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[Oct02]    Russia Central Bank May Hold Or Hike Interest Rate This Week: Reports

The Russian central bank may hold or raise interest rate at its meeting this week, the bank's Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev reportedly said Tuesday. The inflation risk is higher than the risk of economic slowdown, reports said citing Ulyukayev remarks to reporters in Moscow. In September, Bank Rossii raised the policy rate by a quarter-point with inflation expected to exceed the central bank's target range amid higher food costs.

[Oct02]    Russia Central Bank May Hold Or Hike Interest Rate This Week: Reports

The Russian central bank may hold or raise interest rate at its meeting this week, the bank's Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev reportedly said Tuesday. The inflation risk is higher than the risk of economic slowdown, reports said citing Ulyukayev remarks to reporters in Moscow. In September, Bank Rossii raised the policy rate by a quarter-point with inflation expected to exceed the central bank's target range amid higher food costs.

[Oct02]    Spanish Unemployment Climbs For Second Month

Unemployment in Spain increased for a second consecutive month in September as a deepening recession and the euro area debt crisis eclipsed the government's efforts to revive the labor market, the latest data from the Labor Ministry showed Tuesday. The number of registered unemployed rose by 79,645 or 1.72 percent month-on-month in September, leaving 4.7 million Spaniards out of work at the end of the month. The pace of increase in the number of jobless was, however, weaker than that in September last year, when unemployment rose by 95,817 persons. In September, the number of jobless people rose in the service industry, up 85,713. Unemployment fell in the agriculture, construction and industry sectors, data showed. Compared to September last year, the number of unemployed increased 11.32 percent or by 478,535 workers. According to the latest figures from the statistical office INE, the unemployment rate rose to a new record high of 24.63 percent in the second quarter from 24.44 percent in the first three months of the year. Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the Eurozone. Data on Monday revealed that the jobless rate in the entire euro area remained steady at an all-time high of 11.4 percent in August. The worrying unemployment figures comes as Spanish economic output sank 0.4 percent sequentially in the second quarter, deepening the recession in the euro area's fourth largest economy. Last week, the Bank of Spain said in its monthly economic bulletin that the GDP continued to fall "at a significant pace" in the third quarter. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy last month unveiled a tough budget for 2013 focused on cutting spending rather than tax hikes. These spending cuts are expected to reduce the budget deficit by 0.77 percent of GDP in 2013, with revenue adjustments yielding another 0.56 percent. Some analysts believe the 2013 austerity budget is a preemptive move to reduce the impact of the economic conditions, likely to be attached to a possible bailout. Meanwhile, an independent audit of the Spanish banks revealed last Friday that the country's banking system may need EUR 59.3 billion in capital. However, a report from Moody's Investors Service said yesterday that the actual capital needs must be much higher than these figures reveal.

[Oct02]    Eurozone Aug. Producer Price Inflation Above Forecast

Eurozone producer price inflation accelerated more than expected in August, data released by Eurostat showed Tuesday. The producer price index advanced 2.7 percent year-on-year in August, faster than the 1.6 percent increase in July. Economists expected the rate of inflation to rise to 2.6 percent. On a monthly basis, the PPI rose 0.9 percent compared to 0.3 percent increase recorded in July. This was forecast to rise 0.6 percent.

[Oct02]    Eurozone Aug. Producer Price Inflation Above Forecast

Eurozone producer price inflation accelerated more than expected in August, data released by Eurostat showed Tuesday. The producer price index advanced 2.7 percent year-on-year in August, faster than the 1.6 percent increase in July. Economists expected the rate of inflation to rise to 2.6 percent. On a monthly basis, the PPI rose 0.9 percent compared to 0.3 percent increase recorded in July. This was forecast to rise 0.6 percent.

[Oct02]    U.K. House Prices Fall Unexpectedly In September

House prices in the U.K. declined unexpectedly in September, after rising in the previous month, as the property market in the recession-hit economy continues to be under pressure from deteriorating sentiment and tight credit conditions. The seasonally adjusted house price index dropped 0.4 percent from August, when it rose a downwardly revised 1.1 percent increase, survey data from mortgage lender Nationwide Building Society revealed. Economists had forecast prices to remain unchanged in September, following the previous month's originally recorded 1.3 percent gain. Nationwide expects policy measures such as the Bank of England's Funding for Lending Scheme to provide support for activity in the housing market, going forward, by ensuring the availability of credit and lowering its cost. The lender forecast gradual recovery for the economy over the next twelve months, with house prices remaining relatively flat or declining only modestly over the same period. "Monthly price changes have been impacted by a number of one-off factors this year, such as the ending of the stamp duty holiday that cannot be controlled by the usual process of seasonal adjustment," Nationwide Chief Economist Robert Gardner said. On an annual basis, house prices dropped at a faster rate of 1.4 percent in September than 0.7 percent in August. Economists had expected the rate of decline to remain unchanged. Prices fell annually for the seventh straight month. The price of a typical home in the U.K. was GBP 163,964 in September, down from GBP 164,729 recorded in August and GBP 166,256 a year ago. "However, labor market developments will remain of paramount importance in deciding the trajectory of house prices," Gardner added. "There are grounds for caution on this front, as the unusual combination of rising employment and declining economic activity that was evident in the first half of 2012 is unlikely to be sustained." Separately, the agency reported that the seasonally adjusted house price index declined 0.5 percent sequentially in the third quarter. Year-on-year, prices fell by 1.6 percent during the three-month period. Ten out of 13 regions in the U.K. saw annual price declines during the third quarter. London had the strongest annual price increase and was the most expensive region with prices just 2 percent below their peak. Northern Ireland emerged the least expensive. A report from the Bank of England yesterday showed that mortgage approvals secured on dwellings in the U.K. increased to 47,665 in August from 47,556 in July. Yesterday, property monitoring site Hometrack said that the average asking price for a home in the United Kingdom dropped 0.1 percent month-on-month in September, marking the third consecutive fall. The British economy shrank 0.4 percent in the second quarter, after contracting 0.3 percent in the first quarter and 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, indicating the economy is in a double-dip recession. A quarterly survey by the British Chambers of Commerce showed today that economic performance in the U.K. remains weak and inadequate, with the third quarter results slightly worse than the previous quarter. "It is clear that the economy has been stagnant for too long, and urgent measures are needed to enable businesses to drive a sustainable recovery," the business lobby said in the report.

[Oct02]    U.K. House Prices Fall Unexpectedly In September

House prices in the U.K. declined unexpectedly in September, after rising in the previous month, as the property market in the recession-hit economy continues to be under pressure from deteriorating sentiment and tight credit conditions. The seasonally adjusted house price index dropped 0.4 percent from August, when it rose a downwardly revised 1.1 percent increase, survey data from mortgage lender Nationwide Building Society revealed. Economists had forecast prices to remain unchanged in September, following the previous month's originally recorded 1.3 percent gain. Nationwide expects policy measures such as the Bank of England's Funding for Lending Scheme to provide support for activity in the housing market, going forward, by ensuring the availability of credit and lowering its cost. The lender forecast gradual recovery for the economy over the next twelve months, with house prices remaining relatively flat or declining only modestly over the same period. "Monthly price changes have been impacted by a number of one-off factors this year, such as the ending of the stamp duty holiday that cannot be controlled by the usual process of seasonal adjustment," Nationwide Chief Economist Robert Gardner said. On an annual basis, house prices dropped at a faster rate of 1.4 percent in September than 0.7 percent in August. Economists had expected the rate of decline to remain unchanged. Prices fell annually for the seventh straight month. The price of a typical home in the U.K. was GBP 163,964 in September, down from GBP 164,729 recorded in August and GBP 166,256 a year ago. "However, labor market developments will remain of paramount importance in deciding the trajectory of house prices," Gardner added. "There are grounds for caution on this front, as the unusual combination of rising employment and declining economic activity that was evident in the first half of 2012 is unlikely to be sustained." Separately, the agency reported that the seasonally adjusted house price index declined 0.5 percent sequentially in the third quarter. Year-on-year, prices fell by 1.6 percent during the three-month period. Ten out of 13 regions in the U.K. saw annual price declines during the third quarter. London had the strongest annual price increase and was the most expensive region with prices just 2 percent below their peak. Northern Ireland emerged the least expensive. A report from the Bank of England yesterday showed that mortgage approvals secured on dwellings in the U.K. increased to 47,665 in August from 47,556 in July. Yesterday, property monitoring site Hometrack said that the average asking price for a home in the United Kingdom dropped 0.1 percent month-on-month in September, marking the third consecutive fall. The British economy shrank 0.4 percent in the second quarter, after contracting 0.3 percent in the first quarter and 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, indicating the economy is in a double-dip recession. A quarterly survey by the British Chambers of Commerce showed today that economic performance in the U.K. remains weak and inadequate, with the third quarter results slightly worse than the previous quarter. "It is clear that the economy has been stagnant for too long, and urgent measures are needed to enable businesses to drive a sustainable recovery," the business lobby said in the report.

[Oct02]    Eurozone Aug. Producer Price Inflation Above Forecast

Eurozone producer price inflation accelerated more than expected in August, data released by Eurostat showed Tuesday. The producer price index advanced 2.7 percent year-on-year in August, faster than the 1.6 percent increase in July. Economists expected the rate of inflation to rise to 2.6 percent. On a monthly basis, the PPI rose 0.9 percent compared to 0.3 percent increase recorded in July. This was forecast to rise 0.6 percent.

[Oct02]    Eurozone Aug PPI Up 2.7% On Year, Consensus 2.6%

[Oct02]    Spain Unemployment Rises 1.7% In September

Unemployment in Spain increased in September as recession and the euro area debt crisis continued to hamper job creation, the latest data from the Labor Ministry showed Tuesday. The number of registered unemployed rose by 79,645 or 1.72 percent month-on-month in September, leaving 4.7 million people out of work at the end of the month. The pace of increase in the number of jobless was, however, weaker than that in September last year when unemployment rose by 95,817 persons. Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the Eurozone.

[Oct02]    U.K. Construction Sector Shrinks At Slower Rate In September

The construction sector in the United Kingdom contracted further in September as production and new orders continued to decline, survey results from Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) showed Tuesday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the construction sector rose to 49.5 in September from 49 in July. Economists were looking for a reading of 49.9. A PMI reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector, while one above suggests growth. New business received by construction firms decreased for the fourth successive month, and the rate of fall was the second-sharpest since April 2009. Employment in the sector was relatively resilient during the month, following a stagnation in the previous month. Residential building was the worst performing broad area of the sector during September, thereby continuing the trend seen throughout most of 2012-to-date. Commercial activity also dropped, and at the fastest rate for just over two-and-a-half years. The overall downturn in output was softened by a return to civil engineering growth.

[Oct02]    UK Sept. Construction PMI At 49.5 Vs. 49 In August, Consensus 49.9

[Oct02]    Hungary Trade Surplus Falls More Than Estimated

Hungary's trade surplus fell more than estimated in the preliminary report in July, final data from the Hungarian Central Statistical Office showed Tuesday. Trade surplus fell to EUR 431 million in July from EUR 773.1 million in June. Preliminary report showed a surplus of EUR 457.5 million for July. A year ago, the balance was in a surplus of EUR 404.1 million. Exports grew 4.4 percent year-on-year, slower than earlier estimate of a 4.6 percent growth. Imports increased 4.2 percent, slightly faster than the previously reported 4 percent rise. During January to July, exports rose 1 percent to EUR 46.53 billion and imports increased 1.5 percent to EUR 42.41 billion, resulting in a surplus of EUR 4.092 billion.

[Oct02]    Hungary Trade Surplus Falls More Than Estimated

Hungary's trade surplus fell more than estimated in the preliminary report in July, final data from the Hungarian Central Statistical Office showed Tuesday. Trade surplus fell to EUR 431 million in July from EUR 773.1 million in June. Preliminary report showed a surplus of EUR 457.5 million for July. A year ago, the balance was in a surplus of EUR 404.1 million. Exports grew 4.4 percent year-on-year, slower than earlier estimate of a 4.6 percent growth. Imports increased 4.2 percent, slightly faster than the previously reported 4 percent rise. During January to July, exports rose 1 percent to EUR 46.53 billion and imports increased 1.5 percent to EUR 42.41 billion, resulting in a surplus of EUR 4.092 billion.

[Oct02]    U.K. House Prices Fall Unexpectedly In September

House prices in the U.K. declined unexpectedly in September, after rising in the previous month, as the property market in the recession-hit economy continues to be under pressure from deteriorating sentiment and tight credit conditions. The seasonally adjusted house price index dropped 0.4 percent from August, when it rose a downwardly revised 1.1 percent increase, survey data from mortgage lender Nationwide Building Society revealed. Economists had forecast prices to remain unchanged in September, following the previous month's originally recorded 1.3 percent gain. Nationwide expects policy measures such as the Bank of England's Funding for Lending Scheme to provide support for activity in the housing market, going forward, by ensuring the availability of credit and lowering its cost. The lender forecast gradual recovery for the economy over the next twelve months, with house prices remaining relatively flat or declining only modestly over the same period. "Monthly price changes have been impacted by a number of one-off factors this year, such as the ending of the stamp duty holiday that cannot be controlled by the usual process of seasonal adjustment," Nationwide Chief Economist Robert Gardner said. On an annual basis, house prices dropped at a faster rate of 1.4 percent in September than 0.7 percent in August. Economists had expected the rate of decline to remain unchanged. Prices fell annually for the seventh straight month. The price of a typical home in the U.K. was GBP 163,964 in September, down from GBP 164,729 recorded in August and GBP 166,256 a year ago. "However, labor market developments will remain of paramount importance in deciding the trajectory of house prices," Gardner added. "There are grounds for caution on this front, as the unusual combination of rising employment and declining economic activity that was evident in the first half of 2012 is unlikely to be sustained." Separately, the agency reported that the seasonally adjusted house price index declined 0.5 percent sequentially in the third quarter. Year-on-year, prices fell by 1.6 percent during the three-month period. Ten out of 13 regions in the U.K. saw annual price declines during the third quarter. London had the strongest annual price increase and was the most expensive region with prices just 2 percent below their peak. Northern Ireland emerged the least expensive. A report from the Bank of England yesterday showed that mortgage approvals secured on dwellings in the U.K. increased to 47,665 in August from 47,556 in July. Yesterday, property monitoring site Hometrack said that the average asking price for a home in the United Kingdom dropped 0.1 percent month-on-month in September, marking the third consecutive fall. The British economy shrank 0.4 percent in the second quarter, after contracting 0.3 percent in the first quarter and 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, indicating the economy is in a double-dip recession. A quarterly survey by the British Chambers of Commerce showed today that economic performance in the U.K. remains weak and inadequate, with the third quarter results slightly worse than the previous quarter. "It is clear that the economy has been stagnant for too long, and urgent measures are needed to enable businesses to drive a sustainable recovery," the business lobby said in the report.

[Oct02]    Romania Retail Sales Rise Modestly In August

Romania's retail sales increased slightly from the previous month in August, data released by the National Institute of Statistics showed Tuesday. Retail sales turnover, in volume terms and excluding motor vehicles and motorcycles, increased a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent on a monthly basis in August. Sales of automotive fuel in specialized stores were higher by 1.7 percent compared to July, while retail trade in food products decreased by 3 percent. Compared to August 2011, sales advanced an unadjusted 4.9 percent in August. In the January-August period, retail sales increased 4.3 percent from the corresponding period a year earlier, data showed.

[Oct02]    Spain Unemployment Rises 1.7% In September

Unemployment in Spain increased in September as recession and the euro area debt crisis continued to hamper job creation, the latest data from the Labor Ministry showed Tuesday. The number of registered unemployed rose by 79,645 or 1.72 percent month-on-month in September, leaving 4.7 million people out of work at the end of the month. The pace of increase in the number of jobless was, however, weaker than that in September last year when unemployment rose by 95,817 persons. Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the Eurozone.

[Oct02]    UK House Prices Decline 0.4% In September: Nationwide

House prices in the United Kingdom decreased unexpectedly in September, after rising in the previous month, data released by the Nationwide Building Society showed Tuesday. The seasonally adjusted house price index dropped 0.4 percent month-on-month in September, reversing the previous month's 1.1 percent increase, which was revised down from 1.3 percent. Economists had expected prices to remain unchanged month-on-month. On an annual basis, house prices dropped at a faster rate of 1.4 percent in September than 0.7 percent in August. Economists expected the rate of change to remain unchanged. The price of a typical home in UK was GBP163,964 in September, down from GBP164,729 recorded in August. "Monthly price changes have been impacted by a number of one-off factors this year, such as the ending of the stamp duty holiday that cannot be controlled by the usual process of seasonal adjustment," Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner said. Separately, the agency said the seasonally adjusted house price index declined 0.5 percent sequentially in the third quarter. Year-on-year, house prices fell by 1.6 percent during the three-month period.

[Oct02]    Reserve Bank Of Australia Cuts Cash Rate On Weaker Economic Outlook

The Reserve Bank of Australia lowered the benchmark cash rate for a third time this year on Tuesday, citing the weaker economic outlook on the back of recent global developments. The central bank, at the same time, stressed the need to boost demand outside the resources sector. The RBA Policy Board slashed the cash rate by 25 basis points to 3.25 percent, effective October 3. The move followed a 50-basis point cut in May and a 25-basis point reduction in June, which came after two consecutive rate cuts towards the end of last year. "At today's meeting, the Board judged that, on the back of international developments, the growth outlook for next year looked a little weaker, while inflation was expected to be consistent with the target over the next one to two years," Governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement. "The Board therefore decided that it was appropriate for the stance of monetary policy to be a little more accommodative." According to official data, the economy grew 0.6 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter following 1.4 percent expansion in the first quarter. Stevens said most indicators available for this meeting suggest that growth has been running close to trend, led by very large increases in capital spending in the resources sector. However, he added that the peak in resource investment, expected to occur next year, may be weaker than thought. The RBA chief stressed that the need to strengthen some other components of demand is becoming important as this peak approaches. He said the terms of trade have declined by over 10 percent since the peak last year and will probably decline further, though they are likely to remain historically high. The central banker also noted that interest rates for borrowers are still a little below their medium-term averages. According to him, there are tentative signs of this starting to have some of the expected effects, though the impact of monetary policy changes takes some time to work through the economy. At the same time, credit growth has softened and the exchange rate has remained higher than might have been expected, given the observed decline in export prices and the weaker global outlook, the bank said. Commodity prices for Australia have remained significantly weaker than early this year, even though some have regained some ground in recent weeks. Australian banks have had no difficulty accessing funding, including on an unsecured basis, Stevens reiterated. However, long-term interest rates faced by highly rated sovereigns, including Australia, remained at exceptionally low levels due to low appetite for risk. Investment in dwellings remained subdued, though there have been some tentative signs of improvement. Non-residential building investment also remained weak. On the developments in the global economy, the Board said the outlook for growth in the world economy has softened over recent months, with estimates for global GDP being edged down. Risks to the outlook still seen to be on the downside. Economic activity in Europe is contracting, while growth in the U.S. remains modest. Growth in China has also slowed, and uncertainty about near-term prospects is greater than it was some months ago, it noted.

[Oct01]    U.K. Manufacturing PMI Remains In Negative Territory

U.K. manufacturing sector continued to contract in September on lackluster order inflows and mounting job losses amid a prolonged recession, a closely watched survey revealed Monday. The seasonally adjusted Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) dropped unexpectedly to 48.4 from 49.6 in August, results of a survey by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply and Markit Economics showed. A reading below 50 suggests contraction in the sector. The index was forecast to improve to 49.9 in September. Companies reported that production was lower during the month due to reduced inflows of new export business and subdued domestic market conditions. Nonetheless, new orders increased for the second successive month. Export orders, however, declined for the sixth consecutive month amid weaker demand from the EU and Asia. "Domestically, UK consumers appear to be doing their part for the recovery, with a strengthening in demand for consumer goods," said David Noble, chief executive officer at CIPS. However, it remains to be seen if this demand will hold strong with inflation creeping into the equation. Manufacturers were also hurt by rising cost pressures. The average input price inflation rose to a 6-month high due to higher cost of chemicals, energy, foodstuffs, metals, oil and plastics. Output price inflation was the lowest in eight months as weak demand and strong competition restricted manufacturers' pricing power. Meanwhile, staffing levels declined for the fifth successive month and the steepest rate since November 2011. Factories shed jobs due to tough market conditions, lower production and the presence of spare capacity. Despite the disappointing manufacturing PMI data, the Bank of England is likely to keep the key rate at 0.50 percent and to stick to the current quantitative easing plans, IHS Global Insight's Chief UK economist Howard Archer said. Data from the Bank of England showed a less than expected increase in mortgage approvals in August, today. The mortgage approvals secured on dwellings increased to 47,665 in August from 47,556 in July. The expected level for August was 49,300. Total lending to individuals fell by GBP 0.4 billion in August. The annual growth was broadly unchanged at 0.6 percent. Today's figures suggest that the industrial and housing sectors cannot be relied upon to help to return the economy to a sustained period of growth, Samuel Tombs, an economist at Capital Economics said. The U.K. economy shrank at a less than initially estimated pace of 0.4 percent in the second quarter. Elsewhere today, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP survey showed that business volumes and income in financial services sector declined in three months to September. Moreover, the number of employed in the financial services sector decreased at the strongest pace since March 2011 and is forecast to drop further in the next quarter.

[Oct02]    Bank Of Korea To Manage Monetary Policy To Achieve More Growth: Reports

South Korea's central bank on Tuesday said it will overhaul its monetary policy to help the economy achieve stronger growth, reports said citing the central bank's semi-annual policy report to Parliament. The Bank of Korea plans to manage monetary policy to ensure that the economy recovers to its potential level of growth, while making efforts to stabilize consumer prices, the central bank report said. This is a marked shift from its previous objective of achieving price stability. Meanwhile, the latest purchasing managers' survey by Markit Economics revealed Tuesday that the manufacturing sector contracted at the steepest pace in nearly four years in September.

[Oct02]    UK Nationwide House Price Index Down 0.4% On Month, Consensus Flat

[Oct02]    Bank Of Korea To Manage Monetary Policy To Achieve More Growth: Reports

South Korea's central bank on Tuesday said it will overhaul its monetary policy to help the economy achieve stronger growth, reports said citing the central bank's semi-annual policy report to Parliament. The Bank of Korea plans to manage monetary policy to ensure that the economy recovers to its potential level of growth, while making efforts to stabilize consumer prices, the central bank report said. This is a marked shift from its previous objective of achieving price stability. Meanwhile, the latest purchasing managers' survey by Markit Economics revealed Tuesday that the manufacturing sector contracted at the steepest pace in nearly four years in September.

[Oct01]    Japan Labor Cash Earnings Rise Unexpectedly

Japan average wages increased unexpectedly in August, preliminary data from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare showed Tuesday. Total cash earnings rose 0.2 percent year-on-year in August following 1.6 percent fall in July. Economists expected a 1 percent drop in wages in August. Regular pay edged up by 0.1 percent during the month, while overtime pay increased 2.7 percent. Special cash earnings were up 1.1 percent from last year and contractual wages rose 0.3 percent.

[Oct01]    Japan Labor Cash Earnings Rise Unexpectedly

Japan average wages increased unexpectedly in August, preliminary data from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare showed Tuesday. Total cash earnings rose 0.2 percent year-on-year in August following 1.6 percent fall in July. Economists expected a 1 percent drop in wages in August. Regular pay edged up by 0.1 percent during the month, while overtime pay increased 2.7 percent. Special cash earnings were up 1.1 percent from last year and contractual wages rose 0.3 percent.

[Oct02]    RBA Unexpectedly Cuts Interest Rate

The Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday unexpectedly lowered the benchmark cash rate by 25 basis points to 3.25 percent, effective October 3. Economists expected the central bank to retain the rate at 3.5 percent. In a statement, Governor Glenn Stevens said the Policy Board judged that "on the back of international developments, the growth outlook for next year looked a little weaker." Inflation, however, is expected to be consistent with the target. The Board, therefore, decided "it was appropriate for the stance of monetary policy to be a little more accommodative," Stevens said. On the developments in global economy, the Board said the outlook for growth in the world economy has softened over recent months, with estimates for global GDP being edged down. Risks to the outlook still seen to be on the downside. Economic activity in Europe is contracting, while growth in the United States remains modest. Growth in China has also slowed, and uncertainty about near-term prospects is greater than it was some months ago, it noted.

[Oct01]    South Korea Inflation Picks Up In September

Inflation in South Korea accelerated in September, picking up from August's 12-year low, data from Statistics Korea showed Tuesday. The increase was mainly led by higher prices of agricultural products. The rate of annual inflation measured by the consumer price index rose to 2 percent in September from 1.2 percent in August. However, the outcome was in line with expectations and within the central bank's target range of 2-4 percent. According to the statistical office, the September hike can be attributed to increase in prices of farm products after a series of typhoons damaged large stretches of farmland last month. The CPI was up 0.7 percent month-on-month following a 0.4 percent rise in the previous month. Core CPI, which excludes oil and agricultural products, rose 1.4 percent year-on-year, slightly faster than 1.3 percent increase in August. The report also showed that the fresh food product index jumped 8.6 percent from a year earlier, while recording a month-on-month growth of 8.8 percent. With inflation still within the central bank's target, policymakers have ample room for monetary easing to stimulate economic growth. Bank of Korea slashed interest rate by 25 basis points to 3 percent in July and left the rate unchanged in August and September. The bank next meets on October 11. In July, the Bank of Korea cut inflation outlook for a second time this year, mainly due to declines in international commodity prices. Consumer prices are now forecast to rise 2.7 percent in 2012 and 2.9 percent in 2013, running below the midpoint of the inflation target. The bank also slashed the gross domestic product forecast and now expects the GDP to rise 3 percent in 2012 and 3.8 percent in 2013. Amid subdued growth, South Korea's Ministry of Strategy and Finance proposed higher spending in its 2013 budget presented last month to mitigate the impact of global slowdown and delayed its target of balancing budget till 2014. The International Monetary Fund last month lowered its growth forecast for South Korea and said a further escalation of the euro area crisis would have a significant impact on the economy. The GDP is now forecast to rise 3 percent in 2012 and pick up to around 4 percent in 2013. The IMF urged Bank of Korea to maintain an accommodative monetary policy. At the same time, the lender forecasts headline inflation to pick up in the second half of the year, averaging just below 3 percent for the year as a whole.

[Oct01]    Japan Labor Cash Earnings Rise Unexpectedly

Japan average wages increased unexpectedly in August, preliminary data from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare showed Tuesday. Total cash earnings rose 0.2 percent year-on-year in August following 1.6 percent fall in July. Economists expected a 1 percent drop in wages in August. Regular pay edged up by 0.1 percent during the month, while overtime pay increased 2.7 percent. Special cash earnings were up 1.1 percent from last year and contractual wages rose 0.3 percent.

[Oct01]    Greece Says Economy To Enter Sixth Year Of Recession In 2013

The Greek economy will continue to shrink in 2013 as it enters a sixth year of recession, the Finance Ministry said in its 2013 draft budget presented on Monday. The government predicts the gross domestic product to contract 3.8 percent in 2013. This will follow a 6.5 percent decline in 2012, worse than its earlier forecast of 4.8 percent contraction. A deeper recession will mount pressure on the government to find extra cash to pay the bills. The country is hoping for a positive review report from the troika, which will pave way for the disbursement of loan installment worth EUR 31.5 billion. The draft budget includes about EUR 7.8 billion worth of austerity measures for next year. This is part of a EUR 13.5 billion worth austerity measures demanded by the troika in return for the continued payment of loan installments. The proposals included raising the retirement age to 67 from 65. Unemployment is forecast to average 24.7 percent in 2013, up from 23.5 percent this year. The budget projects a general government deficit of EUR 8 billion next year, down from EUR 13.2 billion this year.

[Oct01]    South Korea Inflation Picks Up In September

Inflation in South Korea accelerated in September, picking up from August's 12-year low, data from Statistics Korea showed Tuesday. The increase was mainly led by higher prices of agricultural products. The rate of annual inflation measured by the consumer price index rose to 2 percent in September from 1.2 percent in August. However, the outcome was in line with expectations and within the central bank's target range of 2-4 percent. According to the statistical office, the September hike can be attributed to increase in prices of farm products after a series of typhoons damaged large stretches of farmland last month. The CPI was up 0.7 percent month-on-month following a 0.4 percent rise in the previous month. Core CPI, which excludes oil and agricultural products, rose 1.4 percent year-on-year, slightly faster than 1.3 percent increase in August. The report also showed that the fresh food product index jumped 8.6 percent from a year earlier, while recording a month-on-month growth of 8.8 percent. With inflation still within the central bank's target, policymakers have ample room for monetary easing to stimulate economic growth. Bank of Korea slashed interest rate by 25 basis points to 3 percent in July and left the rate unchanged in August and September. The bank next meets on October 11. In July, the Bank of Korea cut inflation outlook for a second time this year, mainly due to declines in international commodity prices. Consumer prices are now forecast to rise 2.7 percent in 2012 and 2.9 percent in 2013, running below the midpoint of the inflation target. The bank also slashed the gross domestic product forecast and now expects the GDP to rise 3 percent in 2012 and 3.8 percent in 2013. Amid subdued growth, South Korea's Ministry of Strategy and Finance proposed higher spending in its 2013 budget presented last month to mitigate the impact of global slowdown and delayed its target of balancing budget till 2014. The International Monetary Fund last month lowered its growth forecast for South Korea and said a further escalation of the euro area crisis would have a significant impact on the economy. The GDP is now forecast to rise 3 percent in 2012 and pick up to around 4 percent in 2013. The IMF urged Bank of Korea to maintain an accommodative monetary policy. At the same time, the lender forecasts headline inflation to pick up in the second half of the year, averaging just below 3 percent for the year as a whole.

[Oct01]    Japan September Monetary Base +9.0% On Year

The monetary base in Japan jumped 9.0 percent on year in September, the Bank of Japan said on Tuesday, standing at 124.326 trillion yen. That follows the 6.5 percent increase in August. Banknotes in circulation added an annual 2.3 percent, while coins in circulation collected 0.4 percent. Current account balances spiked 27.6 percent on year, including a 30.0 percent surge in reserve balances. The adjusted monetary base soared 45.4 percent on year to 123.991 trillion yen. For the third quarter of 2012, the monetary base jumped 8.0 percent on year.

[Oct01]    South Korea CPI +0.7% On Month, +2.0% On Year In September

[Oct01]    Australia Rate Decision Due On Tuesday

The Reserve Bank of Australia will on Tuesday conclude its monetary policy meeting and then announce its decision on the benchmark interest rate, highlighting a light day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. The RBA is widely expected to keep rates on hold at the current level of 3.50 percent. The RBA also will release commodity price index data for September; in October, the index was down 13.7 percent on year to a reading of 90.3. Japan will release August numbers for labor cash earnings and September data for monetary base. Earnings are expected to ease 1.0 percent on year after dipping 1.2 percent in July. The monetary base was up an annual 6.5 percent in August. New Zealand will provide commodity price figures for September; in August, prices were up 0.5 percent. Markets in China and Hong Kong remain closed on Tuesday for the National Day holiday. Hong Kong will re-open on Wednesday, while China is off all week.

[Oct01]    U.S. Manufacturing Activity Expands For Fist Time In Four Months

After three consecutive months of contraction, activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector unexpectedly expanded in the month of September, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Monday. The ISM said its purchasing managers index rose to 51.5 in September from 49.6 in August, with a reading above 50 indicating an expansion in manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to show a much more modest increase to a reading of 49.7. A turnaround by new orders contributed to the expansion by the manufacturing sector, as the new orders index jumped to 52.3 in September from 47.1 in August. The employment index also showed a notable increase, climbing to 54.7 in September from 51.6 in August, indicating the thirty-sixth consecutive month of job growth in the manufacturing sector. The report also said the production index rose to 49.5 in September from 47.2 in August, although a reading below 50 suggests a continued contraction. Bradley Holcomb, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said, "Comments from the panel reflect a mix of optimism over new orders beginning to pick up, and continued concern over soft global business conditions and an unsettled political environment." On the inflation front, the ISM said its prices index climbed to 58.0 in September from 54.0 in August, pointing to an acceleration in the pace of price growth. The report also showed that the exports index rose to 48.5 in September from 47.0 in August, while the imports index edged up to 49.5 from 49.0. Rob Carnell, chief international economist at ING, said, "All eyes now turn to the non-mfg ISM and ADP surveys out on Wednesday 3 October, which give us our last hints before what will probably be another lackluster payrolls survey on Friday." Wednesday morning, the ISM is due to release a separate report on activity in the service sector in the month of September. The index of activity in the service sector is expected to dip to 53.5 in September from 53.7 in August, although a reading above 50 would still indicate growth.

[Oct01]    U.S. Manufacturing Activity Unexpectedly Expands In September

After three consecutive months of contraction, activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector unexpectedly expanded in the month of September, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Monday. The ISM said its purchasing managers index rose to 51.5 in September from 49.6 in August, with a reading above 50 indicating an expansion in manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to show a much more modest increase to a reading of 49.7.

[Oct01]    Brazil Sept. Manufacturing PMI At 49.8 Vs. 49.3 In August

[Oct01]    U.K. Manufacturing PMI Remains In Negative Territory

U.K. manufacturing sector continued to contract in September on lackluster order inflows and mounting job losses amid a prolonged recession, a closely watched survey revealed Monday. The seasonally adjusted Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) dropped unexpectedly to 48.4 from 49.6 in August, results of a survey by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply and Markit Economics showed. A reading below 50 suggests contraction in the sector. The index was forecast to improve to 49.9 in September. Companies reported that production was lower during the month due to reduced inflows of new export business and subdued domestic market conditions. Nonetheless, new orders increased for the second successive month. Export orders, however, declined for the sixth consecutive month amid weaker demand from the EU and Asia. "Domestically, UK consumers appear to be doing their part for the recovery, with a strengthening in demand for consumer goods," said David Noble, chief executive officer at CIPS. However, it remains to be seen if this demand will hold strong with inflation creeping into the equation. Manufacturers were also hurt by rising cost pressures. The average input price inflation rose to a 6-month high due to higher cost of chemicals, energy, foodstuffs, metals, oil and plastics. Output price inflation was the lowest in eight months as weak demand and strong competition restricted manufacturers' pricing power. Meanwhile, staffing levels declined for the fifth successive month and the steepest rate since November 2011. Factories shed jobs due to tough market conditions, lower production and the presence of spare capacity. Despite the disappointing manufacturing PMI data, the Bank of England is likely to keep the key rate at 0.50 percent and to stick to the current quantitative easing plans, IHS Global Insight's Chief UK economist Howard Archer said. Data from the Bank of England showed a less than expected increase in mortgage approvals in August, today. The mortgage approvals secured on dwellings increased to 47,665 in August from 47,556 in July. The expected level for August was 49,300. Total lending to individuals fell by GBP 0.4 billion in August. The annual growth was broadly unchanged at 0.6 percent. Today's figures suggest that the industrial and housing sectors cannot be relied upon to help to return the economy to a sustained period of growth, Samuel Tombs, an economist at Capital Economics said. The U.K. economy shrank at a less than initially estimated pace of 0.4 percent in the second quarter. Elsewhere today, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP survey showed that business volumes and income in financial services sector declined in three months to September. Moreover, the number of employed in the financial services sector decreased at the strongest pace since March 2011 and is forecast to drop further in the next quarter.

[Oct01]    Canadian Raw Materials Price Index Rose 3.4% In August

[Oct01]    Norway Manufacturing Sector Contracts For Second Month

Activity in the Norwegian manufacturing sector decreased for the second consecutive month in September, data released by the Fokus Bank and the Norwegian Association of Purchasing and Logistics showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector came in at 48.9 in September, broadly unchanged from 48.8 recorded in August. A PMI reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector, while one above suggests growth. New orders received by manufacturing firms decreased in September, after remaining flat in the previous month. Production in the manufacturing industry decreased for the fourth consecutive month, and the rate of fall was little changed from August. Norwegian manufacturers increased their workforces modestly during the month, following a reduction in the previous month, data showed.

[Oct01]    Denmark PMI Falls In September

Denmark's industrial sector was close to stagnation in September due to a decline in new orders, a survey by the Danish Purchasing and Logistics Forum (DILF) and Kairos Commodities showed Monday. The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 50.1, after rising to 51.4 in the previous month. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector. The new order index fell to 43.4 from 48.1, the weakest level since October last year. The production sub-index dropped to 54.6 from 62.8.

[Oct01]    Amended: Eurozone Unemployment Rate Steadies In August

Corrects unemployment change in the third para Unemployment in the Eurozone remained unchanged for the second successive month in August, data released by statistical office Eurostat showed Monday. In August, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 11.4 percent, unchanged from July and June. The latest figure also matched economists' expectations. In August 2011, the jobless rate in the single-currency bloc was 10.2 percent. The number of unemployed persons in the euro area increased by 34,000 to about 18.196 million in August. In EU27, the unemployment rate remained steady at 10.5 percent for the second successive month. However, the August figure was higher than 9.7 percent recorded a year earlier. There were around 25.466 million unemployed persons in EU27 during the month. Among member states, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria, the Netherlands and Germany, and the highest in Spain and Greece.

[Oct01]    Eurozone Unemployment Rate Steadies In August

Unemployment in the Eurozone remained unchanged for the second successive month in August, data released by statistical office Eurostat showed Monday. In August, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 11.4 percent, unchanged from July and June. The latest figure also matched economists' expectations. In August 2011, the jobless rate in the single-currency bloc was 10.2 percent. The number of unemployed persons in the euro area increased by around 24,000 to about 18.196 million in August. In EU27, the unemployment rate remained steady at 10.5 percent for the second successive month. However, the August figure was higher than 9.7 percent recorded a year earlier. There were around 25.466 million unemployed persons in EU27 during the month. Among member states, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria, the Netherlands and Germany, and the highest in Spain and Greece.

[Oct01]    Eurozone Aug. Unemployment Rate Unchanged At 11.4%, Consensus 11.4%

[Oct01]    UK Manufacturing Shrinks Further

U.K. manufacturing sector continued to shrink in September due to weak order inflows and mounting job losses, results of a survey by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply and Markit Economics revealed Monday. The seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) dropped to 48.4 from 49.6 in August. A reading below 50 suggests contraction in the sector. Companies reported that production was lower during the month due to reduced inflows of new export business and subdued domestic market conditions. New orders increased for the second successive month, but from low levels. Export orders, however, declined for the sixth consecutive month amid weaker demand from the EU and Asia. Manufacturers were also hurt by rising cost pressures. The average input price inflation rose to a 6-month high due to higher cost of chemicals, energy, foodstuffs, metals, oil and plastics. Output price inflation was the lowest in eight months as weak demand and strong competition restricted manufacturers' pricing power. Meanwhile, staffing levels declined for the fifth successive month and the steepest rate since November 2011. Factories shed jobs due to to tough market conditions, lower production and the presence of spare capacity.

[Oct01]    U.K. Aug. Net Consumer Credit -GBP 0.1 Bln, Consensus +GBP 0.1 Bln

[Oct01]    Greece Manufacturing Sector Contracts Sharply In September

The Greek manufacturing sector contracted sharply in September as firms scaled back production in line with a further notable drop in intakes of new work, Markit Economics said Monday. The Purchasing Managers' Index rose slightly to 42.2 in August from 42.1 in July. The survey revealed that output levels drop on sharp decrease in new orders. Employment and purchasing activity were adjusted downwards and stocks further depleted. Foreign order intakes marked the steepest fall since January 2009. At the same time, cost pressure was the strongest for over a year.

[Oct01]    French Manufacturing PMI At 41-Month Low

The French manufacturing conditions worsened in September, but at a slightly less than initially estimated pace, survey data from Markit Economics showed Monday. The Purchasing Managers' Index plunged to 42.7 in September, the lowest since April 2009, from 46 in August. The flash reading for September was 42.6. New orders received by manufacturers declined sharply in September. Employment decreased for a seventh successive month. Meanwhile, input prices faced by French manufacturers increased for the first time in four months in September, while output charge inflation was moderate overall. "The manufacturing sector looks highly likely to have made a negative contribution to third-quarter GDP, with PMI data signaling the weakest quarterly output performance since the first quarter of 2009," said Jack Kennedy, senior economist at Markit.

[Oct01]    Greece Sep Manufacturing PMI 42.2 Vs. 42.1 In August

[Oct01]    Downturn In Czech Manufacturing Deepens In September

The downturn in the Czech manufacturing economy showed no signs of ending in September, survey data from Markit Economics showed Monday. The HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 48.0, the lowest since May, from 48.7 in August. The PMI remained below the no-change mark of 50 for the sixth straight month. The near-term risk is still for the slowdown to accelerate, said Agata Urbanska, economist, Central & Eastern Europe at HSBC. Output declined at the fastest rate in over three years, while demand from both domestic and export markets remained weak. Purchasing, stocks and employment all declined further during the month. Cost pressures built up in September. The rate of input price inflation was the highest since June 2011.

[Oct01]    Swiss August Retail Sales Growth Accelerates

Swiss retail sales grew 5.9 percent year-on-year in August, faster than the revised 2.9 percent rise in July, the Federal Statistical Office said Monday. Likewise, excluding fuel, sales increased at a faster pace of 5.6 percent after logging an annual 2.8 percent growth last month. Retail sales of food, drinks and tobacco registered an increase in real turnover of 4.1 percent. At the same time, the non-food sector registered positive growth of 6.3 percent. On a monthly comparison, real retail turnover recovered in August, up 0.4 percent compared to a 0.6 percent fall in July.

[Oct01]    European Economics Preview: Eurozone Jobless Data Due

Unemployment from euro area and mortgage approvals from the U.K. are due on Monday, headlining a busy day for the European economic news. At 3.00 am ET, Purchasing Managers' survey results are due from Norway, Poland and Turkey. At 3.15 am ET, Switzerland's Federal Statistical Office is slated to release retail sales data for August. Retail sales were up 3.2 percent year-on-year in July. Swiss PMI is due at 3.30 am ET. The manufacturing PMI is seen rising to 47.5 in September from 46.7 in August. French and Germany's final manufacturing PMI reports are due at 3.50 and 3.55 am ET. At 4.00 am ET, Markit Economics is set to publish final Eurozone manufacturing PMI. The index is forecast to match the flash estimate of 46. In the meantime, Italy's unemployment figures are due. The jobless rate is expected to rise to 10.8 percent in August from 10.7 percent in July. At 4.30 am ET, the Bank of England is scheduled to release U.K. mortgage approvals for August. The number of approvals is seen at 49,300 compared to 47,312 in July. M4 money supply data is also due. Half an hour later, Eurozone jobless data is due. The unemployment rate is forecast to edge up to 11.4 in August from 11.3 percent in July.

[Oct01]    European Economics Preview: Eurozone Jobless Data Due

Unemployment from euro area and mortgage approvals from the U.K. are due on Monday, headlining a busy day for the European economic news. At 3.00 am ET, Purchasing Managers' survey results are due from Norway, Poland and Turkey. At 3.15 am ET, Switzerland's Federal Statistical Office is slated to release retail sales data for August. Retail sales were up 3.2 percent year-on-year in July. Swiss PMI is due at 3.30 am ET. The manufacturing PMI is seen rising to 47.5 in September from 46.7 in August. French and Germany's final manufacturing PMI reports are due at 3.50 and 3.55 am ET. At 4.00 am ET, Markit Economics is set to publish final Eurozone manufacturing PMI. The index is forecast to match the flash estimate of 46. In the meantime, Italy's unemployment figures are due. The jobless rate is expected to rise to 10.8 percent in August from 10.7 percent in July. At 4.30 am ET, the Bank of England is scheduled to release U.K. mortgage approvals for August. The number of approvals is seen at 49,300 compared to 47,312 in July. M4 money supply data is also due. Half an hour later, Eurozone jobless data is due. The unemployment rate is forecast to edge up to 11.4 in August from 11.3 percent in July.

[Oct01]    Japan's Auto Sales Fall In September

Japan's automobile sales declined 8.1 percent year-on-year in September, offsetting a 7.3 percent rise in August, the Japan Automobile Dealers' Association said Monday. Overall sales totaled 288,478 units. Data released by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association last week showed that auto production grew 4.5 percent annually in August. Meanwhile, auto exports decreased 5.4 percent after seven months of upturn.

[Oct01]    Sweden Sept. Manufacturing PMI At 44.7 Vs. 45.1 In August, Consensus 46.3

[Oct01]    Dutch Factory Sector Rebounds Modestly In September

The Dutch manufacturing sector returned to growth in September, after contracting for six months in a row, data from a survey by Markit Economics and NEVI showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector advanced to 50.7 in September from 49.7 in August. The latest reading was the first time since February in which the index has been above the no-change 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. New orders received by Dutch manufacturers increased in September, with export orders growing at a considerably faster pace than total new work. In line with the rise in orders, production also increased notably during the month. Input prices in the sector increased for the first time in four months during September, and the rate of inflation was marked. In contrast, output prices continued to decline with competitive pressures weighing on firms' pricing power.

[Oct01]    Irish Factory Sector Growth Accelerates In September

Ireland's manufacturing sector expanded at a faster rate in September, data released by Markit Economics and HSBC Bank showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector increased to 51.8 in September from 50.9 in August. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while one below suggests contraction. Production in Indian factories increased for the fifth successive month in September, and the rate of growth exceeded that seen in August. The output growth reflected an increase in new orders, supported by an increase in clients. To manage the higher workloads firms increased their workforces, and the pace of job creation was the fastest in three months. Input costs rose for the second month running, and at an accelerated pace that was stronger than the series average. Companies raised their output prices in response to higher input costs.

[Oct01]    Ireland Sept. Manufacturing PMI At 51.8 Vs. 50.9 In August

[Oct01]    Estonia's Industrial Production Declines For Sixth Month

Estonia's industrial production decreased for the sixth consecutive month in August, data released by Statistics Estonia showed Monday. Industrial production declined a working-day adjusted 2.8 percent year-on-year in August, slower than the 7.2 percent fall seen in July. Production decreased for the sixth consecutive month. Production in the manufacturing sector declined 3.7 percent annually, while mining and quarrying output edged down 0.1 percent. Meanwhile, energy production was higher by 3.8 percent compared to last year. On a monthly basis, industrial production increased a seasonally adjusted 2.4 percent in August, after rising 0.9 percent in July, the agency said.

[Oct01]    Economy On Uneven Recovery Track

Evidences on the U.S. economic recovery have been far from comforting. Although we have been seeing some upturn in the housing market and consumer spending, the improvement is only modest. Meanwhile, manufacturing and business spending, which were earlier spearheading the economy recovery, are losing steam. The uneven and volatile nature of the recovery is definitely a cause of concern. BMO Capital Markets sees two scenarios that could emerge. If the consumers and homebuyers supported by improved finances and low borrowing costs spend more, then the stronger income growth will reinforce demand and lift the economy onto a higher trajectory. However, if businesses continue to pullback due to the looming fiscal cliff and delayed reforms to taxes and regulatory policies, the growth will remain subpar and the unemployment rate will hardly budge. Last week, the Commerce Department reported that new home sales fell 0.3 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 373,000 in August. Meanwhile, July sales were upwardly revised to 374,000 from the 372,000 estimated initially. Inventories remained unchanged at 141,000, while inventories measured in terms of months of supply held steady at 4.5 months. The median price of an existing home was up 17 percent year-over-year in August. Meanwhile, a report released by the National Association of Realtors showed that pending home sales fell 2.6 percent month-over-month in August following a 2.6 percent increase in July. Pending home sales fell in all the regions except the Northeast. The results of the S&P/Case-Shiller house price survey showed that house prices rose 1.2 percent year-over-year in July, the biggest annual advance since August 2010. Only 4 out of the 20 cities saw declines in house prices. On a seasonally adjusted basis, house prices were up 0.44 percent compared to the previous month. The Commerce Department downwardly revised its GDP growth estimate to 1.3 percent from 1.7 percent. At the same time, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index rose to 70.3 in September from 61.3 in August, with the improvement primarily stemming from an optimistic outlook for the job market. Consumers expecting more jobs in the months ahead rose to 18.5 percent from 15.8 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs fell to 18.5 percent from 23.7 percent. Job market indicators are likely to be in the spotlight in the unfolding week, with the Labor Department's non-farm payrolls report for September, ADP's private sector employment report and the weekly jobless claims report among the closely watched reports. Traders may also focus on the results of the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing and non-manufacturing surveys for September and a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The Commerce Department's construction spending report for August, factory orders report for August, the Federal Reserve's consumer credit report for August and announcement's concerning the Treasury auctions of 3-year and 10-year notes and 30-year bonds round up the economic events of the week. The monthly non-farm payrolls report is expected to reveal a modest strengthening in the addition to payrolls in September, although not strong enough to bring about an improvement in the jobless rate. Hiring by the manufacturing sector may have slackened due to weakness in manufacturing activity, while the construction sector may have added jobs. Going by the results of the regional manufacturing surveys, the Institute for Supply Management's national manufacturing survey is expected to show a contraction in activity. The new orders index of most of the surveys were weak, signaling further softness ahead. The non-manufacturing survey is expected a slowdown in the expansion by the sector, as consumer spending continues to be soft. That said, firming housing market suggests that the construction sector activity may have strengthened. Monday The results of the manufacturing survey of the Institute for Supply Management, which are based on data compiled from purchasing and supply executives nationwide, are due out at 10 am ET. Economists expect the index to show a reading of 49.7 for September. The manufacturing index based on the Institute for Supply Management's survey came in at 49.6 in August compared to 49.8 in July. The new orders index fell 0.9 points to 47.1, the lowest level since April 2009, while the order backlogs index slid to 42.5. The employment index was down 0.4 points to 51.6. Of the 18 industries surveyed, 8 reported growth and 8 saw contraction, while the remaining 2 saw little change. The Commerce Department's construction spending report to be released at 10 am ET is expected to show a 0.6 percent increase in August. Construction spending fell 0.9 percent month-over-month in July compared to the 0.4 percent growth expected by economists. June spending was left unrevised at 0.4 percent, while May's reading was upwardly revised to show 1.7 percent growth compared to the initially estimated 1.6 percent growth. Residential construction spending fell 1.6 percent and private non-residential spending declined 0.9 percent, while public spending was down 0.4 percent. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to speak on "Five Questions about the Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy" at the Economic Club of Indiana at 12:30 pm. Tuesday Individual automakers are scheduled to release their monthly U.S. sales results for June. The data will reveal the unit sales of domestically produced cars and light duty trucks, including sports utility vehicles and mini-vans, during the month. Economists expect domestic vehicle sales of 14.5 million for September, flat with last month. Wednesday The ADP National Employment report, which sheds light on non-farm private employment, is scheduled to be released at 8:15 am ET. The consensus expectations are for an addition of 140,000 jobs by the sector in September following an addition of 201,000 jobs in June. The Institute for Supply Management is scheduled to release the results of its non-manufacturing survey at 10 am ET. The non-manufacturing index is likely to show a reading of 53.5 for September. Activity in the sector expanded at a faster rate in August. The non-manufacturing index based on the survey rose 1.1 points to 53.7. The employment index rose 4.5 points to 53.8 and the order backlogs index rose 6 points to 50.5, while the business activity index slipped 1.6 points to 55.6 and the new orders index edged down 0.6 points to 53.7. Of the 18 industries surveyed, 10 reported growth, 5 reported contraction and the remaining 3 reported no change. The Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release its weekly petroleum inventory report for the week ended September 28th at 10:30 AM ET. Crude oil inventories fell by 2.4 million barrels to 365.2 million barrels in the week ended September 21st. Inventories were above the upper limit of the average range. Gasoline inventories fell by 0.5 million barrels, and were in the lower half of the average range. Distillate inventories also fell by 0.5 million barrels, remaining near the lower limit of the average range for this time of the year. Refinery capacity utilization averaged 86.8 percent over the four weeks ended September 21st compared to 87.7 percent over the previous four weeks. Thursday The Labor Department is due to release its customary jobless claims report for the week ended August September 29th at 8:30 AM ET. Economists expect claims to increase to 370,000 from 359,000 in the previous week. The initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to 359,000 in the week ended September 22nd from 385,000 in the previous week. The four-week average fell to 374,000 from 378,500. The Labor Department noted that the data included very minor activity related to the aftermath of hurricane Isaac. Continuing claims for the week ended September 15th declined by 4,000. The Commerce Department is due to release its report on factory goods orders for August at 10 am ET. Economists estimate a 6 percent drop in orders for factory goods. In July, factory orders rose 2.8 percent month-over-month following a 0.5 percent drop in June. Shipments climbed 2 percent and unfilled orders were up 0.8 percent. Durable goods orders, which make up the bulk of factory orders, fell 13.2 percent month-over-month in August, with the weakness mainly due to a sharp decline in transportation equipment orders. Even excluding transportation, orders fell 1.6 percent. Non-defense capital goods orders, excluding aircraft and parts, often considered a proxy for capital spending rose 1.1 percent following a downwardly revised 5.2 percent drop in July. Shipment of this category of goods directly plugged into GDP calculation fell 3 percent. The Federal Reserve is due to release the minutes of its September 12th-13th meeting at 2 pm ET. Friday The Labor Department is scheduled to release its monthly non-farm payroll report at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect non-farm payrolls for September to increase by 113,000, while the unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 8.1 percent. The private sector is expected to have added 130,000 jobs. Non-farm payrolls numbers rose a weaker than expected 96,000 in August. July's reading was downwardly revised to 141,000 from the 163,000 growth initially estimated. Private sector job growth also slowed to 103,000 in August from 162,000 in July. The decline in labor force participation rate led to a drop in the jobless rate to 8.1 percent. While the average duration of unemployment rose to 39.2 months, average hourly earnings rose 1.7 percent year-over-year, although remaining flat with July. The U.S. Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its monthly consumer credit report at 3 pm ET. Consumer credit for July is expected to show an increase of $7.8 billion. Outstanding consumer credit fell by $3.3 billion in July following an upwardly revised $9.8 billion increase in June. Economists expected an increase of $9.8 billion. Revolving credit tied to credit cards fell by $4.8 billion compared to a $1.6 billion increase in non-revolving credit.

[Oct01]    Russian Factory Sector Growth Quickens In September

Russia's manufacturing sector expanded at a notably faster rate in September, data from a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC Bank showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector increased to a four-month high of 52.4 in September from 51 in August. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while one below suggests decline. Production at Russian factories increased at the fastest rate since April, supported by completion of backlogs and increase in new orders, which rose for the twelfth month in a row in September. Employment in the sector move up during the month, after remaining broadly unchanged in the previous two months. Average input prices rose at the fastest rate since April 2011, driven by food, energy and transport costs. Output price inflation also accelerated, to the strongest since July 2011.

[Oct01]    S. Korea's Exports Continue To Fall

South Korea's exports declined for a third month in September, but at a slower than expected pace, data from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy revealed Monday. Exports totaled $45.66 billion, down 1.8 percent from a year ago. The decline follows a 6.2 percent drop in August. Economists had forecast exports to drop 5.5 percent. Likewise, imports dipped 6.1 percent to $42.51 billion in September. Imports were forecast to fall by 9.5 percent after easing 9.7 percent in August. The trade surplus rose to $3.1 billion from about $2 billion in August, and stayed above the consensus forecast of $2.72 billion. The South Korean government last week proposed higher spending in its 2013 budget proposal to mitigate the impact of global slowdown. Standard & Poor's downgraded its real growth estimate for South Korea by about half a percentage point to 2.5 percent.

