Economic Updates

Economic Updates

The Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors has committed to a market determined currency exchange rate and monitor negative spillovers to other countries caused by monetary policies implemented for domestic purposes. The group has also indicated to push for international efforts to address the issue of tax avoidance by multinationals.

Rightmove has reported that the average asking price for a home in the UK has risen 2.8% MoM in February, compared to a 0.2% rise reported in the previous month.

The Bank of England (BoE) policymaker, Martin Weale, stated that Britain’s manufacturers must start taking risks and invest in new export markets if they were to lead the country back to sustainable economic growth

On a monthly basis, retail sales in the UK fell 0.5% in January, following a downwardly revised 0.4% decline recorded in the previous month.

A survey by Knight Frank and Markit Economics indicated that, the house price sentiment index in the UK rose to a reading of 48.40 in February, from a reading of 47.60 in January.

UK lawmakers stated that, the Treasury could not explain the effect of the Quantitative Easing on the whole economy. The panel said some GBP375.00bn has so far been injected into the economy as an 'experiment'. The Public Accounts Committee, in an annual report has indicated that, "the Treasury has not convinced us it understands either the risks it has taken on by indemnifying the BoE against losses on Quantitative Easing or the expected economic benefits".

The number of employees working in manufacturing units with 50 or more employees in Germany increased 1.4% to around 5.20mn in December.

IHS Global Insight Chief Howard Archer stated that, the eurozone economy is likely to stop shrinking further in the 1Q13, after recording a faster contraction in 4Q12.

The trade surplus in the eurozone fell to EUR11.70bn in December, from a downwardly revised EUR13.00bn recorded in the previous month.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that, its general business conditions index jumped to a reading of 10.00 in February, from a reading of -7.80 in January.

The Federal Reserve reported that, industrial production in the US edged down 0.1% in January, following an upwardly revised 0.4% increase in December.

Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan reported that, the preliminary reading of the consumer sentiment index in the US came in at 76.30 in February, compared to a final reading of 73.80 in January.

On a month-on-month basis, manufacturing shipments in Canada fell 3.1% in December, compared to an upwardly revised 1.9% growth recorded in the previous month.

On a month-on-month basis, existing home sales in Canada advanced 1.3% in January, compared to a 0.5% drop recorded in December.

On a monthly basis, industrial production in Japan grew 2.4% in December, compared to a 1.4% decline originally recorded in the previous month.

The Bank of Japan (BoJ), in its monthly report indicated that, the economy is likely to end further downturn and exports and industrial production would start picking up gradually in the months ahead. Furthermore, the BoJ said that Japan's economy is expected to level off more or less for the time being, and thereafter, return to a moderate recovery path.

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