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Macroeconomic News19.04.2007 21:32 Russia`s gross domestic product grew 7.9% in the first quarter Russia`s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.9%, year-on-year, in the first quarter of 2007, the Russian economics minister said Thursday. In January-March 2006, GDP increased 5.0%. "The first quarter is characterized by a new wave of accelerated economic growth," - Gref said. Net capital inflow into Russia increased 150% in January-March 2007, year-on-year, to $18.3 billion. Net capital inflow into Russia hit a record level of $41.6 billion in 2006. Wages in Russia grew 18.4% and real incomes were up 13.0% in the first quarter of 2007, compared with the same period of 2006. Industrial output expanded 8.4%, year-on-year, in January-March 2007, making a major contribution to accelerated GDP growth. The ruble`s real effective rate to the dollar/euro currency basket gained 2.6% in the first three months of 2007. 16.04.2007 20:35 Japan`s industrial output rose by a revised 0.7% in February 2007 Better than an initial estimate of a decline of 0.2%, Japan`s industrial output rose by a revised 0.7% in February from the previous month, the government said, while maintaining its upbeat assessment of the overall economy. Year-on-year output was up 3.1%, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The government also maintained its upbeat view of the economy in a monthly report, although it slightly downgraded its view on industrial production. "The economy is recovering, despite weakness in industrial production in some sectors," the Cabinet Office said, dropping a reference in last month`s report to weakness in consumer spending. Over the short term, the government remained positive about the outlook, saying "economic recovery is expected to continue, supported by domestic private demand as high corporate profits feed into the household sector. It said that private consumption "is showing a pick-up", upgrading its earlier view that private consumption was "almost flat." The report indicated that Japan`s economy has now been expanding for 63 months, its longest post-war boom. 11.04.2007 22:33 IMF ups Eurozone GDP forecast for 2007 and 2008 Euro zone growth will slow a bit this year after a strong performance in 2006, but the European Central Bank should still lift interest rates to keep inflation at bay, the IMF said on Wednesday. But the International Monetary Fund also said it was not clear if this showed a fundamental improvement in the common currency zone`s economic performance, and urged more reform to catch up with the wealthier United States. "Growth in the euro area is projected to moderate to 2.3 percent in 2007 and 2008, still somewhat above potential," the IMF said in the spring edition of its World Economic Outlook. In its last forecast in September IMF expected Eurozone economies to collectively expand at a 2.0 percent pace this year and next.

10.04.2007 20:27 The Russian Economic Development and Trade Ministry raised GDP growth forecast The Russian Economic Development and Trade Ministry raised its forecast for GDP growth in 2007 from 6.2 percent to 6.5 percent, Andrei Klepach, director of the ministry`s macroeconomic forecasting department, said in Kazan on Friday. The revise follows the positive results of the first two months of 2007 and a review of the forecast for industrial production, Klepach was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying. According to the ministry`s updated forecast, GDP growth in Russia will be 6.1 percent in 2008, 6.0 percent in 2009 and 6.2 percent in 2010. The forecast for industrial production in 2007 has also been raised to 5.2 percent from 4.3 percent, he said. The forecasts for GDP growth and industrial production in the 2008-2010 period have been increased as well, Klepach said. 05.04.2007 23:22 Eurozone economic growth will be strong this year An upbeat commission report last month said Eurozone gross domestic product (GDP) would grow by 2.4 percent growth in 2007, marking continuing economic dynamism across the 13-nation currency bloc. It said GDP growth through the euro area had risen by 2.7 percent in 2006, the strongest growth in the currency zone in six years, despite higher energy prices, tighter monetary conditions and a slowdown in the US. "We continue to have an optimistic view of 2007," European Union economic affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters.