[Oct01]    China's Manufacturing Sector Contracts For Second Month

China's manufacturing activity shrank for the second month in September on weak domestic and external demand, increasing the pressure on the government to step up stimulus. The official Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 49.8 in September, but up from 49.2 a month ago, the results of a survey by the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing showed Monday. The reading was forecast to improve to 50.1. A reading below 50 indicates contraction, while the one above the 50-level suggests expansion. The new orders index climbed to 49.8 from 48.7 in August. At the same time, the production index gained 0.4 points to 51.3. On the other hand, the finished goods inventory fell 0.3 points to 47.9. A survey report from Markit Economics, published over the weekend, showed a faster rate of decline in Chinese manufacturing output in September. The HSBC PMI increased to 47.9 from 47.6 in August, signaling an eleventh month of contraction in the activity of the manufacturing sector. Export orders plunged at the fastest rate in 42 months. Hongbin Qu, chief economist, China & Co-Head of Asian Economic Research at HSBC said fiscal measures should play a more important role in the coming months. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services last week downgraded the 2012 economic growth projection for China by about half a percentage point to 7.5 percent, citing the ongoing troubles in the Eurozone and a weaker recovery in the U.S. The Chinese economy expanded 7.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, the weakest pace in nearly three years. The slowdown is more evident in the manufacturing and export sectors.

[Oct01]    China's Manufacturing Sector Contracts For Second Month

China's manufacturing activity shrank for the second month in September on weak domestic and external demand, increasing the pressure on the government to step up stimulus. The official Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 49.8 in September, but up from 49.2 a month ago, the results of a survey by the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing showed Monday. The reading was forecast to improve to 50.1. A reading below 50 indicates contraction, while the one above the 50-level suggests expansion. The new orders index climbed to 49.8 from 48.7 in August. At the same time, the production index gained 0.4 points to 51.3. On the other hand, the finished goods inventory fell 0.3 points to 47.9. A survey report from Markit Economics, published over the weekend, showed a faster rate of decline in Chinese manufacturing output in September. The HSBC PMI increased to 47.9 from 47.6 in August, signaling an eleventh month of contraction in the activity of the manufacturing sector. Export orders plunged at the fastest rate in 42 months. Hongbin Qu, chief economist, China & Co-Head of Asian Economic Research at HSBC said fiscal measures should play a more important role in the coming months. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services last week downgraded the 2012 economic growth projection for China by about half a percentage point to 7.5 percent, citing the ongoing troubles in the Eurozone and a weaker recovery in the U.S. The Chinese economy expanded 7.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, the weakest pace in nearly three years. The slowdown is more evident in the manufacturing and export sectors.

[Sep30]    Australia Manufacturing PMI 44.1 In September - AiG

The contraction in Australia's manufacturing sector accelerated in September, the Australian Industry Group said on Monday, after its index came in with a score of 44.1. That's down from 45.3 in August. A score above 50 signals expansion in a sector, while a reading below means contraction. Among the individual categories, food and beverages, wood products and miscellaneous all retreated sharply after rising in the previous month. The index saw support from textiles, clothing and paper and printing.

[Sep30]    UK House Prices Fall 0.1% In September - Hometrack

[Sep30]    BoJ Tankan On Tap For Monday

The Bank of Japan will on Monday release the results of its quarterly Tankan survey measuring manufacturer sentiment, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. The large manufacturers' index is expected to come in at -4, down from -1 at the start of the third quarter - while the outlook is called at -5, down from 1. The non-manufacturers' index is expected to ease to 6 from 8, while the outlook suggests no movement at 6. Large all-industry capex is expected to rise 5.0 percent, down from 6.2 percent in the previous three months. Japan also will see August figures for loans and discounts, as well as September data for vehicle sales and reserve assets. Loans were down 0.3 percent on year in July, while vehicle sales added an annual 7.3 percent and reserve assets came in at $1,273.2 billion. Australia will provide September numbers for its inflation forecast from TD Securities, as well as the AiG Performance of Manufacturing Index. The inflation forecast in August showed an increase of 0.6 percent on month and 2.2 percent on year, while the manufacturing index saw a score of 45.3. Indonesia will release August numbers for imports, exports and trade balance, as well as September data for inflation. Imports were at $16.33 billion in July and exports were at $16.15 billion for a $0.18 billion shortfall. Overall inflation is expected to come in at 4.5 percent, down from 4.58 percent in August; it was up 0.95 percent on month. Core CPI was up 4.16 percent on year and 0.97 percent on month. Thailand will provide CPI and PPI data for September. CPI is expected to rise 3.15 percent on year and remain flat on month after rising 2.69 percent on year and 0.40 percent on month in August. Core CPI is called higher by 1.8 percent on year and 0.1 percent on month after adding 1.8 percent on year and 0.17 percent on month in August. PPI was up 0.1 percent on year and 0.3 percent on month in August. Finally, the markets in China and Hong Kong are closed on Monday for the National Day holiday, while South Korea's KOSPI is off for the Chusok Festival. China is closed all week, while Hong Kong returns on Wednesday and South Korea is back on Tuesday.

[Sep28]    Spain Stress Tests Show EUR 59.3 Billion Capital Shortfall

[Sep28]    U.S. Consumer Sentiment Improved Less Than Previously Estimated

Consumer sentiment in the U.S. improved by less than previously estimated in the month of September, according to a report released by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan on Friday, although the consumer sentiment index was still at a four-month high. The report showed that the consumer sentiment index for September was downwardly revised to 78.3 from the mid-month reading of 79.2. Economists had expected a more modest downward revision to a reading of 79.0. Despite the downward revision, the index remains notably higher than the 74.3 recorded for August and is at its highest level since May. The improvement compared to the previous month came as traders were more optimistic about the economic outlook, with the consumer expectations index jumping to 73.5 in September from 65.1 in August. The index was upwardly revised from the preliminary reading of 73.4. On the other hand, the current economic conditions index for September was downwardly revised to 85.7 from the preliminary 88.3 and is now well below the 88.7 recorded for August. The report also showed that one-year inflation expectations fell to 3.3 percent in September from 3.6 percent in August, while five-year inflation expectations dipped to 2.8 percent from 3.0 percent. Peter Boockvar, managing director at Miller Tabak, said, "While moderated somewhat from the first look at UoM confidence, the final September figure follows the Conference Board improvement but is only a coincident snap shot indicator and not leading." Tuesday morning, the Conference Board released a report showing a much bigger than expected improvement in U.S. consumer confidence in the month of September. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped to 70.3 in September from a revised 61.3 in August. Economists had expected the index to climb to 64.8 from the 60.6 originally reported for the previous month. The much bigger than expected increase lifted the consumer confidence index to its highest level since reaching 71.6 in February.

[Sep28]    Chicago Business Barometer Falls To Three-Year Low In September

Business activity in the Chicago-area unexpectedly contracted in the month of September, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management - Chicago on Friday, with the business barometer falling to a three-year low. The ISM Chicago said its business barometer dropped to 49.7 in September from 53.0 in August, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction in business activity. With the decrease, the business barometer fell to its lowest level since September of 2009. The drop came as a surprise to economists, who had been expecting the business barometer to come in unchanged compared to the previous month. A contraction by new orders contributed to the drop by the business barometer, with the new orders index tumbling to 47.4 in September from 54.8 in August. The production index also dipped to 55.4 in September from 57.5 in August, although the reading above 50 pointed to continued growth. Similarly, the employment index dropped to 52.0 in September from 57.1 in the previous month but remained above the key 50 level. The order backlogs index edged down to 41.6 in September from 41.7 in August, while the inventories index slipped to 51.1 from 51.2. On the other hand, the prices paid index surged up to 63.2 in September from 57.0 in August, indicating an acceleration in the pace of price growth. The increase lifted the index to its highest level since April. Peter Boockvar, managing director at Miller Tabak, said, "Bottom line, manufacturing at the national level has been slightly below 50 for the past 3 months and the regional surveys in September point to something similar." Next Monday, the Institute for Supply Management is scheduled to release its report on national manufacturing activity in the month of September. The ISM said its index of manufacturing activity edged down to 49.6 in August from 49.8 in July, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction in activity. The index remained below the key 50 level for the third straight month.

[Sep28]    U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index Revised Down By More Than Expected

Consumer sentiment in the U.S. improved by less than previously estimated in the month of September, according to a report released by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan on Friday, although the consumer sentiment index was still at a four-month high. The report showed that the consumer sentiment index for September was downwardly revised to 78.3 from the mid-month reading of 79.2. Economists had expected a more modest downward revision to a reading of 79.0. Despite the downward revision, the index remains notably higher than the 74.3 recorded for August and is at its highest level since May.

[Sep28]    Chicago Business Barometer Unexpectedly Drops In September

Business activity in the Chicago-area unexpectedly contracted in the month of September, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management - Chicago on Friday, with the business barometer falling to a three-year low. The ISM Chicago said its business barometer dropped to 49.7 in September from 53.0 in August, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction in business activity. With the decrease, the business barometer fell to its lowest level since September of 2009. The drop came as a surprise to economists, who had been expecting the business barometer to come in unchanged compared to the previous month.

[Sep28]    Chicago Business Barometer Drops To 49.7 In September

[Sep28]    U.S. Personal Spending Rises 0.5% Amid Higher Gas Prices

While the Commerce Department released a report Friday morning showing that U.S. personal income was nearly flat in the month of August, personal spending still showed a notable increase amid the recent jump in gas prices. The report said personal income inched up by 0.1 percent in August, matching the downwardly revised increase reported for July. Economists had expected income to edge up by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.3 percent growth originally reported for the previous month. Disposable personal income, or personal income less personal current taxes, also edged up by 0.1 percent, in August following a matching increase in the previous month. When adjusted to remove price changes, disposable personal income actually fell 0.3 percent in August compared to a 0.1 percent increase of in July. At the same time, the Commerce Department said personal spending increased by 0.5 percent in August compared to a 0.4 percent increase in July. The spending growth matched economist estimates. The increase in spending was largely due to the higher gas prices, however, and spending edged up by just 0.1 percent when adjusted to remove price changes. Paul Dales, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, said, "The U.S. personal income and spending data for August are worse than the headline figures suggest and indicate that subdued jobs growth is hitting incomes." "As long as real spending is flat in September, annualized real consumption growth in the third quarter will match the second quarter's 1.5 percent," he added. "A 0.4% m/m increase in September would be needed to get up to 2.0%." Dales said the weaker performance of income was even more worrying, noting that it casts some doubt over the outlook for consumption. With spending rising at a faster pace than income, the report also showed personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 3.7 percent in August compared with 4.1 percent in July. The Commerce Department also said its reading on core consumer prices, which exclude energy prices, increased at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in August, unchanged from the previous month.

[Sep28]    France Aims To Cut 2013 Budget Deficit, Lifts Tax On Rich

French President Francois Hollande unveiled his first budget on Friday that heavily tightened spending and raised taxes on the rich to bring the government deficit sharply down by next year. The government plans to cut its 2013 budget deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product from 4.5 percent in 2012. The budget forecasts economic growth of just 0.8 percent. This is the toughest single belt-tightening France has seen in decades. Economists warn such severe tightening may push the economy, which has stagnated in the recent three quarters, into recession. The spending reduction is set to save EUR 10 billion and EUR 20 billion is expected to come from tax increases on both households and companies. The government also reduced the exemption on interest payments of companies and announced a reduction on existing tax break on capital gains from share sales. Further, the government levied a 75 percent tax on earnings above EUR 1 million and a new 45 percent marginal income tax for revenues over EUR 150,000 a year. However, 90 percent of citizens will not see an increase in income tax, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said at a press conference. He said the deficit target is 'realistic'. Elsewhere, Agence France Tresor said it will reduce the bond issuance for next year to EUR 170 billion from EUR 178 billion this year. The total financing requirement for the State will amount to EUR 171.1 billion. Data released by the statistical office Insee, earlier in the day, showed that that public debt reached 91 percent of GDP from 89.3 percent in the first quarter.

[Sep28]    S. Africa August Trade Deficit Widens More Than Expected

South Africa's merchandise trade deficit increased more than economists expected in August as the value of imports increased and that of shipments declined, data released by the South African Revenue Service showed Friday. The trade shortfall jumped to ZAR12.2 billion in August from ZAR6.7 billion in July. Economists were looking for a more modest rise to ZAR6.9 billion. In August last year, the balance was a deficit of ZAR3.8 billion. Export of goods decreased 3.3 percent sequentially to ZAR61.4 billion in August. Shipments of mineral products fell 17 percent, and dispatches of chemical or allied products plunged 28 percent. Exports of precious and semi-precious stones and metals remained broadly unchanged. The value of imports, meanwhile, increased 4.9 percent month-on-month to ZAR73.6 billion. Arrivals of mineral products climbed 24 percent, while imports of chemical or allied products rose 11 percent, data showed. In the January-August period, the trade balance was a deficit of ZAR69.9 billion, sharply higher than the ZAR8.7 billion shortfall recorded in the same period a year earlier.

[Sep28]    Brazil Aug. PPI Rises 0.53% On Month Vs. 0.5% Last Month

[Sep28]    S. Africa Aug. Exports Down 3.3% On Month, Imports Rise 4.9%

[Sep28]    Eurozone Inflation Rises Unexpectedly On Fuel Cost

Rising energy prices pushed Eurozone inflation unexpectedly higher in September, weighing on expectations for an interest rate cut. Inflation increased to a six-month high of 2.7 percent from 2.6 percent in August, the flash estimate from Eurostat showed Friday. The rate was forecast to slow to 2.4 percent. The final data for September is due on October 16. The European Central Bank aims to retain inflation rates below, but close to 2 percent over the medium term. Data showed that inflation is moving away from the target, while the economy is heading into a recession. However, IHS Global Insight's economist Howard Archer said the underlying inflationary environment is far from alarming. If the European Central Bank does hold fire next Thursday, then another month of poor Eurozone economic data and surveys will encourage the bank to act in November, he said. Among the main components of inflation, energy prices gained 9.2 percent compared with 8.9 percent in August. Likewise, the cost of services climbed 2 percent, up from 1.8 percent a month ago. Meanwhile, the increase in prices of food, alcohol and tobacco prices slowed to 2.9 percent from 3 percent. Non-energy industrial goods prices grew 0.8 percent after logging 1.1 percent rise. Spain's EU harmonized inflation rose to 3.5 percent in September driven by an increase in the value added tax, the statistical office INE said today. Similarly, Italy's HICP inflation rose to 3.4 percent from 3.3 percent, the country's statistical agency ISTAT reported. Meanwhile, German inflation slowed to 2.1 percent from 2.2 percent. The ECB has kept the refi rate at 0.75 percent since July when it took the rate below 1 percent for the first time in the ECB's history. Although the ECB is seen holding key rate next week, the bank will probably reduce rates before the end of this year.

[Sep28]    France Aims To Cut 2013 Budget Deficit To 3% Of GDP

French President Francois Hollande unveiled his first budget that heavily tightened spending and raised taxes on the rich. The government plans to cut its budget deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product next year from 4.5 percent in 2012. GDP is forecast to grow just 0.8 percent. The spending reduction is set to save EUR 10 billion. Further, the government levied a 75 percent tax on earnings above EUR 1 million. Elsewhere, Agence France Tresor said it will reduce bond auction for next year to EUR 170 billion from EUR 178 billion this year.

[Sep28]    Irish Retail Sales Growth Slows In August

Ireland's retail sales increased at a slower pace in August, data released by the Central Statistics Office revealed Friday. Retail sales volume, including automobiles, increased a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent on a monthly basis in August, slower than the 1 percent gain seen in July. In June, sales had decreased 1 percent. Sales of hardware, paints and glass increased 2.1 percent, while sales of electrical goods rose 1.3 percent. Retail sales of food, beverages and tobacco were lower by 0.3 percent compared to July, and clothing and footwear sales by 2.3 percent. Compared to last year, retail sales volume decreased at a slower pace of 0.6 percent in August than 1.3 percent in July. In value terms, trade in the retail sector advanced 0.5 percent sequentially in August, after rising 1.2 percent in July. Year-on-year, the value of sales moved up 0.3 percent, reversing the previous month's 1.4 percent decline.

[Sep28]    Italy Inflation Rises Unexpectedly In September

Italy's inflation, as measured by the harmonized index of consumer prices, rose unexpectedly in September, preliminary estimates released by the statistical office Istat showed Friday. The HICP inflation rose to 3.4 percent in September from 3.3 percent in August. Economists had forecast the rate to fall to 2.7 percent. Month-on-month, the index rose 2.1 percent after a flat reading in the previous month. Expectations were for a 1.3 percent rise. The consumer price index rose at a steady pace of 3.2 percent annually, while forecasts were centered around a modest slowdown to 3.1 percent. Month-on-month, CPI recorded no change in contrast to forecast for a 0.1 percent fall. Core inflation, that excludes price changes in energy and unprocessed food, fell to 1.9 percent from 2.1 percent in August.

[Sep28]    Italy Inflation Rises Unexpectedly In September

Italy's inflation, as measured by the harmonized index of consumer prices, rose unexpectedly in September, preliminary estimates released by the statistical office Istat showed Friday. The HICP inflation rose to 3.4 percent in September from 3.3 percent in August. Economists had forecast the rate to fall to 2.7 percent. Month-on-month, the index rose 2.1 percent after a flat reading in the previous month. Expectations were for a 1.3 percent rise. The consumer price index rose at a steady pace of 3.2 percent annually, while forecasts were centered around a modest slowdown to 3.1 percent. Month-on-month, CPI recorded no change in contrast to forecast for a 0.1 percent fall. Core inflation, that excludes price changes in energy and unprocessed food, fell to 1.9 percent from 2.1 percent in August.

[Sep28]    Malaysia Sees Lower Budget Shortfall In 2013

Malaysia aims to trim its budget deficit in 2013 while lowering government spending, reports said citing an annual report from the Finance Ministry. The country aims to trim the deficit to 4 percent of GDP in 2013 from a revised shortfall of 4.5 percent this year, according to the report released ahead of the budget speech by Prime Minister Najib Razak on Friday. The government expects the economy to grow 4.5-5.5 percent in 2013, faster than the 4.5-5 percent growth projected for 2012, the report said. The government is forecasting spending of MYR 249.7 billion in 2013, down from MYR 252.4 billion in 2012. The revenue is expected to increase to MYR 208.7 billion from MYR 207.2 billion this year.

[Sep28]    WIFO Forecasts Austria GDP To Grow 0.6% In 2012, 1% In 2013

[Sep28]    Portugal Aug. Industrial Production Down 2.2% Y-o-Y Vs. 0.3% Fall Last Month

[Sep28]    Croatia August Industrial Output Rises, Trade Gap Narrows

Croatia's industrial production increased moderately in August, after declining steadily in the previous two months, data released by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics showed Friday. Industrial production increased 0.6 percent on an annual basis in August, reversing decreases of 5.5 percent each in July and June. Production in the manufacturing sector grew 2.8 percent annually, while mining and quarrying production plunged 21 percent. Production and supply of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning was lower by 3 percent compared to last year, data showed. On a monthly basis, producer prices advanced at a slower rate of 0.7 percent in August than 1.6 percent in July, data showed. Separately, the agency said Croatia's visible trade deficit narrowed to EUR565.98 million in August from EUR665.06 million in July as imports decreased at a faster rate than exports.

[Sep28]    Italy Inflation Rises Unexpectedly In September

Italy's inflation, as measured by the harmonized index of consumer prices, rose unexpectedly in September, preliminary estimates released by the statistical office Istat showed Friday. The HICP inflation rose to 3.4 percent in September from 3.3 percent in August. Economists had forecast the rate to fall to 2.7 percent. Month-on-month, the index rose 2.1 percent after a flat reading in the previous month. Expectations were for a 1.3 percent rise. The consumer price index rose at a steady pace of 3.2 percent annually, while forecasts were centered around a modest slowdown to 3.1 percent. Month-on-month, CPI recorded no change in contrast to forecast for a 0.1 percent fall. Core inflation, that excludes price changes in energy and unprocessed food, fell to 1.9 percent from 2.1 percent in August.

[Sep28]    Greek Output Price Inflation Rises To 6-Month High

Greece's producer price inflation accelerated to the highest level in six months in August, data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority showed Friday. The producer price index increased 6.5 percent annually in August, after rising 3.8 percent in July. The latest figure was the highest since February, when prices rose 6.8 percent. The acceleration in growth was driven mainly by a 16 percent rise in energy prices. Prices of both intermediate goods and capital goods increased 0.5 percent each during the month, while non-durable consumer goods prices moved up 1.3 percent. Output prices of durable consumer goods, meanwhile, remained broadly unchanged year-on-year, data showed. On a monthly basis, output prices advanced at a slower rate of 1.7 percent in August than 2 percent in July.

[Sep28]    Italy PPI Rises More Than Expected

Italian producer prices increased more than expected by economists in August, data from the statistical office Istat showed Friday. The total producer price index rose 2.7 percent year-on-year in August compared to expectations for an increase of 2.5 percent. Prices in the domestic market rose 3 percent annually, while that in foreign market advanced 1.4 percent. On a monthly basis, the index increased 0.7 percent in August compared to expectations for a 0.3 percent rise. In domestic market, PPI rose 0.8 percent and in foreign market, the index gained 0.2 percent.

[Sep28]    Iceland Aug. PPI Down 6.1 On Year, Drops 2.7% On Month

[Sep28]    Croatia Aug. Industrial Production Up 0.7% On Month, Rises 0.6% Y-o-Y

[Sep28]    Greece Aug. PPI Rises 1.7% On Month Vs. 2% In July

[Sep28]    German Retail Sales Rebound Marginally In August

Retail sales in Germany recovered in August following a modest decline in the previous month, reviving expectations that private consumption, one of the main drivers of growth for Eurozone's largest economy, could steer the economy through the turbulence in the rest of the single-currency bloc. Sales rose 0.3 percent in August from a month earlier when adjusted for seasonal and calendar variations. This was a tad above the 0.2 percent growth expected by economists and follows a 1 percent decline in the previous month. On an annual basis, retail sales dropped 0.8 percent compared to forecast for a 0.9 percent fall. This marked a second consecutive drop after a 1.6 percent dip in sales in July. The statistical office said that retail trade of food, beverages and tobacco rose 0.8 percent annually in August. On the other hand, non-food retailing fell 0.4 percent. The results of a survey by market research group GfK signaled Tuesday that German consumer confidence may remain unchanged in October, while households' expectations about the economy improved. The survey also showed that the willingness to buy durable goods remained stable, though income expectations continued to be affected by a slight increase in unemployment as well as high fuel prices. German unemployment increased for the sixth consecutive month in September, government data revealed Thursday. Nonetheless, the overall number of unemployed was still the lowest since 1991. The German economy expanded 0.3 percent in the June quarter. Citing weak domestic investment and slowing global growth, Germany's IfW think tank this month downgraded its growth projection for both 2012 and 2013 to 0.8 percent and 1.1 percent respectively. In a report released this month, Bundesbank said the economy will continue its upward trend in the third quarter. However, the central bank warned that future development is subject to great uncertainty.

[Sep28]    Italy PPI Rises More Than Expected

Italian producer prices increased more than expected by economists in August, data from the statistical office Istat showed Friday. The total producer price index rose 2.7 percent year-on-year in August compared to expectations for an increase of 2.5 percent. Prices in the domestic market rose 3 percent annually, while that in foreign market advanced 1.4 percent. On a monthly basis, the index increased 0.7 percent in August compared to expectations for a 0.3 percent rise. In domestic market, PPI rose 0.8 percent and in foreign market, the index gained 0.2 percent.

[Sep28]    Italy Aug PPI Up 0.7% On Month, Consensus 0.3%

[Sep28]    Norway Aug. Retail Sales Rise 3.7% On Year

[Sep28]    German Retail Sales Rebound Marginally In August

Retail sales in Germany recovered in August following a modest decline in the previous month, reviving expectations that private consumption, one of the main drivers of growth for Eurozone's largest economy, could steer the economy through the turbulence in the rest of the single-currency bloc. Sales rose 0.3 percent in August from a month earlier when adjusted for seasonal and calendar variations. This was a tad above the 0.2 percent growth expected by economists and follows a 1 percent decline in the previous month. On an annual basis, retail sales dropped 0.8 percent compared to forecast for a 0.9 percent fall. This marked a second consecutive drop after a 1.6 percent dip in sales in July. The statistical office said that retail trade of food, beverages and tobacco rose 0.8 percent annually in August. On the other hand, non-food retailing fell 0.4 percent. The results of a survey by market research group GfK signaled Tuesday that German consumer confidence may remain unchanged in October, while households' expectations about the economy improved. The survey also showed that the willingness to buy durable goods remained stable, though income expectations continued to be affected by a slight increase in unemployment as well as high fuel prices. German unemployment increased for the sixth consecutive month in September, government data revealed Thursday. Nonetheless, the overall number of unemployed was still the lowest since 1991. The German economy expanded 0.3 percent in the June quarter. Citing weak domestic investment and slowing global growth, Germany's IfW think tank this month downgraded its growth projection for both 2012 and 2013 to 0.8 percent and 1.1 percent respectively. In a report released this month, Bundesbank said the economy will continue its upward trend in the third quarter. However, the central bank warned that future development is subject to great uncertainty.

[Sep28]    Spain's Sep Inflation At 17-Month High

Spain's consumer price inflation rose sharply in September to the highest since April 2011, flash data from the statistical office INE showed Friday. Consumer price inflation came in at 3.5 percent in September, up from 2.7 percent in August. The statistical office is set to release final data on October 11. Likewise, EU harmonized inflation rose to 3.5 percent from 2.7 percent. Economists had forecast a rate of 2.8 percent. However, Eurozone inflation for September is forecast to slow to 2.4 percent from 2.6 percent in August.

[Sep28]    French Aug. Consumer Spending Falls More Than Forecast

French consumer spending declined more than expected in August, data from the statistical office Insee showed Friday. Consumer spending was down by 0.8 percent from a month ago, reversing an increase of 0.4 percent in July. Economists had forecast a drop of 0.3 percent. The volume of expenditure increased in July due to a bounce in purchases in textile-leather. Meanwhile, the decrease in expenditure on petroleum products and on household durables was the main contributing factor to the decrease of consumption in August. Annually, consumer spending dropped by 0.5 percent in August compared to expectations for a 0.7 percent fall.

[Sep28]    Singapore Producer Prices Rebound In August

Producer prices in Singapore's manufacturing industry increased 2.3 percent year-on-year in August, reversing the 1.1 percent decline in the previous month, the Department of Statistics said Friday. Both the oil and non-oil indices rose 6.6 percent and 0.4 percent respectively in August. On a monthly basis, the overall producer price index rose 2.4 percent, faster than the 0.9 percent increase registered in the previous month. Separately, the statistical office reported that Singapore's import prices increased 1.5 percent year-on-year in August, in contrast to the 0.8 percent decline in July. The index rose 1.2 percent month-on-month. The export price index was up 1.1 percent annually compared with a 1.4 percent drop in July. The index rose 1.2 percent on a monthly basis.

[Sep28]    French Q2 Public Debt Rises To 91% Of GDP

[Sep28]    S. Africa's Broad Money Supply Growth Slows In August

South Africa's broad money supply growth weakened less than economists expected in August, data released by the South African Reserve Bank showed Friday. The broad money supply, or M3, increased 7.78 percent on an annual basis in August, after rising 8.26 percent in July. The latest growth was slower than 7.65 percent economists had forecast. At the same time, the intermediate, or M2 money supply, grew at a slower pace of 7.51 percent than 7.94 percent in July. The M1, or narrow money supply, was higher by 11.14 percent compared to last year in August, while in July it gained 9.78 percent. At the same time, claims on the South African private sector grew 7.93 percent year-on-year in August, following the previous month's 8.34 percent rise. The gain in August was in line with economists expectations.

[Sep28]    European Economics Preview: Eurozone Inflation Data Due

Inflation from euro area and retail sales from Germany are due on Friday, headlining a hectic day for the European economic news. At 1.30 am ET, French final GDP data is due. According to earlier estimate, gross domestic product remained flat in the second quarter. Destatis is slated to issue German retail sales for August. Economists forecast sales to grow 0.2 percent month-on-month after falling 1 percent in July. At 2.45 am ET, the French statistical office Insee is scheduled to issue consumer spending and producer prices for August. Economists expect spending to drop by 0.3 percent on a monthly basis and producer prices to grow 2 percent annually. At 3.00 am ET, a slew of statistical reports are due. Spain's EU harmonized inflation is seen at 2.8 percent in September, up from 2.7 percent in August. Hungary's statistical office is set to release producer prices and unemployment. Producer price inflation is seen at 5.1 percent in August compared to 6.1 percent in July. Half an hour later, Statistics Sweden is scheduled to issue retail sales figures. Retail sales are forecast to grow 2.7 percent annually in August compared to 2.4 percent in July. Statistics Norway is set to publish retail sales and unemployment data at 4.00 am ET. At 5.00 am ET, Eurozone flash inflation figures are due. Inflation is forecast to fall to 2.4 percent in September from 2.6 percent in August. In the meantime, Italy's preliminary September consumer price data is due. EU harmonized inflation is seen at 2.7 percent, down from 3.3 percent in August.

[Sep28]    Moody's Downgrades Vietnam's Ratings

Driven by intensification of banking system vulnerabilities, Moody's Investors Service downgraded Vietnam's sovereign ratings. The foreign- and local-currency government bond ratings were lowered to B2 from B1, with outlook stable. The stable outlook means that upside and downside risks are balanced. The agency sees lower medium-term growth prospects for the economy due to weak capacity of banks to provide credit. Moody's believes that there is an elevated risk that the costs of recapitalizing the banking system will have to be borne, at least in part, by the government. Given the looming costs related to recapitalization of the banking system, the government may also be constrained in its ability to formulate an effective fiscal policy response to a more severe slowdown in global growth, Moody's observed.

[Sep28]    French Q2 GDP Flat On Quarter, Unrevised From Previous Estimate

[Sep28]    French 2013 Budget To Show Debt At 91.3% Of GDP: Report

The French government will likely forecast an increase in public debt to 91.3 percent of gross domestic product in 2013 in its annual budget to be unveiled on Friday, though the budget deficit is tipped fall back to 3 percent of GDP as planned, French daily Les Echos reported Thursday without naming sources. This is slightly higher than 90.6 percent of GDP forecast previously and includes French contribution to the Eurozone bailout funds, the daily said. Debt is seen at 89.9 percent of GDP at end-2012. According to the newspaper, the budget will reveal an increase in taxes to 46.3 percent of GDP in 2013 from 44.9 percent in 2012, while spending will remain stable at 56.3 percent. In his first budget since being elected in May, President Francois Hollande is expected to unveil tough measures to add up to about EUR 30 billion in savings, which is needed to achieve the deficit target of 3 percent of GDP by 2013. This comes a day after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy unveiled a tight 2013 budget focused on cutting spending rather than tax hikes. These spending cuts are expected to reduce the budget deficit by 0.77 percent of GDP in 2013, with revenue adjustments yielding another 0.56 percent. Some analysts believe the 2013 austerity budget is a preemptive move to reduce the impact of the economic conditions likely to be attached to a possible bailout. Spain is expected to publish the bank stress test results conducted by an independent body on Friday, which is a necessary condition under the EUR 100-billion bank bailout agreed in July. Elsewhere on Thursday, rating agency Egan Jones downgraded Spanish credit rating further into junk, to CC from CC+. Moody's Investors Service is expected to conclude its rating review of Spain by the end of this month.

[Sep28]    Japan's August Housing Starts Fall For Third Month

Japanese housing starts declined for the third consecutive month in August, but at a slower than expected pace, data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism showed Friday. Housing starts were down 5.5 percent year-on-year, slower than the 9.6 percent decline a month ago. Economists had forecast a 7.5 percent fall. Annualized housing starts totaled 888,000 in August compared to 870,000 in the prior month. It was above the expected level of 872,000. Meanwhile, construction orders received by big 50 contractors rose at a faster pace of 8.7 percent after increasing 8 percent in July.

[Sep28]    Estonia's Retail Sales Growth Stable In August

Estonia's retail sales increased at a stable rate for the second consecutive month in August, data released by Statistics Estonia showed Friday. Retail sales volume, excluding motor vehicles and motorcycles, increased 7 percent year-on-year in August, unchanged from the growths recorded in the previous two months. The latest increase was mostly influenced by grocery stores, where sales increased 8 percent annually. Sales in stores selling manufactured goods increased 6 percent compared to last year. On a monthly basis, trade in the retail sector decreased an unadjusted 1 percent in August, reversing the previous month's 3 percent gain. In the January-August period, retail sales in retail trade enterprises increased 8 percent from the corresponding period of the previous year., the agency said.

[Sep28]    Singapore Aug Export Prices Rise 1.1% On Year, Import Prices Up 1.5%

[Sep27]    UK Consumer Confidence Rises In September

Confidence among British consumers increased in September to reach its highest level since June 2011, offering "some grounds for optimism" to the government, research firm GfK NOP said Friday. The consumer confidence index improved to -28 in September from -29 in August. "Small though this month's rise is, the Index is now higher than at any time since June last year, which the Government and retailers will hope means that we could be seeing the start of an uplifting Autumn," said Nick Moon, Managing Director of Social Research at GfK. Two of the five measures saw increases this month, with the remaining three measures staying unchanged. The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last twelve months stayed the same this month at -21, while the forecast for personal finances over the next twelve months increased two points to -8. The measure reflecting consumers' opinion of the general economic situation of the country during last year increased one point to -54. Households' one-year ahead expectations for the economy remained unchanged at -27. The major purchases measure remained steady at -31, while the 'now is a good time to save' Index decreased five points to -18. "We will have to wait for next month's figures to see if there has been a real change in public mood and people are beginning to feel more secure economically just in time for Christmas or whether this is just an end-of-Summer blip," Moon said in the report. Official data on Thursday showed the British economy contracted less than previously expected in the second quarter. According to the latest estimates, the gross domestic product shrank 0.4 percent sequentially following 0.3 percent fall in the first quarter and 0.4 percent drop in the fourth quarter of 2011. The figures also revealed that the rate of decline in household consumption was less severe than thought. Consumer spending fell 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter during the period, according to the revised data.

[Sep27]    New Zealand M3 Money Supply Up 7.2%

New Zealand's M3 money supply increased at a slightly faster pace in August, data released by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand showed Friday. The broad money aggregate rose 7.2 percent year-on-year in August, faster than 7.1 percent gain in the previous month. Intermediate money supply or M2 was up 5.6 percent on an annal basis, slower than 7.3 percent increase in July. M1 or narrow money rose 3.5 percent. Notes and coins held by the public increased at a pace of 6 percent compared to a year earlier, data showed.

[Sep27]    UK Consumer Confidence Rises In September

Confidence among British consumers increased in September to reach its highest level since June 2011, offering "some grounds for optimism" to the government, research firm GfK NOP said Friday. The consumer confidence index improved to -28 in September from -29 in August. "Small though this month's rise is, the Index is now higher than at any time since June last year, which the Government and retailers will hope means that we could be seeing the start of an uplifting Autumn," said Nick Moon, Managing Director of Social Research at GfK. Two of the five measures saw increases this month, with the remaining three measures staying unchanged. The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last twelve months stayed the same this month at -21, while the forecast for personal finances over the next twelve months increased two points to -8. The measure reflecting consumers' opinion of the general economic situation of the country during last year increased one point to -54. Households' one-year ahead expectations for the economy remained unchanged at -27. The major purchases measure remained steady at -31, while the 'now is a good time to save' Index decreased five points to -18. "We will have to wait for next month's figures to see if there has been a real change in public mood and people are beginning to feel more secure economically just in time for Christmas or whether this is just an end-of-Summer blip," Moon said in the report. Official data on Thursday showed the British economy contracted less than previously expected in the second quarter. According to the latest estimates, the gross domestic product shrank 0.4 percent sequentially following 0.3 percent fall in the first quarter and 0.4 percent drop in the fourth quarter of 2011. The figures also revealed that the rate of decline in household consumption was less severe than thought. Consumer spending fell 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter during the period, according to the revised data.

[Sep27]    Japan Industrial Output -1.3% In August

Industrial output in Japan declined a seasonally adjusted 1.3 percent on month in August, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in Friday's preliminary reading. That missed forecasts for a fall of 0.5 percent after shedding 1.0 percent in July. On a yearly basis, industrial production fell 4.3 percent - again shy of expectations for a decline of 3.4 percent following the 0.8 percent contraction in the previous month. Upon the release of the data, the METI downgraded its assessment of industrial production, saying: "Industrial production appears to be weakened." Before the downgrade, the METI had said industrial production appears to be flat. Industries that contributed to the decrease in August included electronic parts, communications equipment and chemicals. Commodities that contributed to the decline include metal oxide semiconductor ICs, passenger cars and LCDs. According to the survey of production forecast in manufacturing, production is expected to decrease 2.9 percent in September and be flat in October. Industries that contribute to the fall in September include transport equipment, communications equipment and iron and steel. Industries that mark the increase in October include electronic parts and transport, while weakness from the general machinery and electronics equipment offset those gains. Shipments were up 0.4 percent on month in August, rising for the first time in four months. They were also down 3.1 percent on year, thanks to electronic parts, communications equipment and and general machinery. Inventories were down 1.6 percent on month, reversing the gains in July. They were also up 5.9 percent on year thanks to electronics parts, communication electronics equipment and petroleum products. The inventory ratio was down 2.9 percent on month in August, falling for the first time in three months. It was also up 8.1 percent on year. Also on Friday: • Japan's core inflation rate came in at -0.3 percent on year, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said - exactly as expected and unchanged from the July reading. Overall inflation was -0.4 percent on year, beating forecasts for -0.5 percent after showing -0.4 percent in the previous month. On month, core CPI was up 0.2 percent and overall inflation was up 0.1 percent. Core CPI for the Tokyo region - considered a leading indicator for the nationwide trend - was -0.4 percent in September. That missed forecasts for -0.3 percent after showing -0.5 percent in July. Overall Tokyo inflation was down 0.7 percent on year, missing forecasts for -0.6 percent but unchanged from the previous month. On month, Tokyo core inflation was up 0.2 percent, while overall CPI was up 0.1 percent. • Retail sales in Japan were up 1.8 percent on month in August, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said, worth 11.141 trillion yen. That topped forecasts for a contraction of 0.3 percent following the upwardly revised 0.7 percent decline in July. Sales from large retailers contracted an annual 0.9 percent on year to 1.556 trillion yen - also beating forecasts for a decline of 1.7 percent after plummeted 4.4 percent in the previous month. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, retail sales were up 1.5 percent versus forecasts for a 0.3 percent fall after shedding 1.5 percent in July. The ministry also said that wholesale sales were down 4.3 percent on year to 29.277 trillion yen, while commercial sales dipped an annual 2.7 percent to 40.418 trillion yen. • Japan's unemployment rate came in at a seasonally adjusted 4.2 percent in August, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said. That beat expectations for 4.3 percent, which would have been unchanged from the July reading. The number of employed persons was 62.81 million, while the number of unemployed was 2.77 million. The participation rate was 59.1 percent, easing from 59.2 percent in the previous month. The job-to-applicant ratio was 0.83, matching forecasts and unchanged from the previous month. • Average household spending in Japan was up 1.8 percent on year in August, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said, standing at 286,036 yen. That beat forecasts for an increase of 1.1 percent following the 1.7 percent gain in July. The average of monthly income for workers' household also was up 1.8 percent on year to 470,470 yen, while consumption expenditures added an annual 0.9 percent to 310,643 yen. Among the individual components, spending on transportation spiked 8.5 percent on year, while housing spending shed 8.5 percent and medical care climbed 8.9 percent. • The Nomura/JMMA Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index came in with a score of 48.0 in September, remaining below the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction. The index was at 47.7 in August. • Upon the release of the data, the Japanese yen slipped slightly against major counterparts, trading near 77.65 against the U.S. dollar, 126.04 against the pound, 100.26 against the euro and 82.88 against the franc.

[Sep27]    Japan Retail Sales +1.8% On Year In August

[Sep27]    Japan Nomura Manufacturing PMI 48.0 In September

[Sep27]    Japan Data Due On Friday

Japan is scheduled to release a raft of data on Friday, highlighting a busy day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. On tap are August figures for industrial production, household spending, unemployment, inflation, retail sales, housing start, vehicle production and construction orders - as well as the September reading for the Nomura/JMMA Manufacturing PMI. Industrial output is expected to fall 3.4 percent on year and 0.5 percent on month after dipping 0.8 percent on year and 1.0 percent on month in July. Household spending is seen higher by 1.1 percent on year after adding 1.7 percent in the previous month, while the unemployment rate is called steady at 4.3 percent. Overall CPI is expected at -0.5 percent after showing -0.4 percent a month prior; core CPI is called unchanged at -0.3 percent. Retail sales are expected to fall 0.3 percent, both on month and on year. That follows the 1.5 percent monthly decline and the 0.8 percent annual contraction in July. Housing starts are tipped to shed an annual 7.5 percent after dipping 9.6 percent in the previous month. Vehicle production jumped 16.7 percent on year in July, while construction orders collected an annual 8.0 percent. The manufacturing PMI saw a score of 47.7 in August. South Korea will provide August figures for its current account; in July, the current account showed a surplus of $4.38 billion. New Zealand will reveal August numbers for building permits, with forecasts suggesting an increase of 3.0 percent on month following the 2.0 percent increase in July. Singapore will release producer price numbers for August; in July, PPI was up 0.8 percent on month and down 1.5 percent on year. Malaysia will provide producer price data for August; in July, PPI was up 0.5 percent on month but down 0.2 percent on year.

[Sep27]    U.S. Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Drop 2.6% In August

After jumping to a two-year high in the previous month, pending home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly saw a notable pullback in the month of August, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Thursday. NAR said its pending home sales index fell by 2.6 percent to 99.2 in August after rising by 2.6 percent to 101.9 in July. The drop came as a surprise to economists, who had expected pending home sales to edge up by another 0.3 percent. A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale. Despite the monthly decrease, the pending home sales index remains 10.7 percent above the reading for August of 2011, reflecting the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said, "The performance in month-to-month contract signings has been uneven with ongoing shortages of lower priced inventory in much of the country, and across most price ranges in the West, but activity has remained at notably higher levels this year." "The index shows 16 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, and that has translated into a higher number of closed sales. Year-to-date existing-home sales are 9 percent above the same period last year, but sales were relatively flat from 2008 through 2011," he added. The monthly drop in pending home sales was partly due to a notable decrease in the West, which saw a 7.2 percent drop in pending home sales. Pending home sales in the Midwest and the South also fell by 2.6 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, while pending sales in the Northeast rose by 0.9 percent. Looking ahead, NAR said existing home sales are expected to rise 9 percent to 4.64 million this year and gain another 8 percent to nearly 5.02 million in 2013. The Commerce Department released a separate report on Wednesday that unexpectedly showed a modest decrease by U.S. new home sales. The report said new home sales edged down 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 373,000 in August from the revised July rate of 374,000. Economists had expected new home sales to climb to an annual rate of 380,000 from the 372,000 rate originally reported for the previous month. At the same time, the report also showed a notable increase in home prices, with the median sales price of new houses sold in August coming in at $256,900, up 11.2 percent from July. The median price represented a five-year high.

[Sep27]    U.S. Economy Shows Smaller Than Estimated Expansion In Q2

With private inventory investment, consumer spending, and exports all rising by less than previously estimated, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing that the U.S. economy expanded by less than previously reported in the second quarter. The report showed that U.S. gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the second quarter compared to the previous estimate of 1.7 percent growth. The downward revision came as a surprise to most economists, who had expected the rate of second quarter GDP growth to be unrevised. Jim O'Sullivan, Chief U.S. Economist at High Frequency Economics, noted, "We had forecast 1.4%, having lowered our estimate 0.2 point yesterday after seeing an announcement on possible drought effects on the Commerce Department web site." With the downward revision, the pace of GDP growth in the second quarter reflects an even bigger slowdown from the 2.0 percent growth seen in the first quarter and the 4.1 percent growth seen in the fourth quarter of 2011. The Commerce Department said that the slowdown in the pace of GDP growth primarily reflected decelerations in consumer spending, non-residential fixed investment, and residential fixed investment. Meanwhile, smaller decreases in government spending and an acceleration in exports helped to limit the slowdown in second quarter GDP growth. The report showed that consumer spending increased by 1.5 percent in the second quarter, reflecting a downward revision from the 1.7 percent growth previously reported and a slowdown from the 2.4 percent growth seen in the first quarter. Non-residential fixed investment rose by 3.6 percent in the second quarter compared with a 7.5 percent increase in the first quarter, while exports jumped 5.3 percent in the second quarter compared with a 4.4 percent increase in the first. Federal government spending edged down by 0.2 percent in the second quarter compared with a 4.2 percent drop in the first quarter The Commerce Department also said its reading on core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, rose by 1.7 percent in the second quarter following a 2.2 percent increase in the first quarter.

[Sep25]    G20 Urges Governments To Do More To Boost Growth

Policy decisions by major central banks will buy governments time to fix the ailing global economy, but risks still remained, Mexican central bank Deputy Governor Manuel Ramos Francia said after a meeting of G20 officials in Mexico City on Monday. "Monetary easing buys time, but the risks are there," he told a news conference after a two-day meeting of Deputy finance ministers and central bank officials from G-20 nations. Mexico is the current chair of G20 Presidency. The G20 officials acknowledged that countries need to boost growth to sail through the global turbulence. Apart from the European Central Bank's bond-purchase program, implementation of other kind of policies are needed to contain the crisis in Europe, Ramos Francia said. The meeting stressed the importance of achieving a balance and sustained growth in the global economy. Unbalanced implementation of financial reforms will result in regulatory arbitrage and could even hamper effective functioning of global financial markets, the meeting warned. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Monday called on governments to use the window of opportunity offered by the central bank policy decisions to revive growth as the global economy is still fraught with risks, and policy uncertainty is weighing down on growth. Lagarde said that Europe remains the epicenter of the crisis and where the most urgent action is needed. She also signaled that the Fund may lower its global growth forecast at its upcoming economic outlook report to be published in October. During the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, in June, world leaders had agreed to work collectively to foster growth, create high quality jobs and address the ongoing financial market tensions.

[Sep27]    U.S. Pending Home Sales Show Unexpected Drop In August

After jumping to a two-year high in the previous month, pending home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly saw a notable pullback in the month of August, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Thursday. NAR said its pending home sales index fell by 2.6 percent to 99.2 in August from an upwardly revised 101.9 in July. The drop came as a surprise to economists, who had expected pending home sales to edge up by another 0.3 percent. A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

[Sep27]    U.S. Durable Goods Orders Plummet Amid Drop In Airplane Orders

New orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods showed a substantial decrease in the month of August, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday, with the steep drop largely due to a sharp decline in orders for transportation equipment. The Commerce Department said durable goods orders fell by 13.2 percent in August following a revised 3.3 percent increase in July. Economists had been expecting durable goods orders to drop by a more modest 5.0 percent. The sharp drop in durable goods orders in August was largely due to a 34.9 percent decrease in orders for transportation equipment, which followed a 13.1 percent increase in July. Orders for commercial aircraft and parts plummeted by 101.8 percent in August after jumping by 51.1 percent in July, as Boeing (BA) booked orders for just one aircraft compared to orders for 260 planes in the previous month. The report also showed a 10.9 percent drop in orders for motor vehicles and parts as well as an 8.1 percent decrease in orders for defense aircraft and parts. Excluding the steep drop in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders fell by a much more modest 1.6 percent in August compared to a 1.3 percent drop in July. However, economists had expected ex-transportation orders to rise by 0.2 percent. Orders for machinery tumbled by 4.7 percent, while orders for computers and electronic products fell by 3.4 percent. Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist at BMO Capital Markets, said, "This fits with the recent report that CEO's of major companies plan to reduce capital spending and hiring over the next six months due to concerns about the fiscal cliff and continued congressional gridlock." On the other hand, the report showed that orders for electrical equipment, appliances, and components rose by 3.8 percent. The Commerce Department said orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, an indicator of business spending, rose by 1.1 percent in August after falling by 5.2 percent in July. The report also showed that shipments of durable goods fell by 3.0 percent in August following a 1.9 percent increase in the previous month.

[Sep27]    U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Fall To Two-Month Low

In a positive sign for the sluggish labor market, the Labor Department released a report Thursday morning showing a much bigger than expected drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended September 22nd. The report showed that jobless claims fell to 359,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 385,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 376,000 from the 382,000 originally reported for the previous week. With the bigger than expected drop, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since coming in at 357,000 in the week ended July 21st. Peter Boockvar, managing director at Miller Tabak, said, "While the Labor Department said the data included 'very minor activity' related to the aftermath of hurricane Isaac, it had almost no impact on the national figure." The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average dropped to 374,000 from the previous week's revised average of 378,500. Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also fell to 3.271 million in the week ended September 15th from the preceding week's revised level of 3.275 million. The four-week moving average of continuing claims dipped to 3,295,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,310,500. "Bottom line, while one week doesn't make a trend, the pace of firings took somewhat of a break on the week," Boockvar said. "This says nothing however about any pick up in hiring, at least for now, with business visibility still cloudy." Next Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its closely watched monthly report on the U.S. employment situation. The Labor Department's monthly jobs report for August showed that employment increased by 96,000 jobs following a downwardly revised increase of 141,000 jobs in July. Economists had expected an increase of about 125,000 jobs compared to the addition of 163,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month. Despite the weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent in August from 8.3 in July. The unemployment rate had been expected to come in unchanged. However, the unexpected drop by the unemployment rate came amid a notable decrease by the size of the workforce, which shrank by 368,000 people.

[Sep27]    U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Fall More Than Expected

In a positive sign for the sluggish labor market, the Labor Department released a report Thursday morning showing a much bigger than expected drop in initial jobless claims in the week ended September 22nd. The report showed that jobless claims fell to 359,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 385,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 376,000 from the 382,000 originally reported for the previous week. With the bigger than expected drop, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since coming in at 357,000 in the week ended July 21st.

[Sep27]    Eurozone Economic Confidence Weakens In September

Eurozone economic confidence declined for the seventh consecutive month in September, reflecting weakness across all sectors except construction. Deterioration in sentiment was seen not only in the Southern periphery but also in core nations namely Germany and France, adding more signs of the 17-nation economy sinking deeper into recession. The economic confidence index deteriorated to 85 in September, which was the lowest since late 2009, from 86.1 in August, survey data from European Commission showed Thursday. The reading was forecast to remain unchanged at 86.1. The industrial confidence index dropped to -16.1 from -15.4 a month ago. Managers' production expectations and their assessment of the current level of overall order books worsened in September. On the other hand, managers' assessment of the adequacy of their stocks of finished products improved from the previous month. For the sixth consecutive month, services confidence dropped in September, down to -12 from -10.8 last month. Driven by worsened expectations about the general economic situation, their households' financial situation and their savings, consumer sentiment fell by 1.3 points to -25.9 in September. Retailers' sentiment weakened to -18.6 from -17.2. The present and the expected business situation as well as developments in the current volume of stocks were clearly assessed as more negative. Confidence in construction, meanwhile, improved to -31.9 from -33.1. The improvement is attributable to a more positive assessment of employment expectations that outweighed more pessimistic views on order books. A separate report showed that business sentiment dropped in September following a slight recovery in August. The corresponding index declined to -1.34 in September from -1.18 in August. The expected reading was -1.2. The decline was driven by a more negative assessment of production expectations, order books and past production. Managers' assessment of the adequacy of their stocks of finished products was slightly more positive. The decline in Eurozone business and consumer confidence intensifies pressure on the European Central Bank to cut its key rate by a quarter point sooner rather than later, said IHS Global Insight's economist Howard Archer. The move is certainly very possible as soon as its October meeting next Thursday, Archer said. However, the bank may hesitate to act so soon given an increase in inflation expectations, the economist noted. Contractions in both manufacturing and service sectors dragged the overall private sector activity to a 39-month low in September, signaling that the single currency region is clearly heading into a severe recession, the latest Purchasing Managers' survey by Markit Economics showed. Rating agency Standard & Poor's this week cut Eurozone's economic forecasts for this year and next, saying the 17-nation economy is entering a new period of recession. The firm expects the region to shrink 0.8 percent this year and to remain flat in 2013.

[Sep27]    Canadian Average Weekly Employee Earnings Rose 1.1% In July

[Sep27]    Iceland's Inflation Accelerates In September

Iceland's annual inflation quickened in September after decelerating in the previous month, data from Statistics Iceland revealed Thursday. Inflation, as per the consumer price index, increased to 4.3 percent in September from 4.1 percent in August. In July, the rate was 4.6 percent. The consumer price index, excluding housing cost, advanced 4.5 percent year-on-year during the month. Prices of domestic goods advanced 3.6 percent annually, while prices of imported goods rose 3.2 percent. Grocery prices were higher by 3.9 percent compared to last year, data showed. On a monthly basis, consumer prices moved up 0.8 percent in September, reversing the previous month's 0.2 percent decrease.

[Sep27]    Fitch Says Global Growth Outlook Weaker Despite Monetary Policy Stimulus

Recent economic data and high-frequency indicators have been weak despite the monetary policy stimulus provided by various global central banks and this highlights the persistent weakness and downside risks facing the global recovery, Fitch Ratings said Thursday. "Notwithstanding a new round of forceful monetary policy stimulus measures in September from the Fed, ECB and BoJ, as well as a rate cut by the People's Bank of China in July, Fitch has revised down its global GDP forecasts for 2012 and 2013 compared with the previous GEO in June 2012," Gergely Kiss, Director in Fitch's Sovereign team, said. In its latest quarterly Global Economic Outlook, the rating agency cut its global growth forecast for this year to 2.1 percent from 2.2 percent. The outlook for next year was also lowered to 2.6 percent from 2.8 percent. Growth in the major advanced economies are set to remain weak at 1 percent this year, followed by only a modest acceleration to 1.4 percent in 2013 and 2 percent in 2014, Fitch said. The troubled euro area is expected to shrink 0.5 percent this year and grow just 0.3 percent and 1.4 percent in the next two years, respectively. The forecast is weaker than the estimates in June, the agency noted. The persistently high jobless rate and the growth slowdown in the second half of this year underlines the weakness of the U.S. economy, Fitch said. Furthermore, the uncertainty over U.S. fiscal policy may be undermining confidence and acting as a drag on growth, it added. Fitch slashed its 2013 GDP growth forecast for the U.S. to 2.3 percent, while left the 2012 outlook unchanged at 2.2 percent. Meanwhile, Fitch does not see any abrupt slowdown in China and forecast the economy to grow 7.8 percent this year and 8.2 percent next year. In 2014, the economy is seen expanding 7.5 percent. The scope for policy response provides a buffer against a "hard landing", the firm noted. Further, Brazil and India are also expected to experience acceleration in growth next year after a cyclical trough in 2012. Brazil is forecast to grow 4.2 percent and India is seen to expand 7 percent next year. Russia will see steady growth rates at around 3.5 percent in 2012 and 2013, Fitch said. The agency expects ultra-loose monetary conditions to endure in major and advanced economies, going forward. Major central banks are likely to maintain record low interest rates at least until mid-2013 and, in line with the recent Fed guidance, beyond 2014 in the US, Fitch said. While the ECB's announcement of a new unlimited sovereign bond buying programme, Outright Monetary Transactions, has helped to ease financial tensions and to contain the tail risks of the euro zone crisis, it is unlikely to offset negative economic trends sufficiently to improve the growth outlook in the short term, the firm said.

[Sep27]    Czech Central Bank Slashes Interest Rate To Historic Low

The central bank of the Czech Republic on Thursday lowered its policy interest rate to a record low after the economy slipped into a recession in the second quarter. The decision was in line with economists' forecast. The Czech National Bank reduced its two-week repurchase rate by 25 basis points to 0.25 percent after keeping it unchanged since June, when it cut the rate by a quarter percent to 0.5 percent. The bank also decided to lower the Lombard rate by 75 basis points to 0.75 percent and the discount rate 15 points to 0.1 percent. The Czech economy contracted for the second consecutive quarter in the June-quarter, singling a recession. Gross domestic product dropped 1 percent year-on-year, after falling 0.5 percent in the first quarter. The country's inflation accelerated to 3.3 percent in August from 3.1 percent in July.

[Sep27]    China Central Bank Makes Record Weekly Cash Injection

The People's Bank of China injected a record CNY 365 billion into money markets this week, data from the central bank revealed Thursday. The central bank conducted another CNY 180 billion in reverse repo transactions on Thursday morning after a record CNY 290 billion injection on Tuesday. The cash injection was intended to meet rising demand at the quarter-end. This resulted in a net injection of CNY 365 billion with CNY 105 billion maturing this week. This was higher than CNY 353 billion injected ahead of the lunar New Year holiday in January.

