Tag Archives: ECONOMIC

Cenbank NZ will stand tall as it assesses the resumption of travel, property restrictions | Instant News


WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand’s central bank is expected to leave interest rates and its quantitative easing program unchanged this week as it assesses the economic impact of some returning international tourists and the government’s new housing market measures.

FILE PHOTOS: A security guard stands at the main entrance of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand located in central Wellington, New Zealand, July 3, 2017. Image taken July 3, 2017. REUTERS / David Gray

In a Reuters poll, all 11 economists expected the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) to stay on Wednesday, and expect to keep the official rate (OCR) at a historic low of 0.25% for the rest of the year.

Only three interest rates are expected to be raised after the second half of next year.

Business sentiment has faded in recent months despite a tremendous rebound in economic activity following the COVID-19 lockdown, and the economy contracting in the last quarter of 2020.

But these losses are offset by improving global prospects, and the return of Australian tourists to New Zealand next week via the COVID-19 ‘travel bubble’ arrangement.

“We expect no change in monetary policy setting at the outlook next Wednesday, with the OCR held at 0.25% for the foreseeable future,” said Westpac economist Michael Gordon.

“The latest news on the domestic economy is weaker than expected, but this is offset by the rapidly improving global outlook and growing concerns about cost and price pressures,” he said.

The central bank cut interest rates by 75 basis points in March last year and vowed to keep them unchanged for 12 months, while also introducing quantitative easing to support economies hit by border closings and coronavirus lockdowns.

But the faster economic recovery and worries about a burning property market supported by historically low interest rates have led markets to speculate that the easing cycle is over, and a rate hike may come sooner than expected.

Under political pressure to cool the housing market, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern introduced a series of measures that burden investors with new taxes.

Analysts expect the RBNZ to postpone any short-term policy action until assessing the impact of the new property cooling measures on the economy.

“The housing market is an important driver of the current economic momentum, so housing developments have a significant impact on the OCR outlook,” said ANZ economist Sharon Zollner.

Reporting by Praveen Menon; edited by Shri Navaratnam

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The Italian economy is seen growing 4.1% this year, said the business lobby | Instant News


ROME (Reuters) – The virus-hit Italian economy is forecast to grow 4.1% this year and 4.2% in 2022 in an “uncertain ascent from a deep abyss”, the country’s business lobby Confindustria said on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: People walk past closed bars and restaurants as Rome became a ‘red zone’, locked in as the country struggles to reduce coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections, in Rome, Italy, March 15, 2021. REUTERS / Yara Nardi

Italy’s economy shrank to a post-war record of 8.9% last year, and Confindustria said even forecasts for “historically high” growth would not offset last year’s losses.

“By the end of 2022, the economy can hardly bridge the gap opened in 2020 by the pandemic,” said Confindustria while announcing its latest economic forecasts.

The national business association warned, however, that its forecasts are based on expectations for advancement of vaccinations in Italy and across Europe, and are dependent on the coronavirus being “contained in an efficient manner”.

“Given (this) large uncertainty, the risks associated with GDP (gross domestic product) forecasts are high, both on the upside and the downside,” the report added.

The group said it had cut its initial growth forecast for Italy, published in October, by 0.7 percentage points for this year due to weaker-than-expected growth in the last quarter of 2020 and the first three months of 2021.

It said it saw Italy’s deficit at 7.8% of GDP this year and at 4.8% in 2022. The increase in government spending to support the economy pushed the country’s deficit to 9.5% of GDP at the end of last year.

Italy has recorded more than 113,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the outbreak first emerged in February last year, the world’s seventh highest.

Mario Draghi’s government expects GDP to increase by 4.1% this year and 4.3% in 2022, three sources close to the matter told Reuters in March.

The official Rome estimate, made by the previous government in January, predicts a deficit-to-GDP ratio of 8.8% this year, based on an economic growth forecast of 6%.

New deficit and debt targets, along with multi-year GDP growth forecasts, to be published in the Treasury’s Economic and Financial Document, are expected to be approved next week.

The European Commission, International Monetary Fund and Bank of Italy are currently seeing Italy’s growth below 4% this year and next.

Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Edited by Helen Popper

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German exports rose in February, lifted by Chinese trade | Instant News


FILE PHOTOS: Cars meant for export wait at the port to be loaded as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Bremerhaven, Germany, April 24, 2020. REUTERS / Fabian Bimmer

BERLIN (Reuters) – German exports rose in February, boosted by surging trade with China as a new sign that factories are busy in Europe’s biggest economy despite a pandemic-related drop in overall output in the first quarter expected.

Seasonally adjusted exports increased 0.9% for the month after being revised upward by 1.6% in January, the Federal Statistical Office said on Friday. Imports rose 3.6% after falling 3.5% in the previous month.

A Reuters poll showed exports increased by 1.0% and imports increased by 2.4%. The trade surplus shrank to 19.1 billion euros. This year, exports to China increased by 25.7%.

Separate data released on Friday showed industrial output in February fell by 1.6%. A Reuters poll showed a 1.5% increase.

Written by Paul Carrel, editing by Kirsti Knolle

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Germany’s private sector growth reaches the highest in more than 3 years – PMI | Instant News


FILE PHOTOS: Skyline with its financial district photographed as the sun sets as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Frankfurt, Germany, 26 October 2020, REUTERS / Kai Pfaffenbach

BERLIN (Reuters) – Growth in Germany’s private sector accelerated in March to its highest level in more than three years as the service sector fared very well despite extended coronavirus restrictions and a third wave of infections, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) final services surged to 51.5 last month from 45.7 in February.

The figure is better than the starting value of 50.8 and marks the first month since September above the 50.0 mark that signals growth.

IHS Markit economist Phil Smith said the increase was mainly due to easing restrictions for some shops and services while authorities extended other restrictions through April.

Better-than-expected service performance helped push the IHS Markit composite PMI to 57.3 in March from 51.1 in February.

PMI data released last week showed that German factory activity grew at the fastest pace on record in March thanks to surging demand from the United States and China.

Prospects for growth in Europe’s largest economy remain closed, however, by a more contagious variant of the virus and rapidly increasing cases of COVID-19 that could force authorities to tighten restrictions again in the coming weeks.

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann told Reuters on Tuesday that the German economy is likely to miss its central bank’s forecast for growth of 3% this year as pandemic-related restrictions weigh on business activity.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by John Stonestreet

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Brazil posted a trade surplus of $ 1.5 billion in March, smaller than expected | Instant News


FILE PHOTOS: Cranes are seen in the distance during workers’ strike at Latin America’s largest container port in Santos, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, September 14, 2016. REUTERS / Fernando Donasci

BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazil posted a trade surplus of $ 1.5 billion in March, figures showed on Thursday, less than half the consensus estimate in a Reuters poll for a surplus of $ 3.1 billion and also sharply down from a surplus of $ 3.8. billion in the same month ago. year.

Exports in March totaled $ 24.5 billion and imports $ 23.0 billion, the ministry said, adding that total trade flows of $ 47.5 billion for the month were up nearly 40% from a year earlier.

These figures mean Brazil’s trade surplus in the first quarter of this year stood at $ 1.6 billion, down sharply from last year’s $ 4.5 billion surplus as import growth outpaced export growth.

Lucas Ferraz, secretary of foreign trade at the Ministry of Economy, estimates this year’s trade surplus will grow by nearly 75% from last year, resulting in a record annual surplus of nearly $ 90 billion.

Speaking to reporters in a virtual press conference, Ferraz said exports would grow 27% this year, more than double the expected increase in import growth of 11%.

The central bank last week revised its 2021 trade surplus forecast to $ 70 billion from $ 53 billion. Last year’s surplus was $ 51 billion.

With the exchange rate slumping 30% last year and already down 8% in the first three months of this year, net trade is expected to make a positive contribution to economic growth this year.

However, imports grew faster than exports in the first three months of this year. Exports in the January-March period totaled $ 55.6 billion, up 17% on the year, while imports were $ 54 billion 25% higher than last year, ministry figures showed.

Reporting by Jamie McGeever and Gabriel Ponte; editing by David Evans

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