"However, anticipated buoyant growth in the 13-nation euro area could slow down in the face of "downside risks from the external side," - Almunia warned. Jean-Claude Juncker, who is Eurogroup chairman and Luxembourg`s prime minister said there was "no reason for us to be worried. Eurozone economic growth remains strong". 02.04.2007 20:41 U. S. Factory Index Drops Amid Auto, Housing Weakness Manufacturing growth in the U. S. slowed in March and an index of costs rose to the highest since August as weakness in auto demand and a slump in housing restrained production, an industry report said.

The Institute for Supply Management`s manufacturing index fell to 50.9 from 52.3 in February. Readings of more than 50 signal expansion. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected the manufacturing index to fall to 51.4 from 52.3 the prior month. Forecasts in the survey ranged from 48 to 55. The index averaged 53.9 in 2006 and fell below 50 in November and January. An index of prices paid jumped to 65.5, the highest since August, from 59. 31.03.2007 19:06 US GDP in Q4 2006 revised upward to 2.5% annual rate The US economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the "final" estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The growth rate was 0.3 percentage point more than in the "preliminary" estimates released in February. In the third quarter, real gross domestic product grew 2.0 percent.

For 2006, the annual growth rate was 3.3 percent, compared with 3.2 percent in 2005. The step up in fourth quarter GDP growth primarily reflected accelerations in consumer spending, exports, and Federal government spending and a downturn in imports-moderated by downturns in investment in inventories and in equipment and software. The higher GDP growth rate, in comparison to the preliminary estimate, reflected upward revisions to inventory investment and consumer spending. In contrast, investment in equipment and software was revised down. 28.03.2007 19:42 UK`s GDP grows 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2006 A report issued by the British Office for National Statistics showed that the U. K. economic growth in the fourth quarter has unexpectedly gone down as services expanded less than previously estimated.

According to the report, Britain`s gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter, the same pace as the previous quarter, while overall investment growth in the quarter was 2.6 percent from the previous three months. The Bank of England Governor said that the U. K. economy showed no obvious signs of concern after steady expansion in the past five quarters. He added that the new report could allow policy makers to issue three rate increases beginning with August to slow the economy down. The report also showed that in 2006 as a whole, the U. K. economy has expanded 2.8 percent, as the workforce reached a record 32 million jobs in December and house prices gained 10 percent. 24.03.2007 12:33 The Federal Open Market Committee holds funds rate at 5.25% As widely expected by the markets, the Federal Open Market Committee FOMC has left its overnight target rate fixed at 5.25%, pointing the risk of inflationary pressures as their main worry. The Fed acknowledges recent data showing both higher inflation and a weaker economy. According to the FOMC statement, "the Committee`s predominant policy concern remains the risk that inflation will fail to moderate as expected. Future policy adjustments will depend on the evolution of the outlook for both inflation and economic growth, as implied by incoming information". The Fed has held its key short-term rate at 5.25% since last June.

Given the statement many economists continue to see the FOMC on hold for the most of 2007. 20.03.2007 22:49 Euro area and EU25 GDP both grew by 0.9% in the fourth quarter of 2006 Euro area (EA12) and EU25 GDP both grew by 0.9% in the fourth quarter of 2006, compared to the previous quarter, according to first estimates released by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. In the third quarter of 2006, growth rates were +0.6% in both the euro area and the EU25. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2005, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 3.3% in the euro area and by 3.4% in the EU25, after +2.7% and +3.0% respectively for the previous quarter. During the fourth quarter of 2006, household final consumption expenditure increased by 0.6% in both zones (after +0.7% in the euro area and +0.6% in the EU25 in the third quarter of 2006). Investments grew by 1.2% in the euro area and by 1.5% in the EU25 (after +0.6% and +0.9%). Exports rose by 3.7% in the euro area and by 2.9% in the EU25 (after +1.8% and +0.3%). Imports increased by 1.9% in the euro area and by 1.7% in the EU25 (after +2.2% and +0.2%). Over the whole year 2006, GDP grew by 2.6% in the euro area and by 2.9% in the EU25, compared to +1.4% and +1.7% respectively for 2005.



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