[Sep27]    Czech Central Bank Cuts Policy Rate By 25 Bps To 0.25%

[Sep27]    OECD Urges Indonesia To Advance Reforms, Tighten Monetary Stance

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) urged the Indonesian government to move ahead with reforms to achieve its objective of becoming one of the world's 10 largest economies by 2025. The Paris-based think-tank also recommeneded that the authorities must adjust monetary policy to ensure inflation remains on a downward trend and to reduce energy subsidies to finance key infrastructure projects. "Indonesia's infrastructure and social spending needs are substantial and will need to be efficiently financed," the report noted. OECD projects the Asian country's real gross domestic product to grow 6 percent this year and 6.2 percent next year, led by robust domestic demand. However, this is weaker than 6.5 percent growth last year. "Monetary policy should, as planned, ensure that inflation will remain on a downward trend, using interest rates, liquidity management and macro-prudential measures," the report said. Though headline inflation has markedly decelerated up until very recently, strong domestic demand is likely to push up inflation in 2013. Inflation is seen accelerating to 4.7 percent in 2013 from 4.2 percent this year. Raising interest rates to tighten the monetary stance sends a clear signal that reining in inflation is the primary objective of monetary policy, OECD said. As changes in reserve requirements may help to manage credit growth, it would be preferable to rely on both interest-rate increases and liquidity or macro-prudential measures to achieve the inflation target, it added. "The government's challenge now is to boost productivity, reduce energy subsidies and raise tax collection to finance key infrastructure, social and environmental program," OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said in a statement. Energy subsidies are expected to amount to almost 19 percent of central-government spending in 2012 and reach 24.1 percent in the 2013 draft budget. By contrast, spending on social assistance and infrastructure remains insufficient for the country's needs, OECD said. "Rethinking the spending mix is required to achieve the authorities' ambitious development objectives, fund the 2014 establishment of public health insurance and at the same time eliminate the budget deficit by 2015 as envisaged in official medium-term economic projections," the think-tank pointed out. Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund also urged Indonesian authorities to proceed with fiscal reforms, including re-orienting government spending towards social sectors and boosting revenue collections. The lender too forecast a 6 percent expansion of the economy this year, which is then expected to pick up to 6.3 percent next year. The country regained its investment grade in December last year, when Fitch Ratings upgraded Indonesia's long-term foreign and local-currency issuer default ratings to BBB- from BB+, with a 'stable' outlook. Moody's lifted its credit rating on the country to investment grade early this year. Meanwhile, Standard & Poor's has kept Indonesia's credit rating below investment grade thus far.

[Sep27]    S. Africa Output Price Inflation Eases To 29-Month Low

South Africa's producer price inflation weakened to the lowest level in twenty-nine months in August, data released by Statistics South Africa showed Thursday. The producer price index rose 5.1 percent on an annual basis in August, slower than July's 5.4 percent increase. The latest growth was the slowest since March 2010, when output prices advanced 3.7 percent. Producer prices of exported commodities advanced 0.3 percent annually, while prices of goods meant for the domestic market gained 4.4 percent. Overall prices in the manufacturing sector rose 4.2 percent, while mining and quarrying prices moved up 1.7 percent. Output prices of electricity, gas, steam and water were higher by 13.5 percent compared to last year. On a monthly basis, the seasonally adjusted producer price index moved up 0.7 percent in August, the agency said.

[Sep27]    China Central Bank Makes Record Weekly Cash Injection

The People's Bank of China injected a record CNY 365 billion into money markets this week, data from the central bank revealed Thursday. The central bank conducted another CNY 180 billion in reverse repo transactions on Thursday morning after a record CNY 290 billion injection on Tuesday. The cash injection was intended to meet rising demand at the quarter-end. This resulted in a net injection of CNY 365 billion with CNY 105 billion maturing this week. This was higher than CNY 353 billion injected ahead of the lunar New Year holiday in January.

[Sep27]    Italy 5 & 10-year Bond Yields Decline At Auction

Italy witnessed yet another decline in borrowing costs at an auction of its five and ten-year bonds on Thursday as investors took a favorable view on the country over Spain. The lingering uncertainty regarding a bailout request from Spain continued to push the country's borrowing costs higher today. The Italian Treasury sold EUR 6.6 billion of bonds at today's sale, which was close to the EUR 7 billion maximum target set for the auction. The yield on the 10-year bond due November 2022 fell to 5.24 percent from 5.82 percent in the previous sale on August 30. The bid-to-cover ratio, which reflects demand, slid to 1.33 from 1.42. The June 2017 bond fetched a yield of 4.09 percent, sharply lower than 4.73 percent paid in the previous tap on August 30. Demand was 1.38 times the offer, which was smaller than 1.46 times in the previous sale.

[Sep27]    Romanian Central Bank Holds Policy Rate For Fourth Time

Romania's central bank on Thursday retained its benchmark interest rate unchanged for the fourth consecutive time as high food prices pushed up inflation amid slowing economic growth. The decision was in line with economists' expectations. The monetary policy council of the National Bank of Romania maintained the key interest rate at 5.25 percent. The bank also decided to maintain current levels of minimum reserve requirement ratios on both leu-and foreign credit institutions. The decision is reflects the central bank's efforts to maintain economic stability after the recent political turmoil dragged the leu to a record low, and adverse weather damaged harvest this year. The last time the central bank made changes to the rate was in March when it slashed it by 25 basis points, following a similar reduction in February, after the economy slipped into a second recession in three years. Romania's annual inflation increased to 3.9 percent in August from 3 percent in July, driven mainly by a sharp increase in food prices. The economy grew 0.5 percent sequentially in the second quarter, following a modest contraction in the first quarter.

[Sep27]    UK Business Investment Up 0.9% In Q2

Business investment in the United Kingdom rose 0.9 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter to GBP 30.1 billion, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday. Compared to the same period last year, investment grew 3.1 percent. In the manufacturing sector, investment jumped 5.9 percent quarter-on-quarter, but fell 1.5 percent annually. Investment in the non-manufacturing sector increased 0.3 percent on a quarterly basis, taking the annual growth rate to 3.6 percent.

[Sep27]    Italy 2022 Bond Yield 5.24% Vs. 5.82% On Aug 30

[Sep27]    Eurozone Economic Confidence Falls Unexpectedly In September

Eurozone economic confidence deteriorated to 85 in September from 86.1 in August, survey data from European Commission showed Thursday. The reading was forecast to remain unchanged at 86.1. Industrial confidence came in at -16.1, down from -15.4 a month ago. Likewise, services confidence dropped to -12 from -10.8 last month. Driven by worsened expectations about the general economic situation, their households' financial situation and their savings, consumer sentiment fell by 1.3 points to -25.9 in September. Retailers' sentiment weakened to -18.6 from -17.2. Confidence in construction, meanwhile, improved to -31.9 from -33.1. Business confidence declined to -1.34 in September from -1.18 in August. The expected reading was -1.2. The decline was driven by a more negative assessment of production expectations, order books and past production.

[Sep27]    Eurozone Money Supply Growth Slows In August

Eurozone money supply growth slowed more than expected in August, data published by the European Central Bank showed Thursday. The annual growth rate of the broad money aggregate, M3, decreased to 2.9 percent in August from 3.6 percent in July. Economists expected the rate of growth to ease to 3.3 percent. The three-month average of the annual growth rates of M3 in the period from June to August remained unchanged at 3.2 percent compared to the previous period. This was forecast to rise 3.4 percent. M1 or narrow money grew 5.1 percent year-on-year in August, faster than the 4.5 percent increase in July. Further, data showed that the credit extended to private sector fell 0.6 percent annually in August compared to 0.4 percent drop in the previous month. The annual growth rate of loans to households stood at 0.2 percent in August, compared with 0.3 percent in July. The annual rate of growth of lending for house purchase, the most important component of household loans, stood unchanged at 0.8 percent during the month.

[Sep27]    Eurozone Money Supply Growth Slows In August

Eurozone money supply growth slowed more than expected in August, data published by the European Central Bank showed Thursday. The annual growth rate of the broad money aggregate, M3, decreased to 2.9 percent in August from 3.6 percent in July. Economists expected the rate of growth to ease to 3.3 percent. The three-month average of the annual growth rates of M3 in the period from June to August remained unchanged at 3.2 percent compared to the previous period. This was forecast to rise 3.4 percent. M1 or narrow money grew 5.1 percent year-on-year in August, faster than the 4.5 percent increase in July. Further, data showed that the credit extended to private sector fell 0.6 percent annually in August compared to 0.4 percent drop in the previous month. The annual growth rate of loans to households stood at 0.2 percent in August, compared with 0.3 percent in July. The annual rate of growth of lending for house purchase, the most important component of household loans, stood unchanged at 0.8 percent during the month.

[Sep27]    Eurozone Sep Business Confidence -1.34, Consensus -1.2

[Sep27]    Portugal Sept. Economic Confidence Index At -4.2 Vs. -4 In August

[Sep27]    Italian Business Sentiment Weakens For Second Month

Italy's business confidence deteriorated for the second consecutive month in September, data released by statistical office Istat showed Thursday. The headline business confidence index dropped to 75.5 in September from 79 in August and 82.3 in July. The relevant sub-index for confidence in manufacturing increased to 88.3 from 87.3 in August, as assessments on order books remained stable and production expectations improved. The construction confidence index rose to 86.5 during the month from 82.4. Employment expectations in the sector turned more upbeat, while assessments on order books and construction plans weakened. The measure of confidence in the service sector fell to 72.1 in September from 78.5 while the retail trade confidence index increased to 78.5 from 75.3 in August, data showed.

[Sep27]    U.K. Q2 GDP Contracts Less Than Estimated

The U.K. economy shrank 0.4 percent in the second quarter from a quarter ago, which was smaller than the 0.5 percent decline previously estimated, final data from the Office for National Statistics showed Thursday. Nonetheless, the economy remains in double-dip recession. Gross domestic product was down 0.3 percent in the first quarter and fell 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. The latest revision reflects changes in estimates of production and construction sectors. Output of the production industries dropped 0.7 percent, revised up from the previously estimated decline of 0.9 percent. Output of the service industries fell by an unrevised 0.1 percent. Construction output dipped only 3 percent, instead of 3.9 percent. A separate report showed that the current account deficit widened to GBP 20.8 billion in the second quarter from a revised shortfall of GBP 15.4 billion a quarter ago.

[Sep27]    Lithuania Aug Retail Sales Ex-auto Up 3.9% On Month

[Sep27]    Danish Unemployment Rate Drops In August

Denmark's unemployment rate decreased in August, after rising in the previous month, data released by Statistics Denmark showed Thursday. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 6.2 percent in August from 6.3 percent in July. In June, the figure was 6.2 percent. Since January 2010, the jobless rate has remained between 6.1 percent and 6.4 percent, the agency said. The unemployment rate among youth, aged between 16 and 24, was 5.3 percent in August, down from the previous month's figure of 5.5 percent. The total number of unemployed persons in the country decreased by around 2,400 month-on-month to about 162,700 in August, data showed.

[Sep27]    Spain Aug. Retail Sales Down 2.1% On Year, Consensus -6.1%

[Sep27]    Denmark Sept Industrial Confidence -1, Unchanged From August

[Sep27]    Finland's Business Confidence Remains Weak

Finland's business confidence continued to be weak in September, data from a survey by the Confederation of Finnish Industries showed Thursday. The manufacturing confidence index came in at -8 points, little changed from -9 points recorded in August, which was revised down from -7 points. The measures of production expectations and order books showed weakness during the month, while stocks of final goods decreased modestly. The corresponding indicator for the construction sector dropped to -24 points in September from -20 points in August, indicating a further deterioration in confidence. Meanwhile, the indicator of sentiment among Finnish traders improved to -4 points in September from -6 points. The service sector confidence index recovered slightly to 2 points from 0 points in August, data showed.

[Sep27]    French Unemployment Tops 3 Million In August

Unemployment in France crossed the 3-million threshold in August for the first time in more than a decade as weak economic activity continued to hamper government's efforts to prop up the job market. Data published by the Labor Ministry on late Wednesday showed that the number of job seekers registered at employment offices in France totaled 3.011 million at end-August. This was the first time since 1999 that the figure exceeded 3 million. This marked an increase of 23,900 or 0.8 percent from July. Year-on-year, unemployment rose 9.2 percent, the report said. The number of unemployed has now increased for sixteen consecutive months. The three million unemployed reflects the failure of economic and social policies undertaken during previous years, the ministry said in a statement. Amid deepening debt crisis in Eurozone, many major companies have announced their plans to cut thousands of job in France this year, including Peugeot, Sanofi, Air France, and Carrefour. The statistical office Insee said earlier this month that the jobless rate under the definition of International Labor Organization increased to 10.2 percent in the second quarter from 10 percent in the first quarter. Official data Wednesday showed French consumer confidence dropped in September, weighed down by concerns over the economic prospects and harsh labor market conditions. The French economy stagnated for a third consecutive quarter in the second quarter, but managed to avoid a recession. Nonetheless, the Bank of France forecasts 0.1 percent economic contraction in the third quarter.

[Sep27]    Credit Suisse Cuts India's FY13 GDP Forecast To 6%

Credit Suisse cut India's gross domestic product or GDP growth forecast to 6 percent from 6.5 percent for FY13 and 7.2 percent from 7.8 percent for FY14 . Credit Suisse said it expected interest rates to be cut by an additional 125 basis points (bps) by the end of the current fiscal year, including a 50 bps cut in October. "Given the lags with which monetary policy operates, the monetary easing will have a bigger impact on 2014-15 GDP growth than 2013-14," the investment bank wrote in a note dated Thursday.

[Sep27]    Finland Sept. Business Confidence Index At -8 Vs. -9 In August

[Sep27]    European Economics Preview: Eurozone Economic Sentiment Data Due

Economic confidence survey results from Eurozone and unemployment from Germany are due on Thursday, headlining a busy day for the European economic news. Destatis is slated to issue German import prices for August. Import price inflation is forecast to rise to 2.7 percent from 1.2 percent in July. In the meantime, Finnish consumer confidence survey data is due. At 3.00 am ET, Spain's statistical office INE is slated to release retail sales data for August. Sales are forecast to drop 6.1 percent annually after falling 7.3 percent in July. At 4.00 am ET, the Federal Labor Agency is set to issue German unemployment data for September. The jobless rate is forecast to remain unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 6.8 percent. In the meantime, the European Central Bank is set to release money supply data for August. M3 is expected climb 3.3 percent year-on-year in August, slower than the 3.8 percent increase in July. Half an hour later, final second quarter GDP data is due from the U.K. The economy shrank 0.5 percent sequentially according to flash estimate. At 5.00 am ET, European Commission is set to release economic sentiment survey data for September. Economic confidence is seen unchanged at 86.1 and business sentiment at -1.2. Italy's BTP auction results are due at 5.10 am ET. The government aims to raise a maximum of EUR 8 billion. The Czech central bank's monetary policy committee is slated to meet today. The bank is likely to cut its key repo rate by a quarter point to 0.25 percent.

[Sep26]    Chinese Industrial Profits Decline For Fifth Month

Chinese industrial firms' profits dropped for a fifth successive month in August, official data showed Thursday, signaling that the economic slowdown probably extended into the third quarter. Industrial profits fell 6.2 percent year-on-year to 381.2 billion yuan in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. This was faster than the 5.4 percent drop in July. During the first eight months of the year, profits fell 3.1 percent to 3.06 trillion yuan compared to the same period last year. Profits during the first seven months of the year recorded a 2.7 percent fall. Song Guoqing, an academic adviser to the People's Bank of China, said recently that he saw no signs of a rebound in the third quarter and domestic investment is unlikely to expand dramatically in the short term. Today's report also revealed that companies' revenue increased 10.2 percent in the first eight months to 57.6 trillion yuan. The economy expanded 7.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, the weakest pace in nearly three years. The slowdown is more evident in the manufacturing and export sector. People's Bank of China on Tuesday said it will "fine-tune" its monetary policy to keep stable economic growth and manage inflation expectations. The bank also said it will monitor the impacts of policy actions by the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Monday downgraded the 2012 economic growth projection for China by about half a percentage point to 7.5 percent, citing ongoing troubles in the Eurozone and a weaker recovery in the U.S. Meanwhile, the central bank conducted another 180 billion yuan in reverse repo transactions on Thursday morning, adding to a record 290 billion yuan injection on Tuesday. The cash injection was conducted to meet rising demand at the quarter-end.

[Sep26]    Chinese Industrial Profits Decline For Fifth Month

Chinese industrial firms' profits dropped for a fifth successive month in August, official data showed Thursday, signaling that the economic slowdown probably extended into the third quarter. Industrial profits fell 6.2 percent year-on-year to 381.2 billion yuan in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. This was faster than the 5.4 percent drop in July. During the first eight months of the year, profits fell 3.1 percent to 3.06 trillion yuan compared to the same period last year. Profits during the first seven months of the year recorded a 2.7 percent fall. Song Guoqing, an academic adviser to the People's Bank of China, said recently that he saw no signs of a rebound in the third quarter and domestic investment is unlikely to expand dramatically in the short term. Today's report also revealed that companies' revenue increased 10.2 percent in the first eight months to 57.6 trillion yuan. The economy expanded 7.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, the weakest pace in nearly three years. The slowdown is more evident in the manufacturing and export sector. People's Bank of China on Tuesday said it will "fine-tune" its monetary policy to keep stable economic growth and manage inflation expectations. The bank also said it will monitor the impacts of policy actions by the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Monday downgraded the 2012 economic growth projection for China by about half a percentage point to 7.5 percent, citing ongoing troubles in the Eurozone and a weaker recovery in the U.S. Meanwhile, the central bank conducted another 180 billion yuan in reverse repo transactions on Thursday morning, adding to a record 290 billion yuan injection on Tuesday. The cash injection was conducted to meet rising demand at the quarter-end.

[Sep26]    Chinese Industrial Profits Decline For Fifth Month

Chinese industrial firms' profits dropped for a fifth successive month in August, official data showed Thursday, signaling that the economic slowdown probably extended into the third quarter. Industrial profits fell 6.2 percent year-on-year to 381.2 billion yuan in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. This was faster than the 5.4 percent drop in July. During the first eight months of the year, profits fell 3.1 percent to 3.06 trillion yuan compared to the same period last year. Profits during the first seven months of the year recorded a 2.7 percent fall. Song Guoqing, an academic adviser to the People's Bank of China, said recently that he saw no signs of a rebound in the third quarter and domestic investment is unlikely to expand dramatically in the short term. Today's report also revealed that companies' revenue increased 10.2 percent in the first eight months to 57.6 trillion yuan. The economy expanded 7.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, the weakest pace in nearly three years. The slowdown is more evident in the manufacturing and export sector. People's Bank of China on Tuesday said it will "fine-tune" its monetary policy to keep stable economic growth and manage inflation expectations. The bank also said it will monitor the impacts of policy actions by the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Monday downgraded the 2012 economic growth projection for China by about half a percentage point to 7.5 percent, citing ongoing troubles in the Eurozone and a weaker recovery in the U.S. Meanwhile, the central bank conducted another 180 billion yuan in reverse repo transactions on Thursday morning, adding to a record 290 billion yuan injection on Tuesday. The cash injection was conducted to meet rising demand at the quarter-end.

[Sep26]    New Zealand Business Confidence Drops In September

Confidence among New Zealand businesses declined in September, a survey by National Bank of New Zealand showed Thursday. A net 17 percent of respondents expect business conditions to improve over the year ahead, down from a net 20 percent last month, the survey report said. However, firms' own activity expectations, the key bellwether of economic momentum, continued to edge higher. The corresponding index rose to 29.3 in September from 26.4 in the previous month. Profit, employment, residential and commercial investment and export intentions all improved, while investment intentions bucked the trend, slipping slightly in the month.

[Sep26]    China Jan-Aug Industrial Profits Down 3.1% On Year

[Sep26]    Japan Residents Sold Net 61.7 Billion Yen In Foreign Bonds Last Week

[Sep26]    Global Financial System Still "Overly Complex," IMF Says

The global financial system is still "overly complex" and the basic financial structures that were identified as "problematic" before the crisis still exist, the International Monetary Fund said in its latest Financial Stability Report. Speaking after releasing the report, Laura Kodres, an Assistant Director in the Monetary and Capital Markets Department, said financial system are still overly complex, banking assets are highly concentrated with strong domestic interlinkages, and the too-important-to fail issues are unresolved. "We cannot definitely say financial systems are safer" than four years ago, the official said. Most of the banking sector reforms have yet to effect a safer set of financial structures. This is partly because in some economies and regions, the intervention measures which are needed to deal with the prolonged crisis are delaying a "reboot" of the system onto a safer path. The report found that the global financial systems remain vulnerable. In the absence of appropriate policies, highly integrated economies are still susceptible to harmful cross-border spillovers, the fund warned. The report identified three areas where reforms need to be taken up at a faster pace. These were addressing the issue of too-important-to-fail institutions, monitoring the non-banking or shadow banking activities, and ensuring that globalization continues in a safe and sound manner. The analysis suggests that financial flows are still relatively healthy globally. There are some retraction in parts of Europe as the distress there takes its toll. Australia, Canada, India, and Malaysia have a relatively low degree of exposure to international banking and also avoided the worst of the effects of the global financial crisis, the report noted. The IMF analysis indicated that policymakers may face a trade-off between the safety of financial systems and economic growth. "Any measures to enhance growth and stability will only be effective if they are implemented correctly and overseen intensively," the report added. It also noted that high-quality regulation and supervision should be at the forefront of reform efforts.

[Sep26]    U.S. New Home Sales Unexpectedly Drop 0.3% In August

In contrast to a recent batch of largely upbeat U.S. housing data, the Commerce Department released a report Wednesday morning showing that new home sales unexpectedly decreased in the month of August. The report said new home sales edged down 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 373,000 in August from the revised July rate of 374,000. Economists had expected new home sales to climb to an annual rate of 380,000 from the 372,000 rate originally reported for the previous month. Despite the unexpected monthly decrease, the Commerce Department noted that new home sales are still up by 27.7 percent compared to August of 2011.

[Sep26]    U.S. New Home Sales Drop To 373,000 In August

[Sep26]    Mexico Visible Trade Deficit Rises In August

Mexico's merchandise trade deficit increased from last year in August, and exceeded economists' expectations, data released by statistical office INEGI showed Wednesday. The deficit increased to $979 million in August from $829 million in July. Economists were looking for a shortfall of $800 million. Export of goods rose 0.6 percent on an annual basis to $31.663 billion. Shipments of non-oil products advanced 1.1 percent annually, while dispatches of petroleum goods decreased 2 percent. The value of imports advanced 1.1 percent year-on-year to to $32.642 billion. There was a 1.8 percent gain in arrivals of non-oil products, and a 4.2 percent fall in oil imports. Compared to July, the value of imports increased a seasonally adjusted 1.24 percent in August, while shipments decreased 0.33 percent. In the eight months ended August, the trade balance was a surplus of $1.884 billion. Exports and imports increased 6.8 percent and 6.5 percent respectively from the same period a year earlier, data showed.

[Sep26]    Mexico Aug. Trade Deficit $979 Mln Vs. $829 Mln Last Year, Consensus $800 Mln

[Sep26]    Germany Sept. CPI Inflation At 2% Vs. 2.1% In August, Consensus 2%

[Sep26]    Italy 6-month Borrowing Costs Lowest Since March

Italy's borrowing costs for six-month funds declined to the lowest level since March at an auction on Wednesday as investor confidence remained supported by hopes of peripheral bond purchases by the European Central Bank. Elsewhere, Germany witnessed weak investor appetite for its low-return 10-year bond that led to a technically uncovered auction as bids fell short of the target set for the sale. The Italian Treasury sold the targeted EUR 9 billion of its 181-day bills compared to the EUR 12.52 billion worth bids it received. The yield on the 6-month paper fell to 1.503 percent from 1.585 percent paid at the previous sale on August 29. The yield was the lowest since March. However, the bid-to-cover ratio, which reflects investor demand, slid to 1.39 from 1.69 in August. Investor remain hopeful that Spain would soon seek a bailout, which could trigger bond purchases by the European Central Bank to help bring down the borrowing costs of the country. In an interview to the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his government would seek a bailout only if it is satisfied that the conditions attached to it are "reasonable". But, if Spain's bond yields remain "too high for too long", "I can assure you 100 percent that I would ask for this bailout," Rajoy told the daily. Spain's benchmark 10-year yield moved closer to 6 percent today as Rajoy's government prepare to present the 2013 budget tomorrow that is expected to unveil more austerity measures. Protesters took to streets in Madrid and clashed with the police. Meanwhile, political pressure on Rajoy is mounting with the autonomous region of Catalonia calling for election in November. The region, which generates nearly 20 percent of Spain's economic output, had also raised secession calls in recent days due to dissatisfaction over Rajoy's handling of the crisis. Many of Spain's 17 autonomous regions are struggling to handle their public finances and have sought help from the government. Despite the lingering uncertainty over Spain's bailout request and the improved view on Italy, investors chose to avoid the German debt on Wednesday. An auction of the country's September 2022 bonds with a target of EUR 5 billion attracted bids for only EUR 3.951 billion, the Bundesbank data revealed. The country alloted EUR 3.191 billion debt. The retention rate was 36 percent compared to 28 percent at the previous sale on September 5. The yield rose to 1.52 percent from 1.42 percent. Demand was 1.2 times the offer versus 1.1 at the previous sale.

[Sep26]    Italy 6-month Borrowing Costs Lowest Since March

Italy's borrowing costs for six-month funds declined to the lowest level since March at an auction on Wednesday as investor confidence remained supported by hopes of peripheral bond purchases by the European Central Bank. Elsewhere, Germany witnessed weak investor appetite for its low-return 10-year bond that led to a technically uncovered auction as bids fell short of the target set for the sale. The Italian Treasury sold the targeted EUR 9 billion of its 181-day bills compared to the EUR 12.52 billion worth bids it received. The yield on the 6-month paper fell to 1.503 percent from 1.585 percent paid at the previous sale on August 29. The yield was the lowest since March. However, the bid-to-cover ratio, which reflects investor demand, slid to 1.39 from 1.69 in August. Investor remain hopeful that Spain would soon seek a bailout, which could trigger bond purchases by the European Central Bank to help bring down the borrowing costs of the country. In an interview to the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his government would seek a bailout only if it is satisfied that the conditions attached to it are "reasonable". But, if Spain's bond yields remain "too high for too long", "I can assure you 100 percent that I would ask for this bailout," Rajoy told the daily. Spain's benchmark 10-year yield moved closer to 6 percent today as Rajoy's government prepare to present the 2013 budget tomorrow that is expected to unveil more austerity measures. Protesters took to streets in Madrid and clashed with the police. Meanwhile, political pressure on Rajoy is mounting with the autonomous region of Catalonia calling for election in November. The region, which generates nearly 20 percent of Spain's economic output, had also raised secession calls in recent days due to dissatisfaction over Rajoy's handling of the crisis. Many of Spain's 17 autonomous regions are struggling to handle their public finances and have sought help from the government. Despite the lingering uncertainty over Spain's bailout request and the improved view on Italy, investors chose to avoid the German debt on Wednesday. An auction of the country's September 2022 bonds with a target of EUR 5 billion attracted bids for only EUR 3.951 billion, the Bundesbank data revealed. The country alloted EUR 3.191 billion debt. The retention rate was 36 percent compared to 28 percent at the previous sale on September 5. The yield rose to 1.52 percent from 1.42 percent. Demand was 1.2 times the offer versus 1.1 at the previous sale.

[Sep26]    Zimbabwe's Economic Growth To Weaken Significantly This Year: IMF

Zimbabwe's economic growth is set to slow sharply this year, following two years of high growth, as adverse weather and tight liquidity conditions continue to drag economic activity, a report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revealed Wednesday. In its annual review report on Zimbabwe, the IMF said that economic growth is expected to slow sharply to 5 percent this year from 9.5 percent in 2011, reflecting the impact of adverse weather conditions on agriculture, erratic electricity supply, and tight liquidity conditions. The medium-term outlook, under an unchanged policy scenario, is for growth to moderate to average some 4 percent, although constraints on energy supply and weak competitiveness may pose a challenge to achieving it. Foreign investment is likely to be hampered by a poor business climate, uncertainties over the implementation of the indigenization policy and political instability, the report said. The current account deficit is expected to moderate this year helped by a marked growth in exports, and is seen narrowing to 20.5 percent of GDP after jumping to 36 percent last year on a surge in trade shortfall. The IMF, meanwhile, cautioned that the uncertain political situation ahead of elections, and a difficult global environment will pose further risks to the country's economic outlook. In order to achieve sustained and inclusive growth, the government should be fully committed to implementing policies focused on strengthening fiscal management, reducing financial sector vulnerabilities, and improving the business climate, the report said.

[Sep26]    Bank Of Spain Signals "Significant" Fall In GDP In Q3

The Bank of Spain on Wednesday signaled further decline in the gross domestic product in the third quarter amid continued financial difficulties in the economy. The available data for the third quarter suggest that the GDP kept "falling at a significant pace in an environment in which financial stress remained at very high levels," the bank said in its monthly economic bulletin. According to official data, Spanish GDP contracted 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter of 2012, deepening recession in the Eurozone's fourth-largest economy. This followed a 0.3 percent decline in GDP in the first quarter.

[Sep26]    Germany Takes Final Step For Bailout Fund Ratification

The German government on Wednesday approved a memorandum, clearing the last hurdle in the ratification of the permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism. The ratification was held up for months on the grounds of its legality. The top court on September 12 cleared Germany's participation in the bailout fund with certain conditions. The court set a cap on Germany's bailout fund liability at EUR 190 billion. The court also stipulated that both houses of parliament should be informed about any significant change to the bailout fund liabilities. Germany is now free to complete ratification of the ESM.

[Sep26]    UK High Street Sales Recover In September: CBI

UK's high street sales volumes increased more than expected in September, recovering from the previous month's decline, data from a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) showed Wednesday. In the latest distributive trade survey, 33 percent of the surveyed retailers said sales increased from last year in September, while 27 percent reported decline. The resulting balance of 6 percent was in line with retailers' expectations. Economists were looking for a balance of 5 percent in September. At the same time, the balance of the volume of orders placed on suppliers increased markedly to 2 percent, indicating a modest annual growth, from -11 percent in August. Meanwhile, stock levels fell back relative to expected demand, and hit the lowest level since September 2009. The outlook component of the survey, which showed a balance of 15 percent, revealed that retailers expect that growth will strengthen somewhat next month. "It is encouraging that sales on the high street have seen a slight rise in the year to September, and that retailers expect growth to pick up further next month," Judith McKenna, Chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel, said.

[Sep26]    UK Sept. Retail Sales Balance +6% Vs. -3% In August, Consensus +5%: CBI

[Sep26]    Eurozone Leading Index Up 0.6% In August

Eurozone leading index rose 0.6 percent month-on-month in August to 105.3, the Conference Board said Wednesday. This was the first increase in the index in six months. The uptick followed no change in July and 0.2 percent fall in June. The positive outcome was "fueled by good stock market performance and improved business confidence," said Jean-Claude Manini, the Conference Board's Senior Economist for Europe. "However, it seems too early to interpret this as a sign of stabilization, let alone as a sign of a sustainable recovery," the economist said. Production-related indicators remained in contraction territory and consumer confidence declined on rising unemployment fears. The coincident economic index, which measures current economic activity, increased 0.1 percent to 102.2 in August. The index was unchanged in July and decreased 0.1 percent in June.

[Sep26]    Eurozone Leading Index Up 0.6% In August

Eurozone leading index rose 0.6 percent month-on-month in August to 105.3, the Conference Board said Wednesday. This was the first increase in the index in six months. The uptick followed no change in July and 0.2 percent fall in June. The positive outcome was "fueled by good stock market performance and improved business confidence," said Jean-Claude Manini, the Conference Board's Senior Economist for Europe. "However, it seems too early to interpret this as a sign of stabilization, let alone as a sign of a sustainable recovery," the economist said. Production-related indicators remained in contraction territory and consumer confidence declined on rising unemployment fears. The coincident economic index, which measures current economic activity, increased 0.1 percent to 102.2 in August. The index was unchanged in July and decreased 0.1 percent in June.

[Sep26]    Singapore Factory Output Unexpectedly Drops In August

Singapore's manufacturing production unexpectedly declined in August, raising fears of a recession as a gain in the biomedical sector was offset by a marked contraction in electronics output amid further deterioration in export demand, latest data showed Wednesday. Manufacturing output dropped 2.2 percent annually, following a 2.5 percent gain in July, data from the Singapore Economic Development Board showed. Economists had forecast a 1 percent growth. Output declined for the first time in four months. The electronics cluster recorded a faster decline of 7.3 percent than 5.3 percent in July as external demand for electronic products dropped further in the backdrop of a slowing global economy and the ongoing crisis in Europe. Biomedicals output advanced 13 percent from a year earlier, led by the pharmaceuticals segment which grew 13.6 percent. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output decreased 5.4 percent in August, data showed. Production in chemical industries grew 6.6 percent annually, while the precision engineering cluster logged 3.8 percent gain. Output in the transport engineering sector was lower by 20.1 percent compared to last year, the agency said. Compared to July, the seasonally adjusted manufacturing output declined 2.3 percent in August. Economists had forecast output to remain flat after falling 8.7 percent in July. Excluding biomedical output, production fell 2.7 percent. The latest exports data had raised fears that the trade-driven economy may fall into a technical recession, which is two successive quarters of contraction, in the third quarter. The manufacturing figures have added fuel to such concerns. Singapore's non-oil domestic exports declined a bigger-than-expected 10.6 percent year-on-year in August due mainly to decrease in both electronic and non-electronic shipments. Electronics exports fell 11 percent in contrast to the 2 percent growth in the previous month. The economy contracted 0.7 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter following 9.5 percent growth in the first quarter. The pull-back in growth was largely due to the decline in externally-oriented sectors. The government has lowered its GDP growth forecast for 2012 to 1.5-2.5 percent from the originally estimated 1-3 percent. Earlier this month, economists surveyed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore also downgraded the growth forecast for this year to 2.4 percent from 3 percent. Non-oil domestic exports are seen growing 4.2 percent this year compared to the previous prediction of 5.6 percent.

[Sep26]    Sweden Visible Trade Surplus Declines In August

Sweden's merchandise trade surplus decreased from last year in August, and came in below economists' forecast, preliminary data released by Statistics Sweden showed Wednesday. The trade surplus decreased to SEK3.3 billion in August from SEK5.2 billion in the same month last year. In July and June, the balances were surplus of SEK3.7 billion and SEK9.9 billion respectively. Economists had forecast the balance to drop To SEK3 billion. Export of goods decreased 5 percent year-on-year to SEK93 billion in August. At the same time, the value of imports dropped 3 percent annually to SEK89.7 billion. Trade with countries outside the EU resulted in a surplus of SEK9.5 billion, while the EU trade resulted in a deficit of SEK6.2 billion, data showed. In the January-August period, the trade balance was a a surplus of SEK51.9 billion. Exports and imports decreased 1 percent and 2 percent respectively during the eight-month period.

[Sep26]    Finnish Retail Sales Growth Quickens In August

Finland's retail sales increased at a faster rate in August, preliminary data released by Statistics Finland showed Wednesday. Retail sales value turnover, excluding motor vehicles and motor cycles, increased 5.1 percent on an annual basis in August, notably faster than the 3.8 percent growth seen in July. In volume terms, trade in the retail sector advanced 1.2 percent during the month, after staying unchanged in the previous month, the agency said. In the January-August period, the overall value of sales increased 5.1 percent from the same period a year earlier, while in volume terms, it advanced 1.5 percent, data showed.

[Sep26]    French Consumer Sentiment Weakens In September

French consumer confidence eased marginally to 85 in September from 86 in August, the statistical office Insee said Wednesday. The index was forecast to remain at 86. Assessment of past and future financial situation fell by 1 point each to -29 and -21, respectively. Likewise, major purchases intention for coming year slipped to -29 from -28. Meanwhile, the indicator for saving intentions rose to 30 from 27. The current saving capacity rose to 18 from 15, while expected saving capacity remained unchanged at -5. General economic situation over the last year came in at -77, compared to -73 in August. At the same time, future economic situation dropped to -56 from -51. The indicator for unemployment for next 12 months climbed to 73 from 69. Households perceived a increasing inflation.

[Sep26]    Global Financial System Still "Overly Complex," IMF Says

The global financial system is still "overly complex" and the basic financial structures that were identified as "problematic" before the crisis still exist, the International Monetary Fund said in its latest Financial Stability Report. Speaking after releasing the report, Laura Kodres, an Assistant Director in the Monetary and Capital Markets Department, said financial system are still overly complex, banking assets are highly concentrated with strong domestic interlinkages, and the too-important-to fail issues are unresolved. "We cannot definitely say financial systems are safer" than four years ago, the official said. Most of the banking sector reforms have yet to effect a safer set of financial structures. This is partly because in some economies and regions, the intervention measures which are needed to deal with the prolonged crisis are delaying a "reboot" of the system onto a safer path. The report found that the global financial systems remain vulnerable. In the absence of appropriate policies, highly integrated economies are still susceptible to harmful cross-border spillovers, the fund warned. The report identified three areas where reforms need to be taken up at a faster pace. These were addressing the issue of too-important-to-fail institutions, monitoring the non-banking or shadow banking activities, and ensuring that globalization continues in a safe and sound manner. The analysis suggests that financial flows are still relatively healthy globally. There are some retraction in parts of Europe as the distress there takes its toll. Australia, Canada, India, and Malaysia have a relatively low degree of exposure to international banking and also avoided the worst of the effects of the global financial crisis, the report noted. The IMF analysis indicated that policymakers may face a trade-off between the safety of financial systems and economic growth. "Any measures to enhance growth and stability will only be effective if they are implemented correctly and overseen intensively," the report added. It also noted that high-quality regulation and supervision should be at the forefront of reform efforts.

[Sep26]    Global Financial System Still "Overly Complex," IMF Says

The global financial system is still "overly complex" and the basic financial structures that were identified as "problematic" before the crisis still exist, the International Monetary Fund said in its latest Financial Stability Report. Speaking after releasing the report, Laura Kodres, an Assistant Director in the Monetary and Capital Markets Department, said financial system are still overly complex, banking assets are highly concentrated with strong domestic interlinkages, and the too-important-to fail issues are unresolved. "We cannot definitely say financial systems are safer" than four years ago, the official said. Most of the banking sector reforms have yet to effect a safer set of financial structures. This is partly because in some economies and regions, the intervention measures which are needed to deal with the prolonged crisis are delaying a "reboot" of the system onto a safer path. The report found that the global financial systems remain vulnerable. In the absence of appropriate policies, highly integrated economies are still susceptible to harmful cross-border spillovers, the fund warned. The report identified three areas where reforms need to be taken up at a faster pace. These were addressing the issue of too-important-to-fail institutions, monitoring the non-banking or shadow banking activities, and ensuring that globalization continues in a safe and sound manner. The analysis suggests that financial flows are still relatively healthy globally. There are some retraction in parts of Europe as the distress there takes its toll. Australia, Canada, India, and Malaysia have a relatively low degree of exposure to international banking and also avoided the worst of the effects of the global financial crisis, the report noted. The IMF analysis indicated that policymakers may face a trade-off between the safety of financial systems and economic growth. "Any measures to enhance growth and stability will only be effective if they are implemented correctly and overseen intensively," the report added. It also noted that high-quality regulation and supervision should be at the forefront of reform efforts.

[Sep26]    Singapore August Manufacturing Output Falls Unexpectedly

Singapore's manufacturing output declined 2.2 percent in August from a year ago, reversing July's 2.5 percent expansion, Singapore Economic Development Board reported Tuesday. Output was forecast to grow 1 percent. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 5.4 percent in August. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output declined 2.3 percent in August. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 2.7 percent. Data showed that output of the biomedical manufacturing cluster advanced 13 percent on a year-on-year basis in August, led by the pharmaceuticals segment which grew 13.6 percent.

[Sep26]    Singapore's Aug. Industrial Output Down 2.3% M-o-M, Consensus 0%

[Sep26]    Singapore's Aug. Industrial Output Falls 2.2% On Year, Consensus 1% Increase

[Sep25]    EU's Rehn Says Doesn't Foresee Fresh Restructuring Of Greek Debt

European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn reportedly said Tuesday that he does not foresee the possibility of another restructuring of Greek debt. Rehn declined to comment more on Europe's future plans on Greece, saying the country is currently undergoing a review of its bailout program by the troika. One can not expect a full fiscal union among Eurozone's 17 member states can happen overnight, he said on the sidelines of an event at Harvard. Meanwhile talking to Reuters, Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said Greece would need an additional EUR 13-15 billion if the country were given a two-year extension of its bailout program. He also said that the funding gap could be filled without further financial assistance from Eurozone.

[Sep25]    IMF Urges Indonesia To Continue Fiscal Reforms

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday urged Indonesian authorities to advance with fiscal reforms, including re-orienting government spending towards social sectors and boosting revenue collections. Concluding the article IV consultation with Indonesia, the IMF directors highlighted the need to improve budget execution, re-orient government spending toward the social sectors and infrastructure, replace energy subsidies with targeted cash transfers to the vulnerable, and boost revenue collections. The directors opined that deeper structural reforms hold the key to sustained, broad based economic growth. Indonesia is expected to grow 6 percent this year, slower than 6.5 percent in 2011. Growth is seen picking up to 6.3 percent in 2013. The slowdown this year can be attributed to weakened external environment, which is offset partly by continuing strong domestic demand. Exports have declined so far in 2012, while import growth has accelerated sharply due to strong investment. Robust private consumption and a wider fiscal deficit have also provided some support to growth this year. Inflation is expected to end the year at 5 percent, within the authorities' target range of 4.5±1 percent. IMF noted that the fiscal stance is expected to continue to provide a moderate stimulus, with the 2012 deficit projected to rise to 1.8 percent of GDP, up from 1.1 percent in 2011. An increase in subsidized energy prices, proposed by the government for this year in April, was put off by parliament, unless oil prices exceed a revised higher threshold. The postponement of the price adjustment will boost energy subsidies to 3.5 percent of GDP, compared with the 2.6 percent of GDP in total allocated to all of development spending, it said. IMF staff pointed out that the modest fiscal stimulus in 2012 is appropriate in the face of headwinds to growth from the external environment.

[Sep25]    Australia Internet Vacancy Index Falls In August

Australia's online job vacancies declined in August, data from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations showed Wednesday. The Internet Vacancy Index fell 2.9 percent month-on-month in trend terms in August. Over the year, the index fell 16.5 percent. In seasonally adjusted terms, the index remained unchanged month-on-month. Year-on-year, the seasonally adjusted index dropped 17.4 percent.

[Sep25]    EU's Rehn Says Doesn't Foresee Fresh Restructuring Of Greek Debt

European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn reportedly said Tuesday that he does not foresee the possibility of another restructuring of Greek debt. Rehn declined to comment more on Europe's future plans on Greece, saying the country is currently undergoing a review of its bailout program by the troika. One can not expect a full fiscal union among Eurozone's 17 member states can happen overnight, he said on the sidelines of an event at Harvard. Meanwhile talking to Reuters, Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said Greece would need an additional EUR 13-15 billion if the country were given a two-year extension of its bailout program. He also said that the funding gap could be filled without further financial assistance from Eurozone.

[Sep25]    New Zealand Trade Shortfall NZ$789 Million In August

New Zealand posted a seasonally adjusted merchandise trade deficit of NZ$789 million in August, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday - representing 24 percent of exports. The headline figure was well shy of forecasts for a shortfall of NZ$630 million after posting an upwardly surplus of NZ$97 million in July. This compares with a deficit of $690 million (20 percent of exports) in August 2011. Exports were down 3.4 percent on year to NZ$3.32 billion - also missing expectations for NZ$3.55 billion after coming in at NZ$4.00 billion in the previous month. Mechanical machinery and equipment and crude oil had the largest decreases. The value of exports to Australia - New Zealand's largest export destination - fell $172 million (17 percent) in August 2012 compared with August 2011, Statistics New Zealand said. The fall was led by petroleum and products. "Lower exports to Australia contributed to the overall fall in export values," industry and labor statistics manager Neil Kelly said. "But an increase in exports to China, led by dairy products, partly offset the fall." Imports fell an annual 0.4 percent to NZ$4.10 billion, in line with forecasts after showing NZ$3.99 billion a month earlier. Seasonally adjusted exports fell 8.0 percent compared with July 2012. There was a large fall in seasonally adjusted milk powder, butter, and cheese exports, which followed two large increases in June and July. Seasonally adjusted imports fell 1.3 percent. The trend for exports appears to have been increasing since March, while the trend for imports has been flat in recent months. The trend for imports is 6.0 percent lower than its record level in September 2008. Upon the release of the data, the New Zealand dollar edged down against major rivals, trading near 0.8200 against the U.S. dollar, 1.5742 versus the euro, 63.81 against the yen and 1.2659 versus the Australian dollar.

[Sep25]    New Zealand Trade Deficit NZ$789 Million In August

[Sep24]    S&P Cuts India's 2012 GDP Forecast To 5.5%

Leading rating agency Standard & Poor's has cut India's growth forecast for 2012 by one percent to 5.5 percent, as the entire Asia-Pacific feels the pressure of ongoing economic uncertainty. "Although Asia-Pacific has recorded strong GDP growth relative to other global economies, we have observed a continued change in the region's economic barometer," said S&P ratings in a statement. Lack of monsoon rains has affected India, where agriculture still forms a substantial part of the economy, said S&P in its report titled 'Asia-Pacific feels the pressure of ongoing global economic uncertainty.' Additionally, the more cautious investor sentiment globally has seen potential investors become more critical of India's policy and infrastructure shortcomings, the credit rating agency said. S&P credit analyst Andrew Palmer said it had also lowered base case forecasts of 2012 real GDP growth by about half a percentage point for some countries, such as China to 7.5 percent, Japan to 2.0 percent, Korea to 2.5 percent, Singapore to 2.1 percent, and Taiwan to 1.9 percent. It has also cut GDP forecast by around one percent for Hong Kong to 1.8 percent. For Australia, the forecast is marginally down to three percent from the 3.2 percent. However, the GDP forecast for Philippines has been increased to 4.9 percent from the 4.3 percent, reflecting the ongoing strength of that domestic economy. "Credit conditions for rated portfolios in Asia-Pacific remain mixed. We have factored our base case GDP scenarios into our current ratings and issues in the region. At this stage, the short-term impact of the greater-than-anticipated slowdown on credit ratings is likely to be limited to the more leveraged entities," Palmer said. "Naturally, any worsening of the economic conditions in the Eurozone will increase the contagion risk for Asia-Pacific, given the region's particularly 'the open economies' — sensitivity to capital flows and trade," Palmer concluded. Earlier this year, Standard & Poor's said that India could become the first of the BRIC economies to lose its investment-grade status. "Slowing GDP growth and political roadblocks to economic policy making are just some of the factors pushing up the risk that India could lose its investment-grade rating," the ratings agency said in a Monday statement on a report dated June 8. Addressing a gathering at an educational institution in Chennai on Monday, C. Rangarajan, Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council and retired Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, said S&P's GDP assessment was incorrect, and that growth would pick up in the second half and would be 6.7 percent this year. The average rate of growth in the next six years will be 8.2 per cent, he added.

[Sep25]    U.S. Consumer Confidence Jumps To Seven-Month High In September

With consumers considerably more optimistic about the short-term outlook, the Conference Board released a report on Tuesday showing a much bigger than expected improvement in U.S. consumer confidence in the month of September. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped to 70.3 in September from a revised 61.3 in August. Economists had expected the index to climb to 64.8 from the 60.6 originally reported for the previous month. The much bigger than expected increase lifted the consumer confidence index to its highest level since reaching 71.6 in February. Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board said, "The Consumer Confidence Index rebounded in September and is back to levels seen earlier this year." "Despite continuing economic uncertainty, consumers are slightly more optimistic than they have been in several months," she added. The improved optimism about the short-term outlook contributed to a notable increase by the expectations index, which climbed to 83.7 in September from 71.1 in August. The Conference Board said consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months rose to 18.2 percent from 16.7 percent, while those anticipating business conditions to worsen fell to 13.8 percent from 17.6 percent. Consumers also had a more favorable outlook for the labor market, with those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead rising to 18.5 percent from 15.8 percent, while those expecting fewer jobs dropped to 18.5 percent from 23.7 percent. The percentage of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes also edged up to 16.3 percent in September from 16.0 percent in August. The report also showed that the present situation index climbed to 50.2 in September from 46.5 in August, as consumers saying business conditions are "good" inched up to 15.5 percent from 15.3 percent, while those saying conditions are "bad" dipped to 33.3 percent from 34.3 percent. Consumers saying jobs are "plentiful" also rose to 8.3 percent from 7.2 percent, while those saying jobs are "hard to get" edged down to 39.9 percent from 40.6 percent. James Knightley, senior economist at ING, said, "With both the headline and expectations components of the survey at the highest level since February this offers hope that the consumer sector will have a reasonably strong fourth quarter." "However, we are surprised about the size of the jump, especially as it seems to be mainly down to a big swing in expectations regarding the labor market's prospects," he added. "Given persistently high unemployment and disappointing payrolls numbers we are cautious that this optimism could quickly fade again." Friday morning, Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan are scheduled to release their revised report on U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of September. The preliminary report showed that the consumer sentiment index jumped to 79.2 in September from the final August reading of 74.3. The increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the index to edge down to a reading of 73.5.

[Sep25]    U.S. Consumer Confidence Index Jumps More Than Expected

With consumers considerably more optimistic about the short-term outlook, the Conference Board released a report on Tuesday showing a much bigger than expected improvement in U.S. consumer confidence in the month of September. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped to 70.3 in September from a revised 61.3 in August. Economists had expected the index to climb to 64.8 from the 60.6 originally reported for the previous month.

[Sep25]    U.S. Consumer Confidence Index Jumps To 70.3 In September

[Sep25]    U.S. Home Prices Saw Strong Annual Growth In July

Home prices in major U.S. metropolitan areas showed a notable annual rate of growth in the month of July, according to a report released by Standard & Poor's on Tuesday. The report showed that the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index rose by 1.2 percent in July compared to the same month a year ago. Economists had been expecting the index to increase by about 1.1 percent year-over-year. S&P also said the 20-City Composite Home Price Index increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent on a monthly basis in July compared to a 0.9 percent increase in May. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the 20-City Composite Home Price Index climbed 1.6 percent in July following a 2.3 percent jump in the previous month. "Home prices increased again in July," said David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "All 20 cities and both Composites were up on the month for the third time in a row." He added, "Even better, 16 of the 20 cities and both Composites rose over the last year. Atlanta remains the weakest city but managed to cut the annual loss to just under 10%." Additional housing data is scheduled to be release later in the week, with the Commerce Department due to release a report on new home sales on Wednesday and the National Association of Realtors scheduled to release a report on pending home sales on Thursday.

[Sep25]    Germany Cannot Decouple From Europe, Says Merkel

Germany cannot decouple from Europe and the global economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday. Germany is not an island, but a strong exporting nation, she said at a conference organized by the German Industry Association in Berlin. She observed that there is a lack of confidence in financial markets about the ability of the governments to repay its debt. It would have been better if the European Court of Justice had been granted powers to monitor the fiscal pact, Merkel noted. She said the member countries should do more to reduce their unit labor cost, instead of demanding Germany to raise its cost so as to lower imbalances in the euro area. Merkel held up the proposals for creating a banking union for the bloc. She also called for stronger bank supervision. The European Commission early this month proposed to give sweeping powers to the European Central Bank to overview of some 6,000 banks across Europe. The commission expects to set up the single supervisory mechanism in place by January 1, 2013. Merkel and French President Francois Hollande meeting over the last weekend highlighted the disagreement on the schedule to establish banking union. Hollande said it is helpful to establish supervision "the earlier the better", while Merkel prefer to see the process moving step by step. Merkel is holding a meeting with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi in Berlin today.

[Sep25]    Spain Debt Yields Increase Amid Bailout Uncertainty

Spanish short-term borrowing costs increased at a debt auction on Tuesday as it remains uncertain if the embattled country would seek a bailout for its economy. The Spanish Treasury raised nearly EUR 4 billion from the sale of its 3 and 6 month bills. The target set for the sale was between EUR 3 billion and EUR 4 billion. The yield on the three-month paper rose to 1.203 percent from 0.946 percent on August 28. The bid-to-cover ratio, which shows demand, dipped to 3.29 from 3.35. The 6-month treasury bill fetched a yield of 2.213 percent, up from 2.026 percent on August 28. Demand was 1.83 times the offer, down from 2.17 times last month.

[Sep25]    ECJ Guidance May Be Sought On Legality Of ECB Bond Purchases: Report

European Court Of Justice may soon be engaged to clarify the doubts regarding the legality of the European Central Bank's recently announced bond-purchase program, Germany's Bild reported on Tuesday. According to the newspaper, the ECB and Germany's Bundesbank has employed in-house layers to check if the program breached the EU treaties, both in terms of proportion and time. The lawyers will look into what proportions the program would have to take and how long it would have be in place to breach the treaties. The newspaper reported that it is likely that the questions could soon be referred to the European Court of Justice. Earlier this month, ECB President Mario Draghi unveiled the bond-purchase program, Outright Monetary Transactions (OMTs), that would allow the central bank to buy unlimited amounts of bonds issued by euro zone member states.

[Sep25]    China's Central Bank To Fine-Tune Monetary Policy

People's Bank of China on Tuesday said it will "fine-tune" its monetary policy to keep stable economic growth and manage inflation expectations. It will monitor the impact of stimulus measures adopted in Europe and the U.S., the bank said in the third quarter statement. The global economy is still weak. Policymakers stressed that they will pay close attention to both domestic and international trends and implement prudent monetary policy. The central bank today injected a record CNY 290 billion into financial system via reverse repo agreements. The cash injection was conducted to meet rising demand at the quarter-end.

[Sep25]    Italian Consumer Confidence Rises Unexpectedly

Confidence among Italian consumers rose unexpectedly in September, data released by statistical office Istat showed Tuesday. The consumer confidence index increased to 86.2 in September from 86.1 in August. Economists expected the reading to fall to 86. The general economic climate rose to 71 during the month from 69.5 in the previous month. The index of personal economic climate edged up to 92.3 from 92 in August. The present situations index was stable at 94, while the future expectations index moved up to 76.9 from 76.7.

[Sep25]    Hong Kong Trade Gap Narrows In August

Hong Kong's visible trade deficit narrowed to HK$36.03 billion in August from HK$40.13 billion in July, the Census and Statistics Department said in a report on Tuesday. The value of total exports increased at a pace of 0.6 percent year-on-year after falling 3.5 percent in July. At the same time, imports climbed 0.9 percent, reversing a 1.8 percent drop in the prior month. For the first eight months of 2012 as a whole, total exports of goods dropped slightly by 0.2 percent. Concurrently, imports of goods rose 0.9 percent. A visible trade deficit of HK$297.8 billion, equivalent to 11.9 percent of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the first eight months of 2012. A government spokesman commented that looking ahead, the persistently weak fundamentals of the advanced economies, including those relating to the debt crisis in the Eurozone, will continue to cast a shadow over the global economic outlook. As such Hong Kong's external trading environment will likely remain difficult in the near term, spokesman added.

[Sep25]    Spain Sells EUR 4 Bln 3&6-month T-Bills Vs. EUR 3-EUR 4 Bln Target

[Sep25]    Poland Unemployment Rate Rises In August As Expected

Poland's unemployment rate rose in August in line with expectations, data released by the statistical agency revealed Tuesday. The registered jobless rate edged up to 12.4 percent from 12.3 percent in July. Economists also had forecast a figure of 12.4 percent. A year ago, the jobless rate was 11.8 percent. There were 1.964 million unemployed persons in the country during August, which was higher than 1.953 million in July and 1.855 million in the same month last year.

