective indicators of the five countries are even more impressive. According to the World Bank, BRICS`s total GDP in 2014 was around $16.5 trillion, or 18 percent of the world`s GDP. The combined currency reserves of the grouping stand at about $4 trillion, 75 percent of world`s currency reserves. The total population of the five countries is more than 3 billion. Other developing markets are also showing an increased interest in the BRICS countries. Argentina, Mexico and Indonesia could become members in the future.
01.07.2015 13:30 The Biggest Military Budgets As A Percentage Of GDP
No country worldwide comes close to matching the United States in military expenditure. In 2014, US military spending reached $571 billion, a huge distance ahead of second placed China`s $129.4 billion. However, when military budgets are viewed as a percentage of a nation`s GDP, things become very different indeed. Saudi Arabia is spending more on its armed forces than ever before, boosting its military budget by 17 percent last year. The military now amounts to at least 10.4 percent of the kingdom`s GDP, according to an estimate from SIPRI. By contrast, Washington`s enormous military expenditure “only” amounts to 3.5 percent of GDP. In China, that falls to 2.1 percent. Israel spent around $23 billion on its armed forces in 2014 and SIPRI estimated that this amounted to 5.2 percent of its GDP. Russia has embarked on a huge military spending binge which was estimated to have reached 4.5 percent of its GDP in 2014. This year, according to budget data, that has increased substantially to more than 9 percent of quarterly GDP, a rate of spending that is surely unsustainable.
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