[Sep25]    Italian Consumer Confidence Rises Unexpectedly

Confidence among Italian consumers rose unexpectedly in September, data released by statistical office Istat showed Tuesday. The consumer confidence index increased to 86.2 in September from 86.1 in August. Economists expected the reading to fall to 86. The general economic climate rose to 71 during the month from 69.5 in the previous month. The index of personal economic climate edged up to 92.3 from 92 in August. The present situations index was stable at 94, while the future expectations index moved up to 76.9 from 76.7.

[Sep25]    French Business Confidence Unchanged In September

French business confidence remained unchanged in September, but was markedly below its long-term average, a report from the statistical office Insee showed Tuesday. The headline synthetic index was at 90 in September, unchanged from August. Economists expected the reading to edge down to 89. The indicator reflecting firms' own company production outlook was at -6, slightly up from August's -7. General production expectations deteriorated with the corresponding index falling to -52 from -44 in August. Despite a modest increase in August, the turning point indicator remained in the negative territory. Business leaders considered that the pace of activity has decreased markedly in the manufacturing industry. Stocks of finished products decreased during the month, while total order books remained at a low level. The business climate indicator for the total industrial sector fell to 86 in September from 87 in August. The confidence indicator for retail sector fell to 86 from 92 in the previous month. Confidence in the construction industry fell to 94 in September from 95 in August. Meanwhile, the indicator for services rose to 87 from 84. The business climate indicator for wholesale trade dipped to 91 from 95 in the previous month.

[Sep25]    German Consumer Sentiment Set To Remain Stable In October

Germany's consumer confidence is set to remain unchanged in October, survey results from market research group GfK showed Tuesday, which slightly eased fears of the economy slipping into a recession. The forward-looking consumer sentiment index came in at 5.9 in October, unchanged from September and matched economists' expectations. The three sub-indicators that represent the changes for September, suggest that consumers' concern over own future income deteriorated, while consumption continues to fulfill its role as a reliable supporting pillar for the economy. The economic expectations index rose by 1.7 points to -17.2 points in September. The slight improvement will prevent the indicator falling further to the low levels seen during the 2008/2009 recession. However, it is not yet possible to accurately estimate whether this positive trend will continue, the research group said. The slowdown in the economy seen over the second quarter is expected to continue in the quarter ahead. Moreover, exports to trouble-stricken European nations slumped recently. At the same time, the willingness to buy remained unchanged at 33.1 in September. In the face of relatively stable labor market situation and good salary agreements, willingness to buy among consumers will benefit from the crises, GfK said. Consumers are tending to invest their money in higher value purchases. As income expectations are increasingly being affected by prevailing economic uncertainty, the corresponding indicator stood at 23.9 points, down 7.7 points from a month ago. Income expectations continue to be at a good level, but uncertainty of consumers with regard to their future financial prospects has risen in recent weeks, GfK noted. The slight increase in unemployment as well as high fuel prices were the major factors behind the concern. The German economy expanded only 0.3 percent in the June quarter. Citing weak domestic investment and slowing global growth, Germany's IfW think tank this month downgraded its growth projection for both 2012 and 2013 to 0.8 percent and 1.1 percent respectively. Yesterday, Bundesbank said the economy will continue its upward trend in the third quarter. However, the central bank warned that future development is subject to great uncertainty. According to a survey by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), economic sentiment rose notably in September as investors were calmed by European Central Bank's bond purchase plan. Meanwhile, Ifo survey showed that business sentiment deteriorated for the fifth consecutive month.

[Sep25]    Sweden Aug. Producer Prices Fall 0.5% On Month, Consensus -0.2%

[Sep25]    Thai Exports Fall More Than Expected

Thailand's exports dropped more than expected in August, data released by the Commerce Ministry on Tuesday showed. Exports fell 6.95 percent year-on-year in August, steeper than the 5.8 percent fall expected by economists. Imports dipped 8.78 percent annually during the month. This was also sharper than the expected 5.55 percent drop. The trade balance was in a deficit of $1.021 billion in August compared to forecast for a shortfall of $1.453 billion. In July, the deficit was $1.75 billion.

[Sep25]    S. Africa July Leading Indicator Up 0.8% On Month To 130.4

[Sep25]    Spain August Producer Prices Up 1.1% On Month Vs. 0.8% In July

[Sep25]    China Leading Index Advances Despite Subdued Economic Activity

A leading indicator for China's economic activity rose at the fastest pace in seven months in August, raising hopes of a moderate rebound in growth that slowed to a three-year low in the second quarter. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its leading economic index (LEI)for the Chinese economy increased 1.7 percent month-on-month to 240 in August. This followed a 0.6 percent increase in July and 0.1 percent rise in June. "The improvement in the China LEI in August raises expectations for a moderate rebound in growth, even as current economic conditions remain subdued," said Andrew Polk, who is the Conference Board's resident economist in Beijing. The increase was primarily due to a rebound in real estate activity, with strong credit growth and an improvement in consumer expectations also adding to the uptick. However, Polk pointed out that despite the somewhat improved outlook, recent LEI trends suggest the rebound in real estate may be tenuous and uncertainty around credit-led growth remains a concern. The manufacturing and trade sectors continued to underperform, the economist added. The recent purchasing manages' surveys pointed to low level of activity in the manufacturing sector. The trade sector also displayed a gloomy performance in August. The government has recently introduced a slew of measures to stabilize export growth. The coincident economic index, which measures current economic activity, increased 0.5 percent to 223. This comes after a 0.5 percent gain in July and a 0.9 percent increase in June. All five components contributed positively to the index in August. Meanwhile, Song Guoqing, an academic adviser to the People's Bank of China, said Monday that he saw no signs of a rebound in the third quarter and domestic investment is unlikely to expand dramatically in the short term. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Monday downgraded the 2012 economic growth projection for China by about half a percentage point to 7.5 percent, citing ongoing troubles in the Eurozone and a weaker recovery in the U.S.

[Sep25]    Finland August Jobless Rate Rises

Finland's unemployment rate for the month of August increased from a year ago, data released by Statistics Finland showed Tuesday. The jobless rate rose to 7.3 percent from 6.6 percent last year. The number of unemployed was 199,000, which was 22,000 higher than the same month last year. The employment figure remained broadly unchanged at 2.526 million. The activity rate edged up to 66.9 percent from 66.5 percent. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate for persons aged between 15 and 74 rose to 8 percent in August from 7.8 percent in July. The number of unemployed increased to 216,000 from 210,000. The unemployment rate for persons aged between 15 and 24 also climbed to 18.5 percent from 18.4 percent.

[Sep25]    Philippine Imports Fall In July

Philippine imports declined for the first time in three months in July, data published by the National Statistics Office showed Tuesday. Imports fell 0.8 percent year-on-year in July, following 13 percent gain in June and 10 percent rise in May. On a monthly basis, overseas purchases fell 2.5 percent in July. Year-on-year rate of growth in imports of electronic products slowed sharply to 4.8 percent in July from 27.1 percent in June. Month-on-month, electronic product imports plunged 16.2 percent. Total external trade in goods for July reached $9.691 billion, representing a 2.4 percent increase from $9.462 billion recorded during the same month in 2011. The increase can be attributed to the 6 percent growth in exports over the same period, the statistical office said.

[Sep25]    G20 Urges Governments To Do More To Boost Growth

Policy decisions by major central banks will buy governments time to fix the ailing global economy, but risks still remained, Mexican central bank Deputy Governor Manuel Ramos Francia said after a meeting of G20 officials in Mexico City on Monday. "Monetary easing buys time, but the risks are there," he told a news conference after a two-day meeting of Deputy finance ministers and central bank officials from G-20 nations. Mexico is the current chair of G20 Presidency. The G20 officials acknowledged that countries need to boost growth to sail through the global turbulence. Apart from the European Central Bank's bond-purchase program, implementation of other kind of policies are needed to contain the crisis in Europe, Ramos Francia said. The meeting stressed the importance of achieving a balance and sustained growth in the global economy. Unbalanced implementation of financial reforms will result in regulatory arbitrage and could even hamper effective functioning of global financial markets, the meeting warned. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Monday called on governments to use the window of opportunity offered by the central bank policy decisions to revive growth as the global economy is still fraught with risks, and policy uncertainty is weighing down on growth. Lagarde said that Europe remains the epicenter of the crisis and where the most urgent action is needed. She also signaled that the Fund may lower its global growth forecast at its upcoming economic outlook report to be published in October. During the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, in June, world leaders had agreed to work collectively to foster growth, create high quality jobs and address the ongoing financial market tensions.

[Sep25]    G20 Urges Governments To Do More To Boost Growth

Policy decisions by major central banks will buy governments time to fix the ailing global economy, but risks still remained, Mexican central bank Deputy Governor Manuel Ramos Francia said after a meeting of G20 officials in Mexico City on Monday. "Monetary easing buys time, but the risks are there," he told a news conference after a two-day meeting of Deputy finance ministers and central bank officials from G-20 nations. Mexico is the current chair of G20 Presidency. The G20 officials acknowledged that countries need to boost growth to sail through the global turbulence. Apart from the European Central Bank's bond-purchase program, implementation of other kind of policies are needed to contain the crisis in Europe, Ramos Francia said. The meeting stressed the importance of achieving a balance and sustained growth in the global economy. Unbalanced implementation of financial reforms will result in regulatory arbitrage and could even hamper effective functioning of global financial markets, the meeting warned. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Monday called on governments to use the window of opportunity offered by the central bank policy decisions to revive growth as the global economy is still fraught with risks, and policy uncertainty is weighing down on growth. Lagarde said that Europe remains the epicenter of the crisis and where the most urgent action is needed. She also signaled that the Fund may lower its global growth forecast at its upcoming economic outlook report to be published in October. During the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, in June, world leaders had agreed to work collectively to foster growth, create high quality jobs and address the ongoing financial market tensions.

[Sep25]    G20 Urges Governments To Do More To Boost Growth

Policy decisions by major central banks will buy governments time to fix the ailing global economy, but risks still remained, Mexican central bank Deputy Governor Manuel Ramos Francia said after a meeting of G20 officials in Mexico City on Monday. "Monetary easing buys time, but the risks are there," he told a news conference after a two-day meeting of Deputy finance ministers and central bank officials from G-20 nations. Mexico is the current chair of G20 Presidency. The G20 officials acknowledged that countries need to boost growth to sail through the global turbulence. Apart from the European Central Bank's bond-purchase program, implementation of other kind of policies are needed to contain the crisis in Europe, Ramos Francia said. The meeting stressed the importance of achieving a balance and sustained growth in the global economy. Unbalanced implementation of financial reforms will result in regulatory arbitrage and could even hamper effective functioning of global financial markets, the meeting warned. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Monday called on governments to use the window of opportunity offered by the central bank policy decisions to revive growth as the global economy is still fraught with risks, and policy uncertainty is weighing down on growth. Lagarde said that Europe remains the epicenter of the crisis and where the most urgent action is needed. She also signaled that the Fund may lower its global growth forecast at its upcoming economic outlook report to be published in October. During the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, in June, world leaders had agreed to work collectively to foster growth, create high quality jobs and address the ongoing financial market tensions.

[Sep24]    Global Growth Likely To Be Weaker Than Thought, IMF's Lagarde Says

The International Monetary Fund continues to forecast a gradual recovery for the global economy, but the pace of growth is likely to be weaker than projected earlier, weighed down by risks and policy uncertainty, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Monday. "Global growth will likely be a bit weaker than anticipated even in July," Lagarde said during a speech at Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. In its most recent edition of the World Economic Outlook released in July, the IMF projected the global economic growth at 3.5 percent in 2012 and 3.9 percent in 2013. The Fund is expected to unveil its new forecasts on October 9. Lagarde warned that the global economy is still fraught with risks and policy uncertainty is weighing growth down. "This time, we need a sustained rebound, not a bounce," she said ahead of the joint Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Boards of Governors in Tokyo. The European Central Bank's bond-purchase program, third quantitative easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan's expanded Asset Purchase Program were "big policy signals in the right direction," she said while urging policymakers to make use of the window of opportunity offered by these policy decisions. "Europe obviously remains the epicenter of the crisis and where the most urgent action is needed," Lagarde said. She called on European policymakers to deliver on their commitments, including by establishing a single supervisory banking mechanism and enabling the direct recapitalization of banks. On Greece, Lagarde said a worsening economic outlook, major delays in a privatization program and limited revenue collection have created a "financing gap." The Greek debt "will have to be addressed as part of the equation," the managing director added. According to her, another major risk to the global economy is in the U.S. Lagarde called for action to avoid this so-called "fiscal cliff" and a concrete plan to bring down debt gradually over the medium term. She urged major emerging markets to focus on countering vulnerabilities, whether domestic or external. The Fund is pushing to pass significant reforms, aimed at giving greater representation to emerging market and developing economies, "if not by October, then as soon as possible thereafter," Lagarde said.

[Sep24]    South Korea Consumer Confidence Remains Unchanged

Consumer confidence in South Korea remained weak in September, unchanged from August's seven-month low, data from Bank of Korea showed Tuesday. The consumer confidence index remained at 99, the lowest reading since January this year. Consumer sentiment on current living standards fell by one point to 86, while that concerning their outlook stood unchanged at 92. Households' assessment of the current domestic economic conditions fell by one point to 66, while expectations about personal economic conditions improved by one point to 79. Income expectations remained unchanged in September while consumers' willingness to spend weakened. According to the report, consumer sentiment concerning the outlook for price movements decreased by two points to 139, and that regarding expected inflation by 0.2 percentage points to 3.6 percent.

[Sep24]    Global Growth Likely To Be Weaker Than Thought, IMF's Lagarde Says

The International Monetary Fund continues to forecast a gradual recovery for the global economy, but the pace of growth is likely to be weaker than projected earlier, weighed down by risks and policy uncertainty, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Monday. "Global growth will likely be a bit weaker than anticipated even in July," Lagarde said during a speech at Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. In its most recent edition of the World Economic Outlook released in July, the IMF projected the global economic growth at 3.5 percent in 2012 and 3.9 percent in 2013. The Fund is expected to unveil its new forecasts on October 9. Lagarde warned that the global economy is still fraught with risks and policy uncertainty is weighing growth down. "This time, we need a sustained rebound, not a bounce," she said ahead of the joint Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Boards of Governors in Tokyo. The European Central Bank's bond-purchase program, third quantitative easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan's expanded Asset Purchase Program were "big policy signals in the right direction," she said while urging policymakers to make use of the window of opportunity offered by these policy decisions. "Europe obviously remains the epicenter of the crisis and where the most urgent action is needed," Lagarde said. She called on European policymakers to deliver on their commitments, including by establishing a single supervisory banking mechanism and enabling the direct recapitalization of banks. On Greece, Lagarde said a worsening economic outlook, major delays in a privatization program and limited revenue collection have created a "financing gap." The Greek debt "will have to be addressed as part of the equation," the managing director added. According to her, another major risk to the global economy is in the U.S. Lagarde called for action to avoid this so-called "fiscal cliff" and a concrete plan to bring down debt gradually over the medium term. She urged major emerging markets to focus on countering vulnerabilities, whether domestic or external. The Fund is pushing to pass significant reforms, aimed at giving greater representation to emerging market and developing economies, "if not by October, then as soon as possible thereafter," Lagarde said.

[Sep24]    China Aug. Leading Index Posts Biggest Gain In 7 Months

The Conference Board's leading indicator for China's economic activity rose at the fastest pace in seven months in August, raising hopes for a moderate rebound in growth. The leading economic index (LEI) increased 1.7 percent month-on-month to 240 in August. This followed a 0.6 percent increase in July and 0.1 percent rise in June. "The improvement in the China LEI in August raises expectations for a moderate rebound in growth, even as current economic conditions remain subdued," said Andrew Polk, the Conference Board's resident economist in Beijing. The coincident economic index, which measures current economic activity, increased 0.5 percent to 223. This comes after a 0.5 percent gain in July and a 0.9 percent increase in June.

[Sep24]    Australian Financial System Stable Despite Global Gloom: RBA

Pressures in wholesale funding markets have eased since late last year and the banks' bond spreads have narrowed, and are now comparable to levels in mid 2011, prior to the escalation of the euro area debt problems, the report noted. However, the Australian banks remained exposed to swings in global financial market sentiment associated with the problems in Europe, though they have little direct asset exposure to the most troubled euro area countries. The banks' bad and doubtful debt charges have declined more substantially since the peak of the crisis period, the central bank said in the report. In recent months, household and business sectors have continued to display a relatively prudent approach towards their finances. While households continued to prefer saving and paying down their existing debt more quickly than required, businesses have become more willing to borrow. The report also noted that a Financial Sector Assessment Program review by the International Monetary Fund, which is due to be published later this year, confirm that "Australia has a stable financial system, with robust financial regulatory, supervisory and crisis management frameworks. On banking conditions in euro area, the RBA noted that though the European Central Bank's announcement of the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMTs) helped ease concerns over a liquidity crisis, some of the longer-term policy measures in the region involve significant implementation risk, and many of the underlying problems are yet to be effectively resolved. Major advanced country banking systems, outside the euro area, have generally continued on a gradual path to recovery in recent quarters, while the Asian banking systems have largely been resilient to the euro area problems, RBA said.

[Sep24]    China Aug. Leading Index Posts Biggest Gain In 7 Months

The Conference Board's leading indicator for China's economic activity rose at the fastest pace in seven months in August, raising hopes for a moderate rebound in growth. The leading economic index (LEI) increased 1.7 percent month-on-month to 240 in August. This followed a 0.6 percent increase in July and 0.1 percent rise in June. "The improvement in the China LEI in August raises expectations for a moderate rebound in growth, even as current economic conditions remain subdued," said Andrew Polk, the Conference Board's resident economist in Beijing. The coincident economic index, which measures current economic activity, increased 0.5 percent to 223. This comes after a 0.5 percent gain in July and a 0.9 percent increase in June.

[Sep24]    China Aug Conference Board Leading Index Up 1.7% On Month

[Sep24]    Japan Corporate Service Prices -0.3% On Month, -0.3% On Year In August

[Sep24]    French PM Favors Giving Greece More Time On Deficit

Backing calls for more lenient bailout terms for Greece, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in an interview to a French news website over the weekend that the embattled euro member should be allotted more time to cut its budget deficit and implement the planned reforms. Talking to the news website Mediapart, Ayrault said he favored giving Greece more time to pull through the crisis on condition that it remains sincere in its commitment to reform, particularly the fiscal ones. "The solution cannot be Greece's exit from the eurozone," he told the website. Greece has pledged a series of economic reforms and spending cuts worth EUR 11.5 billion for 2013 and 2014 in exchange for a joint EUR 130 billion bailout from the troika, consisting of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has repeatedly failed to clinch an agreement with his coalition partners on key budget reduction measures and the government was also unable to settle a deal with the troika, which is crucial to secure the next loan installment worth EUR 31.5 billion. A troika mission left Athens this weekend and said will be back for inspection next week to finalize the terms. Some progress has been made in talks between the troika and Greek authorities on lifting the retirement age and pension cuts, which would together contribute a saving of EUR 9.5 billion. The troika is expected to submit its report to the Eurogroup meeting to be held on October 8 in Luxembourg, which will then decide the disbursement of the next tranche. Meanwhile, the discord between French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the European Commission's proposal for closer ties in the banking sector became clearer at an event to mark Franco-German reconciliation after World War II on Saturday. Talking to reporters, Hollande said Saturday that the banking union is an important step towards resolving the crisis. "The earlier the better," he remarked. Meanwhile, Merkel said there is no point in doing something fast that do not work out at the end. Elsewhere, a report by Germany's Der Spiegel on Sunday suggested that the Eurozone governments are preparing to quadruple the capacity of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to EUR 2 trillion from the current EUR 500 billion. Separately, the Financial Times Deutschland reported over the weekend that the Eurozone authorities are preparing to unveil a comprehensive euro rescue package before November, that includes a modified financial assistance program for Greece, a second bailout for Spain and an aid package for Cyprus.

[Sep24]    Brazil's Consumer Sentiment Rebounds In September

Consumer confidence in Brazil improved in September, after deteriorating for four consecutive months, data released by the Getulio Vargas Foundation showed Monday. The headline consumer confidence index increased to 122.1 points in September from 120.4 points in August, marking an improvement in sentiment following four months of continuous deterioration. The sub-index that measures households' views of the current economic situation rose to 136.4 points in September from 133.5 points in the previous month. Consumers were more optimistic about the general economic condition in the coming months, with the relevant indicator advancing to 115 points from 113 points in August, data showed.

[Sep24]    German Ifo Business Confidence Weakens For Fifth Successive Month

German business sentiment declined for the fifth consecutive month in September suggesting that even the bond purchase programme announced by the European Central Bank failed to shore up confidence. The business climate index fell to 101.4, which was the lowest since March 2010, from 102.3 in August, the survey based on 7,000 executives by the Ifo Institute showed Monday. The index was forecast to remain unchanged at 102.3. The index for current situation dropped to 110.3 from 111.1. The companies surveyed are again less satisfied with their current business situation. Economists had forecast a reading of 111. Suggesting greater pessimism about the future, the gauge of executives' expectations dropped to 93.2 from 94.2 and stayed well below the consensus forecast of 95. The September reading was the lowest since May 2009. In manufacturing, the business climate continued to cool significantly in September. Although survey participants were more cautious in their assessment of the current situation, it stayed above the long-term average. Expectations, on the other hand, dropped for the fifth month and remained clearly negative. At the same time, business climate recovered at both retailing and wholesaling levels. Meanwhile, business confidence in construction dropped again in September. The business climate index in the service sector gained slightly in September following three consecutive decreases. Assessments of the current business situation improved somewhat and expectations remained slightly optimistic. According to a survey by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Germany's economic sentiment rose notably in September as investors were calmed by ECB's bond purchase plan. However, today's Ifo index shows that German companies remain sceptical about the economic impact of ECB Chief Mario Draghi's magic, ING Bank NV economist Carsten Brzeski said. The survey suggests that the largest euro area economy will see a contraction in the third quarter. The German economy expanded 0.3 percent in the June quarter. Citing weak domestic investment and slowing global growth, Germany's IfW think tank this month downgraded its growth projection for both 2012 and 2013 to 0.8 percent and 1.1 percent respectively. Jennifer McKeown, a senior European economist at Capital Economics, said while Germany might have avoided a recession in the third quarter, it seems like only a matter of time before the economy starts to contract.

[Sep24]    BoE's Financial Policy Committee Maintains Policy Recommendations

The Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee maintained its policy recommendations on September 14. "The committee judged that the risks to financial stability hadn't altered sufficiently since its previous meeting to warrant a change to its current set of policy recommendations," the BoE said in a statement on Monday. At the previous meeting in June, the FPC had recommended banks to ensure sufficient cushion of loss-absorbing capital and to improve the resilience of their balance sheets. Also, the FPC advised banks to work to assess, manage and mitigate specific risks to their balance sheets stemming from stress in the euro area.

[Sep24]    French PM Favors Giving Greece More Time On Deficit

Backing calls for more lenient bailout terms for Greece, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in an interview to a French news website over the weekend that the embattled euro member should be allotted more time to cut its budget deficit and implement the planned reforms. Talking to the news website Mediapart, Ayrault said he favored giving Greece more time to pull through the crisis on condition that it remains sincere in its commitment to reform, particularly the fiscal ones. "The solution cannot be Greece's exit from the eurozone," he told the website. Greece has pledged a series of economic reforms and spending cuts worth EUR 11.5 billion for 2013 and 2014 in exchange for a joint EUR 130 billion bailout from the troika, consisting of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has repeatedly failed to clinch an agreement with his coalition partners on key budget reduction measures and the government was also unable to settle a deal with the troika, which is crucial to secure the next loan installment worth EUR 31.5 billion. A troika mission left Athens this weekend and said will be back for inspection next week to finalize the terms. Some progress has been made in talks between the troika and Greek authorities on lifting the retirement age and pension cuts, which would together contribute a saving of EUR 9.5 billion. The troika is expected to submit its report to the Eurogroup meeting to be held on October 8 in Luxembourg, which will then decide the disbursement of the next tranche. Meanwhile, the discord between French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the European Commission's proposal for closer ties in the banking sector became clearer at an event to mark Franco-German reconciliation after World War II on Saturday. Talking to reporters, Hollande said Saturday that the banking union is an important step towards resolving the crisis. "The earlier the better," he remarked. Meanwhile, Merkel said there is no point in doing something fast that do not work out at the end. Elsewhere, a report by Germany's Der Spiegel on Sunday suggested that the Eurozone governments are preparing to quadruple the capacity of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to EUR 2 trillion from the current EUR 500 billion. Separately, the Financial Times Deutschland reported over the weekend that the Eurozone authorities are preparing to unveil a comprehensive euro rescue package before November, that includes a modified financial assistance program for Greece, a second bailout for Spain and an aid package for Cyprus.

[Sep24]    Vietnam Inflation Rises In September

Vietnam's consumer price inflation accelerated in September, after slowing in the previous months, data released by the General Statistics Office showed Monday. Annual inflation increased to 6.48 percent in September from 5.04 percent in August, the agency said. Food and foodstuff prices increased 1.84 percent annually, while prices of garment, footwear and hat moved up 8.63 percent. Prices of household appliances and goods were higher by 6.76 percent compared to last year, and transportation costs by 6.56 percent. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index advanced 2.2 percent during the month. In the January-September period, consumer prices rose 9.96 percent from the corresponding period a year earlier, data showed.

[Sep24]    Bank Of England Maintains Financial Policy Stance

[Sep24]    Dutch Producer Confidence Deteriorates In September

Dutch producer confidence declined in September after remaining fairly stable during the past four months, data released by Statistics Netherlands showed Monday. The confidence indicator fell to -6.7 in September from -4.6 in August. Manufacturers were more pessimistic about the company's production outlook and were also downbeat about their order positions. In September, the manufacturers reporting a decline in new orders slightly outnumbered those who reported an increase. The order position index dropped to 96.8 in September from 98.6 in August. Firms were slightly more pessimistic about future employment than in August. The number of manufacturers anticipating staff cuts over the next three months was much higher than the number of those expecting an improvement.

[Sep24]    Taiwan Aug. Commercial Sales Drop 1.2% On Year Vs. 0.83% Fall Last Month

[Sep24]    German Sep Ifo Current Conditions Falls To 110.3, Consensus 111: Reports

[Sep24]    Singapore Inflation Near Two-Year Low

Inflation in Singapore eased to its weakest level in 21 months in August, mainly reflecting more moderate increases in accommodation cost and services fees, data released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revealed Monday. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 3.9 percent year-on-year in August, after climbing 4 percent in the previous month. It was the lowest rate of inflation since November 2010, but a tad above economists' forecast of 3.8 percent. The rate of increase in accommodation costs slowed to 7.4 percent year-on-year in August from 7.8 percent in July as residential property rentals rose at a more moderate pace. However, imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation continued to contribute a considerable 1.4 percentage points to overall inflation. Nevertheless, the ministry expects the overall CPI inflation to stay elevated at an average 4-4.5 percent in 2012. Notably, the inflation rate is expected to rise in September due to the surge in Certificate Of Entitlement (COE) premiums in August, as well as the base effects associated with the disbursement of government rebates. The government forecasts COE premiums to remain sharply higher than a year ago for the rest of 2012, while imputed rentals will also continue to add significantly. The core inflation measure monitored by the MAS, which excludes accommodation and private road transport, rose 2.2 percent from a year earlier. According to a quarterly survey of Professional Forecasters by MAS, the CPI may rise 4.4 percent this year and 3.2 percent next year. Food price inflation was stable at 2.3 percent in August, while the increase in services fees eased to 2.7 percent from 2.8 percent in July. Private road transport cost rose 6.3 percent annually, slightly faster than the 5.9 percent in the preceding month. Petrol pump prices increased in August after two consecutive months of decline, but car prices climbed more moderately compared to that in July. On a monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.6 percent. MAS core inflation measure rose 0.2 percent compared to July.

[Sep24]    Dutch Sept. Producer Confidence Index At -6.7 Vs. -4.6 In August

[Sep24]    Hungary's Retail Sales Fall For Fourth Month

Hungary's retail sales declined for the fourth consecutive month in July, data from the Hungarian Central Statistical Office showed Monday. Retail sales dropped by a more than expected 2.6 percent from a year ago, following a 1.7 percent fall in the previous month. Economists had forecast a 1.8 percent drop for July. On a monthly basis, retail sales slipped 0.4 percent after staying flat in June. The sales volume in food, drinks and tobacco stores dipped 2.4 percent annually, while that in non-food retail dropped by 2.5 percent.

[Sep24]    Czech Economic Sentiment Weakens In September

Economic confidence in the Czech Republic deteriorated in September, after recording an improvement in the previous month, data released by the Czech Statistical Office showed Monday. The composite economic confidence index dropped to -3.8 in September from -3.6 in August. In July, the reading was -3.8. Confidence among Czech households about their personal finances and the general economic condition turned more downbeat in September, with the relevant index falling to -29.8 from -27.3 in the previous month. The indicator of sentiment in the business sector, meanwhile, rose to 2.7 in September from 2.4 in August. The industrial confidence index dropped to -9.7 from -9, while the construction confidence index decreased to -44.5 from -43 in the previous month. Confidence among entrepreneurs in the trade sector and service sector improved in September. The corresponding indexes advanced to 13.7 and 25.3 from 9 and 24 respectively, data showed.

[Sep24]    Austria Jul Construction Output Up 5.4% On Year

[Sep24]    Czech Sept. Business Confidence Index At 2.7 Vs. 2.4 In August

[Sep24]    Singapore Inflation Near Two-Year Low

Inflation in Singapore eased to its weakest level in 21 months in August, mainly reflecting more moderate increases in accommodation cost and services fees, data released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revealed Monday. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 3.9 percent year-on-year in August, after climbing 4 percent in the previous month. It was the lowest rate of inflation since November 2010, but a tad above economists' forecast of 3.8 percent. The rate of increase in accommodation costs slowed to 7.4 percent year-on-year in August from 7.8 percent in July as residential property rentals rose at a more moderate pace. However, imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation continued to contribute a considerable 1.4 percentage points to overall inflation. Nevertheless, the ministry expects the overall CPI inflation to stay elevated at an average 4-4.5 percent in 2012. Notably, the inflation rate is expected to rise in September due to the surge in Certificate Of Entitlement (COE) premiums in August, as well as the base effects associated with the disbursement of government rebates. The government forecasts COE premiums to remain sharply higher than a year ago for the rest of 2012, while imputed rentals will also continue to add significantly. The core inflation measure monitored by the MAS, which excludes accommodation and private road transport, rose 2.2 percent from a year earlier. According to a quarterly survey of Professional Forecasters by MAS, the CPI may rise 4.4 percent this year and 3.2 percent next year. Food price inflation was stable at 2.3 percent in August, while the increase in services fees eased to 2.7 percent from 2.8 percent in July. Private road transport cost rose 6.3 percent annually, slightly faster than the 5.9 percent in the preceding month. Petrol pump prices increased in August after two consecutive months of decline, but car prices climbed more moderately compared to that in July. On a monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.6 percent. MAS core inflation measure rose 0.2 percent compared to July.

[Sep24]    Mauritius Trade Deficit Widens In July

Mauritius' merchandise trade deficit increased notably from the previous month in July, data released by Statistics Mauritius showed Monday. The trade deficit increased to MUR6.426 billion in July from MUR6.134 billion in the previous month. Compared to July 2011, the shortfall climbed 43.8 percent during the month. Export of goods decreased 2.2 percent month-on-month to MUR6.486 billion in July. Year-on-year, total shipments dropped by 0.3 percent. The value of imports, meanwhile, increased 1.1 percent sequentially to MUR12.912 billion during the month. Compared to the same month of last year, arrivals jumped by 17.6 percent in July. United Kingdom, France, South Africa and the USA were Mauritius' major exports destinations in July, while imports were mainly from China, India, France and South Africa, the agency said.

[Sep24]    European Economics Preview: German Ifo Business Confidence Data Due

Business sentiment survey from Germany is due on Monday, headlining a light day for the European economic news. At 3.00 am ET, Hungary's statistical office is slated to release retail sales for July. Economists forecast sales to fall 1.8 percent year-on-year, following a 1.7 percent drop in June. In the meantime, Czech business confidence data is due. Half an hour later, Dutch final GDP figures are due. According to preliminary estimate, the economy expanded 0.2 percent sequentially in the second quarter. At 4.00 am ET, German Ifo business sentiment survey data is due. The business confidence is forecast to remain unchanged at 102.3 in September. The expectations index is seen rising to 95, while current conditions is forecast to fall to 111. Germany plans to tap debt market today. The government aims to raise EUR 3 billion through the auction of discount papers or "Bubills". The results are due at 5.30 am ET.

[Sep24]    Finland Producer Price Inflation At 6-Month High

Finland's producer price inflation increased to the highest level in six months in August, data released by Statistics Finland showed Monday. The producer price index for manufactured products advanced 1.5 year-on-year in August, after rising 0.2 percent in July. The latest growth was the biggest since February, when prices climbed 2.2 percent. Producer prices of foods sold in the domestic market rose 2 percent annually, while output prices in the overseas market grew 0.9 percent. At the same time, the export price index moved up 0.9 percent year-on-year in August, while sequentially it rose 0.5 percent. The import price index advanced 2 percent month-on-month, taking the annual growth to 4.8 percent, data showed. On a monthly basis, output prices increased 1.1 percent in August, faster than the 0.1 percent gain seen in the previous month, the agency said.

[Sep24]    BoJ's Yamaguchi Says Domestic Demand Unlikely To Offset Export Weakness

Although the domestic demand as a whole is set to maintain its firmness, it might be difficult to expect it to offset the weakness in external demand and further elevate Japan's economic activity, Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Hirohide Yamaguchi said Monday. Japan's economy registered relatively high growth in the first half of 2012, supported by the firmness in domestic demand, Yamaguchi said in a speech at the Asian Affairs Research Council. But the pick-up in economic activity has come to a pause, reflecting the developments in overseas economies. Today, Standard & Poor's cut Japan's growth outlook to 2 percent for this year. According to Yamaguchi, the outstanding amount of the Japanese government bonds will rise about JPY 92 trillion at the end of 2012, and it will be an increase of about JPY 26 trillion in one year. He observed that the purchase has already reached a substantial size. "If by any chance such massive purchase of the JGBs is interpreted, apart from the necessity in monetary policy conduct, as aiming at fiscal monetization, confidence in the Bank could be eroded considerably and long-term interest rates could rise substantially," said Yamaguchi.

[Sep24]    Time To Focus On Firming Housing Market Fundamentals

The U.S. housing market has been a silver lining in the cloud, even as the improvement is only a modicum, paling comparisons with the pre-crisis levels. Nevertheless, the recovery has revealed a consistent upward trend, particularly in existing home sales. House prices have also been trending higher. The improvement is expected to have a cyclical impact of boosting consumption expenditure and in turn growth. Construction employment is also benefiting from the improvement. Despite the uptick in a number of housing market indicators, lenders have become more wary. The era of unscrupulous approval of mortgage loans is a thing of the past. Lenders now apply stricter conditions before approving loans and approval periods are also much longer. This is one of the prime reason why the central bank's ultra loose monetary policy has not have had the desired effect on mortgage lending. The current account data released last week also was a reason to cheer, as the U.S. current account deficit shrank to $470 billion in the second quarter and consequently has eased to 3 percent of GDP. A weaker dollar along with firm net export figures have led to an improvement in the numbers. That said, the job market has not budged. Employment has not grown rapidly enough to push down the jobless rate to everyone's liking. The main reason as to why trend-like growth is eluding us is the lackadaisical job market. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, things are still hazy. The question of will or won't Spain seek a bailout has been pressuring markets. The unfolding week will render better clarity on the issue. Spain is due to table its reform program along with its 2013 budget on Friday. Markets widely expect the government's reform measures to allow it to seek a credit line. A report on Spanish banks is also due this week and serves as the basis for the release of 100 billion euros in bailout funds to the nation's banking system. Domestic manufacturing conditions continued to be weak. The results of a survey by the New York Federal Reserve released last week showed that manufacturing activity in the region contracted for the second straight month in September. The current conditions index fell to -10.4 in September from -5.9 in August. The new orders index declined to -14 from -5.5 and the order backlogs index slipped 4 points to -14.9. The employment indexes also declined, with the number of employees index dropping to 4.3 from 16.5, while the average workweek index slid to -1.1 from 3.5. Meanwhile, the 6-month outlook index rose to 27.2 from 15.2. The results of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's manufacturing survey showed that manufacturing activity continued to contract, albeit at a slower pace, in September. The manufacturing index came in at -1.9. The shipments index fell 10 points to -21.2, while the new orders index rose 6.5 points to 1 and the order backlogs index rose 8 points, although it remained negative at -8.2. On a positive note, the 6-month outlook index improved notably to 41.2 from 12.5 in August. Meanwhile, the housing market continued its resurgent run. A report from the National Association of National Home Builders showed that its housing market index rose to 40 in September from 37 in August, marking the highest level in 6 years. The current sales conditions index rose 4 points to 42 and the sales expectation index surged up 8 points to 51. Additionally, the index measuring prospective buyer traffic rose 1 point to 31. Additionally, the Commerce Department said housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 750,000 in August, up 2.3 percent month-over-month, with single family starts rising by 28,000 to 535,000, while multiple family starts declined by 11,000. July's starts were downwardly revised to 733,000 from 746,000. Meanwhile, building permits fell to 803,000 from 811,000 in July. The National Association of Realtors' reported that existing home sales rose to 4.82 million units on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis compared to 4.47 million in July. Inventories as measured in terms of months of supply fell to 6.1 months from 6.4 months in July. Distressed properties accounted for 22 percent of the sales compared to 24 percent in July. The median price of an existing home was almost flat compared to the previous month at $187,400, while on a year-over-year basis, prices were up 9.5 percent. Additionally, the Conference Board said its leading economic indicators index for the U.S. edged down 0.1 percent month-over-month in August compared to July. In July, the index rose 0.5 percent. The lagging economic indicators index rose 0.2 percent compared to a 0.1 percent increase by the coincident economic indicators index. With doubts surfacing about the efficacy of the benign stimulus measures, traders are expected to focus on each incoming evidence to gauge if the economy has been responsive enough. The unfolding week presents a few housing reports, some regional manufacturing readings and a couple of consumer confidence readings. The spotlight is likely to be on the Commerce Department's new home sales report and the house price surveys of S&P Case-Shiller and the Federal House Finance Agency. Also among the widely watched reports are the consumer sentiment surveys of the Conference Board and the Reuters/University of Michigan combine, durable goods orders report for August, the results of the ISM-Chicago's manufacturing survey for September, the Commerce Department's personal income and spending report for August and the weekly jobless claims report. The results of some lesser important regional manufacturing surveys, the final second quarter GDP estimate and the results of the Treasury auctions of 2-year, 5-year and 7-year notes round up the Main Street events of the week. Keeping in line with the recent theme of a rejuvenated housing market, the S&P/Case-Shiller's survey is expected to reveal that house prices continued to rise on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the previous month. New home sales are expected to have risen, while pending home sales may have remained almost flat. Durable goods orders may have seen a sharp retreat, going by the anemic commercial airplane order of just 1 plane reported by Boeing for August compared to 260 in July. Order growth, excluding transportation orders, may have remained anemic due to caution among consumers engendered by the fluid macroeconomic situation, both globally and domestically. Monday Dallas Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the results of its manufacturing survey at 10:30 am ET. The index is expected to improve to 0.5 in September from -1.6 in August. San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams is due to speak to the S.F. City Club Roundtable at 3:10 pm ET. Tuesday The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, which tracks monthly changes in the value of residential real estate in 20 metropolitan regions across the U.S., is scheduled to be released at 9 am. Economists expect a 1.2 percent year-over-year increase in the 20-city composite house price index for July. The Conference Board is scheduled to release its consumer confidence report for September at 10 am ET. The report, which is based on a survey of 5,000 U.S. households, is expected to show that the consumer confidence index decline to 64.8 in September. In August, the consumer confidence index fell to 60.5 from 78.4 in July, with the confidence dipping to the lowest level since late 2011. The present situation index remained almost unchanged at 45.8, while the expectations index declined sharply to 78.4. The Federal House Finance Agency, or FHFA, is set to release its house price index for July at 10 am ET. The index is a weighted, repeat-sales index, which measures average price changes of single-family houses in repeat sales or refinancings on the same properties. Economists expect a 0.8 percent increase in the house price index compared to a 0.7 percent increase in June. The manufacturing index based on the Richmond's manufacturing index is due to released at 10 am ET. The index is expected to improve to -4 in September from -9 in August. The Commerce Department is due to release its new home sales report for August at 10 am ET. The consensus estimate calls for new homes sales of 380,000. New home sales rose 3.6 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 372,000 in June. Inventories measured in terms of months of supply fell to 4.6 months from 4.8 months in June. The median price of a new home fell 2.5 percent year-over-year and dropped 2.1 percent month-over-month to $224,000. Wednesday The Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release its weekly petroleum inventory report for the week ended September 14th at 10:30 AM ET. Crude oil inventories fell by 5.4 million barrels to 360.7 million barrels in the week ended August 17th. Inventories remained above the upper limit of the average range for this time of the year. Gasoline stockpiles fell by 1 million barrels compared to a 1 million barrel increase in distillate inventories. Gasoline inventories were in the lower half of the average range, while distillate inventories were below the lower limit of the average range. Refinery capacity utilization averaged 92.1 percent over the four weeks ended August 17th compared to 92.6 percent over the previous four-week period. Thursday The Commerce Department is set to release its durable goods orders report, which gives the value of orders placed for goods designed to last for more than 3 years, at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect a 5 percent decline in durable goods orders for August. Excluding transportation, orders may have risen 0.2 percent. Durable goods orders rose 4.1 percent month-over-month in July following the 4.1 percent increase in June. Transportation equipment climbed 14.4 percent, contributing to the bulk of the upside. Shipments climbed 2.5 percent compared to a 0.8 percent increase in unfilled orders. The Bureau of Economic Analysis is due to release its advance estimate of second quarter GDP at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect GDP growth estimate to be retained unchanged at 1.7 percent. Preliminary estimates revealed that U.S. gross domestic product was revised up to 1.7 percent growth, somewhat stronger than the 1.5 percent initially reported. That revision, which the commerce department said came as a result of a downward revision to imports and inventory investment combined with an upward revision in consumer spending, was in line with the expectations of most economists. Despite the upward revisions, GDP growth remained lower than the 2 percent growth posted in the first quarter. The Labor Department is due to release its customary jobless claims report for the week ended September 22nd at 8:30 AM ET. Economists expect claims to decline to 376,000 from 382,000 in the previous week. Jobless claims fell to 382,000 in the week ended September 15th from 385,000 in the previous week. Claims were above 380,000 mark for a second straight week. The four-week average rose to 378,000 from 376,000. Continuing claims fell by 32,000 in the week ended September 8th. Data on Pending Home Sales, which is a leading indicator of housing market activity released by the National Association of Realtors, is due out at 10 AM ET. A pending sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale. The index is expected to have rise 0.3 percent in August. The pending home sales index rose 2.4 percent month-over-month in July, while on a year-over-year basis, pending home sales were up 12.4 percent. Pending home sales were up in Northeast, Midwest and South, while pending sales were down in the West. The Kansas City Federal Reserve is due to release the results of its manufacturing survey for September at 11 am ET. Economists expect the manufacturing index to show a reading of 5 in September from 8 in August. Friday The Bureau of Economic Analysis is due to release its personal income & outlays report for September. Economists expect the report, which is due out at 8:30 am ET, to show that personal income rose 0.2 percent, while personal spending is expected to have increased by 0.5 percent. Personal spending rose by 0.4 percent month-over-month in July, the biggest advance in five months. Real spending also rose 0.4 percent. At the same time, personal income rose 0.3 percent and the savings rate ticked down to 4.2 percent. The core price consumption expenditure index remained unchanged compared to the previous month. Annually, the index was up 1.6 percent, marking the slowest pace of growth since October. The results of the Institute of Supply Management-Chicago's business survey for September are scheduled to be released at 9:45 am ET. Economists expect the business barometer index based on the survey to remained unchanged at 53. The business barometer fell to 53 in August from 53.7 in July. The sub-indexes were slightly better than the headline reading, with the production index rising 3 points to 57.4 and the new orders index also rising to 54.8. The employment index rose about 4 points to 57.1, while the order backlogs index slipped about 11 points to 41.7. Reuters and the University of Michigan are due to release the final report on the consumer sentiment index for September is scheduled at 9:55 am ET. The consumer sentiment index is expected to be downwardly revised to 79.

[Sep24]    S&P Lowers Economic Growth Estimates For Asia Pacific

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Monday downgraded economic growth projections for Asia Pacific citing a slowdown in China, ongoing troubles in the Eurozone, and a weaker recovery in the U.S. S&P credit analyst Andrew Palmer said the real growth estimates are reduced by about half a percentage point, for China to 7.5 percent, Japan to 2 percent and Singapore to 2.1 percent. Likewise, growth projections for Republic of Korea to 2.5 percent and Taiwan to 1.9 percent. The rating agency trimmed the forecast for India's GDP by about one percentage point to 5.5 percent and that for Hong Kong to 1.8 percent. On the other hand, it raised Philippines growth forecast to 4.9 percent from 4.3 percent, mirroring the ongoing strength of that domestic economy.

[Sep24]    Australia's Swan: Govt. Committed To Achieving Surplus In 2012-13

Australia's Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan said Monday that the government remains firmly committed to get the budget back to surplus in 2012-13, though the recent decline in commodity prices makes the task much more difficult. Releasing the Final Budget Outcome 2011-12, he said the underlying cash deficit for 2011-12 was A$43.7 billion or 3 percent of GDP for 2011-12, compared with the A$44.4 billion projected in the May budget. The moderate improvement of A$661 million from the 2012-13 budget estimate was the smallest variation between the budget estimate and outcome for a decade, Swan noted. This variation can be attributed to the government's lower cash payments and higher tax receipts. The government data showed that total taxation receipts for 2011-12 were around A$290 million higher than forecast in the 2012-13 Budget, consistent with solid wages and employment growth. However, this figure masks a hefty fall of A$876 million in company tax receipts due largely to lower corporate profits. The final budget outcome shows that "Australia's public finances remain amongst the strongest in the developed world, providing further evidence of Australia's strong economic fundamentals," the Treasurer said in a statement. "While the decline in commodity prices in recent months will inevitably make it more difficult to return the budget to surplus in 2012-13, the government remains committed to doing so," he added. Australian government net debt was A$147.3 billion or 10 percent of GDP in 2011-12, according to the report. The International Monetary Fund said last week that in the event of a sharp deterioration in the economic outlook, Australia has the scope to delay the planned return to surplus and let the automatic stabilizers operate, given its modest public debt. IMF also noted that with expected inflation within the target range, the strong Australian dollar, and given efforts to return the budget to surplus this year, monetary policy should remain accommodative, and should act as the first line of defense against near-term adverse shocks.

[Sep24]    S&P Forecasts India's GDP To Rise 5.5% In 2012

[Sep24]    S&P Cuts China's 2012 Growth Outlook To 7.5%

[Sep24]    Singapore Aug. Annual Inflation 3.9%, Consensus 3.8%: Reports

[Sep23]    Taiwan Unemployment Rate Edges Up

Unemployment rate in Taiwan increased marginally to 4.29 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in August from 4.25 percent in July, data from the Director-General of Budget Accounting and Statistics showed Monday. Economists expected the rate to be at 4.28 percent. On an unadjusted basis, the jobless rate was 4.40 percent, up from 4.31 percent in July. The number of unemployed persons rose to 502,000 from 490,000 in the previous month. Compared to August last year, the number of unemployed remained unchanged. The number of employed persons increased modestly to 10.9 million from 10.88 million in July. The labor force participation rate edged up to 58.61 percent in August 58.49 percent a month earlier.

[Sep23]    Taiwan Unemployment Rate Edges Up

Unemployment rate in Taiwan increased marginally to 4.29 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in August from 4.25 percent in July, data from the Director-General of Budget Accounting and Statistics showed Monday. Economists expected the rate to be at 4.28 percent. On an unadjusted basis, the jobless rate was 4.40 percent, up from 4.31 percent in July. The number of unemployed persons rose to 502,000 from 490,000 in the previous month. Compared to August last year, the number of unemployed remained unchanged. The number of employed persons increased modestly to 10.9 million from 10.88 million in July. The labor force participation rate edged up to 58.61 percent in August 58.49 percent a month earlier.

[Sep21]    WTO Slashes International Trade Growth Forecast

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Friday lowered its growth forecast for global merchandise trade, citing economic slowdown in China and the other major world economies and the unresolved debt crisis in the Eurozone. The WTO downgraded its outlook for international trade growth to 2.5 percent this year from the previous estimate of 3.7 percent. The forecast for 2013 has been revised down to 4.5 percent from 5.6 percent. The downgrade reflects the ongoing slowdown in China, which is the world's largest exporter, weaknesses in the national output and the employment market in United States and more importantly the unresolved European sovereign debt crisis. In developed countries, export volumes are expected grow 1.5 percent this year, slower than the earlier prediction for 2 percent gain. The forecast for export growth in developing countries has been downgraded to to 3.5 percent from 5.6 percent. Imports are expected to grow at slower rates of 0.4 percent in developed countries and 5.4 percent in developing economies in 2012 than the previously estimated 1.9 percent and 6.2 percent respectively. "In an increasingly interdependent world, economic shocks in one region can quickly spread to others. Recently announced measures to reinforce the euro and boost growth in the United States are therefore extremely welcome," WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said. Lamy stressed the need for a renewed commitment to revitalize the multilateral trading system which can restore economic certainty at a time when it is badly needed. The volume of world trade, as measured by the average of exports and imports, increased a paltry 0.3 percent sequentially in the second quarter, and at an annualized rate of 1.2 percent. The slowdown was drive by strong deceleration in imports of developed countries and by a corresponding weakness in the exports of developing economies, the report said.

[Sep21]    Belgian Economic Sentiment Stabilizes In September

Economic Confidence in Belgium remained broadly stable in September, data from the National Bank of Belgium showed Friday. The relevant index, however, came in above economists' expectations. The economic confidence index was at -11.6 in September, broadly unchanged from the previous month's reading of -11.8. Economists were looking for a figure of -11.3. Confidence in the manufacturing industry weakened slightly during the month, with the corresponding sub-index dropping to -13.7 from -13.2. Meanwhile, the measure of confidence in the construction sector rose notably to -8.8 in September from -13.9 in the previous month, indicating an improvement in sentiment. Belgian traders were less downbeat about their businesses during the month. The relevant indicator increased to -13.9 from -15.2 in August. The sub-index for business-related services dropped to -4.4 from -2.3, suggesting that entrepreneurs in this sector turned more pessimistic about their business conditions.

[Sep21]    Belgium Sept. Economic Confidence At -11.6 Vs. -11.8 In August, Consensus -11.3

[Sep21]    WTO Slashes International Trade Growth Forecast

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Friday lowered its growth forecast for global merchandise trade, citing economic slowdown in China and the other major world economies and the unresolved debt crisis in the Eurozone. The WTO downgraded its outlook for international trade growth to 2.5 percent this year from the previous estimate of 3.7 percent. The forecast for 2013 has been revised down to 4.5 percent from 5.6 percent. The downgrade reflects the ongoing slowdown in China, which is the world's largest exporter, weaknesses in the national output and the employment market in United States and more importantly the unresolved European sovereign debt crisis. In developed countries, export volumes are expected grow 1.5 percent this year, slower than the earlier prediction for 2 percent gain. The forecast for export growth in developing countries has been downgraded to to 3.5 percent from 5.6 percent. Imports are expected to grow at slower rates of 0.4 percent in developed countries and 5.4 percent in developing economies in 2012 than the previously estimated 1.9 percent and 6.2 percent respectively. "In an increasingly interdependent world, economic shocks in one region can quickly spread to others. Recently announced measures to reinforce the euro and boost growth in the United States are therefore extremely welcome," WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said. Lamy stressed the need for a renewed commitment to revitalize the multilateral trading system which can restore economic certainty at a time when it is badly needed. The volume of world trade, as measured by the average of exports and imports, increased a paltry 0.3 percent sequentially in the second quarter, and at an annualized rate of 1.2 percent. The slowdown was drive by strong deceleration in imports of developed countries and by a corresponding weakness in the exports of developing economies, the report said.

[Sep21]    WTO Slashes International Trade Growth Forecast

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Friday lowered its growth forecast for global merchandise trade, citing economic slowdown in China and the other major world economies and the unresolved debt crisis in the Eurozone. The WTO downgraded its outlook for international trade growth to 2.5 percent this year from the previous estimate of 3.7 percent. The forecast for 2013 has been revised down to 4.5 percent from 5.6 percent. The downgrade reflects the ongoing slowdown in China, which is the world's largest exporter, weaknesses in the national output and the employment market in United States and more importantly the unresolved European sovereign debt crisis. In developed countries, export volumes are expected grow 1.5 percent this year, slower than the earlier prediction for 2 percent gain. The forecast for export growth in developing countries has been downgraded to to 3.5 percent from 5.6 percent. Imports are expected to grow at slower rates of 0.4 percent in developed countries and 5.4 percent in developing economies in 2012 than the previously estimated 1.9 percent and 6.2 percent respectively. "In an increasingly interdependent world, economic shocks in one region can quickly spread to others. Recently announced measures to reinforce the euro and boost growth in the United States are therefore extremely welcome," WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said. Lamy stressed the need for a renewed commitment to revitalize the multilateral trading system which can restore economic certainty at a time when it is badly needed. The volume of world trade, as measured by the average of exports and imports, increased a paltry 0.3 percent sequentially in the second quarter, and at an annualized rate of 1.2 percent. The slowdown was drive by strong deceleration in imports of developed countries and by a corresponding weakness in the exports of developing economies, the report said.

[Sep21]    India Trims Tax On Companies' Overseas Loans

India reduced taxes on overseas borrowings by local companies on Friday, adding to the wide-ranging economic reforms announced by the government in recent days even as one of its key allies pulled out of the coalition largely in protest against allowing foreign direct investment in the retail sector. The tax rate on the interest paid by local companies to foreign lenders will be 5 percent, compared to the current 20 percent, the Finance Ministry said. This rule was proposed in the March budget, but not implemented so far. The tax cut will be applicable from July 2012, and run to June 2015. The move will encourage Indian companies to borrow from abroad. Also, the government announced the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme, an initiative intended to support first-time equity investors. The retail investors will get a 50 percent deduction on new equity investments of up to INR 50,000 from taxable income. But such investment will be subject to a minimum three year lock-in period.

[Sep21]    Canadian Wholesale Sales Fell 0.6% In July

[Sep21]    U.K. August Budget Deficit At Record

The U.K. logged the biggest budget deficit for the month of August as benefit payments increased and corporation tax receipts declined, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday. Excluding intervention, public sector net borrowing was GBP 14.4 billion in August, which was equal to the net borrowing in August 2011. Nonetheless, the deficit was slightly below the GBP 15 billion shortfall forecast by economists. Tax revenues climbed 1.8 percent, while spending grew 2.5 percent. Revenues were hurt by a 2.1 percent fall in the corporation tax receipts. Meanwhile, benefit payments increased 4.9 percent. At the same time, public sector net debt totaled GBP 1,039.5 billion at the end of August, which was equivalent to 66.1 percent of gross domestic product. The Office for Budget Responsibility had earlier estimated the deficit to peak at 76.3 percent of GDP in 2014-15. During the first five months of the fiscal year, the deficit excluding the transfer of Royal Mail pension, increased to GBP 59 billion. Chancellor George Osborne is likely to miss the GBP 120 billion full year target. In an interview to Channel 4 late Thursday, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said it would be acceptable to Osborne to miss his pledge on debt reduction due to a global economic slowdown. Data showed that in 2011/12, public sector net borrowing was GBP 119.3 billion, this was GBP 6.7 billion lower than the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasted net borrowing for 2011/12 of GBP 126 billion. Looking ahead, Martin Beck at Capital Economics said it is possible that the recent improvement in the economic news will cause the borrowing trend to improve soon. However, the economist said it would require a dramatic turnaround to put borrowing back on track to meet the OBR's plans.

[Sep21]    Dutch House Prices Fall At Record Pace In August

Prices of houses sold in Netherlands in August decreased at the fastest rate ever recorded, data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics and the Land Registry Office showed Friday. Prices of existing owner-occupied dwellings decreased on average 8 percent from a year earlier in August, as they did in the previous month. The declines were the biggest ever recorded in the history of the data series. Prices of single family dwellings were lower by 8.1 percent compared to August last year, and those of multi-family dwellings by 7.5 percent. The number of registered house sales in August was 8,384, higher than 7,451 recorded in July. In the eight months ended August, the number of registered house sales decreased 5 percent to around 74,000, data showed.

[Sep21]    BoE's Dale Sees Economy Picking Up By End-2012: Report

The British economy may start recovering towards the end of this year and into next year, Bank of England Chief Economist Spencer Dale told BBC Radio Lincolnshire on Friday. There is "a light at the end of the tunnel" for the economy and this is "an uncertain light," he said. In an interview to Channel 4 television on Thursday, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said the U.K. is likely to experience a slow recovery. He also said that it is "acceptable" for the UK to miss debt target given the weak growth.

[Sep21]    WTO Lowers 2013 World Trade Growth Estimate To 4.5% From 5.6%

[Sep21]    Latvia August Producer Price Inflation Rises

Latvia's producer price inflation quickened in August, after slowing in the previous month, data released by the Central Statistical Bureau showed Friday. The producer price index increased 2.2 percent annually in August, following the previous month's 2.1 percent rise. In June, priced had increased 2.3 percent. Producer prices in the domestic market advanced 2.9 percent annually, while prices of products sold in the overseas market grew 1.2 percent. Mining and quarrying prices climbed 9.7 percent annually, while manufacturing prices advanced 0.6 percent. Costs of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply were higher by 6.8 percent compared to last year. On a monthly basis, output prices moved up 0.5 percent in August, unchanged from the growth seen in July, the agency said.

[Sep21]    BoE's Dale Sees Economy Picking Up By End-2012: Report

The British economy may start recovering towards the end of this year and into next year, Bank of England Chief Economist Spencer Dale told BBC Radio Lincolnshire on Friday. There is "a light at the end of the tunnel" for the economy and this is "an uncertain light," he said. In an interview to Channel 4 television on Thursday, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said the U.K. is likely to experience a slow recovery. He also said that it is "acceptable" for the UK to miss debt target given the weak growth.

[Sep21]    Cyprus Retail Sales Growth Quickens In June

Cyprus' retail sales value increased at a faster pace in June, preliminary data from the statistical office showed Friday. Retail sales, in value terms, increased 4 percent month-on-month in June, faster than the 3.5 percent gain seen in May. In the January-June period, the value of retail sales decreased 1.2 percent from the corresponding period a year earlier, after logging a 0.9 percent decline in the five months ended May. In volume terms, retail sales turnover increased at a notably faster rate of 6.7 percent sequentially in June than May's 3.1 percent. During the six months ended June, sales dropped 2.8 percent from a year earlier, data showed.

[Sep21]    Italy Cuts GDP Outlook; Ups Deficit Target

The Italian government on Thursday slashed the economy's growth forecasts, while sharply hiking its budget deficit targets. The government led by Prime Minister Mario Monti now forecasts the economy to contract 2.4 percent this year, double the April projection of 1.2 percent contraction. The recession is forecast to continue in 2013 with the gross domestic product shrinking 0.2 percent, in contrast to the previous projection of 0.5 percent growth. Rome, meanwhile, hiked its prediction for budget deficit this year to 2.6 percent of GDP from 1.7 percent projected in April. The deficit target for 2013 was lifted to 1.8 percent of GDP from 0.5 percent. In nominal terms, including annual payments on the national debt, the budget will post a deficit of 2.6 percent of GDP this year and 1.6 percent in 2013, the government said. At the same time, it aims to cut the national debt from 123.3 percent this year to 122.3 percent of output in 2013, 119.3 percent in 2014 and to 116.1 percent in 2015.

[Sep21]    Cyprus Jun Retail Sales Value Up 4% On Month

[Sep21]    Greece Struggles To Finalize Deal Over Spending Cuts

Discussions between the Greece government and international creditors to fix a deal on EUR 11.5 billion spending reduction reached no clear conclusion late Thursday. But some progress has been made on lifting the retirement age and pension cuts, which would together contribute a saving of EUR 9.5 billion. A final deal is crucial for Greece to receive a EUR 31.5 billion in aid. Officials from the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, collectively known as the troika, will leave Athens this weekend. The troika mission is set to come back next week again to finalize the terms if it is not resolved soon. The troika will submit its report to the Eurogroup meeting to be held on October 8 in Luxembourg, which will decide the disbursement of the next tranche. Greece need this lumpsum to recapitalize its cash-strapped banks and revive lending. More talks will be held between coalition partners of Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras government after they failed to agree on the budget reduction measures earlier on Thursday. A finance ministry official reportedly said that around EUR 6.5 billion will come from reductions in salaries, pensions and bonuses and about EUR 1 billion from lifting the retirement age to 67 from 65. The economy has been mired in recession for last few years, and is not expected to recover anytime soon. The Greek economy shrank by 6.3 percent in the second quarter, while the unemployment rate rose to a record 23.6 percent. After staging an anti-austerity protest on Thursday, major unions plan to hold a 24-hour strike next week.

[Sep21]    U.K. Aug. Budget Deficit Exceeds Forecast

The U.K. budget deficit for August exceeded economists' expectations, but remained unchanged from the previous year level, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday. Excluding intervention, public sector net borrowing was GBP 14.4 billion in August, this was equal to the net borrowing in August 2011. Economists had forecast a level of GBP 13.2 billion. At the same time, public sector net debt totaled GBP 1,039.5 billion at the end of August, which was equivalent to 66.1 percent of gross domestic product. Data showed that in 2011/12, public sector net borrowing was GBP 119.3 billion, this was GBP 6.7 billion lower than the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasted net borrowing for 2011/12 of GBP 126 billion.

[Sep21]    Lithuania Industrial Output Growth Quickens In August

Lithuania's industrial production increased at a significantly faster pace in August, data released by the Department of Statistics showed Friday. Industrial production increased 10.9 percent on an annual basis in August, notably faster than the 6.2 percent gain seen in July. Production in the mining and quarrying industry dropped 5.9 percent annually, while manufacturing production rose 11.3 percent. Production and supply of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning were higher by 7.6 percent compared to last year, data showed. On a monthly basis, production at Lithuanian industries decreased a seasonally adjusted 4.6 percent in August. In the January-August period, output increased 2.7 percent from the same period a year earlier.

[Sep21]    Italy Cuts GDP Outlook; Ups Deficit Target

The Italian government on Thursday slashed the economy's growth forecasts, while sharply hiking its budget deficit targets. The government led by Prime Minister Mario Monti now forecasts the economy to contract 2.4 percent this year, double the April projection of 1.2 percent contraction. The recession is forecast to continue in 2013 with the gross domestic product shrinking 0.2 percent, in contrast to the previous projection of 0.5 percent growth. Rome, meanwhile, hiked its prediction for budget deficit this year to 2.6 percent of GDP from 1.7 percent projected in April. The deficit target for 2013 was lifted to 1.8 percent of GDP from 0.5 percent. In nominal terms, including annual payments on the national debt, the budget will post a deficit of 2.6 percent of GDP this year and 1.6 percent in 2013, the government said. At the same time, it aims to cut the national debt from 123.3 percent this year to 122.3 percent of output in 2013, 119.3 percent in 2014 and to 116.1 percent in 2015.

[Sep21]    BoE's King Sees Signs Of Slow Economic Recovery: Report

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said on Thursday that the U.K. is likely to experience a slow recovery, reports said citing his interview to Channel 4 television. "I think the next quarter will probably be up. I think we're beginning to see a few signs now of a slow recovery, but it will be a slow recovery," he said. "After a banking crisis one can't expect to get back to normal and I fear it will take a long time," King said during the interview. King noted that the recovery will depend largely on the economic developments in Eurozone, that has cast a "black cloud of uncertainty" over the whole economy. "The United States is struggling a bit, Brazil and China are slowing," King told the television. "Our fate - in terms of the speed in which we come out of the flat period we're in - will depend very much on what happens in the rest of the world."

[Sep21]    Germany July Coincident Index Rises 0.1% M-o-M To 107.2

[Sep21]    European Economics Preview: U.K. Public Finance Data Due

Public finances from the U.K. is the only major statistical report due on Friday, headlining a light day for the European economic news. At 2.45 am ET, a final report for the French second quarter wage is due. At 3.30 am ET, the Swiss National Bank is set to publish its quarterly bulletin. In the meantime, Dutch consumer spending data for July is due. Spending had declined 0.6 percent year-on-year in June. At 4.00 am ET, the Conference Board is scheduled to release Germany's leading index for July. The index was down 0.8 percent in June. At 4.30 am ET, the Office for National Statistics is slated to publish U.K. public sector finance data for August. Public sector net borrowing is seen at GBP 15 billion, up from GBP 0.6 billion in July.

[Sep21]    Dutch July Consumer Spending Drops At Faster Rate

Consumer spending in the Netherlands decreased at a faster pace in July, owing mainly to an increase in car prices after the government introduced new tax measures, data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics showed Friday. Households' spending on goods and services decreased a working-day adjusted 1.5 percent on an annual basis in July, after recording a slower decline in June. Total consumption of durable goods decreased 6.5 percent annually during the month, with consumers spending less on clothing and footwear, home furnishings and electronics. Spending on cars also decreased markedly. Meanwhile, spending on food and beverages went up by 2.9 percent compared to last year in July, marking the largest growth in four years. Spending on services, meanwhile, remained broadly unchanged year-on-year during the month, the agency said.

[Sep21]    Spanish Govt., EU In Talks Over Bailout Plan: Report

The Spanish government and the European Commission are in talks over measures that would be demanded by creditors if the country places an official bailout request, Financial Times reported Thursday citing unnamed officials involved in discussions. According to the newspaper, the plan will be unveiled next Thursday and will focus on structural reforms rather than new taxes and spending cuts. FT said according to one source, negotiations have been conducted directly with Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos. The approval of the plan by EU ahead of its release on Thursday is expected to ease pressure on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who appeared to be concerned over the possibility that the creditors may demand tougher measures in return for a bailout, the daily said.

[Sep21]    Senegal's Economic Growth To Pick Up Momentum This Year: IMF

Senegal's economic growth is set to gather momentum this year and the next, helped mainly by investments in infrastructure and industrial projects and a further recovery of the agricultural sector, a report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Friday. The report, published following a review meeting, said growth is estimated to accelerate to 3.7 percent this year from 2.6 percent in 2011. In 2013, the economy is forecast expand at a faster rate of 4.3 percent, supported mainly by major projects being implemented in the electricity and road sectors, the continued recovery of the agricultural sector and new industrial projects. The country's inflation is seen staying below 2 percent in the coming months and remaining contained around 2 percent in 2013. Meanwhile, a sharp rise in imports relating to food and petroleum products could lead to an increase in current account deficit this year. The government has maintained its budget deficit target for 2012, and plans to reduce the shortfall to less than 5 percent of GDP in 2013 to ensure fiscal sustainability, the lender said. The report, meanwhile, cautioned that the external environment is expected to remain weak. Despite a modest acceleration of the global economy expected in 2013, high petroleum product prices, rising cereal prices, and sociopolitical tensions in the sub-region will continue to affect economic activity, the external accounts, and public finances in Senegal. "In the medium term, the key challenge for Senegal is to return to strong, sustainable, shared growth. The government has an important role to play in the process, for instance, through the development of essential infrastructure, reforms to improve the business climate, and appropriate social policies" Hervé Joly, head of the IMF mission to Senegal, said.

[Sep21]    BoE's King Sees Signs Of Slow Economic Recovery: Report

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said on Thursday that the U.K. is likely to experience a slow recovery, reports said citing his interview to Channel 4 television. "I think the next quarter will probably be up. I think we're beginning to see a few signs now of a slow recovery, but it will be a slow recovery," he said. "After a banking crisis one can't expect to get back to normal and I fear it will take a long time," King said during the interview. King noted that the recovery will depend largely on the economic developments in Eurozone, that has cast a "black cloud of uncertainty" over the whole economy. "The United States is struggling a bit, Brazil and China are slowing," King told the television. "Our fate - in terms of the speed in which we come out of the flat period we're in - will depend very much on what happens in the rest of the world."

[Sep21]    ESRI Urges Irish Govt To Implement Spending Cuts

A significant reduction in public expenditure is needed to bring the public finances to a stable pattern, the Economic and Social Research Institute said in its Quarterly Economic Commentary, published on Friday. The think tank says if there were no government debt and hence no interest payments, the budget deficit would still be large as day-to-day expenditure continues to outstrip revenue. Although public finances have improved so far this year, the scale of the adjustment required is still substantial. The situation on the expenditure side is particularly difficult, as some of the main expenditure areas, such as health and social welfare, are demand driven, the institute said. The institute said the Irish economy can be described as "bouncing along the bottom." It forecast the economy to grow 1.8 percent this year and to improve further to 2.1 percent next year. The weakness of the domestic economy means that unemployment will remain high, it said. The institute has lifted the 2012 growth forecast from 0.6 percent, but slightly trimmed the next year estimate from 2.2 percent. The gross national product, which is a better measure of Ireland's economic performance than GDP, is expected to fall marginally by 0.2 percent in 2012. Next year, GNP growth is predicted be positive at 0.7 per cent, reflecting stronger exports of goods and services and some pick up in investment.

[Sep21]    Malaysia's Unemployment Rate Rises In July

Malaysia's unemployment increased from the previous month in July, reflecting mainly an increase in the number of new job-seekers entering the labor force, data released by the Department of Statistics showed Friday. The unemployment rate increased to 3.1 percent in July from 3 percent in June, which was unchanged from the preceding two months. The number of unemployed persons in the country rose to around 402,300 in July from 388,500 in June. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate was 3.2 percent, up from 2.8 recorded in June, data showed. At the same time, the number of employed persons advanced to about 12.76 million in July from around 12.52 million in June. The labor force participation rate was 66.2 percent, notably higher than the previous month's 65 percent.

[Sep20]    IMF Downgrades South Korea 2012 Growth Outlook

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday lowered its growth forecast for the South Korean economy and said a further escalation of the euro area crisis would have a significant impact on the economy. The gross domestic product is now forecast to rise 3 percent in 2012, down from a June forecast of 3.25 percent. However, growth is expected to rebound to around 4 percent in 2013. "Weaknesses in the global economy, particularly the intensification of the euro area crisis, have led to a widespread slowing of growth momentum," the Fund said in a review report. According to the report, the main short-term risk to the outlook is a further escalation of the euro area crisis, which would have a significant impact on the economy. Meanwhile, domestically, high household debt continued to be a drag on private consumption. The IMF urged Bank of Korea to maintain an accommodative monetary policy. However, normalization should resume once the economy strengthens, given the elevated inflation expectations, it added. The Bank of Korea cut its policy rate by 25 bps in July after putting it on hold for the past year. The central bank now expects the GDP to rise 3 percent in 2012 and 3.8 percent in 2013. The Fund directors noted that, in the event of a severe downside scenario, Korea has policy space to respond, especially on the fiscal side, including through limited and temporary use of government managed funds and additional discretionary spending. The lender forecasts headline inflation to pick up in the second half of the year, averaging just below 3 percent for the year as a whole. At the same time, inflation expectations have remained elevated at close to 3.5 percent, the directors noted.

[Sep20]    IMF Downgrades South Korea 2012 Growth Outlook

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday lowered its growth forecast for the South Korean economy and said a further escalation of the euro area crisis would have a significant impact on the economy. The gross domestic product is now forecast to rise 3 percent in 2012, down from a June forecast of 3.25 percent. However, growth is expected to rebound to around 4 percent in 2013. "Weaknesses in the global economy, particularly the intensification of the euro area crisis, have led to a widespread slowing of growth momentum," the Fund said in a review report. According to the report, the main short-term risk to the outlook is a further escalation of the euro area crisis, which would have a significant impact on the economy. Meanwhile, domestically, high household debt continued to be a drag on private consumption. The IMF urged Bank of Korea to maintain an accommodative monetary policy. However, normalization should resume once the economy strengthens, given the elevated inflation expectations, it added. The Bank of Korea cut its policy rate by 25 bps in July after putting it on hold for the past year. The central bank now expects the GDP to rise 3 percent in 2012 and 3.8 percent in 2013. The Fund directors noted that, in the event of a severe downside scenario, Korea has policy space to respond, especially on the fiscal side, including through limited and temporary use of government managed funds and additional discretionary spending. The lender forecasts headline inflation to pick up in the second half of the year, averaging just below 3 percent for the year as a whole. At the same time, inflation expectations have remained elevated at close to 3.5 percent, the directors noted.

[Sep20]    IMF Likely To Cut Global Economic Forecast, Official Says

The International Monetary Fund may lower its forecasts for the global economy next month, reports said Thursday citing remarks by Hoe Ee Khor, assistant director of the IMF's Asia and Pacific Department. "The global economy has weakened. We are shaving off our forecast for global growth by a few decimal points," the official was quoted as saying. The Fund is expected to unveil its new forecasts on October 9. In its most recent edition of the World Economic Outlook released in July, the IMF projected the global economic growth at 3.5 percent in 2012 and 3.9 percent in 2013.

[Sep20]    Australia Conference Board Leading Index Points To Moderate Growth

The Conference Board's leading indicator for the Australian economy remained unchanged in July following two consecutive increases. The index pointed to moderate growth in economic activity in the near-term. The leading economic index remained unchanged at 124.9 in July. This followed a revised 0.5 percent increase in June as well as in May. In July, the gains in stock prices and money supply were offset by negative contributions from rural goods exports, the yield spread and building approvals. The coincident index, a measure of current economic activity, increased 0.1 percent in July. Among the components, real GDP increased 2.6 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter, down from 5.6 percent in the first quarter. According to the Conference Board, the recent behavior in the composite indexes suggests that economic activity will continue to grow at a moderate pace in the near-term. A recent report from Westpac and the Melbourne Institute indicated that the pace of growth in the economy is unlikely to exceed trend over the next months. The Westpac-MI leading index, which indicates the likely pace of economic activity three to nine months into the future, was 2.2 percent in July, below its long term trend of 2.7 percent. According to official data, the economy expanded 0.6 percent on quarter in the second quarter following 1.4 percent expansion in the first quarter.

[Sep20]    IMF Likely To Cut Global Economic Forecast, Official Says

The International Monetary Fund may lower its forecasts for the global economy next month, reports said Thursday citing remarks by Hoe Ee Khor, assistant director of the IMF's Asia and Pacific Department. "The global economy has weakened. We are shaving off our forecast for global growth by a few decimal points," the official was quoted as saying. The Fund is expected to unveil its new forecasts on October 9. In its most recent edition of the World Economic Outlook released in July, the IMF projected the global economic growth at 3.5 percent in 2012 and 3.9 percent in 2013.

[Sep20]    Japan Resident Sold Net Y289.4 Billion In Foreign Stocks Last Week

Japanese investors sold a net 289.4 billion yen in foreign stocks in the week ended September 15, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday. Japanese residents also purchased a net 64.4 billion yen in bonds and notes last week. Foreign investors bought a net 60.4 billion in Japanese stocks last week, the data showed, and they also purchased a net 521.7 billion yen in Japanese bonds and notes.

[Sep20]    Foreign Investors Purchased Net Y521.7 Billion In Japan Bonds Last Week

[Sep20]    U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Drop But Still Exceed Estimates

While the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a modest drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended September 15th, jobless claims still came in above economist estimates. The report showed that jobless claims edged down to 382,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 385,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 373,000 from the 382,000 originally reported for the previous week. Peter Boockvar, managing director at Miller Tabak, said, "The Labor Dept attributed some of last week's rise to hurricane [Isaac] but said today's figure had nothing unusual." The less volatile four-week moving average inched up to 377,750 from the previous week's revised average of 375,750. Meanwhile, continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, fell to 3.272 million in the week ended September 8th from the preceding week's revised level of 3.304 million. The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell to 3,309,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,321,750. "Bottom line, the labor market still can't gain any lasting traction in light of the obvious economic challenges," Boockvar said. Earlier this month, the Labor Department released its closely watched monthly employment report, showing much weaker than expected job growth in the month of August. The report showed that employment increased by 96,000 jobs in August following a downwardly revised increase of 141,000 jobs in July. Economists had expected an increase of about 125,000 jobs. Despite the weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent in August from 8.3 in July. The unemployment rate had been expected to come in unchanged. However, the unexpected drop by the unemployment rate came amid a notable decrease by the size of the workforce, which shrank by 368,000 people.

[Sep20]    U.S. Leading Economic Index Shows Modest Drop In August

After reporting a notable increase by U.S. leading economic indicators in the month of July, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing an unexpected decrease by its leading indicators index in the month of August. The Conference Board said its leading economic index edged down by 0.1 percent in August following a revised 0.5 percent increase in July. The drop surprised economists, who had expected the index to come in flat compared to the 0.4 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

[Sep20]    Eurozone Consumer Confidence Falls For Fourth Month

Eurozone consumer confidence unexpectedly declined in September, down for the fourth straight month, preliminary data from the European Commission showed Thursday. The consumer confidence indicator for the 17-nation economy slid to -25.9 from August's -24.6. Economists had expected the index to climb to -24. The measure for the whole EU also declined in September, falling to -23.9 from -22.7 last month. The final figures is scheduled to be released on September 27 along with the economic sentiment data.

[Sep20]    Eurozone Sept Flash Consumer Confidence -25.9 Vs. -24.6 In Aug, Consensus -24

[Sep20]    Norges Bank Chief Sees Room For Interest Rate Manoeuvre

Norges Bank Governor Øystein Olsen on Thursday said the bank has room for manoeuvre in interest rate setting, in both directions. The policy rates cannot achieve several goals simultaneously. "In the case of conflicting objectives, the choice of interest rate path will involve a trade-off between different considerations," Olsen said. If monetary policy only took into account the low level of inflation, the key policy rate would be rapidly reduced and kept close to zero for a good while, he noted. A prolonged period of even lower interest rates would increase the risk that debt and asset prices will move to unsustainable level. The central bank has been able to give weight to economic stability when setting the key policy rate, he added. However, policymaker will adhere to the primary objective of monetary policy, low and stable inflation.

[Sep20]    S. Africa Central Bank Hold Key Rate Unchanged At 5% As Expected

[Sep20]    Turkey May Avoid Further Monetary Easing Amid External Risks: Capital Economics

High external financing risks and inflation concerns would limit the scope for Turkey's central bank to engage in further monetary loosening, after it stepped into the easing mode this week by narrowing the 'interest rate corridor' with a 150-basis point cut in the lending rate, Capital Economics Emerging Markets Economist William Jackson said Thursday. According to Capital Economics, a further deterioration in the external environment, including a possible worsening of the tensions in the euro zone next year, and high inflation concerns could force the central bank to bring interest rates back to the top end of the rate 'corridor'. The latest rate cut is partly cosmetic and its impact on domestic demand and the overall economy is likely to be limited, as banks rarely use this facility to borrow from the central bank. Also, banks normally don't pass on the lower funding costs to businesses or households, the firm said. The central bank, in the latest rate-setting session, retained its benchmark one-week repo rate at 5.75 percent, but lowered the overnight lending rate by 150 basis points to 10 percent. The bank also reduced the upper limit for its one-month repo auctions to 3 billion lira from 5 billion, and raised the 'reserve option coefficients' for foreign currencies held as required reserves against lira-denominated liabilities. The economist assessed that the rate cut reflects the central bank's confidence that external financing risks have eased. Also, the bank was influenced probably by a demand by some politicians for a looser monetary policy after the GDP growth decelerated sharply and domestic demand contracted further. Turkey's dependence on foreign capital inflows to fund its current account deficit and to roll over short-term external debt makes the economy highly vulnerable to global uncertainties.

[Sep20]    U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Come In Above Estimates

While the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a modest drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended September 15th, jobless claims still came in above economist estimates. The report showed that jobless claims edged down to 382,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 385,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 373,000 from the 382,000 originally reported for the previous week.

[Sep20]    Spain Bond Yields Fall On Rescue, ECB Hopes

Spain conducted a successful bond auction on Thursday, with borrowing costs falling amid hopes the country will request aid paving the way for the European Central Bank to purchase sovereign debt. In the first bond auction held by Spain after the European Central Bank announced its new bond purchase plan earlier this month, the treasury raised EUR 4.8 billion from the sale of its benchmark 10-year bond and a new 3-year bond. The target set for the sale was between EUR 3.5 billion and EUR 4.5 billion. The yield on the January 2022 bond dropped to 5.666 percent from 6.647 percent paid in the previous sale on August 2. The bid-to-cover ratio, which mirrors investor demand, rose to 2.85 from 2.4. The new three-year bond fetched a yield of 3.845 percent. Demand for the October 2015 debt was 1.6 times the offer. There is lingering uncertainty over Spain's bailout request. The government led by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is hesitating to place a bailout request to the EU, apparently worried over the tough austerity conditions such a rescue would entail. On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said the government is still studying the conditions of a possible EU bailout. The government is trying to minimize the impact of austerity measures on the population, she noted. Pressure is building on the embattled euro area member to seek a bailout. ECB Governing Council Member Luc Coene warned on Monday that rising bond yields may force Spain to place a bailout request. "If the markets see that Spain is not going to" ask for financial assistance, "it will not be long before spreads will rise again and Spain will be forced to come back" on its decision to request bailout and submit to ECB conditions, the policymaker said. Trouble is rising on the political front for Rajoy with calls for secession increasingly spreading in Catalonia, which contributes a fifth of the country's economic output. Many of Spain's 17 autonomous regions are struggling to handle their public finances and have sought help from the government.

[Sep20]    Poland Aug. Core CPI -0.1% On Month Vs. +0.1% In July, Consensus -0.1%

[Sep20]    EU Barnier Hopes To Find Compromise With Germany On Banking Union: Reports

The European Union's Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier reportedly said on Thursday that he will work to find a compromise with Germany on the proposal for a banking union. There are fierce disagreements between EU members over handing over bank supervising powers to the European Central Bank or for that case any single supervisor. Many European leaders have also expressed doubt if the single supervisory mechanism can be activated at the start of next year, as proposed by the European Commission. In an interview to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published on Thursday, Bank of France chief Christian Noyer said all the 6,000 banks in euro area must be bought under the single supervisory mechanism. It is better to abandon the project completely, if it includes only the 20 largest banks, he told the magazine.

[Sep20]    ECB's Noyer Says OMTs May Last Only A Few Years: Report

The European Central Bank's new government bond purchase program may last only for a few years, ECB Governing Council member Christian Noyer told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview published Thursday. Noyer, who heads the Bank of France, said he hoped that the impact of the program would be felt very quickly. "I would be surprised if such a program" is in place for several years, he told the magazine. The bond purchase program, the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMTs), "is a weapon of deterrence." It can be put to test, and "we will not hesitate to use it to demonstrate our resolve." he said. The central bank will also not hesitate to terminate the program if the countries does not follow the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) guidelines strictly, he added. Commenting on the European Commission's proposal on banking supervision, Noyer said all the 6,000 banks in euro area must be bought under the single supervisory mechanism. It is better to abandon the project completely, if it includes only the 20 largest banks. Responding to a query on Germany's concern over the conflict of interest between monetary policy and banking supervision, he said the two concepts are separated by "Chinese walls." Fourteen out of the 17 central banks have the responsibility for banking supervision. On activating the OMTs, he said it is upto the International Monetary Fund and the elected governments to decide if a country has fulfilled the necessary conditions.

[Sep20]    Irish Economy Stalls In Q2

The Irish economy recorded zero growth in the second quarter, after contracting in the previous quarter, preliminary data released by the Central Statistics Office showed Thursday. Gross domestic product (GDP) remained unchanged quarter-over-quarter, after dropping a revised 0.7 percent in the first quarter. Economists had forecast the economy to expand 0.7 percent in the second quarter, reversing the 1.1 percent fall originally recorded in the three months ended March. Domestic expenditure and public expenditure declined by 0.4 percent and 3.9 respectively between the first quarter and the second quarter, while investment plunged 29.4 percent. The industrial sector registered an increase of 4.6 percent. Output in distribution, transport, software and communication dropped 0.3 percent from the first quarter, while public administration and defense fell by 1.7 percent. Agriculture sector contracted 5.5 percent. Compared to the second quarter of 2011, GDP dropped 1.1 percent, reversing first quarter's 2.1 percent gain. Meanwhile, the gross national product (GNP) increased 4.3 percent quarter-on-quarter during the three-months ended June 2012, reversing the first quarter's 0.1 percent decline. Year-on-year, the GNP rose at a faster rate of 2.9 percent than 1.4 percent in the first quarter. Separately, the statistical office said Ireland's current account turned to a surplus of EUR.24 billion in the second quarter from a deficit of EUR.05 billion in the first quarter, helped by a sharp fall in invisible deficit. The deficit of invisibles, comprising services, income and current transfers, narrowed to EUR6.77 billion from EUR9.33 billion in the first quarter. The goods trade account, meanwhile, showed a surplus of EUR10 billion, up from the first quarter's EUR8.28 billion surplus.

[Sep20]    ECB's Noyer Says OMTs May Last Only A Few Years: Report

The European Central Bank's new government bond purchase program may last only for a few years, ECB Governing Council member Christian Noyer told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview published Thursday. Noyer, who heads the Bank of France, said he hoped that the impact of the program would be felt very quickly. "I would be surprised if such a program" is in place for several years, he told the magazine. The bond purchase program, the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMTs), "is a weapon of deterrence." It can be put to test, and "we will not hesitate to use it to demonstrate our resolve." he said. The central bank will also not hesitate to terminate the program if the countries does not follow the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) guidelines strictly, he added. Commenting on the European Commission's proposal on banking supervision, Noyer said all the 6,000 banks in euro area must be bought under the single supervisory mechanism. It is better to abandon the project completely, if it includes only the 20 largest banks. Responding to a query on Germany's concern over the conflict of interest between monetary policy and banking supervision, he said the two concepts are separated by "Chinese walls." Fourteen out of the 17 central banks have the responsibility for banking supervision. On activating the OMTs, he said it is upto the International Monetary Fund and the elected governments to decide if a country has fulfilled the necessary conditions.

[Sep20]    Italy's Industrial Orders Rise Unexpectedly In July

Italy's industrial orders increased from the previous month in July, defying economists' forecast for a modest decline, data released by statistical office Istat showed Thursday. Industrial orders increased a seasonally adjusted 2.9 percent sequentially in July, contrary to economists' expectations for a 0.3 percent decrease. New orders in the domestic market and non-domestic market advanced by 2.3 percent and 3.7 percent respectively compared to June. On an annual basis, overall industrial orders dropped 4.9 percent in July, driven by a 10.1 percent fall in domestic demand. Orders in the non-domestic market, meanwhile, grew 3.4 percent annually. In the January-July period, new orders plunged 10.2 percent from the corresponding period a year earlier, data showed. At the same time, turnover in the Italian industrial sector rose a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent month-on-month in July. Turnover in the domestic market and overseas market advanced 0.3 percent and 3 percent respectively.

[Sep20]    Eurozone Factory Sector Contracts At Slower Rate In September

Activity in Eurozone's manufacturing sector decreased at a slower pace in September, data released by Markit Economics showed Thursday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector rose to a six-month high of 46 in September from 45.1 in August, but remained below the no-change 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. Economists expected to index to rise to 45.5. Output in the manufacturing sector decreased at a slightly slower pace in September, with the relevant indicator rising to a five-month high of 45.5 from 44.4 in August. The sector recorded a steep decline in new orders during the month. Meanwhile, the corresponding indicator for the service sector dropped to 46 in September from 47.2 in August, hitting the lowest level in 38 months. Economists were looking for a reading of 47.5. The composite output index, which measures activity in the manufacturing sector and the service sector, fell to 45.9 from 46.3 in the previous month, while economists expected an increase to 46.6. The index fell for twelve months in the last thirteen months.

[Sep20]    Eurozone Factory Sector Contracts At Slower Rate In September

Activity in Eurozone's manufacturing sector decreased at a slower pace in September, data released by Markit Economics showed Thursday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector rose to a six-month high of 46 in September from 45.1 in August, but remained below the no-change 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. Economists expected to index to rise to 45.5. Output in the manufacturing sector decreased at a slightly slower pace in September, with the relevant indicator rising to a five-month high of 45.5 from 44.4 in August. The sector recorded a steep decline in new orders during the month. Meanwhile, the corresponding indicator for the service sector dropped to 46 in September from 47.2 in August, hitting the lowest level in 38 months. Economists were looking for a reading of 47.5. The composite output index, which measures activity in the manufacturing sector and the service sector, fell to 45.9 from 46.3 in the previous month, while economists expected an increase to 46.6. The index fell for twelve months in the last thirteen months.

[Sep20]    U.K. Retail Sales Fall Less Than Expected

U.K. retail sales, including auto fuel, fell 0.2 percent month-on-month in August, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Thursday. Economists had forecast a 0.3 percent drop following a 0.3 percent rise in July. Annually, sales volume advanced 2.7 percent, but was weaker than the expected 2.9 percent increase. Excluding automotive fuel, sales volume fell 0.3 percent on a monthly basis in line with expectations. The annual rate of growth in sales, excluding auto fuel, accelerated to 3.1 percent from 2.8 percent in the previous month. This was, however, a tad below the 3.2 percent growth expected by economists.

[Sep20]    Hong Kong Inflation Rises Sharply In August

Hong Kong's annual inflation accelerated significantly in August, owing mainly to the difference in timing in respect of the Government's recently implemented payment of public housing rentals, data from the Census and Statistics Department showed Thursday. Inflation climbed to 3.7 percent in August from 1.6 percent in July. Economists expected a faster growth to to 3.9 percent. The underlying inflation, after adjusting for the effects of all the one-off relief measures, also was 3.7 percent in August, down from July's 4.2 percent. Both food prices and housing costs moved up by 5.2 percent each annually during the month, while clothing and footwear prices rose 2.8 percent. Transportation costs were higher by 2.1 percent compared to last year, data showed. Sequentially, the seasonally adjusted consumer price index decreased 0.7 percent during the three months ended August, unchanged from the rate of fall seen in the preceding period.

[Sep20]    Taiwan Aug. Export Orders Fall Less Than Forecast

Taiwanese export orders declined less than economists' expected for August, data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs showed Thursday. Export orders fell 1.53 percent in August from a year ago, smaller than the 1.9 percent drop forecast by economists. Month-on-month, orders rose only 0.6 percent. Orders for household electrical appliances logged the biggest annual fall of 35.6 percent. Meanwhile, chemical and wood article demand grew around 27 percent.

[Sep20]    Taiwan Aug. Export Orders Fall 1.5% On Year, Consensus -1.9%

[Sep20]    Eurozone Sept. Composite Output Index At 45.9 Vs. 46.3 In August, Consensus 46.6

[Sep20]    ECB's Liikanen Says Bank Shareholders Should Take On More Risk: Report

Banks' shareholders must be ready to take on more risk in banking operations without burdening the government and the tax payers, European Central Bank Governing Council member Erkki Liikanen said in an interview to newspaper Demokraatti. It is the task of the shareholders and investors to ensure that the banks operate in such a way as to avoid losses, Liikanen, who heads the Bank of Finland, said. Liikanen said he hopes ECB's banking supervision will focus on banks with international operations. Also, national supervisors will have an important role to play, he told the daily.

[Sep20]    German Manufacturing Sector Continues To Contract

Germany's manufacturing sector contracted further in September, though at a slower rate, data from a survey by Markit Economics showed Thursday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector rose to 47.3 in September from 44.7 in August, and hit the highest level in six months. The latest contraction was the least marked since the current period of contraction started in April Economists expected the factory PMI to rise to 45.2 in September. An index reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector, while one above suggests growth. Out put in the manufacturing sector decreased at the slowest rate in six moths in September. The corresponding sub-indicator moved up to 47.8 form 44.6 in August. New orders also declined further during the month, but the rate of fall slowed from the previous month. At the same time, the relevant index for the service sector rose to 50.6 in September from 48.3 in August, indicating a modest growth in activity. Economists were looking for a reading of 48.5. The composite output index, which measures activity in the manufacturing sector as well as the service sector advanced to a 5-month high of 49.7 from the previous month's reading of 47, signaling a near-stagnation of overall private sector business activity.

[Sep20]    French Private Sector Contracts Sharply In September

The French private sector shrank at the fastest pace since April 2009 driven by a marked decline in incoming new business, survey data from Markit Economics showed Thursday. The flash composite output index fell to 44.1 in September from 48 in August. The reading stayed well below 50 indicating a contraction in the private sector. Accelerated falls in output were recorded in both the manufacturing and service sectors in September. The services purchasing managers' index dropped to 46.1 from 49.2 in August. Economists had forecast the index to improve to 49.5. Likewise, the manufacturing PMI dropped unexpectedly to 42.6 from 46 a month ago. The reading was seen rising to 46.4, but it fell to a 41-month low. "GDP may have stagnated for three successive quarters up to Q2, but yet more weak PMI data points firmly towards a contraction in Q3," Jack Kennedy, senior economist at Markit said.

[Sep20]    Denmark August Retail Sales Fall 2.3% On Year Vs. 3.1% Drop In July

[Sep20]    Swiss Trade Surplus Falls In August

Swiss trade surplus declined in August from a month earlier, data released by Swiss Federal Customs Administration showed Thursday. The surplus fell to CHF 1.733 billion in August from CHF 2.88 billion in July. The trade balance for the first eight months of the year was a surplus of CHF 16.2 billion. In August, exports rose 4.4 percent year-on-year in real terms following 0.8 percent gain in July. On a working day adjusted basis, exports grew 4.2 percent. The dynamic growth in overall shipments mainly reflected improved demand for precision instruments, watches and chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Imports grew 0.9 percent annually in August following a 2.3 percent increase in July. On a working day adjusted basis, imports rose 0.6 percent. Separately, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported that Swiss watch exports grew 12.7 percent year-on-year in August to CHF 1.5 billion. During the first eight months of the year, watch exports recorded a growth of 16 percent.

[Sep20]    Swiss Aug Watch Exports Up 12.7% On Year

[Sep20]    Japan's Economic Recovery Has Come To A Pause: BoJ

The Bank of Japan on Thursday reiterated that the economy's recovery from last year's earthquake has come a pause, while overseas economies have "moved deeper into a deceleration phase." Exports and industrial production have been relatively weak, while domestic demand has been resilient, the central bank said in its monthly report. Public investment and business fixed investment continued to rise. Housing investment has generally been picking-up. Private consumption has been resilient with the employment situation on an improving trend, the report noted. The central bank expects Japan's economy "to level off more or less for the time being" and thereafter return to a moderate recovery path supported by domestic demand and recovery in overseas economies. Exports and industrial production are expected to remain relatively weak for the time being. The year-on-year rate of change in consumer prices is expected to remain at around zero for the time being, the central bank added. BoJ on Wednesday unveiled another round of stimulus to prop up the economy by expanding the size of the asset purchase program by JPY 10 trillion.

[Sep20]    Japan's All Industry Activity Contracts In July

Japanese all industry activity fell more than expected in July, reflecting declines in construction and industrial output, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed Thursday. All industry activity dropped 0.6 percent month-on-month, reversing the 0.3 percent increase seen in June. The rate of decrease slightly exceeded the 0.5 percent fall forecast by economists. Construction industry activity was down 2 percent compared to an increase of 1 percent in the previous month. Likewise, industrial output dropped 1 percent after rising 0.4 percent in June. Tertiary industry activity also declined in July by 0.8 percent, compared to a 0.2 percent growth last month. The index of government services, on the other hand, rose 0.7 percent following a 0.4 percent drop. On a year-on-year basis, all industry activity rose at a slightly slower pace of 0.5 percent in July after logging an increase of 0.6 percent.

[Sep19]    New Zealand FinMin Says Economy To See More Moderate Growth

New Zealand's economy is expected to see more moderate growth over the next three or four years, mainly due to weak global developments, Finance Minister Bill English said Thursday. "We are making good progress and the outlook is for further moderate growth over the next three or four years," English said upon the release of the June quarter GDP data. According to official data released today, GDP rose 0.6 percent sequentially in the second quarter following 1 percent expansion in the first quarter. However, this took annual growth rate to 2.6 percent, the highest rate since 2007. The data issued confirmed the economy posted solid and broad-based growth in the first half of 2012, despite ongoing challenges in many parts of the world, English said. The economy continues to perform "better than those of most other developed countries, despite uncertainties in Europe, the United States and suggestions that growth in China may come off its recent highs." The government will continue with its wide-ranging economic program to improve New Zealand's long-term competitiveness. It will now focus on growth that is sustainable and built on higher savings and earnings, rather than consumption and debt, he added.

[Sep19]    Decline In Chinese Manufacturing Activity Slows In September

Manufacturing activity in China declined again in September, but at a slower pace compared to August, the flash survey results released by Markit Economics showed Thursday. The flash HSBC/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 47.8 in September from 47.6 in August. A PMI reading below 50, however, suggests contraction of the sector. The manufacturing output index, meanwhile, dropped to a 10-month low of 47 in September from 48.2 in August.

[Sep19]    Australian Industrial Sector Recovering In Q3, Survey Shows

Australia's industrial sector in undergoing a moderate recovery in the September quarter after a prolonged period of contraction, the latest Westpac-ACCI Survey of Industrial Trends showed Thursday. The Westpac-ACCI actual composite rose to 52.4 in the September quarter from 48.3 in the June quarter. This is the first above-50 reading since the March quarter 2011. Westpac said that the improvement in the actual composite is best regarded as evidence of the manufacturing sector stabilising. The rate cuts provided by the Reserve Bank over the past year have benefited the sector directly and indirectly, the report said. Also, the survey respondents anticipate the modest growth experienced in the September quarter will extend into the December quarter. The corresponding index, the expected composite, rose to 53.7 in the September quarter from 51.5 three months ago. Expectations of 'general business conditions' also improved significantly during the period, with a net 11 percent of respondents now expecting that conditions will improve over the next six months. This was in contrast to the net 21 percent of respondents who expected conditions to deteriorate in the June quarter. The report also noted that the global conditions remained challenging and the high Australian dollar continued to erode competitiveness.

[Sep19]    Decline In Chinese Manufacturing Activity Slows In September

Manufacturing activity in China declined again in September, but at a slower pace compared to August, the flash survey results released by Markit Economics showed Thursday. The flash HSBC/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 47.8 in September from 47.6 in August. A PMI reading below 50, however, suggests contraction of the sector. The manufacturing output index, meanwhile, dropped to a 10-month low of 47 in September from 48.2 in August.

[Sep19]    China Sept Manufacturing Output Index 47 VS 48.2 In August

[Sep19]    Australian Industrial Sector Recovering In Q3, Survey Shows

Australia's industrial sector in undergoing a moderate recovery in the September quarter after a prolonged period of contraction, the latest Westpac-ACCI Survey of Industrial Trends showed Thursday. The Westpac-ACCI actual composite rose to 52.4 in the September quarter from 48.3 in the June quarter. This is the first above-50 reading since the March quarter 2011. Westpac said that the improvement in the actual composite is best regarded as evidence of the manufacturing sector stabilising. The rate cuts provided by the Reserve Bank over the past year have benefited the sector directly and indirectly, the report said. Also, the survey respondents anticipate the modest growth experienced in the September quarter will extend into the December quarter. The corresponding index, the expected composite, rose to 53.7 in the September quarter from 51.5 three months ago. Expectations of 'general business conditions' also improved significantly during the period, with a net 11 percent of respondents now expecting that conditions will improve over the next six months. This was in contrast to the net 21 percent of respondents who expected conditions to deteriorate in the June quarter. The report also noted that the global conditions remained challenging and the high Australian dollar continued to erode competitiveness.

[Sep19]    Japan Has Y754.127 Billion Trade Deficit

Japan posted a merchandise trade deficit of 754.127 billion yen in August, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday - sinking into the red for the ninth time in 11 months. The headline figure beat forecasts for a shortfall of 829.3 billion yen following the downwardly revised deficit of 518.9 billion yen in July (originally 517.382 billion yen). Exports were down 5.8 percent on year to 5.045 trillion yen, beating forecasts for a contraction of 7.5 percent following the 8.1 percent decline in the previous month. It also marked the third straight month of contraction. Exports to all of Asia shed 6.7 percent on year to 2.839 trillion yen, while exports to China alone plummeted an annual 9.9 percent to 966.299 billion yen. Exports to the United States added 10.3 percent on year to 886.922 billion yen, while exports to the European Union plummeted an annual 22.9 percent to 477.944 billion yen. Imports fell an annual 5.4 percent, topping expectations for a decline of 5.5 percent after rising 2.1 percent a month earlier. Imports from Asia fell 5.8 percent on year to 2.526 trillion yen, while imports from China alone lost annual 7.3 percent to 1.208 trillion yen. Imports from the United States eased 0.1 percent on year to 503.962 billion yen, while imports from the European Union added 2.1 percent to 574.153 billion yen. The adjusted trade deficit came in at 472.8 billion yen, missing forecasts for a shortfall of 384.6 billion yen following the downwardly revised 371.9 billion yen deficit in July. Upon the release of the data, the Japanese yen showed little movement against major currencies, trading near 78.42 against the U.S. dollar, 102.38 versus the euro, 84.63 against the Swiss franc and 127.26 versus the British pound.

[Sep19]    New Zealand GDP Rises 0.6% In Q2

New Zealand's gross domestic product expanded 0.6 percent in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the previous three months, Statistics NZ said on Thursday. That beat forecasts for an increase of 0.4 percent following the downwardly revised 1.0 percent expansion in the first quarter (originally 1.1 percent). By category, agriculture was up 4.7 percent, with continued good growing conditions resulting in increased milk production. Construction added 3.3 percent, due to increases in heavy and civil (infrastructure) and residential building construction. Transport, postal, and warehousing gained 2.7 percent, and manufacturing was up 0.8 percent, due mainly to an increase in transport equipment manufacturing. "The good pasture conditions in the first half of the year continued to contribute to economic growth this quarter," national accounts manager Rachael Milicich said. "We are also now seeing evidence of a rebuild in Canterbury following the earthquakes." On a yearly basis, GDP jumped 2.6 percent, also beating estimates for an increase of 2.4 percent, which would have been unchanged from the previous three months. The expenditure measure of GDP was up 0.3 percent in the second quarter. Investment in fixed assets was up 3.1 percent, due to increases in plant, machinery, and equipment, heavy and civil construction, and residential building, the bureau said. The volume of spending by New Zealand households increased 0.2 percent. The size of the economy was $NZ205 billion for the year ended June 2012. Upon the release of the data, the New Zealand dollar spiked against major trading partners, moving near 0.8290 against the U.S. dollar, 1.2639 versus the Australian dollar, 65.02 against the yen and 1.5740 versus the euro.

[Sep19]    Japan Trade Deficit Y754.127 Billion In August

Japan saw a merchandise trade deficit of 754.127 billion yen in August, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday. That beat forecasts for a shortfall of 829.3 billion yen following the downwardly revised deficit of 518.9 billion yen in July (originally 517.382 billion yen). Exports were down 5.8 percent on year, beating forecasts for a contraction of 7.5 percent following the 8.1 percent decline in the previous month. Imports fell an annual 5.4 percent, topping expectations for a decline of 5.5 percent after rising 2.1 percent a month earlier.

[Sep19]    New Zealand Q2 GDP +0.6% On Quarter, +2.6% On Year

New Zealand's economy expanded 0.6 percent in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the previous three months, Statistics NZ said on Thursday. That beat forecasts for an increase of 0.4 percent following the downwardly revised 1.0 percent expansion in the first quarter (originally 1.1 percent). On a yearly basis, GDP jumped 2.6 percent, also beating estimates for an increase of 2.4 percent, which would have been unchanged from the previous three months. The size of the economy was $NZ205 billion for the year ended June 2012.

[Sep19]    U.S. Existing Home Sales Jump To Two-Year High In August

Existing home sales in the U.S. continued to improve in the month of August, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday, with sales rising by much more than economists had anticipated. NAR said existing home sales jumped 7.8 percent to an annual rate of 4.82 million in August from 4.47 million in July. Economists had expected existing home sales to climb to an annual rate of 4.55 million. With the bigger than expected monthly increase, existing home sales in August are up 9.3 percent from 4.41 million in the same month a year ago and are at their highest level since May of 2010. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said, "The housing market is steadily recovering with consistent increases in both home sales and median prices. More buyers are taking advantage of excellent housing affordability conditions." "Inventories in many parts of the country are broadly balanced, favoring neither sellers nor buyers," he added. "However, the West and Florida markets are experiencing inventory shortages, which are placing pressure on prices." The report showed that the national median existing home price edged down 0.2 percent to $187,400 in August from $187,800 in July but is up 9.5 percent from a year ago. The increase compared to the same month a year ago reflects the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year growth, marking the first time there were six back-to-back price increases since December 2005 to May 2006. NAR said distressed homes accounted for 22 percent of August sales, down from 24 percent in July and 31 percent in August of 2011. Total housing inventories rose 2.9 percent to 2.47 million existing homes available for sale at the end August. The current inventory level represents 6.1 months of supply at the current sales pace, down from 6.4 months of supply in July. The report also showed that single-family home sales rose 8.0 percent to an annual rate of 4.30 million in August, while existing condominium and co-op sales increased 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 520,000. Existing home sales rose in all four regions of the country, with the strongest percentage growth seen in the Northeast, which saw an 8.6 percent increase in sales. The West saw an 8.3 percent increase in existing home sales, while sales in the Midwest and the South rose by 7.7 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively. Earlier on Wednesday, the Commerce Department released a report showing that housing starts rebounded in August but still came in below economist estimates. The Commerce Department said housing starts rose 2.3 percent to an annual rate of 750,000 in August from the revised July estimate of 733,000. Economists had expected starts to climb to 768,000 from the 746,000 originally reported for the previous month. Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, fell 1.0 percent to an annual rate of 803,000 in August from 811,000 in July. Next Wednesday, the Commerce Department is due to release a separate report on new home sales in the month of August.

[Sep19]    U.S. Existing Home Sales Jump 7.8% In August

[Sep19]    BoJ Joins Fed In Adding Stimulus

The Bank of Japan on Wednesday announced a fresh round of stimulus to revive the economy by expanding the asset purchase by another JPY 10 trillion. The central bank also cut its assessment of the economy, saying the recovery is "pausing." The total size of the program was lifted to JPY 80 trillion following an additional JPY 5 trillion purchase authorization each for Japanese government bonds and treasury discount bills. The decision that came close on the heels of Federal Reserve's announcement of a third round of quantitative easing was passed unanimously by the Monetary Policy Board. The asset purchase target now stands at JPY 55 trillion, up from JPY 45 trillion previously. The credit facility was unchanged at JPY 25 trillion. In addition, the central bank extended the intended timescale for completing the asset purchases till the end of December 2013 compared to its previous deadline of end of June 2013. Additional purchases of T-Bills, however, will be completed by end-June 2013. Through these measures, the amount outstanding of the Program will be about JPY 65 trillion by around the end of 2012, about JPY 75 trillion by around the end of June 2013, and about JPY 80 trillion by around the end of 2013. At the same time, the bank decided to remove the minimum bidding yield, currently at 0.1 percent per annum, for the outright purchases of JGBs and corporate bonds in order to ensure smooth purchase. As expected, the benchmark uncollateralized overnight call rate has been kept unchanged at 0-0.1 percent by a unanimous vote. Meanwhile, the BoJ downgraded its assessment of the economy, saying that "the pick-up in economic activity has come to pause" reflecting developments in overseas economies. The central bank noted that overseas economies have moved somewhat deeper into a deceleration phase. "In global financial markets, while investor risk aversion on the back of the European debt problem has abated somewhat, particular attention should be given to developments in these markets." The year-on-year rate of change in the CPI is expected to remain at around zero for the time being, the bank said, adding an earlier fall in crude oil prices has been exerting downward pressure. A government report this month suggested that the modest recovery experienced by the Japanese economy in the past months has halted. Cutting its economic assessment for a second consecutive month, the Cabinet Office said in its monthly report that the recovery is "pausing" due to a slowdown in global economic activity. Some of the world's major central banks recently ramped up their efforts to boost growth as the Eurozone debt crisis continued unabated. The ECB announced at its September Governing Council meeting its decision to embark on "outright monetary transactions" or OMTs, which will allow the bank to purchase sovereign bonds in the secondary markets. The Federal Reserve unveiled its QE III program through its decision to buy $40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities every month.

[Sep19]    Belgium Sept. Consumer Confidence Index At -14 Vs. -16 Last Month

[Sep19]    Poland August Industrial Output Growth Below Forecast

Poland's industrial production increased at a slower pace than expected by economists in August, data released by the statistical office showed Wednesday. Industrial production increased 05 percent year-on-year in August, slower than the 1.1 percent growth economists had forecast. Production in the manufacturing sector advanced 0.7 percent annually, while mining and quarrying production decreased 0.5 percent. There was a 0.1 percent annual rise in the output of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply during the month. Month-on-month, production in Polish industries decreased 0.8 percent in August, contrary to economists' forecast for a 0.4 percent rise. In the January-August period, industrial output advanced 3.5 percent from the corresponding period a year earlier, the agency said.

[Sep19]    Polish Output Price Inflation Slows In August

Poland's producer price inflation weakened in August, and matched economists' expectations, data released by the statistical office showed Wednesday. The producer price index increased 3 percent year-on-year in August, slower than the 3.6 percent gain seen in July, which was revised down from 3.7 percent. The latest figure matched economists' expectations. Output prices in the manufacturing sector advanced 3.1 percent year-on-year, while mining and quarrying prices decreased 2.9 percent. Prices of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning were higher by 5.8 percent from a year earlier. On a monthly basis, output prices edged up 0.1 percent in August, reversing the previous month's 0.4 percent decrease. Economists had forecast a 0.1 percent decline. In the January-August period, the producer price index rose 4.9 percent from the corresponding period a year earlier, the agency said.

[Sep19]    Poland Aug. Industrial Output Rises 0.5% On Year, Consensus 1.1%

[Sep19]    Bank Of England Voted 9-0 To Retain QE At GBP 375 Bln

Bank of England policymakers stood unanimous on retaining asset purchase programme intact early this month as members seem to hold different views on the need for further stimulus. The nine-member Monetary Policy Committee governed by Mervyn King voted 9-0 to keep the size of quantitative easing unchanged at GBP 375 billion, the minutes of the meeting held on September 5 and 6 showed Wednesday. Members were also unanimous in leaving the key rate steady at 0.50 percent. Policymakers discussed whether it was appropriate to modify or continue with the programme of asset purchases it had agreed at its July meeting. Economists expect the bank to expand its quantitative easing next in November. "For most members this decision was relatively straightforward, although some of these members felt that additional stimulus was more likely than not to be needed in due course, while others saw the risks to inflation in the medium term as being more balanced around the target," it said. The decision this month was more finely balanced for one member, the minutes showed. According to that member, there is a good case for more QE. The MPC expects inflation to take longer time to reach its 2 percent target on rising commodity prices and labor costs. Inflation slowed marginally to 2.5 percent in August from 2.6 percent in the previous month. Further, policymakers expect volatility in output growth to continue over the rest of the year, while the level of demand remained weak and the outlook was subdued and uncertain. Members assessed that it is too early to measure the impact of the Funding for Lending Scheme on borrowing by the household and corporate sectors. But there had been encouraging signs about the impact the scheme was having on the lending rate, the minutes revealed. Policymakers saw very substantial risks to remain for some time to come in the euro area, which if crystallized could impact the stability of the global banking system. The Agents' summary of business conditions, released by the central bank today, showed that export growth continued to slow, mirroring weakening conditions throughout the euro area. Further, employment intentions indicated there would be little job creation in the private sector over the coming six months.

[Sep19]    Eurozone Construction Output Falls For Second Month

Eurozone construction output declined for the second consecutive month in July, but the rate of decrease slowed from June, Eurostat reported Wednesday. Construction output was down 0.3 percent from a month ago, when it fell 0.6 percent. On a yearly basis, production dipped 4.7 percent in July, sharper than the 2.8 percent decline seen in June. Building construction decreased 4.6 percent year-on-year in the euro area, following a 2.8 percent drop. At the same time, civil engineering fell 3.3 percent after a 3.5 percent decrease in the previous month.

[Sep19]    WB Warns Of Deepening Fiscal Crisis In Palestine, Asks Donors To Act Urgently

[Sep19]    Germany 2-year Note Yield Positive For First Time Since June: Reports

[Sep19]    Eurozone Construction Output Falls For Second Month

Eurozone construction output declined for the second consecutive month in July, but the rate of decrease slowed from June, Eurostat reported Wednesday. Construction output was down 0.3 percent from a month ago, when it fell 0.6 percent. On a yearly basis, production dipped 4.7 percent in July, sharper than the 2.8 percent decline seen in June. Building construction decreased 4.6 percent year-on-year in the euro area, following a 2.8 percent drop. At the same time, civil engineering fell 3.3 percent after a 3.5 percent decrease in the previous month.

[Sep19]    Eurozone July Construction Output Falls 4.7% Year

[Sep19]    Malaysia Aug. CPI Rises 0.2% On Month

[Sep19]    BoE Unanimous On QE, Interest Rate

Bank of England policymakers unanimously decided to maintain quantitative easing at GBP 375 billion and the interest rate unchanged at 0.50 percent, the minutes of the meeting held on September 5 and 6 showed Wednesday. The nine-member Monetary Policy Committee discussed whether it was appropriate to modify or continue with the programme of asset purchases it had agreed at its July meeting. For most members this decision was relatively straightforward, although some of these members felt that additional stimulus was more likely than not to be needed in due course, while others saw the risks to inflation in the medium term as being more balanced around the target. For one member, the decision this month was more finely balanced, the minutes showed.

[Sep19]    France July Coincident Index Rises 0.1% On Month To 104.4

[Sep19]    S&P Affirms Australia's Triple A Rating, Stable Outlook

Australia's triple-A credit rating was affirmed by Standard & Poor's on Wednesday citing the country's policy flexibility and economic resilience. The rating agency maintained the 'AAA' long-term and 'A-1+' short-term sovereign credit ratings and also affirmed the stable outlook. The ratings reflect its view on Australia's ample fiscal and monetary policy flexibility, economic resilience, public policy stability, and a financial sector that appears to be sound, S&P said in a statement. Such factors demonstrate Australia's strong ability to absorb large economic and financial shocks, such as the global recession in 2009, the agency said. However, the country's high external imbalances, dependence on commodity exports, and high household debt weigh on its growth prospects, S&P added. "The Australian economy performed relatively well in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, as mining exports and private investment in mining and liquefied natural gas offset weaknesses in domestic consumption and export sectors exposed to the high Australian dollar, such as education, tourism, and manufacturing," Standard & Poor's credit analyst Kyran Curry said. "Yet considerable risks remain for Australia's growth prospects, prosperity, and credit quality. These stem from its growing dependence on trade with China." A weakening in the demand for Australia's resources could lead to a range of disorderly dislocations in its economy, including in its labor and property markets, Curry warned. On the public finances front, the deterioration due to the global recession has been more contained than for most 'AAA' rated peers, S&P said. The agency expects Australia's general government to record a deficit of 2.5 percent of GDP in 2012, and return the balance to surplus in 2015. The general government debt burden is seen rising by 1.3 percent of GDP to 23.4 percent in 2012. The country's fiscal deficit is seen at 1.1 percent of GDP in 2013 and the debt burden seen at 23 percent, is expected to trend lower thereafter. While Australia's government debt level is significantly lower than that of other 'AAA' sovereigns, the country's private sector debt is among the highest of any rated sovereign and remains a key vulnerability, the agency pointed out. "The stable rating outlook reflects our view that Australia's public finances will continue to withstand potential adverse financial and economic shocks, and our belief that the country's consensus in favor of prudent budgetary policies will remain," Curry said.

[Sep19]    European Economics Preview: BoE Minutes Due

The minutes from the Bank of England is the major report due on Wednesday, headlining a light day for the European economic news. At 4.30 am ET, the Bank of England is set to release the minutes of the monetary policy meeting held on September 5 and 6. The nine-member committee left the size of quantitative easing unchanged at GBP 375 billion and retained the key interest rate at 0.50 percent. At 5.00 am ET, Swiss ZEW survey results for September are due. The economic sentiment index rose to -33.3 points in August from -42.5 points in July. In the meantime, Eurostat is slated to issue Eurozone construction output data. Output was down 0.5 percent month-on-month in June. At 5.30, Germany's debt auction results are due. The government targets to raise a maximum of EUR 5 billion from the issue of Federal Treasury notes. Industrial output and producer prices reports are due from Poland at 8.00 am ET. Industrial output is expected to rise 1.1 percent year-on-year in August, slower than the 5.2 percent rise in July. Producer price inflation is seen slowing to 3 percent in August from 3.7 percent.

[Sep19]    European Economics Preview: BoE Minutes Due

The minutes from the Bank of England is the major report due on Wednesday, headlining a light day for the European economic news. At 4.30 am ET, the Bank of England is set to release the minutes of the monetary policy meeting held on September 5 and 6. The nine-member committee left the size of quantitative easing unchanged at GBP 375 billion and retained the key interest rate at 0.50 percent. At 5.00 am ET, Swiss ZEW survey results for September are due. The economic sentiment index rose to -33.3 points in August from -42.5 points in July. In the meantime, Eurostat is slated to issue Eurozone construction output data. Output was down 0.5 percent month-on-month in June. At 5.30, Germany's debt auction results are due. The government targets to raise a maximum of EUR 5 billion from the issue of Federal Treasury notes. Industrial output and producer prices reports are due from Poland at 8.00 am ET. Industrial output is expected to rise 1.1 percent year-on-year in August, slower than the 5.2 percent rise in July. Producer price inflation is seen slowing to 3 percent in August from 3.7 percent.

[Sep19]    Australia's Leading Index Improves; Growth Still Below-Trend

A leading indicator of Australia's economic activity continued to rise in July, but its rate of increase remained below its long-term trend suggesting that the economy is unlikely to exceed trend over the next months. A survey by Westpac and the Melbourne Institute showed Wednesday that the annualised growth rate of the leading index, which indicates the likely pace of economic activity three to nine months into the future, was 2.2 percent in July, below its long term trend of 2.7 percent. At the same time, the annualised growth rate of the coincident index, which gives a pulse of current activity, was 2.8 percent. This was also below its long term trend of 3 percent. "This outcome does not encourage too much optimism that growth in the Australian economy is likely to exceed trend over the second half of 2012 and into 2013," Westpac Chief Economist Bill Evans said. Westpac forecast the Australian economy to expand at an annualised pace of 2.5 percent over the second half of 2012. Evans said a more robust growth outcome for 2013 will require further interest rate relief, particularly given global fragilities and the strength of the Australian dollar at a time of weakening global commodity prices. The level of the leading index increased to 284 in July from 283 in June. Three of the four monthly components of the index, namely, the share market, real money supply and US industrial production, increased. Meanwhile, dwelling approvals declined. Evans noted that the minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia's September Policy Board meeting indicates the policymakers are very close to deciding to cut rates. The Board next meets on October 2. At the September meeting, the RBA kept its benchmark cash rate unchanged at 3.5 percent for a third consecutive month. It reduced the cash rate by 50 basis points in May and by a quarter-point in June, following two back-to-back rate cuts towards the end of 2011. The economy expanded 0.6 percent on quarter in the second quarter following 1.4 percent expansion in the first quarter.

[Sep19]    BoJ Enhances Monetary Easing; Lifts Asset Purchase

The Bank of Japan on Wednesday embarked on a powerful monetary easing by expanding the total size of the asset purchase program by about JPY 10 trillion and extending the asset purchase deadline by six months. The total size of the program was lifted to JPY 80 trillion, which corresponds to additional purchases of Japanese government bonds and treasury discount bills by JPY 5 trillion each. The asset purchase target now stands at JPY 55 trillion, up from JPY 45 trillion. In addition, the central bank extended the intended timescale for completing the asset purchases till end-December 2013 compared to previous deadline of end-June 2013. The credit facility was unchanged at JPY 25 trillion. At the same time, the bank decided to remove the minimum bidding yield, which is currently 0.1 percent per annum, for the outright purchases of JGBs and corporate bonds in order to ensure smooth purchase. As expected, the benchmark uncollateralized overnight call rate has been kept unchanged at 0-0.1 percent by a unanimous vote. Meanwhile, BoJ downgraded its assessment of the economy, saying that "the pick-up in economic activity has come to pause" reflecting developments in overseas economies.

[Sep19]    Japan's Leading Index Falls For Fourth Month

Japan's leading economic index declined for a fourth consecutive month in July, final data released by the Cabinet Office showed Wednesday. The leading economic index, which is designed to measure the direction of the economy in the months ahead, fell to 93 in July from 94.1 in June. The readings for July and June were revised up from 91.8 and 93.2respectively. The coincident index, which measures the current economic activity, dropped to 93.8 in July from 94.9 in June, after being revised from 92.8 and 94.1 respectively. At the same time, the lagging index edged down to 86.7 from 86.8 in the previous month, the agency said. The preliminary figures were 86.3 for July and 86.6 for June.

[Sep19]    Japan July Coincident Index 93.8 Vs. 94.9 In June: Final

[Sep18]    Strong Dollar Offsets Inflationary Impulse From Terms Of Trade Shock: RBA Paper

A strong exchange rate helps offset the inflationary impulse from the terms of trade shock, the Reserve Bank of Australia said in a paper prepared for a conference, jointly hosted by the International Monetary Fund, the Australian Treasury and the RBA in Canberra. Domestic inflationary pressures, will lead to higher inflation for non-tradable goods and services. But at the same time, the gradual pass through of the initial exchange rate appreciation will lead to lower inflation for tradable goods and services, the paper prepared by economists, including RBA assistant governor Christopher Kent, said. "In this way, appreciation of the exchange rate helps to offset the inflationary impulse from the terms of trade shock, and assists in maintaining inflation in line with the inflation target." The study noted that the current forecasts suggest that the terms of trade will remain high in comparison to pre-boom levels. The paper also noted that the strong growth in investment and employment in the resource sector are placing upward pressure on prices and wages. However, this has been offset to some extent by the appreciation of the exchange rate, which has led to a loss of competitiveness and downward pressure on prices in other industries, particularly those exposed to foreign trade, it noted. Releasing the minutes of the September Policy Board meeting on Tuesday, RBA said the strength of the currency and slowing Chinese growth are risks to the economy. The RBA report suggested that though Chinese investment in Australia has increased rapidly since the mid 2000s, particularly in the Australian resource sector, it still represented only 1 percent of total foreign investment in Australia at the end of 2011.

[Sep18]    Strong Dollar Offsets Inflationary Impulse From Terms Of Trade Shock: RBA Paper

A strong exchange rate helps offset the inflationary impulse from the terms of trade shock, the Reserve Bank of Australia said in a paper prepared for a conference, jointly hosted by the International Monetary Fund, the Australian Treasury and the RBA in Canberra. Domestic inflationary pressures, will lead to higher inflation for non-tradable goods and services. But at the same time, the gradual pass through of the initial exchange rate appreciation will lead to lower inflation for tradable goods and services, the paper prepared by economists, including RBA assistant governor Christopher Kent, said. "In this way, appreciation of the exchange rate helps to offset the inflationary impulse from the terms of trade shock, and assists in maintaining inflation in line with the inflation target." The study noted that the current forecasts suggest that the terms of trade will remain high in comparison to pre-boom levels. The paper also noted that the strong growth in investment and employment in the resource sector are placing upward pressure on prices and wages. However, this has been offset to some extent by the appreciation of the exchange rate, which has led to a loss of competitiveness and downward pressure on prices in other industries, particularly those exposed to foreign trade, it noted. Releasing the minutes of the September Policy Board meeting on Tuesday, RBA said the strength of the currency and slowing Chinese growth are risks to the economy. The RBA report suggested that though Chinese investment in Australia has increased rapidly since the mid 2000s, particularly in the Australian resource sector, it still represented only 1 percent of total foreign investment in Australia at the end of 2011.

[Sep19]    Foreign Direct Investment In China Declines

Foreign direct investment into China declined in August largely due to weak inflows from debt-trapped European Union. FDI fell by 1.4 percent in August from a year ago, to $8.3 billion, data from the Ministry of Commerce revealed Tuesday. China drew $75 billion in foreign direct investment during January to August period, down by 3.4 percent. At the same time, outbound investment surged about 39 percent to $47.7 billion.

[Sep19]    BoJ Enhances Monetary Easing; Lifts Asset Purchase

The Bank of Japan on Wednesday embarked on a powerful monetary easing by expanding the total size of the asset purchase program by about JPY 10 trillion and extending the asset purchase deadline by six months. The total size of the program was lifted to JPY 80 trillion, which corresponds to additional purchases of Japanese government bonds and treasury discount bills by JPY 5 trillion each. The asset purchase target now stands at JPY 55 trillion, up from JPY 45 trillion. In addition, the central bank extended the intended timescale for completing the asset purchases till end-December 2013 compared to previous deadline of end-June 2013. The credit facility was unchanged at JPY 25 trillion. At the same time, the bank decided to remove the minimum bidding yield, which is currently 0.1 percent per annum, for the outright purchases of JGBs and corporate bonds in order to ensure smooth purchase. As expected, the benchmark uncollateralized overnight call rate has been kept unchanged at 0-0.1 percent by a unanimous vote. Meanwhile, BoJ downgraded its assessment of the economy, saying that "the pick-up in economic activity has come to pause" reflecting developments in overseas economies.

[Sep18]    New Zealand Q2 SA Current Account NZ$2.9 Billion

[Sep18]    U.S. Homebuilder Confidence Jumps To Six-Year High In September

Homebuilder confidence in the U.S. increased for the fifth consecutive month in September, according to a report released by the National Association of Home Builders on Tuesday, with the index of homebuilder confidence rising to its highest level in over six years. The report showed that the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose to 40 in September from 37 in August. Economists had been expecting the index to show a more modest increase to a reading of 38. With the much bigger than expected increase, the index rose to its highest level since coming in at 42 in June of 2006. NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg said, "This fifth consecutive month of improvement in builder confidence provides further assurance that the housing market is moving in a positive direction, but there's still a long way to go on the road to recovery and several obstacles are slowing our progress." "In particular, unnecessarily tight credit conditions are preventing many builders from putting crews back to work - which would create needed jobs -- and discouraging consumers from pursuing a new-home purchase," he added. The continued increase by the housing market index reflected increases by all three components that make up the index. While the component gauging current sales conditions rose to 42 in September from 38 in August, the component gauging sales prospects in the next six months jumped to 51 from 43. The component measuring traffic of prospective buyers edged up by one point to 31. The NAHB noted that builder confidence also rose across every region of the country in September. The index measuring homebuilder confidence in the Northeast showed a notable increase, surging up to 32 in September from 23 in August. The indexes measuring homebuilder confidence in the Midwest and the South both rose by four points to 45 and 39, respectively, while the index for the West climbed to 45 from 40. NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said, "Builders across the country are expressing a more positive outlook on current sales conditions, future sales prospects and the amount of consumer traffic they are seeing through model homes than they have in more than five years." "However, against the improving demand for new homes, concerns are now rising about the lack of building lots in certain markets and the rising cost of building materials. Given the fragile nature of the housing and economic recovery, these are significant red flags," he added. Additional housing data is due to be released on Wednesday, with the Commerce Department scheduled to release its report on new residential construction and the National Association of Realtors due to release its report on existing home sales.

[Sep18]    U.S. Housing Market Index Rises To 40 In September

[Sep18]    South Africa Consumer Sentiment Improves Slightly In Q3: BER

South African households were slightly less downbeat about their finances and the general economy in the third quarter, data from a survey by the Bureau of Economic Research (BER) and the First National Bank showed Tuesday. The consumer confidence index edged up to -1 in the third quarter from -3 in the second quarter, which was sharply lower than the first quarter reading of 5. The index had been edging lower ever since reaching a peak of 15 in 2010. Consumers' rating of the prospects for the national economy, their own finances and the appropriateness of the current time to buy durable goods all improved slightly during the period. The survey indicated that confidence and lack thereof among consumers remains finely balanced very much in line with a modestly performing economy. The outlook component of the headline index remained negative at -4 during the quarter, indicating that most consumers continue to expect the country's economic situation to worsen over the next 12 months. The low reading reflects, among other things, the relapse in global economic growth and deterioration in the domestic political climate.

[Sep18]    Poland August Wage Growth Below Expectations

Average monthly gross wages of Polish employees increased less than economists expected in August, data released by the statistical office showed Tuesday. Monthly gross wages, on average, increased 2.7 percent year-on-year in August, slower than the 3 percent growth economists had forecast. On a monthly basis, gross wages decreased 0.4 percent during the month, defying economists' forecast for a 0.3 percent gain. In the January-August period, wages grew 3.9 percent from the same period last year. Meanwhile, the number of employees in the Polish private sector remained unchanged year-on-year in August. Compared to July, employment edged down 0.1 percent, data showed.

[Sep18]    Swedish Economy Responded Well To Global Turmoils: Riksbank's Ingves

The Swedish economy coped well so far during the financial and debt crises, Central Bank Governor Stefan Ingves said during hearing on monetary policy at the Riksdag Committee on Finance on Tuesday. The economy is holding up well amid strong growth in productivity and reforms on both fiscal and monetary front, he added. Giving a broad perspective on monetary policy, Ingves said the inflation target had functioned as an anchor for monetary policy since its introduction almost 20 years ago. The central bank also released minutes of the Executive Board's September 5 meeting, when the Board decided to lower the repo rate by 0.25 percentage points to 1.25 percent and to adjust the repo-rate path downwards. The minutes showed that there have been differences in the view of how expansionary monetary policy should be, though the Board members were in agreement that the repo rate needs to be low to boost economic activity and for inflation to attain the 2 percent target. Five Board members considered it appropriate to cut the repo rate by 0.25 percentage points while one member wanted to cut the repo rate by 0.5 percentage points. Several members pointed to the recent developments of the krona and noted that the appreciation that was forecast earlier had come sooner than expected. Some members cautioned that households' high debt ratios and the vulnerability this can create for the economy would continue to require considerable attention.

[Sep18]    Turkish Central Bank Retains Interest Rate At Record Low

Turkey's central bank on Tuesday decided to maintain its one-week repo rate at a record low of 5.75 percent, citing the overall slump in the economy amid the global economic downturn. The decision was in line with economists' expectations. The central bank also kept the overnight borrowing rate unchanged at 5 percent. The last time the central bank lowered the interest rate was in August 2011, when it slashed the benchmark rate by 50 basis points at an emergency meeting, a week after deciding to keep it unchanged. The economy expanded at a slower pace of 2.9 percent year-on-year in the second quarter than 3.3 percent in the first quarter. The latest expansion was the slowest since 2009. The central bank said that though inflation has weakened in the last quarter higher energy prices will increase price pressures and inflation is set to remain above target. Turkey's Inflation slowed to 8.88 percent in August from 9.07 percent in July.

[Sep18]    Turkey Central Bank Holds Key Rate At 5.75% As Expected

[Sep18]    BoJ Seen Rolling Out New Stimulus To Counter Slowing Growth

After the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve, it is now the turn of the Bank of Japan to prop up the faltering domestic economic recovery as tepid global growth and the European squabble over fixing the debt crisis make the country's export prospects more bleak. The Policy Board of the Japanese central bank is expected to announce its policy stance at the end of a two-day meeting on Wednesday. Speculation is rife that the board will announce a fresh round of stimulus measures to revive the economy as the Eurozone debt crisis showed no signs of abating. A meeting of European finance ministers last weekend revealed the widening rift among the policymakers mainly on the ECB's role in banking supervision and on the timing for the Single Supervisory Mechanism to enter into force. Policy moves by the ECB and the Fed have also mounted pressure on the BoJ to act, mainly to stem gains in the local currency. Expectations of possible yen interventions by the central bank on the behalf of the Ministry of Finance are also doing the rounds. Japan's Finance Minister Jun Azumi on Friday repeated his warning that the government may undertake decisive action to contain excessive gains in yen, after the currency hit a seven-month high following Fed's stimulus announcement on September 13. A government report this month suggested that the modest recovery experienced by Japan's economy in the past months has halted. Cutting its economic assessment for a second consecutive month, the Cabinet Office said in its monthly report that the recovery is "pausing" due to a slowdown in global economic activity. Further slowing down of overseas economies and sharp fluctuations in the financial and capital markets under a high degree of uncertainty about the prospects of the Eurozone debt crisis are the downside risks for the Japanese economy, the government said. BoJ's most recent policy move was in April, when the Board decided to increase the total size of the asset purchase program by about JPY 5 trillion. The ECB announced its decision to embark on "outright monetary transactions" or OMTs, which will allow the bank to purchase sovereign bonds in the secondary markets, during its latest Governing Council meeting on September 6. The Federal Reserve on Thursday said it will buy $40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities every month in its third round of quantitative easing.

[Sep18]    Portuguese Output Price Inflation Rises In August

Portugal's producer price inflation accelerated for the second successive month in August, data released by Statistics Portugal showed Tuesday. The producer price index increased 4 percent on an annual basis in August, faster than the 3 percent gain seen in July. The rate of growth was 2.7 percent in June. Production in the manufacturing sector advanced 2.1 percent compared to last year, while mining and quarrying production dropped 1.1 percent. Output prices in the consumer goods industry grew 0.9 percent from a year earlier, while prices of energy products climbed 11 percent. Prices of investment goods and intermediate goods were higher by 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent respectively. On a monthly basis, output prices moved up 0.9 percent in August, after rising 0.5 percent in the previous month, data showed.

[Sep18]    Swedish Economy Responded Well To Global Turmoils: Riksbank's Ingves

The Swedish economy coped well so far during the financial and debt crises, Central Bank Governor Stefan Ingves said during hearing on monetary policy at the Riksdag Committee on Finance on Tuesday. The economy is holding up well amid strong growth in productivity and reforms on both fiscal and monetary front, he added. Giving a broad perspective on monetary policy, Ingves said the inflation target had functioned as an anchor for monetary policy since its introduction almost 20 years ago. The central bank also released minutes of the Executive Board's September 5 meeting, when the Board decided to lower the repo rate by 0.25 percentage points to 1.25 percent and to adjust the repo-rate path downwards. The minutes showed that there have been differences in the view of how expansionary monetary policy should be, though the Board members were in agreement that the repo rate needs to be low to boost economic activity and for inflation to attain the 2 percent target. Five Board members considered it appropriate to cut the repo rate by 0.25 percentage points while one member wanted to cut the repo rate by 0.5 percentage points. Several members pointed to the recent developments of the krona and noted that the appreciation that was forecast earlier had come sooner than expected. Some members cautioned that households' high debt ratios and the vulnerability this can create for the economy would continue to require considerable attention.

[Sep18]    Irish Factory Gate Inflation Rises For Third Month

Ireland's producer price inflation in the manufacturing sector accelerated for the third successive month in August, data released by the Central Statistics Office showed Tuesday. The producer price index for the manufacturing sector increased 6 percent year-on-year in August, faster than the 4.5 percent gain seen in July. In June and May, prices moved up 3.2 percent and 2 percent respectively. Prices of goods sold in the domestic market rose 2 percent annually, while prices in the overseas market climbed 6.9 percent. As whole, food prices gained 5.2 percent year-on-year in August, while textile and apparel prices increased 1.4 percent and 2.3 percent respectively. Mining and quarrying prices were higher by 6.6 percent compared to last year, data showed. On a monthly basis, factory gate prices increased at a slower pace of 1 percent in August than 1.3 percent in the previous month, the agency said.

[Sep18]    Portugal Aug PPI Inflation 4% Vs. 3% In July

[Sep18]    Ireland Aug. PPI Rises 1% M-o-M Vs. 1.3% In July

[Sep18]    German ZEW Economic Confidence Brighten Up

Germany's economic sentiment improved in September after easing for four straight months, the Mannheim-based ZEW said Tuesday. The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment rose 7.3 points to -18.2. However, the negative reading indicates that the financial market experts expect the German economy to lose momentum over the next six months. "The European Central Bank's announcement to purchase government bonds, which is a problematic decision, might nevertheless have contributed to the improvement of the economic sentiment," said President Wolfgang Franz. The assessment of the current economic situation fell by 5.6 points to 12.6 in September. The index stayed well below the expected level of 18. Economic expectations for the Eurozone improved significantly by 17.4 points to -3.8 points. Meanwhile, the indicator for the current economic situation in the Eurozone dropped slightly by 1.2 points to -76.3.

[Sep18]    Germany Sep ZEW Current Conditions Down 5.6 To 12.6, Consensus 18

[Sep18]    Germany Sep ZEW Economic Situation Rises To -18.2, Consensus -20: Reports

[Sep18]    Spain Sells EUR4.6 Bln T-Bills Vs. EUR 3.5 - EUR 4.5 Bln Target

[Sep18]    Hungary July Wage Growth Unexpectedly Quickens

Wages of Hungarian employees increased at a faster pace in July, contrary to economists' forecast for a weaker growth, data released by the Central Statistical Office showed Tuesday. Average monthly gross wages increased 7.1 percent on an annual basis in July, sharply faster than the 4.1 percent gain seen in June. Economists had forecast the rate of growth to ease to 4 percent. Gross earnings in the business sector climbed 9.2 percent annually, while earnings of employees in budgetary institutions moved up 0.9 percent. There was a 21.9 percent growth in wages in non-profit institutions during the month. In the January-July period, monthly gross wages advanced 4.8 percent from the same period last year. Net earnings, excluding family tax benefits, grew 2 percent year-on-year during the period, data showed.

[Sep18]    Hungary July Gross Wages Rise 7.1% On Year, Consensus 4%

[Sep18]    European Economics Preview: U.K. Inflation, German ZEW Survey Data Due

Consumer prices from the U.K. and ZEW survey results from Germany are due on Tuesday, headlining a light day for the European economic news. At 1.45 am ET, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs is scheduled to release 2012 Swiss economic forecasts. Europe's new car registration data is due from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association at 2.00 am ET. Sales were down 2.9 percent in July. Hungary's statistical office is set to release average gross wages for July. Economists expect wages to grow 4 percent year-on-year compared to 4.1 percent in June. At 4.30 am ET, the Office for National Statistics is slated to publish U.K. consumer price figures for August. Annual inflation is seen easing to 2.5 percent from 2.6 percent in July. In the meantime, Spain's T-Bill auction results are due. The government plans to raise between EUR 3.5 billion and EUR 4.5 billion from the issue of 12-month and 18-month treasury bills. Half an hour later, Germany's ZEW survey results are due. The economic situation index is seen improving to -20 in September from -25.5 in August. The current conditions index is forecast to rise slightly to 18 from 18.2. Turkey's central bank is set to announce interest rate decision at 7.00 am ET. The bank is widely expected to retain its key 1-week repo rate at 5.75 percent. At 8.00 am ET, Poland's average gross wages are due. Wages are expected to rise 0.3 percent month-on-month and to grow 3 percent annually in August.

[Sep18]    European New Car Registrations Decline At Faster Rate In August: ACEA

Registrations of new passenger cars in Europe dropped at a faster rate in August, data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) showed Tuesday. New passenger car registrations in the EU 27 nations excluding Malta fell 8.9 percent year-on-year, following a 7.8 percent in July, the Brussels-based ACEA said. Sales dropped for the third consecutive month, after stabilizing in May. The latest decline was the most severe since February, when sales slumped 9.7 percent. Demand dropped 4.7 percent in Germany, after a 5 percent contraction in July. In France, registrations fell 11.4 percent, following the previous month's 0.7 percent decline. Italy registered a 20.2 percent slump, which came after July's 21 percent decrease. Meanwhile, Spain logged a 3.4 percent increase in car sales, rebounding from a 17.2 percent slump in July. Car registrations in the U.K. remained stable in August. In the January-August period, new car registrations in the EU dropped 7.1 percent from a year ago with the U.K. emerging as the sole market with growth.

[Sep18]    ACEA: Aug Car Registrations Fall 20.2% In Italy, Up 3.4% In Spain, Stable In UK

[Sep18]    Philippine Unemployment Stable In July

Philippines' unemployment remained broadly unchanged in July, data released by the National Statistics Office showed Tuesday. The unemployment rate came in at 7 percent in July, little changed from 7.1 percent recorded in the same month last year. The underemployment rate was 22.7 percent during the month, up from 19.1 percent recorded last year. The employment rate edged up to 93 percent in July from 92.9 percent a year earlier. There were around 37.6 million employed persons in the country in July. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate dropped to 64 percent in July from 64.3 percent in July 2011, the agency said.

[Sep18]    European Economics Preview: U.K. Inflation, German ZEW Survey Data Due

Consumer prices from the U.K. and ZEW survey results from Germany are due on Tuesday, headlining a light day for the European economic news. At 1.45 am ET, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs is scheduled to release 2012 Swiss economic forecasts. Europe's new car registration data is due from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association at 2.00 am ET. Sales were down 2.9 percent in July. Hungary's statistical office is set to release average gross wages for July. Economists expect wages to grow 4 percent year-on-year compared to 4.1 percent in June. At 4.30 am ET, the Office for National Statistics is slated to publish U.K. consumer price figures for August. Annual inflation is seen easing to 2.5 percent from 2.6 percent in July. In the meantime, Spain's T-Bill auction results are due. The government plans to raise between EUR 3.5 billion and EUR 4.5 billion from the issue of 12-month and 18-month treasury bills. Half an hour later, Germany's ZEW survey results are due. The economic situation index is seen improving to -20 in September from -25.5 in August. The current conditions index is forecast to rise slightly to 18 from 18.2. Turkey's central bank is set to announce interest rate decision at 7.00 am ET. The bank is widely expected to retain its key 1-week repo rate at 5.75 percent. At 8.00 am ET, Poland's average gross wages are due. Wages are expected to rise 0.3 percent month-on-month and to grow 3 percent annually in August.

[Sep18]    China House Prices Increase Month-over-Month In August

Property prices in China increased for a third straight month in August compared to the previous month, as the central bank's recent policy easing boosted demand for homes, the latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed Tuesday. However, prices increased in fewer cities compared to July. House prices increased compared to the previous month in 35 out of the 70 cities surveyed in August. This compares to 49 cities in July. House prices fell in 19 Chinese cities in August, while prices in 16 cities remained unchanged. On an annual basis, home prices fell in 53 Chinese cities, less than 58 cities, which saw house price declines in July. Among major cities, Beijing recorded a 0.1 percent increase in house prices on a monthly basis in August, though prices dropped 0.6 percent from a year earlier. In Shanghai, prices remained unchanged on a monthly basis, but fell 1.5 percent year-on-year. Buying activity is most likely to have received a boost from the two interest rate cuts by the People's Bank of China this year. The rate reductions were intended to support growth which eased to a three-year low of 7.6 percent in the second quarter. China first started its efforts to cool property prices and curb speculation in April 2010. Beijing had hiked down-payment ratios, restricted purchase of additional homes, introduced property taxes and boosted social housing in its effort to contain the risk of a property market bubble. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's recent comments indicates that the property market curbs will not be lifted any time soon. During an inspection tour to Tianjin early this month, Wen said the country still needs to resolutely curb speculative property investment. He said the property market controls are still in a "critical stage."

[Sep18]    Sri Lankan Central Bank Holds Policy Rate For Fifth Time

Sri Lanka's central bank Tuesday decided to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged for the fifth month in a row, saying that the current monetary policy stance is appropriate for the country to achieve the expected economic growth. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka retained its repurchase rate at 7.75 percent, and the reverse repurchase rate at 9.75 percent. "Reflecting the impact of the policy measures taken, credit obtained by the private sector has decelerated since the second quarter of 2012, and the policy measures in place are expected to help ensure that the growth of credit will be within the desired level at year end," the bank said. The economy expanded 6.4 percent on an annual basis in the second quarter. In the first half of the year, gross domestic product grew by 7.2 percent. Sri Lanka's inflation weakened to 9.5 percent in August, after increasing in the previous two months. The central bank expects demand management policies adopted by the authorities to help contain inflation within single digit levels in the coming months.

[Sep17]    China House Prices Fall In 19 Cities August

The number of Chinese cities reporting a fall in house prices increased in August from a month earlier, the latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed Monday. House prices fell in 19 out of the 70 cities surveyed in August on a monthly basis. This compares to just 9 cities that recorded price falls in July. Prices increased in 35 cities in August, while that in 16 cities remained unchanged. On an annual basis, home prices fell in 53 Chinese cities after 58 cities reported a decrease in July. Among major cities, Beijing recorded a 0.1 percent increase in house prices on a monthly basis in August, though prices dropped 0.6 percent from a year earlier. In Shanghai, prices remained unchanged on a monthly basis, but fell 1.5 percent year-on-year.

[Sep17]    New York Manufacturing Index Falls To Three-Year Low In August

Conditions for New York manufacturers have deteriorated at an accelerated rate in the month of September, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Monday, with the index of activity in the sector falling to its lowest level in over three years. The New York Fed said its general business conditions index fell to a negative 10.41 in September from a negative 5.85 in August, with a negative reading indicating a contraction in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had been expecting the index to climb to a negative 2.0. With the unexpected decrease, the general business conditions index fell to its lowest level since coming in at a negative 19.29 in April of 2009. James Knightley, senior economist at ING, said the data will "heighten fears that the U.S. manufacturing sector is returning to recession," noting that the Institute for Supply Management's national manufacturing index has been in contraction territory for three months already. A notable acceleration in the pace of contraction in new orders contributed to the weakness in the sector, with the new orders index falling to a negative 14.03 in September from a negative 5.50 in August. The shipments index showed a more modest decrease, edging down to 2.75 in September from 4.09 in August. The index remained positive, indicating a modest increase in shipments. The report also showed that the number of employees index tumbled to 4.26 in September from 16.47 in August, although it continued to point to job growth in the New York manufacturing sector. On the inflation front, the prices paid index climbed to 19.15 in September from 16.47 in August, while the prices received index rose to 5.32 from 2.35. The future general business activity also jumped to 27.22 in September from 15.20 in August, reflecting a recovery in the level of optimism about the six-month outlook. "Maybe this relates to the recent encouraging news from Europe and hopes that once the US Presidential elections are out the way some uncertainty relating to the fiscal cliff will clear," Knightley said. "Nonetheless, it is not encouraging for the economy into year-end." Thursday morning, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its own report on regional manufacturing activity in the month of September. Economists expect the Philly Fed index to climb to a negative 4.0 in September from a negative 7.1 in August, although a negative reading would still indicate a contraction.

[Sep17]    New York Manufacturing Contracts At Faster Pace In August

Conditions for New York manufacturers have deteriorated at an accelerated rate in the month of September, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Monday, with the index of activity in the sector falling to its lowest level in over three years. The New York Fed said its general business conditions index fell to a negative 10.41 in September from a negative 5.85 in August, with a negative reading indicating a contraction in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had been expecting the index to climb to a negative 2.0.

[Sep17]    Merkel Defends Bundesbank Chief On ECB Bond Buying

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said the Bundesbank Chief has the right to express his views on the European debt crisis. Over the weekend, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble criticized Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann for talking against the bond buying program of the European Central Bank. Weidmann aims at finding a sustainable solution to the crisis, she told a news conference. Further, Merkel said she will try for the passage of German-Swiss bilateral tax treaty. The Social Democrats are opposing the ratification of the treaty citing that it does not expose tax evaders. Merkel plans to tax assets held by German in Swiss banks.

[Sep17]    Nigerian Inflation Drops To 8-Month Low, Economic Growth Accelerates

Nigeria's consumer price inflation slowed to the lowest level in eighth months in August, and the economy expanded at a faster rate in the second quarter, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Monday. Inflation slowed to 11.7 percent in August from 12.8 percent in July. The latest figure was the lowest since December 2011, when consumer prices rose 10.3 percent. August's moderation in inflation is attributable to the relative slower rises in both the food and core inflation on aggressive monetary policy initiatives, base effects and a much lower rise in several food prices, the agency said. Food prices advanced 9.9 percent annually during the month, while non-food prices, including processed food, climbed 14.7 percent. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index increased at a faster pace of 0.67 percent in August than 0.24 percent in July. Separately, the statistical office said the Nigerian economy expanded at a faster rate of 6.28 percent year-on-year in the second quarter than 6.17 percent in the first quarter. In the second quarter of 2011, the economy expanded 7.61 percent. The Oil sector contributed about 13.86 percent to the overall growth in the second quarter. The faster GDP growth also reflected strong contribution from the non-oil sector, which recorded a 7.50 percent growth.

[Sep17]    Volatility Of Risky Assets Remain "Extraordinarily" Low: BIS

The volatility of risky assets remained "extraordinarily subdued", given the concerns about the ongoing euro area debt crisis and the poor outlook for economic growth, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) said in its quarterly review, released Monday. The report noted that volatility was low compared to recent history in credit, foreign exchange and equity markets, the report said. The combination of weak growth and portfolio reallocations driven by concerns about sovereign risk in the euro area along with central bank actions have pushed yields on the debt of a number of highly rated sovereigns to unprecedented lows, particularly in Europe. In some European countries, real government bond yields are in negative territory. This suggests that equity valuations have become more attractive relative to bonds, BIS said. "As a consequence, assets traditionally perceived as risky may have been less affected by the deterioration of the growth outlook and the euro area strains compared to previous episodes." Ultra-low sovereign yields prompted investors to look beyond benchmark government bonds in search of reasonably safe investments that offered some extra yield. "Such portfolio rebalancing is one of the key objectives of unconventional policies, intended to stimulate investor risk-taking by reducing the attractiveness of government securities relative to risky assets," the report said.

[Sep17]    Malawi Inflation Rises For Fourteenth Month

Malawi's annual inflation accelerated for the fourteenth successive month in August, data released by the National Statistical Office showed Monday. Annual inflation increased to 25.5 percent in August from 21.7 percent in July. Inflation quickened on every month since June 2011, when it remained unchanged at 7 percent. Inflation in the urban and rural area were 28.2 percent and 23.8 percent respectively during the month. Contributing to the latest acceleration in the headline inflation, food prices climbed 26 percent in August compared to last year. At the same time, core consumer prices, excluding food and energy, advanced 25.1 percent on an annual basis, the agency said.

[Sep17]    Eurozone Labor Costs Increase In Q2

Eurozone labor costs increased 1.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2012, data released by Eurostat showed Monday. The increase was in line with expectations and followed a 1.5 percent gain in the first quarter. In the euro area, wages and salaries per hour worked grew 1.7 percent year-on-year. Non-wage costs increased 1.2 percent over the same period. Hourly labor costs for the business economy in the euro area rose 2 percent in the year up to the second quarter compared with 1.6 percent increase in the first quarter. Hourly labor costs for the mainly non-business economy rose 0.5 percent.

[Sep17]    Norway's Trade Surplus Increases In August

Norway's trade surplus rose notably in August as export growth outpaced that of imports, data from Statistics Norway showed Monday. The trade surplus increased 15.1 percent year-on-year to NOK 33.8 billion in August. The combination of large growth in exports relative to the import growth led to the increased trade surplus, the statistical office said. Exports rose 7.5 percent year-on-year during the month to NOK 74.8 billion. Meanwhile, imports increased 1.9 percent to NOK 41.1 billion. According to the statistical office, the main reason for the increase in exports was the rise in the value of natural gas exports while a higher value of crude oil also contributed. The exports of mainland goods in August were stable compared to the corresponding month the previous year, and increased by only NOK 223 million to NOK 29.5 billion.

[Sep17]    Eurozone Labor Costs Increase In Q2

Eurozone labor costs increased 1.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2012, data released by Eurostat showed Monday. The increase was in line with expectations and followed a 1.5 percent gain in the first quarter. In the euro area, wages and salaries per hour worked grew 1.7 percent year-on-year. Non-wage costs increased 1.2 percent over the same period. Hourly labor costs for the business economy in the euro area rose 2 percent in the year up to the second quarter compared with 1.6 percent increase in the first quarter. Hourly labor costs for the mainly non-business economy rose 0.5 percent.

[Sep17]    Eurozone Jul Trade Surplus EUR 15.6Bln, Consensus EUR 15 Bln

[Sep17]    Turkish Unemployment Rate Edges Down

Unemployment rate in Turkey dropped marginally in June, the latest figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell to 8.9 percent in June from 9 percent in May. A year ago, the rate was at 10.2 percent. On an unadjusted basis, the jobless rate was 8 percent, down by 1.2 percentage points from last year. The number of unemployed persons fell a seasonally adjusted 1 percent month-on-month to 2.4 million. At the same time, there was a 0.1 percent rise in the number of employed to 24.76 million. The employment rate was steady at 45.3 percent. The labor force participation rate fell to 49.7 percent from 49.8 percent in the previous month.

[Sep17]    Turkish Consumer Confidence Falls In August

Confidence among Turkish consumers declined in August, data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute showed Monday. The consumer confidence index fell to 91.1 in August from 92.8 in July. A reading below 100 indicates a pessimistic outlook. The decrease was mainly led by a deterioration in consumers' assessment of their present and future purchasing power and expectations about the general economic situation and job opportunities in the coming months.

[Sep17]    Turkish Consumer Confidence Falls In August

Confidence among Turkish consumers declined in August, data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute showed Monday. The consumer confidence index fell to 91.1 in August from 92.8 in July. A reading below 100 indicates a pessimistic outlook. The decrease was mainly led by a deterioration in consumers' assessment of their present and future purchasing power and expectations about the general economic situation and job opportunities in the coming months.

[Sep17]    Eurozone Current Account Surplus Declines In July

The Eurozone current account surplus declined in July largely due to a fall in trade surplus, the European Central Bank said Monday. The surplus fell to a seasonally adjusted EUR 9.7 billion from EUR 14.3 billion in June. The surplus for goods declined to EUR 7.5 billion from EUR 12.7 billion, while surplus in services remained unchanged at EUR 6.2 billion. Income totaled EUR 1.7 billion, down from EUR 3.9 billion a month ago. The surplus in income was partly offset by a EUR 5.8 billion deficit in current transfers.

[Sep17]    Norway Aug Exports Up 7.5% On Year, Imports Rise 1.9%

[Sep17]    Turkish Unemployment Rate Edges Down

Unemployment rate in Turkey dropped marginally in June, the latest figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell to 8.9 percent in June from 9 percent in May. A year ago, the rate was at 10.2 percent. On an unadjusted basis, the jobless rate was 8 percent, down by 1.2 percentage points from last year. The number of unemployed persons fell a seasonally adjusted 1 percent month-on-month to 2.4 million. At the same time, there was a 0.1 percent rise in the number of employed to 24.76 million. The employment rate was steady at 45.3 percent. The labor force participation rate fell to 49.7 percent from 49.8 percent in the previous month.

[Sep17]    India Retains Key Rates, Trims Reserve Ratio By 25 Bps

India's central bank on Monday retained its key interest rate as expected citing inflation fears, while policymakers unexpectedly reduced the amount that banks should set aside as reserves. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) left the repo rate unchanged at 8 percent and the reverse repo at 7 percent in its mid-quarter review today. The repo rate is the rate at which the central bank lends to banks and the reverse repo rate is the rate at which it accepts deposits from banks. The previous change in the key rates was in April, when the rates were slashed by 50 basis points. That front-loaded reduction was based on expectations of fiscal policy support for inflation management, but it failed to materialize, the bank said today. Further, the bank said the primary focus of monetary policy remains the containment of inflation and anchoring of inflation expectations. In a bid to improve liquidity, Governor Duvvuri Subbarao reduced the cash reserve ratio to 4.50 percent from 4.75 percent. The bank earlier reduced the ratio in January and March this year. The latest reduction is expected to inject INR 170 billion into the banking system. Regarding price pressures, the RBI said the headline wholesale price inflation has remained sticky at around 7.5 percent throughout the current financial year so far. Despite strong opposition, the government last week raised diesel prices by about 14 percent and limited the supply of subsidized cooking gas for each buyer adding to inflationary pressures. While welcoming the move, the central bank said more needs to be done. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also relaxed the ceiling for foreign direct investment into sector such as aviation, retail and broadcasting. The government aims to cut its budget deficit to 5.1 percent of gross domestic product through March 2013. Amid slowing growth, the government faces difficulty in cutting its subsidies and bring the deficit to target, while persistently high inflation and weak currency are adding to the dilemma of the central bank. The RBI observed that there will be pressures on headline inflation in the short-term from the recent upward revision in diesel prices and rationalisation of cooking gas subsidy. However, it will strengthen macroeconomic fundamentals over the medium-term. "In the current situation, persistent inflationary pressures alongside risks emerging from twin deficits - current account deficit and fiscal deficit - constrain a stronger response of monetary policy to growth risks," the bank said in a statement. "Accordingly, as this process evolves, the stance of monetary policy will be conditioned by careful and continuous monitoring of the evolving growth-inflation dynamic, management of liquidity conditions to ensure adequate flows of credit to productive sectors and appropriate responses to shocks emanating from external developments," it said. The Indian economy expanded 5.5 percent in the June quarter, after a 5.3 percent expansion in the preceding three months. The central bank expects 6.5 percent growth for 2012-13. The RBI's estimate is too optimistic compared to the forecast of banks and brokerage firms. Citigroup and CLSA downgraded their view of the country's growth for the current fiscal year to 5.4 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively. Morgan Stanley cut its growth forecast for the fiscal year ending March 2013 to 5.1 percent from 5.8 percent, citing weak external demand as well as low private investment.

[Sep17]    Czech July Import Prices Drop 0.5% M-o-M

[Sep17]    Fed And Its Bold Move; Will Economy Respond?

The Fed action of last week was termed as revolutionary by some. Although Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged that inflationary expectations were stable and deflationary risks prevail, insufficient economic growth has promoted the central bank to announce QE III measure. This bold move has prompted BMO Capital Markets to expect more from the Fed until the unemployment rate begins to move in a downward trajectory and drops off to no higher than the mid-to-low 7 percent range. The FOMC announced QE III by way of its decision to buy additional Mortgage Backed Securities at a rate of $40 billion each month. As expected, the Fed extended the timeframe for its extremely accommodative policy stance pledge to mid-2015. Meanwhile, the Operation Twist program as well as the Fed's policy of re-investing principal payments from the Fed's holdings are set to continue. ING stated that the way QE III was crafted makes it less likely that adverse demand shocks will permanently reverse the recent fall in real interest rates and the rise in expected inflation. The Fed has in fact committed to a very big schedule of long-term securities purchases through the end of 2012, which is just three months away. However, because the policy is open ended, the central bank can opt to continue the purchases or pare back depending on the evolving economic scenario. The logic behind the QE is kick starting the labor market by boosting the economy. FTN Capital Markets notes that the transmission mechanism is loan growth. Sadly, there has been very little loan growth. The job market condition now assumes importance and will be closely watch to see in which the Fed moves. A Federal Reserve report released last week revealed that industrial production fell 1.2 percent month-over-month in August following a downwardly revised 0.5 percent increase in July. According to the Fed, hurricane Isaac accounted for one-fourth of the drop. Manufacturing fell 0.7 percent, dragged by weakness in consumer goods and business equipment output. Mining and utility output also declined. Capacity utilization declined 1 percentage point to 78.2 percent. The Commerce Department's retail sales report showed a 0.9 percent solid increase in retail sales for August. Auto sales were up 1.3 percent, the highest increase since November 2007. Gasoline station sales climbed by 5.5 percent. That said, excluding autos, gas and building materials, core retail sales that go into GDP calculation rose a disappointing 0.1 percent. According to the Labor Department, producer prices rose by 1.7 percent month-over-month in July. Economists expected a more modest increase. The producer price inflation was boosted by a 6.4 percent jump in energy prices and a 0.9 percent increase in food prices. The annual producer price inflation rate was 2 percent. The core reading was at 0.2 percent, in line with estimates, rendering the annual rate of the core inflation measure at 2.5 percent. Wholesale inventories at the end of July were up 0.7 percent. Inventories rose 5.3 percent from the year-ago period. At the same time, wholesale sales edged down 0.1 percent month-over-month, but rose 2.7 percent year-over-year. The wholesale inventories to sales ratio came in at 1.21 compared to 1.18 in July of last year. Outstanding consumer credit fell by $3.3 billion in July following an upwardly revised $9.8 billion increase in June. Economists expected an increase of $9.8 billion. Revolving credit tied to credit cards fell by $4.8 billion compared to a $1.6 billion increase in non-revolving credit. The U.S. trade deficit widened to $42 billion in July, although the deficit was narrower than economists had expected. Exports fell 1 percent month-over-month, while imports were down 0.8 percent, marking the fourth straight month of declines. In real terms, the trade deficit widened to $46.5 billion from $44 billion in June. After the Fed support, the markets now turn their attention to fundamental data to assess the economic momentum. The focus of the unfolding week is on a trio of housing market data, a couple of regional manufacturing reports and a slew of Fed speeches, including the one from Bernanke. Traders may stay focused on the National Association of Home Builders' housing market index for September, the National Association of Realtors' existing home sales report, the Commerce Department's housing starts report for August and the results of the regional manufacturing surveys by the New York Federal Reserve and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve. It would be interesting to hear from the several Fed speakers scheduled to deliver public addresses this week to understand the Fed's thinking on the economy and the need to support recovery. The Conference Board's leading economic indicators index and announcements concerning Treasury auctions of 2-year, 5-year and 7-year notes round up the economic events of the week. Builder sentiment is expected to improve further in September, aided by better affordability. Inventory situation is also improving, as reflected by the months supply of both existing and new homes currently below its historic median. The regional manufacturing surveys are expected to show modest improvement in September, although conditions are most likely to have remained weak. Monday The results of the New York Federal Reserve's empire state manufacturing survey, which elicits response from 200 manufacturing executives in New York state, is slated to be released at 8:30 am ET. The headline general business conditions index for September is expected to come in at -2. Manufacturing activity in the region contracted in August. The headline business conditions index fell to -5.9 in August from 7.4 in July. The new orders index fell 3 points to -5.5, while the order backlogs index rose 3 points. The employment index declined 2 points to 16.5. The 6-month outlook index also declined, dropping 5 points to 15.2, the weakest level since October 2011. Tuesday Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans is due to speak to the Bank of Ann Arbor Breakfast Meeting on "Perspectives on Current Economic Issues" at 8 am ET. The Treasury Department is due to release a report on the flows of financial instruments into and out of the U.S. for July at 9 am ET. The National Association of Home Builders is scheduled to release the results of its September survey on homebuilders' confidence at 10 am ET. The consensus estimates call for the index to rise to 38. Builder sentiment improved further in August. The headline index rose 2 points to 37 in August, the highest level since February 2007. The current sales conditions index rose 3 points to 39 and the index measuring prospective buyer traffic also increased 3 points to 31, while the sales expectations index edged up 1 point to 44. New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley is scheduled to speak to the Morris Council Chamber of Commerce, in Florham Park, New Jersey at 11:30 am ET. He will repeat his prepared remarks in an afternoon appearance at the Fox Valve factory in Montclair. Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker will speak to the Money Marketeers of NYU, in New York at 6:15 pm ET. Wednesday Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will meet with Senate Finance committee Wednesday to focus on economic policy, fiscal cliff. A report on housing starts, which refer to the number of privately-owned new homes on which construction has been started over some period, and building permits, which are the number of permits issued for new housing units each month, is slated to be released at 8:30 am ET. Economists estimate housing starts for August to come in at 768,000, while building permits are expected to have slipped to 802,000. Housing starts declined 1.1 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 746,000 units. However, the drop was from June's strong reading of 754,000 units. Single-family starts fell 6.5 percent, while the volatile multi-family starts rose 12.4 percent. Building permits rose 6.8 percent to a 4-year high of 812,000 units. Kansas City Federal Reserve President Esther George is due to deliver the opening remarks at a Kansas City Fed jobs conference at 9:45 am ET. The National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release its report on existing home sales for August at 10 am ET. Economists estimate existing home sales of 4.550 million for the month. Existing home sales rose 2.3 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million units in July. Sales rose in all regions, with the exception of the West, where sales remained unchanged. The median price of an existing home rose 9.4 percent year-over-year to $187,300. Inventories measured in absolute numbers rose slightly to 2.4 million units, while inventories measured in terms of months of supply fell to 6.4 months from 6.5 months in June. The Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release its weekly petroleum inventory report for the week ended September 14th at 10:30 AM ET. Crude oil stockpiles rose by 2 million barrels to 359.1 million barrels in the week ended September 7th. Inventories were above the upper limit of the average range for this time of the year. Distillate stockpiles rose by 1.5 million barrels yet remained below the lower limit of the average range. Meanwhile, gasoline inventories fell by 1.2 million barrels and were in the lower half of the average range. Refinery capacity utilization averaged 88.3 percent over the four weeks ended September 7th compared to 90.3 percent over the previous four weeks. Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher is scheduled to speak to the Harvard Club of New York City on the "Economic and Monetary Policy Outlook" at 7 pm ET. Thursday Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren is scheduled to speak to the South Shore Chamber of Commerce in Quincy, Massachusetts at 7:44 am ET. The Labor Department is due to release its customary jobless claims report for the week ended September 15th at 8:30 AM ET. Economists expect claims to decline to 373,000 from 382,000 in the previous week. The number of individuals claiming unemployment benefits rose 12,000 to 382,000 in the week ended September 8th. The claimant count faced upward pressure due to hurricane Isaac. Meanwhile, continuing claims for the week ended September 1st declined by 49,000. Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart will speak at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City on the subject, "The Future of Workforce Development" at 9:30 am ET. The results of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's manufacturing survey are due out at 10 am ET. Economists expect the diffusion index of current activity to show a reading of -4 for September. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's manufacturing survey showed that manufacturing activity in the region continued to contract. The headline manufacturing index improved to -7.1 in August from -12.9 in July. The new orders index rose 1.4 points, yet remained in contraction zone at -5.5, while the order backlogs index declined by 6.7 points to -16.2. The employment index remained little changed at -8.6. The 6-month outlook index fell by about 7 points to 12.5, the lowest level in about a year. The Conference Board is scheduled to release a report on the U.S. leading economic indicators index for August at 10 am ET. The consensus estimate calls for unchanged reading for the index. Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Naryana Kocherlakota is scheduled to speak to the Gogebic Community College in Ironwood, Michigan at 12:30 pm ET. Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Sandra Pianalto will speak at the Miami University Farmer School of Business at 5 pm ET. St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard is due to speak at the University of Notre Dame at 6:30 pm ET. Friday Lockhart speaks to the Atlanta Institute of Internal Auditors on "U.S. Economic Outlook and Monetary Policy" at 12:40 pm ET.

[Sep17]    Germany July Manufacturing Employment Rises 2.5% On Year

[Sep17]    RBI Sees Pressures On Headline Inflation In Short-term

[Sep17]    RBI: Stronger Response Of Monetary Policy To Growth Risks Cont Strained

[Sep17]    RBI: Growth Risks Have Increased, Inflation Risks Remain

[Sep17]    South Korea Think Tank Cuts GDP Forecast

The South Korean economy is expected to grow 2.5 percent this year, reports said Monday citing a statement by the Korean Development Institute (KDI). This was sharply weaker than its May forecast for a 3.6 percent expansion. The economy expanded 3.6 percent last year. The government think tank forecasts the economy to grow 3.4 percent in 2013.

[Sep17]    European Economics Preview: Eurozone Trade Data Due

External trade and current account from Eurozone are due on Monday, headlining a light day for the European economic news. At 3.00 am ET, the Czech Statistical Office is slated to release producer price data for August. Producer price inflation is seen rising to 1.6 percent from 1.3 percent in July. In the meantime, Turkey's unemployment and consumer confidence figures are due. At 4.00 am ET, the European Central Bank is scheduled to publish euro area current account data for July. The surplus is seen at EUR 15 billion compared to EUR 15.7 billion in June. At the same time, trade data from Italy and Norway are due. Italy's trade balance showed a surplus of EUR 2.5 billion in June. At 5.00 am ET, Eurostat is set to publish trade and labor cost data. The Eurozone trade surplus is forecast to rise to EUR 15 billion in July from EUR 14.9 billion in June. In the second quarter, labor cost is seen rising 1.6 percent year-on-year compared to 2 percent increase in the first quarter.

[Sep17]    European Economics Preview: Eurozone Trade Data Due

External trade and current account from Eurozone are due on Monday, headlining a light day for the European economic news. At 3.00 am ET, the Czech Statistical Office is slated to release producer price data for August. Producer price inflation is seen rising to 1.6 percent from 1.3 percent in July. In the meantime, Turkey's unemployment and consumer confidence figures are due. At 4.00 am ET, the European Central Bank is scheduled to publish euro area current account data for July. The surplus is seen at EUR 15 billion compared to EUR 15.7 billion in June. At the same time, trade data from Italy and Norway are due. Italy's trade balance showed a surplus of EUR 2.5 billion in June. At 5.00 am ET, Eurostat is set to publish trade and labor cost data. The Eurozone trade surplus is forecast to rise to EUR 15 billion in July from EUR 14.9 billion in June. In the second quarter, labor cost is seen rising 1.6 percent year-on-year compared to 2 percent increase in the first quarter.

[Sep16]    Australia New Vehicle Sales Increase In August

New vehicle sales in Australia increased 3.6 percent month-on-month in August, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Monday. A total of 93, 379 units were sold during the month according to data adjusted for seasonal variations. This followed a 1.1 percent decline in July, revised from previously reported 0.8 percent drop. New vehicle sales rose 6.4 percent compared to August last year.

[Sep16]    Australia New Vehicle Sales Increase In August

New vehicle sales in Australia increased 3.6 percent month-on-month in August, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Monday. A total of 93, 379 units were sold during the month according to data adjusted for seasonal variations. This followed a 1.1 percent decline in July, revised from previously reported 0.8 percent drop. New vehicle sales rose 6.4 percent compared to August last year.

[Sep16]    UK House Price Index -0.6% On Month, +0.7% On Year In September - Rightmove

[Sep16]    New Zealand Consumer Confidence Rises In Q3 - Westpac

An index measuring consumer confidence in New Zealand was up in the third quarter of 2012, the quarterly survey from Westpac revealed on Monday, coming in at 102.5 - up from 99.9 in the previous quarter. The present conditions index came in at 102.3, up from 101.5 in the second quarter, while the future conditions index stood at 02.7 from 98.7 three months prior. A score above 100 signals optimism, while a reading below 100 means pessimism. Households are less positive, with a net 23 percent expecting mainly bad times in the next year, down from the 29 percent in the previous three months.

[Sep14]    U.S. Business Inventories Up 0.8 Percent In July, Higher Than Expected

U.S. businesses built up their inventory stock notably more than expected in July, according to figures released Friday by the Commerce Department. Total manufacturers' and trade inventories were estimated at a seasonally adjusted level of $1.592 trillion, a 0.8 percent increase from June levels. While most economists had expected inventories to increase faster than the 0.1 percent rate posted from May to June, most had expected a lower, 0.5 percent, increase for July. Business sales, which had plunged 1.2 percent in June, also showed an encouraging rebound, increasing 0.9 percent in July - the largest percentage increase since December 2011. The larger increase in sales than in inventories brought the inventories/sales ratio for U.S. businesses down to 1.28 in July from the 1.29 level posted in June. The June inventories/sales ratio was the highest since February 2010.

[Sep14]    U.S. Consumer Sentiment Shows Unexpected Jump In September

Consumer sentiment in the U.S. has unexpectedly seen a substantial improvement in the month of September, according to a preliminary report released by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan on Friday. The report showed that the consumer sentiment index jumped to 79.2 in September from the final August reading of 74.3. The increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the index to edge down to a reading of 73.5. Jim O'Sullivan, Chief U.S. Economist at High Frequency Economics, said, "The rise in the index, following a 2.0-point gain in August, shows clear resilience." "Of course, the actual spending numbers have been more sluggish so far--much of the strength in retail sales this morning was the boost to nominal spending from higher gasoline prices," he added. A significant improvement in consumer expectations contributed to the increase by the headline index, with the consumer expectations index climbing to 73.4 in September from 65.1 in August. On the other hand, the current economic conditions index edged down to 88.3 in August from 88.7 in July, indicating a slight deterioration in the assessment of current conditions. The report also showed that one-year inflation expectations edged down to 3.5 percent in September from 3.6 percent in August, while five-year inflation expectations dipped to 2.8 percent from 3.0 percent.

[Sep14]    U.S. Business Inventories Up 0.8 Percent In July, Higher Than Expected

[Sep14]    IMF, ECB Deny Spain Bailout Talks

The International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank have denied a newspaper report that suggested they are in talks over a EUR 300 billion bailout for Spain. Friday, Dutch daily Her Financieele Dagblad reported without naming any sources that the two institutions were in deep negotiations regarding such a deal. The rescue would allow the ECB to buy Spanish bonds when the country's borrowings costs surge. Speaking at a press conference at the Ecofin meeting held in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said, "I can assure you that we are not." European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, Eurogroup Chief Jean-Claude Juncker and European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn were also present in the press conference in Nicosia. Separately, the ECB issued a statement denying the report. "The reporting is unfounded. No negotiations are ongoing. It would be up to the Spanish authority to decide to make a request," the central bank said. Further, the ECB said its latest bond-buying plan known as the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT), unveiled last week, was "a monetary policy initiative and cannot be made conditional to any negotiations." The bank also said it will consider OMT only "if the necessary external conditions are met." According to the Dutch newspaper report, the ECB wanted to ensure IMF participation in any bailout for Spain. Such participation would entail strict conditions on Spain to implement spending cuts and economic reforms to secure aid, it added. The Eurozone finance ministers meeting in Nicosia are likely to press Spain to seek a full bailout for its struggling economy. Thus far, Spain has resisted calls for a rescue request saying it does not require financial assistance. However, some of the country's 17 autonomous regions have sought rescue from Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government. Meanwhile, the ECB's bond-buying plan announcement last week and the German Constitutional Court approval for ratification of the euro area permanent bailout fund ESM this week, have helped lower the borrowing costs for Spain and Italy. Rehn said today that the Spanish government has assured that it is "ready to take the necessary action to meet its fiscal targets, which are certainly in reach." It is essential to maintain the momentum in Spain with regard to fiscal policy and structural reforms, Rehn said. Further, the EU official said the Rajoy government has informed that it plans to adopt a "national reform programme by the end of September". Regarding Greece, Eurogroup's Juncker said the troika report, which is prepared by the IMF, the European Commission and the ECB, is likely to be available only in the second half of October and decisions will be taken thereafter. The troika mission is visiting Athens at present. Juncker also said he was reassured by the Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos' comments that the government was willing to take more measures to attain the deficit targets. IMF Chief Lagarde did not rule out giving more time for Greece to meet its fiscal targets. Citing the troika missions, she said there is good work underway in Greece and progress has been made in bridging the fiscal gap. Though Greece has taken huge efforts, it has got to do a lot more on the fiscal consolidation front and structural reforms, Lagarde said. The country's debt sustainability targets are very high, she added. Turning to Spain, Lagarde said the country has taken strong and wide-ranging reform measures. There has been important steps taken lately in the Eurozone, she noted, while welcoming the ECB's bond-buying plan.

[Sep14]    U.S. Consumer Prices Rise 0.6% Amid Jump In Energy Prices

Consumer prices in the U.S. increased in line with economist estimates in the month of August, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Friday, with the price growth largely due to a substantial rebound by energy prices. The Labor Department said its consumer price index rose by 0.6 percent in August after coming in flat in three of the four previous months. The increase in prices, which reflected the fastest rate of growth since June of 2009, matched the expectations of economists. The price growth was largely due to a 5.6 percent jump in energy prices, which came on the heels of decreases in each of the four previous months. Energy prices also rose at their fastest rate since June of 2009. Higher gasoline prices accounted for most of the increase in energy prices, with gas prices surging up by 9.0 percent in August following a 0.3 percent increase in July. Food prices increased by 0.2 percent in August after edging up by 0.1 percent in July. The modest increase reflected increases by three of the six major grocery store food group indexes. Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, inched up by 0.1 percent in August, matching the increase seen in July. Economists had expected core prices to rise by 0.2 percent. The Labor Department said the rent index increased 0.2 percent and the index for owners' equivalent rent rose 0.3 percent. The indexes for medical care, personal care, new vehicles, and recreation also increased in August, while the index for used cars and trucks fell 0.9 percent, the apparel index fell 0.5 percent, and the index for household furnishings and operations fell 0.3 percent. Compared to the same month a year ago, consumer prices increased by 1.7 percent in August compared to the 1.4 percent growth seen in July. Core prices increased at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in August, reflecting a slowdown from the 2.1 percent growth seen in the previous month. Peter Boockvar, managing director at Miller Tabak, said, "Bottom line, I expect consumer prices going nowhere but higher and we'll see to what extent wages keep up in order to keep the middle class from not falling further behind." The Labor Department released a separate report on Thursday showing that a substantial rebound in energy prices contributed to a bigger than expected increase in producer prices in August. The report showed that the producer price index surged up by 1.7 percent in August following a 0.3 percent increase in July. Economists had expected the index to increase by 1.4 percent. Excluding the jump in energy prices as well as a notable increase in food prices, the core producer price index edged up by 0.2 percent in August after rising by 0.4 percent in July. The modest increase in core prices came in line with economist estimates.

[Sep14]    Belgian Trade Surplus Rises In July

Belgium's merchandise trade surplus increased notably in July, preliminary data released by the National Bank of Belgium showed Friday. The trade surplus advanced to EUR1.4 billion in July from EUR0.3 billion in June, reflecting the marked increase in exports. Export of goods increased 3.8 percent on an year-on-year basis to EUR20.1 billion, while in June shipments decreased by 0.8 percent. Dispatches to the European Union (EU) states rose 5.2 percent, while those to non-EU nations moved up 1 percent. The value of imports, meanwhile, decreased by 1.8 percent annually to EUR18.7 billion, slower than the 3.2 percent fall seen in the previous month. Arrivals from EU states edged up 0.9 percent during the month, while imports from countries outside the EU fell by 9 percent.

[Sep14]    U.S. Retail Sales Up 0.9 Percent In August, Slightly Higher Than Expected

Fueled in part by strong sales at automotive retailers and gasoline stations U.S. retail sales grew by more than expected in August, according to figures released Friday by the Commerce Department. Commerce Department figures put the advance estimate of retail sales for August at a seasonally adjusted level of $406.7 billion, a 0.9 percent increase from revised July levels and the strongest monthly growth since February. Although July retail sales were revised down to 0.6 percent growth from the 0.8 percent growth initially reported, the August growth was nevertheless higher than even the strong 0.8 percent growth predicted by most economists. Excluding the automotive sector, retail sales for August remained up a strong 0.8 percent, matching the expectations of most economists. Excluding gasoline sales, the retail growth was a weaker 0.3 percent. Excluding sales in both the automotive and gasoline sectors, August retail sales were up a mere 0.1 percent, notably below the 0.4 percent growth predicted by most economists.

[Sep14]    U.S. Non-Automotive Retail Sales Up 3.4 Percent Over August 2011

[Sep14]    Poland August M3 Money Supply Rises Less Than Expected

Poland's broad money supply increased less than economists expected in August, data released by the National Bank of Poland showed Friday. The M3, or broad money supply, increased 0.7 percent on a monthly basis in August, slower than the 0.9 percent gain economists had forecast. Among components of the M3, currency in circulation remained unchanged during the month, while deposits and other liabilities rose 0.5 percent. Poland's net foreign assets increased 1.8 percent sequentially in August, while domestic assets advanced 0.5 percent. On an year-on-year basis, the broad money supply rose 9.5 percent in August, data showed.

[Sep14]    Poland Aug. M3 Money Supply Rises 9.5% On Year

[Sep14]    Ireland's Visible Trade Surplus Rises In July

Ireland's merchandise trade surplus increased from the previous month in July as exports grew at a faster rate than imports, preliminary data released by the Central Statistics Office showed Friday. The seasonally adjusted trade surplus increased 12.6 percent to EUR3.92 billion in July from EUR3.49 billion in June. In May, the trade balance was a surplus of EUR3.46 billion. Export of goods increased a seasonally adjusted 6 percent sequentially to EUR7.93 billion during the month. The value of imports advanced modestly by 0.4 percent month-on-month to EUR4 billion. Year-on-year, on an unadjusted basis, imports advanced 8 percent, data showed.

[Sep14]    ECB's Draghi: There Is Too Much Emphasis On Bond Buying Decision

[Sep14]    IMF's Lagarde: Greece's Debt Sustainability Targets Very High

[Sep14]    EFSF's Regling: First Meeting ESM Board Of Governors On October 8

[Sep14]    IMF's Lagarde: Welcomes ECB's OMT

[Sep14]    HKMA Toughens Mortgage Lending To Combat Asset Prices

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority on Friday demanded banks to toughen mortgage lending in order to limit the rising risk to Hong Kong property market from the U.S. Federal Reserve's aggressive stimulus programme. The maximum term of new home mortgages is limited to 30 years from 40 years, HKMA chief executive Norman Chan said. Also, central bank chief ordered banks to tighten rules for second time property buyers. Chan told reporters earlier on the day that the launch of QE3 and improvement in Eurozone debt crisis will increase risk of overheating in asset market. And the bank will introduce counter cyclical measures when appropriate.

[Sep14]    Italy's Current Account Surplus Rises Sharply In July

Italy's current account surplus increased significantly from last year in July on a marked improvement in merchandise trade, data from the central bank showed Friday. The current account surplus jumped to EUR1.59 billion in July from EUR244 million in the same month a year earlier. The goods trade account showed a surplus of EUR3.59 billion during the month, notably higher than the EUR2.17 billion surplus seen last year. The services surplus, meanwhile, dropped to EUR552 million from EUR603 million in July 2011. The balance in the income account was a deficit of EUR867 million in July, up from last year's EUR805 million deficit. The shortfall in the current transfers account narrowed to EUR1.68 billion from EUR1.72 billion a year earlier, data showed.

[Sep14]    Malta Aug HICP Inflation 3.2% Vs. 4.2% In July

[Sep14]    Sweden Q2 GDP Revised Down

The Swedish economy expanded at a weaker pace than estimated previously in the second quarter of 2012, data released by Statistics Sweden showed Friday. The seasonally adjusted gross domestic product rose a revised 0.7 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter, compared to 1.4 percent growth reported in the preliminary estimate. The first quarter GDP growth was also revised down to 0.7 percent from the previously estimated 0.9 percent expansion. On an annual basis, GDP rose 1.3 percent in the second quarter on a working-day adjusted basis, weaker than the earlier estimate of 2.3 percent. The first quarter 2012 GDP growth has been revised downwards by 0.2 points. Compared to the first quarter, household spending increased 0.8 percent and government expenditure grew 0.4 percent on a un-adjusted basis. The changes in inventories amounted to a negative GDP change of 0.5 percentage points.

[Sep14]    Spanish House Prices Fall At Record Pace In Q2

House prices in Spain declined at the fastest pace ever recorded in the second quarter, data released by statistical office INE showed Friday. The house price index plunged 14.4 percent annually in the second quarter, sharper than the 12.6 percent fall seen in the first quarter. The latest decrease was the biggest ever recorded. Prices of new houses fell 12.8 percent compared to the second quarter of 2011, while prices of second-hand houses decreased 15.7 percent. House prices declined 3.3 percent compared to the first quarter, when they dropped by 0.5 percent, the agency said.

[Sep14]    Austrian Inflation Rises In August

Austria's consumer price inflation accelerated in August, mainly due to a sharper growth in fuel prices, data released by Statistics Austria showed Friday. Annual inflation, based on the consumer price index, increased to 2.2 percent in August from 2.1 percent in July, which was higher than 2.2 percent recorded in June. Prices of fuel products climbed 8.1 percent annually during the month, markedly faster than July's 4.4 percent rise. Food prices were higher by 3.7 percent compared to last year, and housing costs and utility prices by 3.2 percent. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index moved up 0.3 percent in August, the agency said. At the same time, the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP), measured under the EU methodology, rose 2.3 percent year-on-year in August, after gaining 2.1 percent in July.

[Sep14]    Sweden Q2 GDP Revised Down

The Swedish economy expanded at a weaker pace than estimated previously in the second quarter of 2012, data released by Statistics Sweden showed Friday. The seasonally adjusted gross domestic product rose a revised 0.7 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter, compared to 1.4 percent growth reported in the preliminary estimate. The first quarter GDP growth was also revised down to 0.7 percent from the previously estimated 0.9 percent expansion. On an annual basis, GDP rose 1.3 percent in the second quarter on a working-day adjusted basis, weaker than the earlier estimate of 2.3 percent. The first quarter 2012 GDP growth has been revised downwards by 0.2 points. Compared to the first quarter, household spending increased 0.8 percent and government expenditure grew 0.4 percent on a un-adjusted basis. The changes in inventories amounted to a negative GDP change of 0.5 percentage points.

[Sep14]    Sweden Q2 GDP Up 0.7% On Quarter, Revised From 1.4%

[Sep14]    Slovakia HICP Inflation Unchanged In August

Slovakia's inflation, as measured by the harmonized index of consumer prices, remained unchanged at 3.8 percent in August, the latest figures from the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic showed Friday. Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 4.9 percent annually in August. Prices of clothing and footwear increased 1.5 percent. Transport costs increased at a faster pace of 7 percent while the rate of increase in the utility prices slowed to 3.8 percent. On a monthly basis, the HICP remained unchanged for a second consecutive month.

[Sep14]    Hungary July Industrial Production Drops As Expected

Hungary's industrial production decreased from last year as estimated earlier, data released by the Central Statistical Office showed Friday. Industrial production declined a working-day adjusted 2.2 percent year-on-year in July, in line with the preliminary estimates. In June, production had increased 0.6 percent. On a monthly basis, industrial production dropped a seasonally and working-day adjusted 1.2 percent during the month, as estimated earlier. The rate of fall was slower than 2.2 percent recoded in June. In the first seven months of year, production decreased 0.3 percent from the corresponding period a year earlier, data showed. At the same time, Hungary's industrial exports rose by 1.5 percent year-on-year in July, while domestic sales declined 1.4 percent, data showed.

[Sep14]    India's Inflation Accelerates In August

India's annual inflation, based on the monthly wholesale price index, increased in August, and exceeded economists' forecast, preliminary data released by the Central Statistics Office showed Friday. The wholesale price index increased 7.55 percent on an annual basis in August, faster than the 6.87 percent growth seen in July. Economists were looking for a 7.1 percent increase. Prices of primary articles rose 10.08 percent annually, with prices of food articles gaining 9.14 percent. Prices of non-food products were higher by 13.75 percent compared to last year, and fuel and energy prices by 8.32 percent. Month-on-month, the wholesale price index moved up 1.09 percent in August, the agency said.

[Sep14]    European Economics Preview: Eurozone Inflation Data Due

Final inflation data from Eurozone is due on Friday, headlining a light day for the European Economic news. At 3.00 am ET, Hungary's final industrial output data is due. Half an hour later, Statistics Sweden is slated to release final GDP data. At 4.00 am ET, Statistics Austria is scheduled to issue consumer price figures for August. Consumer prices were up 2.1 percent annually in July. At 5.00 am ET, Eurostat is set to release final Eurozone inflation data. Annual inflation is seen at 2.6 percent in August, in line with flash estimate. Also, the second quarter employment report is due. Later today, Eurozone finance ministers are set to gather in Cyprus for a 2-day meeting. Easing possibilities of a bailout request from Spain, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy yesterday indicated that they will monitor trend in borrowing costs before seeking external support.

[Sep14]    Finnish Inflation Weakens In August

Finland's annual inflation decelerated in August after rising in the previous month, data released by Statistics Finland showed Friday. Inflation eased to 2.7 percent in August from 2.9 percent in July, while economists expected it to remain unchanged. In June, the inflation rate was 2.8 percent. The overall growth in consumer prices was driven mainly by higher costs of food and transport, and increases in the retail prices of alcoholic beverages and housing costs, the agency said. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index increased 0.2 percent in August, reversing the previous month's 0.2 percent decline. Economists were looking for a 0.3 percent rise. At the same time, the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP), measured under the EU methodology, increased 3.3 percent annually in August. Compared to July, the HICP edged up 0.4 percent, data showed.

[Sep14]    S&P Upgrades South Korea's Credit Ratings

Standard & Poor's on Friday raised South Korea's credit ratings, citing its less negative assessment of the geopolitical risks on the Korean peninsula. The foreign- and local-currency long-term credit ratings on the Republic of Korea was lifted to A+/AA- from A/A+ with a 'stable' outlook. The agency also upgraded the local-currency short term rating to A-1+ from A-1 and affirmed its foreign-currency short-term ratings at A-1. "The upgrade reflects our less negative assessment of the geopolitical risks on the Korean peninsula. It follows what we judge to be a smooth change of leadership in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," the agency said in a statement. S&P forecasts South Korea's economic indicators to be relatively weak in the next one to two years, reflecting the global economic slowdown and domestic measures to slow the growth of private sector leverage. The agency predicts real GDP growth to average 2.8 percent in 2012-2013, below the ling-term average of 3.5 percent. S&P's rating action follows a similar move from Fitch Ratings on September 6. Fitch upgraded the sovereign's long-term foreign-currency rating to 'AA-' from 'A+', reflecting the country's continued economic and financial stability in the volatile global environment.

[Sep14]    Japan Industrial Output Falls Less Than Initial Estimate

Japan's industrial production declined 1 percent in July from a month ago, revised from the initial estimate of 1.2 percent fall, final data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry revealed Friday. On a yearly basis, industrial output fell 0.8 percent in July. The month-on-month decline in shipment was revised to 3.1 percent from 3.6 percent. At the same time, inventory growth was raised to 2.9 percent from 2.8 percent for July. In July, capacity utilization grew by a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent on month, reversing a 2.3 percent drop in June.

[Sep14]    Japan July Industrial Output Down Rev 1% On Month

[Sep14]    S&P Raises South Korea's Credit Rating

[Sep13]    G20 Economic Growth Slows In Q2

Economic growth in G20 nations slowed for a third consecutive quarter in the April-June period, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said Thursday. The seasonally adjusted Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose 0.6 percent sequentially in the second quarter, slower than the 0.7 percent growth recorded in the first quarter. "This marks the third consecutive quarter of slowing growth in the G20 area but masks diverging patterns across economies," the group said in a report. The GDP contracted 0.1 percent in the European Union as a whole, and 0.2 percent in the euro area. GDP contracted for the third consecutive quarter in the U.K. and for the fourth consecutive quarter in Italy. Economy stagnated in France, while German GDP growth moderated to 0.3 percent from 0.5 percent. In the U.S., GDP rose at a slightly slower pace of 0.4 percent. Canada's economy grew at a steady pace of 0.5 percent. Economic growth accelerated in Brazil, China, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey, while slowed strongly in Australia, Japan and South Korea. Growth decelerated more moderately in India.

[Sep13]    Singapore Q2 Jobless Rate Slips To 2%, Unrevised

Singapore's seasonally adjusted jobless rate declined to 2 percent in the second quarter of 2012 from 2.1 percent in the first quarter, data from the Ministry of Manpower confirmed Friday. The figures matched the preliminary estimates published on July 31. At the same time, total employment grew by a revised 31,700 in the second quarter, higher than the gains of 24,800 in the same period last year. Preliminary estimates showed an increase of 29,200 in the second quarter following a gains of 27,200 in the first quarter. Services contributed the majority of employment gains in the second quarter by adding 17,300 persons to the workforce. Employment growth in the construction sector was 9,700, supported by public infrastructure projects. Manufacturing employment grew by 4,700. Layoffs fell for the second successive quarter as 2,210 workers were made redundant in the second quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, the number of job vacancies declined 15 percent annually to 47,300 in June quarter amid subdued global economic outlook. After adjusting for seasonality, job openings fell 8.9 percent quarter-on-quarter to 45,600.

[Sep13]    Japan Govt. Cuts Economic View For Second Month

The Japanese government on Friday lowered its economic assessment for a second straight month and said the recovery is "pausing" due to slowdown in global economic activity. "The economic recovery appears to be pausing due to deceleration of the world economy," the Cabinet Office said in its monthly report. The report noted that both industrial production and exports are in a weak tone. Private consumption is almost flat with some weak movements seen of late. Corporate profits are showing signs of leveling off, while business investment is exhibiting some weak movements amid slow growth. The Cabinet Office said that the government will deploy a broad range of policy measures intensively by fiscal 2013 "to mobilize goods, people, and money."

[Sep13]    Japan Govt. Cuts Economic View For Second Month

The Japanese government on Friday lowered its economic assessment for a second straight month and said the recovery is "pausing" due to slowdown in global economic activity. "The economic recovery appears to be pausing due to deceleration of the world economy," the Cabinet Office said in its monthly report. The report noted that both industrial production and exports are in a weak tone. Private consumption is almost flat with some weak movements seen of late. Corporate profits are showing signs of leveling off, while business investment is exhibiting some weak movements amid slow growth. The Cabinet Office said that the government will deploy a broad range of policy measures intensively by fiscal 2013 "to mobilize goods, people, and money."

[Sep13]    Singapore Q2 Jobless Rate Slips To 2%, Unrevised

Singapore's seasonally adjusted jobless rate declined to 2 percent in the second quarter of 2012 from 2.1 percent in the first quarter, data from the Ministry of Manpower confirmed Friday. The figures matched the preliminary estimates published on July 31. At the same time, total employment grew by a revised 31,700 in the second quarter, higher than the gains of 24,800 in the same period last year. Preliminary estimates showed an increase of 29,200 in the second quarter following a gains of 27,200 in the first quarter. Services contributed the majority of employment gains in the second quarter by adding 17,300 persons to the workforce. Employment growth in the construction sector was 9,700, supported by public infrastructure projects. Manufacturing employment grew by 4,700. Layoffs fell for the second successive quarter as 2,210 workers were made redundant in the second quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, the number of job vacancies declined 15 percent annually to 47,300 in June quarter amid subdued global economic outlook. After adjusting for seasonality, job openings fell 8.9 percent quarter-on-quarter to 45,600.

[Sep13]    Japan Govt. Cuts Economic View For Second Month

The Japanese government on Friday lowered its economic assessment for a second straight month and said the recovery is "pausing" due to slowdown in global economic activity. "The economic recovery appears to be pausing due to deceleration of the world economy," the Cabinet Office said in its monthly report. The report noted that both industrial production and exports are in a weak tone. Private consumption is almost flat with some weak movements seen of late. Corporate profits are showing signs of leveling off, while business investment is exhibiting some weak movements amid slow growth. The Cabinet Office said that the government will deploy a broad range of policy measures intensively by fiscal 2013 "to mobilize goods, people, and money."

[Sep13]    New Zealand Food Prices -0.5% In August

Food prices declined 0.5 percent on year in August, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday, after falling 1.8 percent in July. Among the individual categories, prices were down 2.1 percent for grocery food and 0.7 percent for meat, poultry and fish. Offsetting the decline, restaurant meal prices were up 1.3 percent. "Food prices are slightly lower than a year ago, reflecting cheaper vegetables, dairy products and lamb," prices manager Chris Pike said in a statement accompanying the data "Annual food prices have now fallen for four months in a row. This hasn't happened since 2010, when a run of four annual falls also ended in August." Among individual items, lettuce was down 39 percent, followed by fresh milk (down 9.2 percent), and broccoli (down 50 percent). Lamb prices decreased 19 percent from their peak in August 2011. The food items that increased most for the year were: tomatoes (up 26 percent), fresh chicken pieces (up 9.2 percent), and kumara (up 90 percent). Kumara prices reached their highest level since February 2008, influenced by low prices in August 2011 and poor weather conditions in both the planting and harvesting seasons, which affected this year's crop. On a monthly basis, food prices were up 0.1 percent after adding 0.2 percent in the previous month. Fruit and vegetable prices rose 1.5 percent, reflecting higher tomato prices (up 31 percent). Non-alcoholic beverage prices rose 1.3 percent, reflecting higher prices for fruit juice and soft drinks. These prices were influenced by less discounting than in July 2012. Grocery food prices fell 0.7 percent - the fifth fall in six months.

[Sep13]    New Zealand Food Prices Fall In August

Food prices were down 0.5 percent on year in August, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday, after plunging 1.8 percent in July. On a monthly basis, food prices were up 0.1 percent after adding 0.2 percent in the previous month. Among the individual components, prices were down 2.1 percent for grocery food and 0.7 percent for meat, poultry and fish. Offsetting the decline, restaurant meal prices were up 1.3 percent.

[Sep13]    New Zealand Food Prices +0.1% On Month, -0.5% On Year In August

[Sep13]    Japan Industrial Production On Tap For Friday

Japan is on Friday scheduled to release final July figures for industrial production, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. Little change is expected from last month's preliminary reading for a 1.2 percent decline on month and a 1.0 percent fall on year. New Zealand will provide August numbers for food prices and non-resident bond holdings, plus September results for its consumer confidence index. Food prices were up 0.2 percent on month in July, while the consumer confidence index was up 3.3 percent to a score of 114.1 in August. Bond holdings came in at 62.8 percent in July. Singapore will announce July figures for retail sales, which are expected to fall 1.1 percent on month and 5.0 percent on year. That follows the 0.4 percent monthly fall and the 0.9 percent annual contraction in June.

[Sep13]    Fed Launches QE3, Vows Low Rates Until Mid-2015

The Federal Reserve took drastic new steps to stimulate the sluggish U.S. economy on Thursday, announcing plans to buy $40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities each month, starting Friday. In addition to embarking on a third round of quantitative easing, the Fed also extended its vow to keep interest rates at rock-bottom rates to mid-2015. Policy makers also decided to keep in place the Operation Twist program that swaps short-term bonds for longer-term assets. The measures came as no surprise to most economists. Last month, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke expressed "grave concern" about American jobs at the Fed's annual retreat in Jackson Hole. Since then, the news has only gotten worse. Only 96,000 jobs were created in August, according to figures released by the Department of Labor last Friday. The unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, largely a function of people giving up looking for work altogether. The unemployment rate will not get down below 7 percent until 2014, according to the Fed's latest projections. The Fed is now forecasting the unemployment rate will fall to a range of 7.6% to 7.9% in 2013 and to a range of 6.7% to 7.3% in 2014. The vote to offer fresh stimulus was 11-1, with Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker once again dissenting on grounds that the Fed needlessly risks inflation. Critics worry high gasoline and food prices are already hurting consumer confidence, and QE3 may aggravate the situation. And with lending standards still tight following the worst housing crisis in decades, skeptics say pushing down rates is unlikely to stimulate demand for housing, automobiles, or other big-ticket items. Meanwhile, advocates of QE3 say the weak U.S. economy needs a major injection of the Fed's cash to stimulate aggregate demand. Economic activity has continued to expand at a moderate pace in recent months, but growth in employment has been too slow, and the unemployment rate remains elevated, according to the Federal Open Market Committee. Policy makers were concerned that, without further policy accommodation, "economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions." The Fed also wants to insulate the economy from headwinds from Europe, where officials are battling to prevent a full-blown sovereign debt crisis. "Strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook," voting member of Fed said. The central bank will buy $23 billion in September, and offered a conditional pledge to spend up to $40 billion every month until the U.S. jobs market shows sustained improvement. The open-ended nature of the plan means the Fed will likely spend about $500 billion over the next twelve months. Bernanke will offer further details and explain the rationale behind the Fed's big decision at a press conference scheduled for 2:15 pm ET.

[Sep13]    Fed Launches QE3, Vows Low Rates Until Mid-2015

The Federal Reserve took drastic new steps to stimulate the sluggish U.S. economy on Thursday, announcing plans to buy $40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities each month, starting Friday. In addition to embarking on a third round of quantitative easing, the Fed also extended its vow to keep interest rates at rock-bottom rates to mid-2015. Policy makers also decided to keep in place the Operation Twist program that swaps short-term bonds for longer-term assets. The measures came as no surprise to most economists. Last month, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke expressed "grave concern" about American jobs at the Fed's annual retreat in Jackson Hole. Since then, the news has only gotten worse. Only 96,000 jobs were created in August, according to figures released by the Department of Labor last Friday. The unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, largely a function of people giving up looking for work altogether. The unemployment rate will not get down below 7 percent until 2014, according to the Fed's latest projections. The Fed is now forecasting the unemployment rate will fall to a range of 7.6% to 7.9% in 2013 and to a range of 6.7% to 7.3% in 2014. The vote to offer fresh stimulus was 11-1, with Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker once again dissenting on grounds that the Fed needlessly risks inflation. Critics worry high gasoline and food prices are already hurting consumer confidence, and QE3 may aggravate the situation. And with lending standards still tight following the worst housing crisis in decades, skeptics say pushing down rates is unlikely to stimulate demand for housing, automobiles, or other big-ticket items. Meanwhile, advocates of QE3 say the weak U.S. economy needs a major injection of the Fed's cash to stimulate aggregate demand. Economic activity has continued to expand at a moderate pace in recent months, but growth in employment has been too slow, and the unemployment rate remains elevated, according to the Federal Open Market Committee. Policy makers were concerned that, without further policy accommodation, "economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions." The Fed also wants to insulate the economy from headwinds from Europe, where officials are battling to prevent a full-blown sovereign debt crisis. "Strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook," voting member of Fed said. The central bank will buy $23 billion in September, and offered a conditional pledge to spend up to $40 billion every month until the U.S. jobs market shows sustained improvement. The open-ended nature of the plan means the Fed will likely spend about $500 billion over the next twelve months. Bernanke will offer further details and explain the rationale behind the Fed's big decision at a press conference scheduled for 2:15 pm ET.

[Sep13]    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Begins Press Briefing

[Sep13]    Fed Upwardly Revises 2013 U.S. GDP Growth Forecast To 2.5-3.0%

[Sep13]    Federal Reserve Releases Revised Economic Forecasts

[Sep13]    Fed Launches QE3, Vows Low Rates Until Mid-2015

The Federal Reserve took drastic new steps to stimulate the sluggish U.S. economy on Thursday, announcing plans to buy $40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities each month, starting Friday. In addition to embarking on a third round of quantitative easing, the Fed also extended its vow to keep interest rates at rock-bottom rates to mid-2015. Policy makers also decided to keep in place the Operation Twist program that swaps short-term bonds for longer-term assets. The measures came as no surprise to most economists. Last month, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke expressed "grave concern" about American jobs at the Fed's annual retreat in Jackson Hole. Since then, the news has only gotten worse. Only 96,000 jobs were created in August, according to figures released by the Department of Labor last Friday. The unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, largely a function of people giving up looking for work altogether. By making U.S. treasuries even less lucrative, the Fed may be hoping cash-rich investors get off the sidelines to purchase consumer goods, riskier assets and homes. The vote to offer fresh stimulus was 11-1, with Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker once again dissenting on grounds that the Fed needlessly risks inflation. Critics worry high gasoline and food prices are already hurting consumer confidence, and QE3 may aggravate the situation. And with lending standards still tight following the worst housing crisis in decades, skeptics say pushing down rates is unlikely to stimulate demand for housing, automobiles, or other big-ticket items. Meanwhile, advocates of QE3 say the weak U.S. economy needs a major injection of the Fed's cash to stimulate aggregate demand. Economic activity has continued to expand at a moderate pace in recent months, but growth in employment has been too slow, and the unemployment rate remains elevated, according to the Federal Open Market Committee. Policy makers were concerned that, without further policy accommodation, "economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions." The Fed also wants to insulate the economy from headwinds from Europe, where officials are battling to prevent a full-blown sovereign debt crisis. "Strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook," voting member of Fed said. The central bank will buy $23 billion in September, and offered a conditional pledge to spend up to $40 billion every month until the U.S. jobs market shows sustained improvement. The open-ended nature of the plan means the Fed will likely spend about $500 billion over the next twelve months. Bernanke will offer further details and explain the rationale behind the Fed's big decision at a press conference scheduled for 2:15 pm ET.

[Sep13]    Fed Launches QE3, Vows Low Rates Until Mid-2015

The Federal Reserve took drastic new steps to stimulate the sluggish U.S. economy on Thursday, announcing plans to buy $40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities each month, starting Friday. In addition to embarking on a third round of quantitative easing, the Fed also extended its vow to keep interest rates at rock-bottom rates to mid-2015. Policy makers also decided to keep in place the Operation Twist program that swaps short-term bonds for longer-term assets. The measures came as no surprise to most economists. Last month, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke expressed "grave concern" about American jobs at the Fed's annual retreat in Jackson Hole. Since then, the news has only gotten worse. Only 96,000 jobs were created in August, according to figures released by the Department of Labor last Friday. The unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, largely a function of people giving up looking for work altogether. By making U.S. treasuries even less lucrative, the Fed may be hoping cash-rich investors get off the sidelines to purchase consumer goods, riskier assets and homes. The vote to offer fresh stimulus was 11-1, with Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker once again dissenting on grounds that the Fed needlessly risks inflation. Critics worry high gasoline and food prices are already hurting consumer confidence, and QE3 may aggravate the situation. And lending standards remain tight following the worst housing crisis in decades -- with so few people able to qualify for loans, skeptics say pushing down rates is unlikely to stimulate demand for housing or other big-ticket purchases. However, advocates of QE3 say the weak U.S. economy needs a major injection of cash from the Fed to stimulate aggregate demand. Economic activity has continued to expand at a moderate pace in recent months, but growth in employment has been too slow, and the unemployment rate remains elevated, according to the Federal Open Market Committee. Policy makers were concerned that, without further policy accommodation, "economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions." The Fed also wants to insulate the economy from headwinds from Europe, where officials are battling to prevent a full-blown sovereign debt crisis. "Strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook," voting member of Fed said. The central bank will buy $23 billion in September, and offered a conditional pledge to spend up to $40 billion every month until the U.S. jobs market shows sustained improvement. The open-ended nature of the plan means the Fed will likely spend about $500 billion over the next twelve months. Bernanke will offer further details and explain the rationale behind the Fed's big decision at a press conference scheduled for 2:15 pm ET.

[Sep13]    Fed Launches QE3, Vows Low Rates Until Mid-2015

The Federal Reserve took drastic new steps to stimulate the sluggish U.S. economy on Thursday, announcing plans to buy $40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities each month, starting Friday. In addition to embarking on a third round of quantitative easing, the Fed also extended its vow to keep interest rates at rock-bottom rates to mid-2015. Policy makers also decided to keep in place the Operation Twist program that swaps short-term bonds for longer-term assets. The measures came as no surprise to most economists. Last month, Bernanke expressed "grave concern" about American jobs at the Fed's annual retreat in Jackson Hole. Since then, the news has only gotten worse. Only 96,000 jobs were created in August, according to figures released by the Department of Labor last Friday. The unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, largely a function of people giving up looking for work altogether. By making U.S. treasuries even less lucrative, the Fed may be hoping cash-rich investors get off the sidelines to purchase consumer goods, riskier assets and homes. The vote to offer fresh stimulus was 11-1, with Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker once again dissenting on grounds that the Fed needlessly risks inflation. Critics worry high gasoline and food prices are already hurting consumer confidence, and QE3 may aggravate the situation. And lending standards remain tight following the worst housing crisis in decades -- with so few people able to qualify for loans, skeptics say pushing down rates is unlikely to stimulate demand for housing or other big-ticket purchases. However, advocates of QE3 say the weak U.S. economy needs a major injection of cash from the Fed to stimulate aggregate demand. Economic activity has continued to expand at a moderate pace in recent months, but growth in employment has been too slow, and the unemployment rate remains elevated, according to the Federal Open Market Committee. Policy makers were concerned that, without further policy accommodation, "economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions." The Fed also wants to insulate the economy from headwinds from Europe, where officials are battling to prevent a full-blown sovereign debt crisis. "Strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook," voting member of Fed said. The central bank will buy $23 billion in September, and offered a conditional pledge to spend up to $40 billion every month until the U.S. jobs market shows sustained improvement. The open-ended nature of the plan means the Fed will likely spend about $500 billion over the next twelve months.

[Sep13]    Fed Launches QE3, Vows Low Rates Until Mid-2015

The Federal Reserve took drastic new steps to stimulate the sluggish U.S. economy on Thursday, offering to buy $40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities each month, starting Friday. In addition to embarking on a third round of quantitative easing, the Fed also extended its vow to keep interest rates at rock-bottom rates to mid-2015. Policy makers also decided to keep in place the Operation Twist program that swaps short-term bonds for longer-term assets. The measures came as no surprise to most economists. Last month, Bernanke expressed "grave concern" about American jobs at the Fed's annual retreat in Jackson Hole. Since then, the news has only gotten worse. Only 96,000 jobs were created in August, according to figures released by the Department of Labor last Friday. The unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, largely a function of people giving up looking for work altogether. The vote to offer fresh stimulus was 11-1, with Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker once again dissenting on grounds that the Fed needlessly risks inflation. Critics worry high gasoline and food prices are already hurting consumer confidence, and QE3 may aggravate the situation. And lending standards remain tight following the worst housing crisis in decades -- with so few people able to qualify for loans, skeptics say pushing down rates is unlikely to stimulate demand for housing or other big-ticket purchases. However, advocates of QE3 say the weak U.S. economy needs a major injection of cash from the Fed to stimulate aggregate demand. Economic activity has continued to expand at a moderate pace in recent months, but growth in employment has been too slow, and the unemployment rate remains elevated, according to the Federal Open Market Committee. Policy makers were concerned that, without further policy accommodation, "economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions." The Fed also wants to insulate the economy from headwinds from Europe, where officials are battling to prevent a full-blown sovereign debt crisis. "Strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook," voting member of Fed said. The Fed offered no timeline for exiting their plan to snap up mortgage-related assets, suggesting that QE3 will continue until the U.S. jobs market shows sustained improvement. At $40 billion each month, the Fed's balance sheet will balloon by $500 billion in the next year.

[Sep13]    Fed Launches QE3, Vows Low Rates Until Mid-2015

The Federal Reserve took drastic new steps to stimulate the sluggish U.S. economy on Thursday, offering to buy $40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities each month, starting Friday. In addition to embarking on a third round of quantitative easing, the Fed also extended its vow to keep interest rates at rock-bottom rates to mid-2015. Policy makers also decided to keep in place the Operation Twist program that swaps short-term bonds for longer-term assets. The measures came as no surprise to most economists. Last month, Bernanke expressed "grave concern" about American jobs at the Fed's annual retreat in Jackson Hole. Since then, the news has only gotten worse. Only 97,000 jobs were created in August, according to figures released by the Department of Labor last Friday. The unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, largely a function of people giving up looking for work altogether. The vote to offer fresh stimulus was 11-1, with Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker once again dissenting on grounds that the Fed needlessly risks inflation. Critics worry high gasoline and food prices are already hurting consumer confidence, and QE3 may aggravate the situation. And with so few people able to qualify for loans at any interest rate, pushing down rates is unlikely to stimulate demand for housing or other big-ticket purchases. Lending standards are particularly tight following the worst housing crisis in decades, so even borrowers with good credit are having trouble securing loans in many markets. Advocates of QE3 say the weak U.S. economy needs a major injection of cash from the Fed to stimulate aggregate demand. Economic activity has continued to expand at a moderate pace in recent months, but growth in employment has been too slow, and the unemployment rate remains elevated, according to the Federal Open Market Committee. Policy makers were concerned that, without further policy accommodation, "economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions." The Fed also wants to insulate the economy from headwinds from Europe, where officials are battling to prevent a full-blown sovereign debt crisis. "Strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook," voting member of Fed said. The Fed offered no timeline for exiting their plan to snap up mortgage-related assets each month, suggesting that QE3 will continue until the U.S. jobs situation shows sustained improvement. At $40 billion each month, the Fed's balance sheet will balloon by $500 billion in the next year.

[Sep13]    Fed Launches QE3, Vows Low Rates Until Mid-2015

The Federal Reserve took drastic new steps to stimulate the sluggish U.S. economy on Thursday, offering to buy $40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities each month, starting Friday. In addition to embarking on a third round of quantitative easing, the Fed also extended its vow to keep interest rates at rock-bottom rates to mid-2015. Policy makers also decided to keep in place its Operation Twist program swapping short-term bonds for longer-term assets. The measures came as no surprise to most economists. Last month, Bernanke expressed "grave concern" about American jobs at the Fed's annual retreat in Jackson Hole. Since then, the news has only gotten worse. Only 97,000 jobs were created in August, according to figures released by the Department of Labor last Friday. The unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, largely a function of people giving up looking for work altogether. The vote to offer fresh stimulus was 11-1, with Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker once again dissenting on grounds that the Fed needlessly risks inflation. Critics worry high gasoline and food prices are already hurting consumer confidence, and QE3 may aggravate the situation. And with so few people able to qualify for loans at any interest rate, pushing down rates is unlikely to stimulate demand for housing or other big-ticket purchases. Lending standards are particularly tight following the worst housing crisis in decades, so even borrowers with good credit are having trouble securing loans in many markets. Advocates of QE3 say the weak U.S. economy needs a major injection of cash from the Fed to stimulate aggregate demand. Economic activity has continued to expand at a moderate pace in recent months, but growth in employment has been too slow, and the unemployment rate remains elevated, according to the Federal Open Market Committee. Policy makers were concerned that, without further policy accommodation, "economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions." The Fed also wants to insulate the economy from headwinds from Europe, where officials are battling to prevent a full-blown sovereign debt crisis. "Strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook," voting member of Fed said.

[Sep13]    Fed Leaves Target Range For Federal Funds Rate At 0 To 1/4 Percent

[Sep13]    Fed: Inflation Likely To Run At Or Below 2% Over Medium Term

[Sep12]    German Top Court Okays ESM Ratification With Conditions

Germany's top court has cleared the way for the ratification of the European Stability Mechanism, or ESM, rejecting temporary injunctions against the bailout fund and the fiscal compact in its much-anticipated judgment on Wednesday. However, the court imposed certain conditions, including capping Germany's ESM liability. The court said Germany must cap its bailout fund liability at EUR 190 billion and further expansion of the country's ESM share needs to get the backing of the Parliament. Also, both houses of the Parliament must be informed of any decisions on the ESM in future, the Court said. "No provision of this Treaty may be interpreted in a way that establishes higher payment obligations for the Federal Republic of Germany without the agreement of the German representative," the court said in a statement. "A ratification of the ESM Treaty is therefore only permissible if the Federal Republic of Germany ensures an interpretation of the Treaty which guarantees that with regard to their decisions, Bundestag and Bundesrat will receive the comprehensive information which they need to be able to develop an informed opinion," the court ruled. The court ruling will allow German President Joachim Gauck to sign the Treaty into law. Germany is to contribute 27 percent of the rescue fund. In a statement issued after the German court ruling, Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said he will convene the inaugural meeting of the ESM Board of Governors on October 8 in Luxembourg. He also said the treaty on Stability, Cooperation and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (TSCG) "will enter into force once twelve euro area Member States have ratified it, but not earlier than 1 January 2013." Meanwhile, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso proposed a single supervisory mechanism, or SSM, for the euro-area banks. The new mechanism will give ultimate supervisory responsibility related to financial stability of all banks in the euro area to the European Central Bank. The Commission is proposing to have the single supervisory mechanism in place by January 1, 2013. As a first step, as of January 1, 2013, the ECB will be able to decide to assume full supervisory responsibility over any credit institution. "We want to break the vicious link between sovereigns and their banks. In the future, bankers' losses should no longer become the people's debt, putting into doubt the financial stability of whole countries," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said while presenting the plan. The Commission also recommended that the European Banking Authority (EBA) develop a Single Supervisory Handbook to preserve the integrity of the single market and ensure coherence in banking supervision for all 27 EU countries. The Commission called on the European Union Council and European Parliament to adopt today's proposed regulations by the end of 2012. Last Thursday, the ECB had announced its decision to engage in outright monetary transactions or OMTs, which will allow the bank to purchase sovereign bonds in the secondary markets. Under ECB chief Mario Draghi's plans, the central bank would buy a potentially unlimited amount of bonds of debt-stricken Eurozone members on the condition that these countries made a formal request for bailout funds and stuck to the terms of any deal.

[Sep13]    U.S. Producer Prices Jump 1.7% Amid Spike In Energy Prices

With energy prices showing a substantial rebound in the month of August, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing that U.S. producer prices rose by more than expected during the month. The Labor Department said its producer price index surged up by 1.7 percent in August following a 0.3 percent increase in July. Economists had expected the index to increase by 1.4 percent. The increase in producer prices in August reflected the largest monthly rise since a 1.9 percent increase in June of 2009. Contributing to the increase in producer prices, energy prices soared by 6.4 percent in August after edging down by 0.4 percent in July. The sharp jump in energy prices, which reflected the biggest increase since August of 2009, came on the heels of five consecutive monthly decreases. A 13.6 percent jump in gasoline prices accounted for much of the increase in energy prices. Paul Ashworth, Chief U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, said, "With crude oil prices continuing to rise over the past couple of weeks, we can expect a further increase in gasoline prices in September too." The report also showed that food prices increased by 0.9 percent in August, reflecting the biggest increase since November of 2011. The increase was largely due to a 3.0 percent jump in prices for dairy products. Excluding the increases in food and energy prices, the core producer price index edged up by 0.2 percent in August after rising by 0.4 percent in July. The modest increase in core prices came in line with economist estimates. The Labor Department said over thirty percent of the increase in core prices can be traced to a 0.5 percent advance in prices for pharmaceutical preparations. Compared to the same month a year ago, producer prices surged up by 2.0 percent in August, reflecting a notable acceleration from the 0.5 percent year-over-year growth seen in July. Core prices increased at an annual rate of 2.5 percent. "PPI will probably climb higher over the next few months, but eventually we expect energy and agricultural commodity prices to drop back, which should cause PPI to fall back in 2013 as well," Ashworth said. Friday morning, the Labor Department is scheduled to release a separate report on consumer price inflation in the month of August. Economists expect consumer prices to increase by about 0.6 percent in August after coming in roughly flat in July. Core consumer prices are expected to edge up by 0.2 percent. Jim O'Sullivan, Chief U.S. Economist at High Frequency Economics, said, "Tomorrow's CPI will likely show a similar pattern, with a gasoline-led surge in the total but a fairly tame core reading."

[Sep13]    U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Climb To 382,000 Due To Hurricane Isaac

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits rose by more than expected in the week ended September 8th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday, although the data was skewed by the impact of Hurricane Isaac. The report showed that initial jobless claims rose to 382,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 367,000. Economists had been expecting jobless claims to edge up to 370,000 from the 365,000 originally reported for the previous week. With the bigger than expected increase, jobless claims rose to their highest level since coming in at 388,000 in the week ended July 14th. However, Labor Department officials noted that the increase in jobless claims was partly due to the impact of Hurricane Isaac, as major storms can often delay unemployment filings. Jim O'Sullivan, Chief U.S. Economist at High Frequency Economics, said, "According to Labor Department officials, Hurricane Isaac effects boosted not seasonally adjusted claims by an estimated 9,000." "Allowing for the seasonal factor this week, that would boost the seasonally adjusted number by 11,000-12,000, implying a 370,000 'ex-Isaac' reading," he added. The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average climbed to 375,000 from the previous week's revised average of 371,750. Meanwhile, the report also showed that continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, fell to 3.283 million in the week ended September 1st from the preceding week's revised level of 3.332 million. The four-week moving average of continuing claims dipped to 3,316,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,324,000. HFE's O'Sullivan said, "While today's reading was likely exaggerated, and we do not believe the labor market is weakening, the trend has been and still is weak enough to trigger more Fed easing today." Last Friday, the Labor Department released its closely watched monthly employment report, showing much weaker than expected job growth in the month of August. The report showed that employment increased by 96,000 jobs in August following a downwardly revised increase of 141,000 jobs in July. Economists had expected an increase of about 125,000 jobs compared to the addition of 163,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month. Despite the weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent in August from 8.3 in July. The unemployment rate had been expected to come in unchanged. However, the unexpected drop by the unemployment rate came amid a notable decrease by the size of the workforce, which shrank by 368,000 people.

[Sep13]    Polish Inflation Weakens In August

Poland's consumer price inflation weakened in August, and matched economists' expectations, latest data showed Thursday. The statistical office said that the consumer price index increased 3.8 percent year-on-year in August, slower than July's 4 percent gain. The latest figure matched economists' expectations. Food and non-alcoholic beverages prices rose 5.3 percent annually, while clothing and footwear prices decreased 5.1 percent. Housing costs and utility prices were higher by 5.6 percent compared to last year, and transportation expenses by 6.5 percent. Seasonally adjusted consumer prices decreased 0.3 percent compared to July, slower than the 0.3 percent decline economists had forecast. In the January-August period, prices advanced 4 percent from the corresponding period a year earlier, data showed.

[Sep13]    U.S. Producer Prices Climb More Than Expected In August

With energy prices showing a substantial rebound in the month of August, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing that U.S. producer prices rose by more than expected during the month. The Labor Department said its producer price index surged up by 1.7 percent in August following a 0.3 percent increase in July. Economists had expected the index to increase by 1.4 percent. Excluding the jump in energy prices as well as a notable increase in food prices, the core producer price index edged up by 0.2 percent in August after rising by 0.4 percent in July. The modest increase in core prices came in line with economist estimates.

[Sep13]    Italian Economy Set To Shrink 2.4% In 2012: Employers Lobby

The Italian economy will remain in a deep recession this year, Confindustria, the country's main business lobby said Thursday. Gross domestic product is likely to contract 2.4 percent in 2012, before easing 0.6 percent in 2013, it said. The labor market condition is also seen deteriorating further. The unemployment rate is forecast to rise to 10.7 percent this year and to 12.1 percent in 2013. Due to austerity measures adopted by the government, the budget deficit will fall to 2.1 percent of GDP in 2012 and to 1.4 percent next year, it said.

[Sep13]    OECD Leading Index Points To Further Slowdown

An indicator of economies in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) area declined for the third month in row, suggesting that the loss of momentum is likely to persist in most major countries, latest data showed. The headline leading economic index, which is designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend, decreased 0.05 percent month-on-month to 100.2 in July, following a similar decline in the previous month. Compared to July 2011, the index decreased 0.14 percent. The corresponding indicator for the Eurozone dropped 0.09 percent sequentially during the month, signaling weakening of growth in the single-currency bloc. According to the OECD, growth is moderating in the United States and Japan. Germany's economic performance remains weak, while Italy and China are experiencing slowdown. Meanwhile, the indicator for the United Kingdom moved up 0.17 percent after growing 0.12 percent in June, showing that growth is picking up. The Brazilian economy is also improving.

[Sep13]    China Unlikely To See Hard Landing, Says IMF's Shinohara

China is set to avoid a hard landing, while Europe's debt crisis is raising risks to the world economy, International Monetary Fund Deputy Managing Director Naoyuki Shinohara reportedly said Thursday. Shinohara sees risk of a hard landing in emerging economies. China's Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday said the economy is on track to meet its growth target of 7.5 percent this year. The government last week added stimulus worth more than CNY 1 trillion through the approval of a slew of infrastructure projects.

[Sep13]    Philippine Central Bank Holds Interest Rates Steady

Philippine central bank on Thursday decided to keep the key interest rates unchanged as expected after cutting the rates three times this year. The bank, at the same time, said it is raising its inflation forecast slightly due to recent increased in global oil and other commodity prices. The overnight borrowing rate or reverse repurchase rate was held steady at 3.75 percent and the rate on overnight lending or repurchase facility was retained at 5.75 percent. There was also no change to the reserve requirement ratios. In a statement, the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said that the prevailing monetary policy settings remained appropriate, supported by the manageable inflation outlook and robust domestic growth. The Monetary Board's decision was based on its assessment that the inflation environment remains benign, with the risks to the inflation outlook appearing to be broadly balanced, the statement read. "While inflation forecasts have risen slightly due to the higher August inflation and recent increases in global oil and other commodity prices, the future inflation path remains well within the target," the Board said. According to the policymakers, weak global economic prospects continue to temper the inflation outlook, as a possible easing in global demand could contribute to moderate international commodity prices. The sustained stability of the peso against the US dollar could also temper inflationary pressures in the future. Nonetheless, the Monetary Board said, it is aware of the potential upside risks to the inflation outlook, including pending electricity rate adjustments and expectations of higher foreign prices for some grains due to adverse weather conditions. According to the bank, underlying demand-side pressures continue to be firm, supported by large domestic liquidity and brisk credit activity. The bank noted that a cumulative 75 basis point-reduction in the policy rates this year is still working its way through the economy.

[Sep13]    Fitch Maintains Taiwan's Credit Rating

Fitch Ratings retained Taiwan's sovereign rating with stable outlook on strong external finances and resilient economic performance. The rating agency on Thursday said resilient economy and spending restraint helped to stabilize public finances. Further, public indebtedness remains in line with medians for 'A' range peers, although this partly reflects a rising peer group median. The long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating was maintained at 'A+' and local currency IDR at 'AA-'. Taiwan is one of the largest net external creditors among 'A' and 'AA' peers and its foreign-exchange reserves are expected to reach $425.4 billion at end-2012, equivalent to 13.9 months of current external payments cover. Fitch said sustained fiscal stabilization and greater clarity regarding the management of non-profit special funds would be rating-supportive and could lead to an upgrade.

[Sep13]    ECB Requires Financial Resources For Banking Supervision, Nowotny Says

The European Central Bank should be provided with proper financial resources to perform its new supervisory power, Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said Thursday. The centralized supervision is a good idea and it can improve the situation, Nowotny, who heads the Austrian National Bank said. European Commission on Wednesday proposed a single supervisory mechanism that will give sweeping powers to the ECB, including overview of some 6,000 banks across Europe.

[Sep13]    ECB Bulletin: Spain, Italy Debt Sustainable If Fiscal Targets Attained

The debt-to-GDP ratio would be sustainable and fall at some point for both Spain and Italy, if the countries successfully achieve their fiscal consolidation targets, the European Central Bank said in its monthly bulletin released Thursday. A key driver of the results was the assumption that the governments concerned will achieve structurally balanced budgets in the medium term, as prescribed by the Stability and Growth Pact, the bank said in the report. This assumption is key to ensuring that the debt-to-GDP ratio returns to a downward trajectory when the output gap closes. This also underlines the importance of governments living up to their commitments under the EU fiscal governance framework and delivering the required progress towards structural balance and corresponding primary surpluses. "Failing to achieve this target will immediately give rise to substantial risks for debt sustainability," it warned. The report added that the governments can influence long-term growth prospects by carrying out growth-enhancing structural reforms and they may have more positive effects on real GDP growth than assumed in the baseline, thereby improving the outlook for debt sustainability further.

[Sep13]    Irish Inflation Rises For Second Month

Ireland's EU harmonized inflation accelerated for the second month in a row, data released by the Central Statistical Office showed Thursday. Inflation measured under the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) rose to 2.6 percent in August from 2 percent in July, after holding steady at 1.9 percent in June and May. Housing costs and utility prices advanced 5.7 percent annually during the month, while transportation costs climbed 8.2 percent. The cost of education was higher by 9.8 percent compared to last year. Meanwhile, communication costs decreased 2 percent. On a monthly basis, the HICP moved up 0.8 percent in August, recovering from the previous month's 0.1 percent decrease. At the same time, consumer price inflation accelerated to 2 percent in August from 1.6 percent in July. The corresponding index rose 0.6 percent compared to July, when it dropped by 0.1 percent, data showed.

[Sep13]    Philippine Central Bank Holds Interest Rates Steady

Philippine central bank on Thursday decided to keep the key interest rates unchanged as expected after cutting the rates three times this year. The bank, at the same time, said it is raising its inflation forecast slightly due to recent increased in global oil and other commodity prices. The overnight borrowing rate or reverse repurchase rate was held steady at 3.75 percent and the rate on overnight lending or repurchase facility was retained at 5.75 percent. There was also no change to the reserve requirement ratios. In a statement, the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said that the prevailing monetary policy settings remained appropriate, supported by the manageable inflation outlook and robust domestic growth. The Monetary Board's decision was based on its assessment that the inflation environment remains benign, with the risks to the inflation outlook appearing to be broadly balanced, the statement read. "While inflation forecasts have risen slightly due to the higher August inflation and recent increases in global oil and other commodity prices, the future inflation path remains well within the target," the Board said. According to the policymakers, weak global economic prospects continue to temper the inflation outlook, as a possible easing in global demand could contribute to moderate international commodity prices. The sustained stability of the peso against the US dollar could also temper inflationary pressures in the future. Nonetheless, the Monetary Board said, it is aware of the potential upside risks to the inflation outlook, including pending electricity rate adjustments and expectations of higher foreign prices for some grains due to adverse weather conditions. According to the bank, underlying demand-side pressures continue to be firm, supported by large domestic liquidity and brisk credit activity. The bank noted that a cumulative 75 basis point-reduction in the policy rates this year is still working its way through the economy.

[Sep13]    Ireland Aug HICP Up 0.8% On Month Vs. 0.1% Fall In July

[Sep13]    Policymakers Should Prevent Renewed Surge In Market Tensions: ECB Bulletin

Euro area policymakers should act effectively to contain renewed intensification of financial market tensions as it has the potential to disrupt the balance of risks for both growth and inflation, according to the latest monthly bulletin released by the European Central Bank on Thursday. The September ECB staff macroeconomic projections for the euro area foresee annual real GDP growth in a range between -0.6 percent and -0.2 percent for 2012 and between -0.4 percent and 1.4 percent for 2013. Compared with the June Eurosystem staff macroeconomic projections, the ranges for 2012 and 2013 have been revised downwards. The ECB staff project euro area annual HICP inflation to be in a range between 2.4 percent and 2.6 percent for 2012 and between 1.3 percent and 2.5 percent for 2013. These are somewhat higher than those contained in the June projections. Last week, the ECB announced its decision to engage in outright monetary transactions or OMTs, which will allow the bank to purchase sovereign bonds in the secondary markets. Under new plan, the central bank would buy a potentially unlimited amount of bonds of debt-stricken Eurozone members on the condition that these countries made a formal request for bailout funds and stuck to the terms of any deal.

[Sep13]    Policymakers Should Prevent Renewed Surge In Market Tensions: ECB Bulletin

Euro area policymakers should act effectively to contain renewed intensification of financial market tensions as it has the potential to disrupt the balance of risks for both growth and inflation, according to the latest monthly bulletin released by the European Central Bank on Thursday. The September ECB staff macroeconomic projections for the euro area foresee annual real GDP growth in a range between -0.6 percent and -0.2 percent for 2012 and between -0.4 percent and 1.4 percent for 2013. Compared with the June Eurosystem staff macroeconomic projections, the ranges for 2012 and 2013 have been revised downwards. The ECB staff project euro area annual HICP inflation to be in a range between 2.4 percent and 2.6 percent for 2012 and between 1.3 percent and 2.5 percent for 2013. These are somewhat higher than those contained in the June projections. Last week, the ECB announced its decision to engage in outright monetary transactions or OMTs, which will allow the bank to purchase sovereign bonds in the secondary markets. Under new plan, the central bank would buy a potentially unlimited amount of bonds of debt-stricken Eurozone members on the condition that these countries made a formal request for bailout funds and stuck to the terms of any deal.

[Sep13]    Greece Q2 Jobless Rate At 23.6% Vs. 22.6% In Q1

[Sep13]    Dutch Retail Sales Fall In July

Dutch retail sales fell 4 percent year-on-year in value terms in July, the latest figures from Statistics Netherlands showed Thursday. In terms of volume, sales contracted 5.6 percent on an year-on-year basis. Non-food sales fell by around 7 percent annually during the month. Significant decline was recorded in sales of home furnishing and consumer electronics. Meanwhile, mail order and online stores recorded a sales growth of 13 percent, the largest gain since January last year.

[Sep13]    Philippine Central Bank Holds Key Rate At 3.75% As Expected

[Sep13]    Italy Aug HICP Up 3.3% On Year, Flat On Month - Final

[Sep13]    Italy Aug CPI Up 3.2% On Year, 0.4% On Month - Final

[Sep13]    Swedish Unemployment Rate Rises In August

Sweden's unemployment rate increased more than economists expected in August, data released by Statistics Sweden showed Thursday. The unemployment rate, on an unadjusted basis, increased to 7.2 percent in August form 6.6 percent in the same month last year. Economists had forecast the jobless rate to rise to 6.8 percent. The number of unemployed persons in the country increased by 8.9 percent annually to around 366,000 during the month. Unemployment rate among youth, aged between 15 and 24, was 21 percent in August, up from 17.3 percent a year earlier, data showed. Meanwhile, the employment rate decreased by 1 percentage point from last year to 66.6 percent in August. There were about 4.74 million persons in employment, up by 0.4 percent compared to August 2011. Separately, the agency said average house prices in Sweden, referred to as one-or two-dwelling buildings, increased 3 percent in the May-July period from the three months ended April. Compared to the same period last year, house prices dropped 2 percent.

[Sep13]    SNB Leaves EUR/CHF Floor Rate Unchanged

The Swiss National Bank on Thursday decided to leave the minimum exchange rate unchanged at CHF 1.20 per euro as expected by economists. The bank reaffirmed that it will continue to enforce the ceiling with 'utmost determination'. The central bank also retained the target range for the three-month Libor rate at 0.0-0.25 percent. If necessary, the bank will take further measures at any time, SNB added. According to SNB, the Swiss franc is still high and is weighing on the economic activity. As such, the bank said it will not permit an appreciation of the Swiss franc, given the serious impact this would have on both prices and economic performance. The SNB forecasts consumer prices to fall 0.6 percent in 2012. Going forward, inflation is seen at 0.2 percent next year, and 0.4 percent for 2014. "Consequently, there is no threat of inflation in Switzerland in the foreseeable future," it said. The central bank lowered its 2012 GDP forecast citing deterioration in the global economic outlook. The SNB projects growth of around 1 percent as opposed to the 1.5 percent estimated in the June forecast.

[Sep13]    SNB Leaves EUR/CHF Floor Rate Unchanged

The Swiss National Bank on Thursday decided to leave the minimum exchange rate unchanged at CHF 1.20 per euro as expected by economists. The bank reaffirmed that it will continue to enforce the ceiling with 'utmost determination'. The central bank also retained the target range for the three-month Libor rate at 0.0-0.25 percent. If necessary, it stands ready to take further measures at any time, the bank said. If necessary, the bank will take further measures at any time, SNB added. According to SNB, the Swiss franc is still high and is weighing on the economic activity. As such, the bank said it will not permit an appreciation of the Swiss franc, given the serious impact this would have on both prices and economic performance. The SNB forecasts consumer prices to fall 0.6 percent in 2012. Going forward, inflation is seen at 0.2 percent next year, and 0.4 percent for 2014. "Consequently, there is no threat of inflation in Switzerland in the foreseeable future," it said. The central bank lowered its 2012 GDP forecast citing deterioration in the global economic outlook. The SNB projects growth of around 1 percent as opposed to the 1.5 percent estimated in the June forecast.

[Sep13]    Swedish Inflation Unchanged In August

Sweden's annual inflation remained unchanged in August, defying economists' forecast for a modest increase, data released by Statistics Sweden showed Thursday. Consumer price Inflation remained unchanged at 0.7 percent in August, while economists expected it to rise to 0.9 percent. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index edged up 0.1 percent in August. Economists were looking for a 0.3 percent gain. Core inflation also remained stable during the month. At 0.9 percent, core inflation was slightly below 1.1 percent economists had forecast. Compared to July, core consumer prices moved up 0.1 percent in August, slower than the expected 0.3 percent At the same time, the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP), measured under the EU methodology, rose 0.9 percent year-on-year in August, and moved up 0.1 percent compared to July, the agency said.

[Sep13]    Sweden Aug. Jobless Rate At 7.2%, Consensus 6.8%

[Sep13]    Swiss Producer & Import Price Index Falls Less Than Expected

Swiss producer and import prices declined less than expected by economists in August, the Federal Statistical Office said Tuesday. Year-on-year, the producer and import price index fell 0.1 percent in August, slower than economists' forecast for a 0.7 percent decline. Compared to the previous month, the index rose 0.4 percent, while expectations were for a 0.1 percent fall. The increase was primarily attributable to higher prices for oil and petroleum products as well as for chemical and pharmaceutical products, the statistical office said.

[Sep13]    Swiss Aug Producer & Import Prices Up 0.5% On Month, Consensus 0.1% Fall

[Sep13]    European Economic Preview: SNB Rate Decision Due

The Swiss National Bank's monetary policy decision is the only major event due on Thursday, headlining a light day for the European economic news. At 3.15 am ET, the Federal Statistical Office is slated to release Swiss producer and import prices for August. Producer and import prices are forecast to fall 0.7 percent year-on-year, following a 1.8 percent fall in July. At 3.30 am ET, the Swiss National Bank is set to announce its monetary policy decision. The bank is expected to retain the exchange rate cap at CHF 1.20 per euro and the near-zero interest rate. In the meantime, Statistics Sweden is slated to issue consumer price data for August. Annual inflation is seen rising to 0.9 percent from 0.7 percent in July. Italy's statistical office Istat is scheduled to publish final inflation figures for August at 4.00 am ET. In the meantime, the European Central Bank is set to publish monthly bulletin. At 5.00 am ET, Eurozone labor cost figures are due. Economists forecast labor costs to rise 1.6 percent year-on-year after rising 2 percent in the first quarter.

[Sep13]    Australia Inflation Expectations Stay Unchanged

Inflation expectations among Australian consumers remained unchanged in August, a survey by Melbourne Institute showed Thursday. The median expected inflation rate remained at 2.4 percent in September. This is within the Reserve Bank of Australia's target band of 2-3 percent. However, the expected pay growth over the next 12 months declined further, to 1.7 percent in August from 2.4 percent in May and 3.5 percent in February. Moderate inflationary expectations along with plummeting wage expectations provide wiggle-room for monetary easing, should economic activity show further signs of slowing, said Viet Nguyen, a Research Fellow at the Institute.

[Sep13]    Finnish Factory Turnover Growth Slows In June

Finland's manufacturing turnover increased at a slower pace in June, data released by Statistics Finland showed Thursday. Turnover in the manufacturing sector advanced 3.7 percent on an annual basis in June, notably slower than the 5.7 percent gain seen in May. In April, the rate of growth was 2 percent. Nearly all sub-industries recorded growth in turnover in June. Export turnover grew by 7.6 percent from one year ago, while domestic turnover decreased by 0.8 percent. In the three months ended June, manufacturing turnover advanced 3.9 percent from a year earlier, following the first quarter's 1.5 percent gain. Separately, the agency said tourist overnight stays in Finnish accommodation facilities decreased 3 percent year-on-year in July. Stays by domestic tourists dropped 4 percent, while stays by foreign tourists decreased 2 percent.

[Sep13]    Investors Expect Volatility In UK Inflation To Persist: BoE

Investors in the U.K. expect inflation to remain more volatile than in the past, at least for the next few years, the latest edition of Quarterly Bulletin published by the Bank of England revealed Thursday. The report noted that investors' uncertainty about inflation rose substantially during the financial crisis, particularly between three and seven years ahead, and has remained high ever since. "It is likely that this higher uncertainty reflects investors' beliefs that the volatility in inflation over the past five years will persist for at least the next few years," the report said. Defending the central bank's monetary policy stance, the report said that without the loosening in monetary policy, the economic downturn would have been far more severe. Another article in the Bulletin, that explains the developments in UK yield curves, noted that real and nominal UK interest rates have fallen substantially from the start of the crisis, with implied inflation rates relatively unchanged. The risk premia account for less than a quarter of the fall in nominal yields relative to pre-crisis averages and the falls have been concentrated in short-maturity forwards. The paper explained that the ten-year spot yields are low because monetary policy is expected to remain loose for longer than in previous easing cycles. "Despite the low level of real yields, the model estimates suggest that inflation expectations have not become less well anchored, with inflation risk premia, if anything, lower than prior to the crisis," it said. Talking on the distributional effects of asset purchases, the Bulletin noted that the Quantitative Easing pushed up asset prices, in part reversing the large declines in equity prices seen earlier in the financial crisis. Asset purchases are likely to have had a broadly neutral impact on a fully-funded defined benefit pension scheme and on the value of the annuity income that could be purchased with a personal pension pot. However, some pension schemes have been adversely affected by the direct effects of QE, the report said.

[Sep13]    RBA Bulletin: China Steel Demand To Peak By 2023

Steel demand from China is expected to peak around later this decade and start moderating from then, monthly bulletin released by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) showed Thursday. "Residential construction is projected to remain at a high level for the next couple of decades. Steel consumption in this sector is expected to be boosted further by demand for higher quality buildings," the article noted. According to the central projection, the peak steel requirement is expected to occur around 2023. This represented almost 30 percent increase over the current levels. Even though growth in residential construction is likely to decline over the coming decades, the growth of steel demand is not likely to decline to the same extent, the report noted.

[Sep13]    Australia Inflation Expectations Stay Unchanged

Inflation expectations among Australian consumers remained unchanged in August, a survey by Melbourne Institute showed Thursday. The median expected inflation rate remained at 2.4 percent in September. This is within the Reserve Bank of Australia's target band of 2-3 percent. However, the expected pay growth over the next 12 months declined further, to 1.7 percent in August from 2.4 percent in May and 3.5 percent in February. Moderate inflationary expectations along with plummeting wage expectations provide wiggle-room for monetary easing, should economic activity show further signs of slowing, said Viet Nguyen, a Research Fellow at the Institute.

[Sep12]    New Zealand Manufacturing Sector Contracts In August

New Zealand manufacturing sector contracted at a steeper pace in August, a survey by Bank of New Zealand and Business NZ showed Wednesday. The seasonally adjusted Performance of Manufacturing Index fell to 47.2 in August from from 49.4 in July. This was the lowest overall result since November 2011. A PMI reading below 50 suggests contraction of the sector. The production index fell by 1.9 points to 47.6, while the new orders was at 48.1, both indicating contraction in volumes. The employment index fell to its lowest level in more than three years at 45.4 in August from 47.5 in July.

[Sep12]    New Zealand Manufacturing Sector Contracts In August

New Zealand manufacturing sector contracted at a steeper pace in August, a survey by Bank of New Zealand and Business NZ showed Wednesday. The seasonally adjusted Performance of Manufacturing Index fell to 47.2 in August from from 49.4 in July. This was the lowest overall result since November 2011. A PMI reading below 50 suggests contraction of the sector. The production index fell by 1.9 points to 47.6, while the new orders was at 48.1, both indicating contraction in volumes. The employment index fell to its lowest level in more than three years at 45.4 in August from 47.5 in July.

[Sep12]    Japan Residents Sold Net 76.9 Billion Yen In Foreign Stocks Last Week

[Sep12]    Foreigners Bought Net 2.63 Billion Yen In Japan Bonds Last Week

[Sep12]    Korea, Indonesia Rate Decisions Due On Thursday

South Korea is on Thursday scheduled to conclude its monetary policy meeting and then announce its decision on interest rates, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. Analysts are split on whether the bank will keep rates on hold at 3.00 percent or trim them by 25 basis points to 2.75 percent. Indonesia also will announce its rate decision, with analysts also split on no change from 5.75 percent and a 25-basis point cut to 5.50 percent. Hong Kong will provide Q2 numbers for industrial production and producer prices. Output was down 1.6 percent on year in Q1, while PPI was up 3.5 percent. New Zealand will see the August results for the Business NZ Performance of Manufacturing Index; in July, it was 49.4. Australia will release consumer inflation expectations for September; in August, it was 2.4 percent.

[Sep12]    U.S. Wholesale Inventories Up 0.7 Percent In July, Higher Than Expected

U.S. wholesale inventories rebounded more than expected following an unexpected drop in June, although July wholesale sales continued to slow following a precipitous drop the previous month. According to figures released Wednesday by the Commerce Department, U.S. wholesale inventories were estimated at a seasonally adjusted level of $485.2 billion, up 0.7 percent from revised June levels. That marks a stronger than expected rebound from the 0.2 percent drop in June inventories - a level that was essentially unrevised from initial reports, according to the Commerce Department. Most economists had predicted a smaller, 0.4 percent, increase in wholesale inventories for the month. On a year-over-year basis, U.S. wholesale inventories were up 5.3 percent.

[Sep12]    U.S. Wholesale Inventories Rise More Than Expected In July

U.S. wholesale inventories rebounded by more than expected in July following an unexpected drop in June, although July wholesale sales continued to fall following a precipitous drop in the previous month. According to figures released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, U.S. wholesale inventories were estimated at a seasonally adjusted level of $485.2 billion, up 0.7 percent from revised June levels. The increase reflects a stronger than expected rebound from the 0.2 percent drop in June inventories - a level that was essentially unrevised from initial reports. Most economists had predicted a smaller 0.4 percent increase in wholesale inventories for the month. On a year-over-year basis, U.S. wholesale inventories were up 5.3 percent. Meanwhile, wholesale sales continued to drop in June, falling to a seasonally adjusted level of $402.4 billion, a 0.1 percent drop from revised June levels. Although the drop marks the third consecutive month of declining wholesale sales, the 0.1 percent drop in July was far smaller than the 1.4 percent drop recorded in June. Wholesale sales remain up 2.7 percent from July 2011 levels. The increase in wholesale inventories was relatively equally spread among inventories of durable and non-durable goods, both of which showed a 0.7 percent increase in July. Inventories of drugs were up precipitously, rising 2.2 percent, while machinery, professional equipment and furniture inventories all rose by 1 percent or more. Automotive inventories as well as inventories or paper and groceries were also up at the wholesale level. Wholesale inventories of apparel dropped the furthest in July, falling 1.3 percent, while hardware inventories fell 0.8 percent, petroleum and metals were down 0.7 percent and electrical inventories dropped 0.6 percent. With inventories rising and sales falling, the inventories-to-sales ratio edged up 1.21 in July from 1.20 in June. The ratio came in at 1.18 in July of 2011.

[Sep12]    U.S. Wholesale Inventories Rise More Than Expected In July

U.S. wholesale inventories rebounded by more than expected in July following an unexpected drop in June, although July wholesale sales continued to fall following a precipitous drop in the previous month. According to figures released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, U.S. wholesale inventories were estimated at a seasonally adjusted level of $485.2 billion, up 0.7 percent from revised June levels. The increase reflects a stronger than expected rebound from the 0.2 percent drop in June inventories - a level that was essentially unrevised from initial reports. Most economists had predicted a smaller 0.4 percent increase in wholesale inventories for the month. On a year-over-year basis, U.S. wholesale inventories were up 5.3 percent. Meanwhile, wholesale sales continued to drop in June, falling to a seasonally adjusted level of $402.4 billion, a 0.1 percent drop from revised June levels. Although the drop marks the third consecutive month of declining wholesale sales, the 0.1 percent drop in July was far smaller than the 1.4 percent drop recorded in June. Wholesale sales remain up 2.7 percent from July 2011 levels. The increase in wholesale inventories was relatively equally spread among inventories of durable and non-durable goods, both of which showed a 0.7 percent increase in July. Inventories of drugs were up precipitously, rising 2.2 percent, while machinery, professional equipment and furniture inventories all rose by 1 percent or more. Automotive inventories as well as inventories or paper and groceries were also up at the wholesale level. Wholesale inventories of apparel dropped the furthest in July, falling 1.3 percent, while hardware inventories fell 0.8 percent, petroleum and metals were down 0.7 percent and electrical inventories dropped 0.6 percent. With inventories rising and sales falling, the inventories-to-sales ratio edged up 1.21 in July from 1.20 in June. The ratio came in at 1.18 in July of 2011.

[Sep12]    U.S. Wholesale Inventories Up 0.7 Percent In July, Higher Than Expected

U.S. wholesale inventories rebounded more than expected following an unexpected drop in June, although July wholesale sales continued to slow following a precipitous drop the previous month. According to figures released Thursday by the Commerce Department, U.S. wholesale inventories were estimated at a seasonally adjusted level of $485.2 billion, up 0.7 percent from revised June levels. That marks a stronger than expected rebound from the 0.2 percent drop in June inventories - a level that was essentially unrevised from initial reports, according to the Commerce Department. Most economists had predicted a smaller, 0.4 percent, increase in wholesale inventories for the month. On a year-over-year basis, U.S. wholesale inventories were up 5.3 percent.

[Sep12]    U.S. Import Prices Rise For First Time In Five Months In August

With fuel prices showing a notable rebound in the month of August, the Labor Department released a report on Wednesday showing that U.S. import prices rose for the first time in five months. The Labor Department said import prices rose by 0.7 percent in August following a revised 0.7 percent drop in July. However, economists had expected import prices to surge up by 1.5 percent compared to the 0.6 percent decrease originally reported for the previous month. The increase in import prices, which reflected the first monthly increase since March, was largely due to a 4.1 percent jump in prices for fuel imports. Higher prices for petroleum and natural gas contributed to the rebound in fuel import prices, which came on the heels of decreases in each of the four previous months. Fuel import prices fell by a revised 1.7 percent in July after tumbling by 8.3 percent in June and 5.6 percent in May. Excluding the increase in fuel prices, import prices actually edged down by 0.2 percent in August following a 0.4 percent drop in July. The drop reflected lower prices for consumer goods, non-fuel industrial supplies and materials, foods, feeds, and beverages, and capital goods. Non-fuel import prices fell for the fourth straight month and were down 0.5 percent compared to the same month a year ago, marking the first year-over-year drop since November of 2009. Meanwhile, the Labor Department said U.S. export prices increased by more than expected during the month of August amid another notable increase in prices for agricultural exports. The report showed that export prices increased by 0.9 percent in August after rising by a revised 0.4 percent in the previous month. Export prices had been expected to rise by 0.5 percent, matching the increase originally reported for July. The bigger than expected increase in export prices was partly due to a 5.1 percent jump in prices for agricultural exports, which came on the heels of a 6.3 percent increase in July. Both advances were led by higher prices for corn, soybeans, and wheat. Prices for non-agricultural exports increased by a more modest 0.4 percent in August following a 0.3 percent decrease in the previous month. The Labor Department said rising prices for non-agricultural supplies and materials drove the August increase, more than offsetting lower prices for capital goods and automotive vehicles. Compared to the same month a year ago, non-agricultural export prices were down by 1.9 percent in August.

[Sep12]    U.S. Import Prices Rise Less Than Expected In August

While fuel prices showed a notable rebound in the month of August, the Labor Department released a report on Wednesday showing that U.S. import prices rose by less than expected during the month. The Labor Department said import prices rose by 0.7 percent in August following a revised 0.7 percent drop in July. Economists had expected import prices to surge up by 1.5 percent compared to the 0.6 percent decrease originally reported for the previous month. On the other hand, U.S. export prices increased by more than expected during the month amid another notable increase in prices for agricultural exports. The report showed that export prices increased by 0.9 percent in August after rising by a revised 0.4 percent in the previous month. Export prices had been expected to rise by 0.5 percent, matching the increase originally reported for July.

[Sep12]    U.S. Import Prices Rose 0.7% In August, Export Prices Rose 0.9%

[Sep12]    German Debt Sale Sees Weak Demand

An auction of Germany's five-year federal notes on Wednesday saw the demand for the safe haven debt decline just hours after the country's top court cleared the ratification of the Eurozone's permanent bailout fund. The country raised EUR 3.972 billion from the sale of its new 5-year Federal Notes, which are also known as Bobls, against a target of EUR 5 billion, Bundesbank said. The auction for the October 2017 instrument attracted bids totaling EUR 5.474 billion. The average yield on the five-year debt rose to 0.61 percent from 0.31 percent paid for a security of similar maturity on August 1. The bid-to-cover ratio, which indicates demand, declined sharply to 1.4 from 2.6. Germany also sold EUR 578 million of its April 2023 inflation-linked bonds. The yield was -0.27 percent and the offer was covered 1.9 times. Elsewhere today, Italy witnessed a decline in borrowing costs at a debt auction.

[Sep12]    Swiss Economy Likely To Slow More Than Expected: KOF

The Swiss economy will likely grow at a slower pace this year and the next than thought earlier, the latest survey by KOF Swiss Economic Institute revealed Wednesday. Economists surveyed by KOF expect Switzerland's economy to grow at a slightly slower rate of 0.9 percent this year than 1 percent forecast earlier. The think tank said the experts also lowered their forecast for this year's export growth to 0.4 percent from 0.7 percent, while the projection of unemployment rate was slashed to 3 percent from 3.2 percent estimated earlier. Investment growth in construction and machinery and equipment is expected to be slower than thought earlier. The forecast has been reduced to 1.3 percent from 1.5 percent. On average, the 21 surveyed expects expect Swiss GDP to rise 1.3 percent in 2013, after revising down from the previous estimate for a 1.5 percent growth. Exports are currently seen growing 2.6 percent next year, slower than the 3.2 percent gain forecast earlier. The projection for employment rate was lowered to 3.2 percent from 3.3 percent.

[Sep12]    Italy's Borrowing Costs Decline

Italy's yield declined at its short-term bill auction on Wednesday after Germany's top court approved bailout fund with conditions. The Treasury raised EUR 12 billion from 3-month and 12-month T-bills and met the maximum target. The average yield on 3-month bills fell to 0.7 percent from 0.865 percent at the prior auction in May. At the same time, 12-month bills yield dropped to 1.692 percent compared to 2.767 percent in August. The bid-to-cover ratio for 3-month BOT came in at 2.25. For 12-month bills, demand exceeded the offer by 1.65 times compared to 1.69 in the prior issue on August 13. Today Germany's top court has cleared the way for the ratification of the European Stability Mechanism. The court said Germany must cap its bailout fund liability at EUR 190 billion and further expansion of the country's ESM share needs to get the backing of the Parliament.

[Sep12]    Bulgaria Inflation Rises To One Year High

Bulgaria's annual inflation accelerated to the highest level in one year in August, data released by the National Statistical Institute showed Wednesday. Inflation increased to 3.9 percent in August from 3.1 percent in July. The growth rate was the biggest since August 2011, when consumer prices rose 4.1 percent. Food and non-alcoholic beverages prices rose 4 percent annually in August, while clothing and footwear prices decreased 2.1 percent. There was a 10.3 percent growth in housing costs and utility prices during the month, and a 6.6 percent increase in transportation costs. On a monthly basis, consumer prices moved up 0.5 percent in August, after rising 1.5 percent in July, the agency said. The harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP), measured under the EU methodology, gained 3.1 percent year-on-year in August. Month-on-month, the HICP rose 0.6 percent during the month, data showed.

[Sep12]    Portuguese Inflation Rises To Six-Month High

Portugal's EU harmonized inflation accelerated for the second consecutive month in August, data released by Statistics Portugal showed Wednesday. The harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) increased 3.2 percent on an annual basis in August, following the previous month's 2.8 percent gain. Economists expected the growth rate to stay unchanged. In June and may, the inflation rate was 2.7 percent. On a monthly basis, the HICP dropped 0.1 percent in August, faster than the 0.2 percent decrease economists had forecast. At the same time, the consumer price index increased 3.1 percent year-on-year in August, following the previous month's 2.8 percent gain. Economists expected prices to rise at a slower rate of 2.9 percent. On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged down 0.1 percent in August, after holding steady in July. The monthly decline was slower than 0.4 percent economists expected, data showed.

[Sep12]    German Top Court Okays ESM Ratification With Conditions

Germany's top court has cleared the way for the ratification of the European Stability Mechanism, or ESM, rejecting temporary injunctions against the bailout fund and the fiscal compact in its much-anticipated judgment on Wednesday. However, the court imposed certain conditions, including capping Germany's ESM liability. The court said Germany must cap its bailout fund liability at EUR 190 billion and further expansion of the country's ESM share needs to get the backing of the Parliament. Also, both houses of the Parliament must be informed of any decisions on the ESM in future, the Court said. "No provision of this Treaty may be interpreted in a way that establishes higher payment obligations for the Federal Republic of Germany without the agreement of the German representative," the court said in a statement. "A ratification of the ESM Treaty is therefore only permissible if the Federal Republic of Germany ensures an interpretation of the Treaty which guarantees that with regard to their decisions, Bundestag and Bundesrat will receive the comprehensive information which they need to be able to develop an informed opinion," the court ruled. The court ruling will allow German President Joachim Gauck to sign the Treaty into law. Germany is to contribute 27 percent of the rescue fund. In a statement issued after the German court ruling, Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said he will convene the inaugural meeting of the ESM Board of Governors on October 8 in Luxembourg. He also said the treaty on Stability, Cooperation and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (TSCG) "will enter into force once twelve euro area Member States have ratified it, but not earlier than 1 January 2013." Meanwhile, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso proposed a single supervisory mechanism, or SSM, for the euro-area banks. The new mechanism will give ultimate supervisory responsibility related to financial stability of all banks in the euro area to the European Central Bank. The Commission is proposing to have the single supervisory mechanism in place by January 1, 2013. As a first step, as of January 1, 2013, the ECB will be able to decide to assume full supervisory responsibility over any credit institution. "We want to break the vicious link between sovereigns and their banks. In the future, bankers' losses should no longer become the people's debt, putting into doubt the financial stability of whole countries," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said while presenting the plan. The Commission also recommended that the European Banking Authority (EBA) develop a Single Supervisory Handbook to preserve the integrity of the single market and ensure coherence in banking supervision for all 27 EU countries. The Commission called on the European Union Council and European Parliament to adopt today's proposed regulations by the end of 2012. Last Thursday, the ECB had announced its decision to engage in outright monetary transactions or OMTs, which will allow the bank to purchase sovereign bonds in the secondary markets. Under ECB chief Mario Draghi's plans, the central bank would buy a potentially unlimited amount of bonds of debt-stricken Eurozone members on the condition that these countries made a formal request for bailout funds and stuck to the terms of any deal.

[Sep12]    German Top Court Okays ESM Ratification With Conditions

Germany's top court has cleared the way for the ratification of the European Stability Mechanism, or ESM, rejecting temporary injunctions against the bailout fund and the fiscal compact in its much-anticipated judgment on Wednesday. However, the court imposed certain conditions, including capping Germany's ESM liability. The court said Germany must cap its bailout fund liability at EUR 190 billion and further expansion of the country's ESM share needs to get the backing of the Parliament. Also, both houses of the Parliament must be informed of any decisions on the ESM in future, the Court said. "No provision of this Treaty may be interpreted in a way that establishes higher payment obligations for the Federal Republic of Germany without the agreement of the German representative," the court said in a statement. "A ratification of the ESM Treaty is therefore only permissible if the Federal Republic of Germany ensures an interpretation of the Treaty which guarantees that with regard to their decisions, Bundestag and Bundesrat will receive the comprehensive information which they need to be able to develop an informed opinion," the court ruled. The court ruling will allow German President Joachim Gauck to sign the Treaty into law. Germany is to contribute 27 percent of the rescue fund. In a statement issued after the German court ruling, Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said he will convene the inaugural meeting of the ESM Board of Governors on October 8 in Luxembourg. He also said the treaty on Stability, Cooperation and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (TSCG) "will enter into force once twelve euro area Member States have ratified it, but not earlier than 1 January 2013." Meanwhile, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso proposed a single supervisory mechanism, or SSM, for the euro-area banks. The new mechanism will give ultimate supervisory responsibility related to financial stability of all banks in the euro area to the European Central Bank. The Commission is proposing to have the single supervisory mechanism in place by January 1, 2013. As a first step, as of January 1, 2013, the ECB will be able to decide to assume full supervisory responsibility over any credit institution. "We want to break the vicious link between sovereigns and their banks. In the future, bankers' losses should no longer become the people's debt, putting into doubt the financial stability of whole countries," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said while presenting the plan. The Commission also recommended that the European Banking Authority (EBA) develop a Single Supervisory Handbook to preserve the integrity of the single market and ensure coherence in banking supervision for all 27 EU countries. The Commission called on the European Union Council and European Parliament to adopt today's proposed regulations by the end of 2012. Last Thursday, the ECB had announced its decision to engage in outright monetary transactions or OMTs, which will allow the bank to purchase sovereign bonds in the secondary markets. Under ECB chief Mario Draghi's plans, the central bank would buy a potentially unlimited amount of bonds of debt-stricken Eurozone members on the condition that these countries made a formal request for bailout funds and stuck to the terms of any deal.

[Sep12]    Eurogroup's Juncker: To Convene Meeting Of ESM-Board Of Governors On Oct. 8

[Sep12]    German Court Approves ESM Ratification With Conditions

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court on Wednesday allowed the ratification of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), but with certain conditions. The court said Germany must cap its bailout fund share at EUR 190 billion. Also, both houses of the Parliament must be informed of any decisions on the ESM in future. Meanwhile, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso proposed a single supervisory mechanism for the euro area banks. The new mechanism will give ultimate supervisory responsibility related to financial stability of all banks in the euro area to the European Central Bank.

[Sep12]    German Court Approves ESM Ratification With Conditions

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court on Wednesday allowed the ratification of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), but with certain conditions. The court said Germany must cap its bailout fund share at EUR 190 billion. Also, both houses of the Parliament must be informed of any decisions on the ESM in future. Meanwhile, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso proposed a single supervisory mechanism for the euro area banks. The new mechanism will give ultimate supervisory responsibility related to financial stability of all banks in the euro area to the European Central Bank.

[Sep12]    Eurozone July Industrial Output -2.3% On Year Vs. -2.1% In June, Consensus -3.3%

[Sep12]    U.K. Jobless Claims Rise Sharply In August

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell by 15,000 in August from the prior month to 1.57 million, the Office for National Statistics said Wednesday. Economists had forecast the number to remain flat in August after falling 13,600 in July. The unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in the three months to July, down 0.1 percentage point from the three months to April but up 0.1 from a year earlier. The rate was seen at 8 percent. Average earnings growth rate for total pay was 1.5 percent in the three months to July, down from 1.8 per cent in the three months to June.

[Sep12]    German Court Approves ESM Ratification With Conditions

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court on Wednesday allowed the ratification of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), but with certain conditions. The court said Germany must cap its bailout fund share at EUR 190 billion. Also, both houses of the Parliament must be informed of any decisions on the ESM in future. Meanwhile, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso proposed a single supervisory mechanism for the euro area banks. The new mechanism will give ultimate supervisory responsibility related to financial stability of all banks in the euro area to the European Central Bank.

[Sep12]    U.K. 3-mths To July Avg Earnings Incld Bonus Up 1.5% On Year

[Sep12]    U.K. Aug. Claimant Count At 4.8%, Consensus 4.9%

[Sep12]    Italian Industrial Out Falls Less Than Expected In July

Italy's industrial production decreased more than economists expected in July, data released by statistical office Istat showed Wednesday. Industrial production declined a working-day adjusted 7.3 percent on an annual basis in July, slower than the 7.6 percent fall economists had forecast. On an unadjusted basis, industrial output decreased by 4.4 percent compared to last year in July, the agency said. On a monthly basis, production dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in July, while economists were looking for a 0.4 percent fall. In the January- July period, production decreased 7 percent on an adjusted basis from the corresponding period a year earlier, data showed.

[Sep12]    Germany Should Cap Its ESM Share At EUR 190 Bln: Bloomberg

[Sep12]    ECB's Liikanen: Adjustment Process Now At Outset In Europe

[Sep12]    Swiss KOF Consensus Forecast: GDP Seen Rising 0.9% In 2012, 1.3% In 2013

[Sep12]    Barroso: Single Supervisory Mechanism Stepping Stone To Banking Union

[Sep12]    German HICP Up 2.2% In August

Germany's inflation, measured by the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP), rose to 2.2 percent in August from 1.9 percent in July, final data released by the Federal Statistical Office confirmed Wednesday. Month-on-month, the HICP moved up 0.4 percent in July, revised from the 0.3 percent rise estimated in the preliminary report. At the same time, the consumer price index (CPI) climbed 2.1 percent year-on-year in August, up from July's 1.7 percent. This was slightly above the flash estimate of 2 percent. On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.4 percent, revised from the earlier estimate of a 0.3 percent increase. In August, the rate of inflation was mainly determined by the development of energy prices, the statistical office said. Energy prices increased 7.6 percent annually while the CPI excluding energy was just 1.4 percent higher than last year.

[Sep12]    German HICP Up 2.2% In August

Germany's inflation, measured by the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP), rose to 2.2 percent in August from 1.9 percent in July, final data released by the Federal Statistical Office confirmed Wednesday. Month-on-month, the HICP moved up 0.4 percent in July, revised from the 0.3 percent rise estimated in the preliminary report. At the same time, the consumer price index (CPI) climbed 2.1 percent year-on-year in August, up from July's 1.7 percent. This was slightly above the flash estimate of 2 percent. On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.4 percent, revised from the earlier estimate of a 0.3 percent increase. In August, the rate of inflation was mainly determined by the development of energy prices, the statistical office said. Energy prices increased 7.6 percent annually while the CPI excluding energy was just 1.4 percent higher than last year.

[Sep12]    France Jul Current Account Deficit EUR 2.5Bln Vs EUR 4.8Bln In June

[Sep12]    Economists Downgrade Singapore GDP Forecast

Economists surveyed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Wednesday downgraded the the gross domestic product forecast for this year and the next, while inflation is projected to be higher than previously expected. The quarterly survey of Professional Forecasters showed that economists now expects the GDP to rise 2.4 percent this year, slower than the 3 percent growth predicted in the June survey. The GDP outlook for 2013 was also cut to 3.9 percent from the previous prediction of 4.5 percent. The manufacturing sector is expected to grow 2.7 percent this year, slower than the June prediction of 3 percent growth. Non-oil domestic exports are seen growing 4.2 percent compared to the previous prediction of 5.6 percent. The outlook for private consumption was also cut to 3 percent from 3.7 percent. For the third quarter of 2012, the respondents expect GDP to expand 2.3 percent following 2 percent growth in the second quarter. This is a downgrade from the 3.3 percent reported in the earlier survey. Forecasters now see the consumer price index rising 4.4 percent this year, up from 4.2 percent in the June survey. The outlook for core inflation was lowered to 2.5 percent from 2.7 percent predicted three months ago. The CPI and MAS core inflation are forecast to be 3.2 percent and 2.2 percent respectively in 2013. As for the labour market, the respondents expect the unemployment rate to be 2.1 percent by end-2012, marginally lower than the 2.2 percent from the previous survey.

[Sep12]    France August Inflation Rises More Than Forecast

French annual inflation rose more than expected in August, data from the statistical office Insee showed Wednesday. EU harmonised annual inflation came in at 2.4 percent in August, up from 2.2 percent in July and slightly above the 2.3 percent rise forecast by economists. On a monthly basis, the harmonized index of consumer prices climbed 0.7 percent, faster than the 0.6 percent expected increase. Consumer price inflation accelerated to 2.1 percent from 1.9 percent in July. The largest upward pressures on annual inflation came from the increase of prices of energy. Month-on-month, the index gained 0.7 percent, reversing July's 0.4 percent fall. Economists were looking for an annual rate of 2 percent and a monthly growth of 0.6 percent.

[Sep12]    Australia Dwelling Starts Increase In June Quarter

Australia's dwelling starts increased in the April-June period for the first time since the March quarter of 2011, the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Wednesday. The seasonally adjusted dwelling starts rose 4.6 percent quarter-on-quarter to 34, 116 in the June quarter of 2012. This followed a 7.8 percent fall in the March quarter of 2012. The number of new houses on which construction work started fell 2.2 percent quarter-on-quarter during the period.

[Sep11]    Portugal Gets More Time On Deficit Targets

The troika has decided to allot Portugal more time to meet its deficit targets agreed under a EUR 78-billion bailout deal, offering a big respite for the government amid the country's deepening recession. The creditors, comprising the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank, said in a joint statement on Tuesday that the deficit targets were revised upward to 5 percent of GDP in 2012 and from 3 percent to 4.5 percent in 2013, to allow partial operation of automatic fiscal stabilizers. Portugal should bring the deficit to 2.5 percent of GDP in 2014, below the 3 percent threshold of the Stability and Growth Pact. "This revised path will allow the government to design and implement structurally sound fiscal measures, while easing the short-term economic and social cost of fiscal adjustment," the troika said after concluding the latest quarterly review. However, meeting the revised targets still require additional consolidation efforts, the inspectors said. The review report noted that the troika and the Portugal authorities have reached an agreement on a range of permanent spending and revenue measures to underpin the deficit target in 2013. The troika representatives visited Lisbon during August 28-September 11. They opined that the economic program remains broadly on track. The economy remains mired in recession. The creditors expect economic activity to decline 3 percent in 2012. Reflecting weaker import growth in euro area trading partners and additional budget consolidation measures, GDP growth is now expected to turn positive only in the second quarter of next year, resulting in a projected GDP decline of 1 percent in 2013. The public debt-to-GDP ratio will peak below 124 percent, remains sustainable, and will be on a firm downward trajectory after 2014, the report noted. "The authorities continue preparing the return to market financing during 2013 and are committed to cover the additional financing needs arising from the revised consolidation path," the report said. Approval of the conclusion of this review will allow the disbursement of EUR 4.3 billion and this could take place in October subject to the approval of the IMF Executive Board, Ecofin and Eurogroup. The joint mission for the next program review is expected to take place in November 2012.

[Sep11]    Japan July Core Machine Orders +4.6%

Core machine orders in Japan climbed a seasonally adjusted 4.6 percent on month in July, the Cabinet Office said on Wednesday - rising for the second straight month. The headline figure was sharply higher than forecasts for an increase of 2.0 percent following the 5.6 percent jump in June and the 14.8 percent plunge in May. On a yearly basis, core machine orders collected 1.7 percent - also topping expectations for a contraction of 3.6 percent following the 9.9 percent plunge in the previous month and the 1.0 percent increase in May. The total number of machinery orders, including those volatile ones for ships and from electric power companies, saw a decrease of 2.6 percent on month and an increase of 2.6 percent on year in July to 1,897.2 billion yen. Manufacturing orders spiked 12.0 percent on month and 4.0 percent on year to 328.4 billion yen in July, while non-manufacturing orders shed 2.1 percent on month and 1.0 percent on year to 415.2 billion yen. Government orders plunged 13.5 percent on month but gained 10.4 percent on year to 232.1 billion yen. Orders from overseas added 3.0 percent on month but fell 1.9 percent on year to 734.0 billion yen. Orders from agencies surged 14.1 percent on month and 35.7 percent on year to 104.3 billion yen. The forecast for the third quarter of 2012 suggests a decline of 1.2 percent on quarter and 4.8 percent on year. Also on Wednesday: • An index measuring the prices of domestic corporate goods was up 0.3 percent on month in August, the Bank of Japan said, standing at 100.3. That beat forecasts for an increase of 0.1 percent following the downwardly revised contraction of 0.5 percent in July. On a yearly basis, prices were down 1.8 percent versus expectations for a decline of 1.9 percent following the downwardly revised 2.2 percent fall in the previous month. Export prices were up 0.3 percent on month and down 2.6 percent on year, while import prices were up 0.4 percent on month and down 4.8 percent on year. • An index measuring tertiary industry activity in Japan was down a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent on month in July, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said - coming in at 98.7. That missed forecasts for a contraction of 0.5 percent following the upwardly revised 0.2 percent increase in June. Industries that contributed to the decrease included wholesale and retail trade, transportation, finance, personal services, accommodations and learning support. Industries that contributed to the increase included utilities, real estate, communications, scientific research and health care. • Upon the release of the data, the Japanese yen showed little changes major rivals, trading near 77.78 against the U.S. dollar, 99.97 versus the euro, 82.82 against the franc and 125.01 versus the pound.

[Sep11]    Australia Consumer Sentiment Index +1.6% On Month In September - Westpac

[Sep11]    Japan Core Machine Orders Rise 4.6% In July

Core machine orders in Japan were up a seasonally adjusted 4.6 percent on month in July, the Cabinet Office said on Wednesday. That was sharply higher than forecasts for an increase of 2.0 percent following the 5.6 percent jump in June. On a yearly basis, core machine orders collected 1.7 percent - also topping expectations for a contraction of 3.6 percent following the 9.9 percent plunge in the previous month.

[Sep11]    Japan Domestic Corporate Goods Prices +0.3% On Month, -1.8% On Year In August

[Sep11]    South Korea Unemployment Rate 3.1% In August

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in South Korea came in at 3.1 percent in August, Statistics Korea said on Tuesday. That was unchanged from the July reading, and it beat forecasts for 3.2 percent. The unadjusted unemployment rate was 3.0 percent. In August, South Korea added 364,000 jobs from a year earlier.

[Sep11]    South Korea August Unemployment Rate 3.1%

[Sep11]    Japan Core Machine Orders Due On Wednesday

Japan will on Wednesday release July figures for core machine orders and tertiary industry index, as well as August numbers for corporate good prices, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. Core machine orders are expected to rise 2.0 percent on month and fall 3.6 percent on year after jumping 5.6 percent on month and dropping 9.9 percent on year in June. The tertiary industry index is called lower by 0.5 percent on month after adding 0.1 percent in June. The domestic corporate goods price index is expected to rise 0.1 percent on month and contract 1.9 percent on year after shedding 0.4 percent on month and 2.1 percent on year in the July. South Korea will release unemployment data for August, with analysts expecting the unemployment rate is expected to come in at 3.2 percent, up from 3.1 percent in July. Australia will see the September results of the Westpac consumer confidence survey; in August, the survey was down 2.5 percent to a score of 96.6. Also due are Q2 figures for dwelling starts, which are expected to rise 3.0 percent after plummeting 12.6 percent in the previous three months.

[Sep11]    Europe Awaits Top German Court Ruling On ESM

Germany's top court is set to deliver a crucial judgment on the viability of the European Stability Mechanism, or ESM, and the fiscal pact on Wednesday, which would decide the fate of the EUR 500 billion bailout fund and the future course of the region's fight with the protracted debt crisis. While politicians expressed confidence that the bailout fund will survive, many economists feel that the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe may delay the ruling or even impose some conditions, rather than rule against it. Both houses of the Parliament approved the ESM and the fiscal pact on June 29, with two-thirds of the German lawmakers voting in favor of it. Peter Gauweiler, a lawmaker in Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling party and one of the plaintiffs who lodged a temporary injunction request against the ESM, said in a statement on Sunday that the fund should not be ratified until the ECB revoke its plans to become "a hyper rescue fund." The plaintiffs also argue that the bailout fund infringed Germany's budgetary authority, according to reports. Last Thursday, the ECB announced its decision to engage in outright monetary transactions or OMTs, which will allow the bank to purchase sovereign bonds in the secondary markets. Under ECB chief Mario Draghi's plans, the central bank would buy a potentially unlimited amount of bonds of debt-stricken Eurozone members on the condition that these countries made a formal request for bailout funds and stuck to the terms of any deal. "Under appropriate conditions, we will have a fully effective backstop to avoid destructive scenarios with potentially severe challenges for price stability in the euro area," Draghi said after last week's Governing Council meeting. Meanwhile in Greece, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his two coalition partners failed to reach an agreement on the EUR 11.5 billion spending cuts requisitioned by the troika. Samaras is in talks with the troika representatives after they reportedly rejected a part of the austerity plans prepared by the government. The German court ruling coincides with the Dutch elections, which will show if voters will back the parties that signed an austerity agreement to cut down the budget deficit by 3 percent of the GDP by 2013. Meanwhile, in an interview to Spanish television on Monday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the government has not yet taken a decision to request a bailout. He said he will look at the conditions that the European Union will impose if the country requests a bailout. Rajoy said he could not accept being told where the government had to cut spending. The leader vowed that he would not, by any chance, cut pensions.

[Sep11]    Mexico Jul Industrial Output Up 0.53% On Month Vs. 1.54% In June, Consensus 0.3%

[Sep11]    Polish Current Account Deficit Narrows In July

Poland's current account shortfall decreased from the previous month in July, mainly due to an improvement in goods trade, data released by National Bank of Poland showed Tuesday. The current account deficit dropped to EUR1.027 billion in July from EUR1.24 billion in June. A year earlier, the balance was a deficit of EUR1.865 billion. Economists were looking for a shortfall of EUR1.316 billion for July. The merchandise trade account showed a deficit of EUR314 million during the month, down from June's EUR412 million shortfall. The surplus in the services account dropped to EUR407 million from EUR546 million. The balance in the income account was a deficit of EUR1.555 billion, up from the previous month's EUR1.441 billion deficit. The surplus in the current transfers account climbed to EUR435 million from EUR67 million in June, data showed.

[Sep11]    U.S. Trade Deficit Rises Less Than Expected To $42 Billion In July

Falling imports and exports both contributed to a slight growth in the U.S. trade deficit in July, though revised figures for June put the overall level below the expectations of most economists. According to figures released Tuesday by the Commerce Department, the U.S. economy exported $183.3 billion in goods and services in July, compared to imports of $225.3 billion for the month. The difference marks a trade deficit of $42 billion, up from the June trade deficit level of $41.9 billion. The July deficit, though increased, is well below the $44.3 billion mark projected by most economists, likely in part because of the revision of June deficit figures from the $42.9 billion initially reported. As a percentage measure, the changes are relatively minor, with the deficit increasing 0.2 percent as exports, a positive to the economy, fell 1.0 percent, while imports fell at a slower 0.8 percent rate.

[Sep11]    U.K. Visible Trade Gap Narrows On Robust Exports

The U.K. visible trade deficit narrowed sharply in July driven by strong growth in exports, weathering the global economic slowdown. The visible trade gap fell more-than-expected to GBP 7.1 billion in July, the smallest since February 2011, data from the Office for National Statistics revealed Tuesday. The deficit was forecast to drop to GBP 10 billion from GBP 10.1 billion in June. The trade in goods with EU countries showed a shortfall of GBP 4.3 billion compared to a GBP 5 billion deficit in June. Likewise, the deficit with non-EU nations halved to GBP 2.9 billion from GBP 5.1 billion due to a record increase in exports to these nations. Exports to EU nations rose 7.7 percent, with a notable increase in oil shipments, and imports grew 1.1 percent. At the same time, shipments to non-EU nations increased 11 percent, while imports fell 5.3 percent. Meanwhile, the trade in services resulted in a surplus of GBP 5.6 billion compared to June's GBP 5.7 billion surplus. The total trade balance, including both goods and services, showed a deficit of GBP 1.5 billion, down sharply from GBP 4.3 billion deficit in June. The oil deficit fell to GBP 0.6 billion in July from GBP 1.6 billion in June. The sale of chemical and consumer goods improved in July, while imports of oil and precious stones declined markedly. The ONS warned that month-on-month growth rates can be volatile. The improvement in overall trade largely reflects a reversal of some one-off adverse factors in June, like the extra bank holiday, Jonathan Loynes at Capital Economics said. Moreover, a big drop in the volatile oil deficit that helped in July could rebound in future months, the economist added. The sharply reduced trade deficit in July suggests that net trade could well make a rare recent positive contribution to GDP in the third quarter after being a major contributor to the contraction suffered in the first half of 2012, IHS Global Insight's Chief UK economist Howard Archer said.

[Sep11]    Spain Residential Property Transfers Decline In July

Registered merchanding of residential properties in Spain decreased 2.5 percent on an annual basis in July, data released by statistical office INE showed Tuesday. Transfers of both free dwellings as well as protected housing decreased by 2.5 percent each compared to last year. Compared to June, registered merchanding of houses advanced 7.8 percent to 27,388 units in July. As much as 87.6 percent of merchanding of dwellings in July was free housing, and 12.4 percent was protected housing. New dwellings transferred by merchanding accounted for 48.5 percent of the total transfers, while 51.5 percent were used houses, data showed. Overall, the number of all property transfers increased 3.9 percent from last year to 133,144 units in July. Month-on-month, total transfers rose 2.2 percent.

[Sep11]    German Court Won't Delay Ruling On ESM: Reports

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court said Tuesday that it would not delay its most-awaited ruling on the European Stability Mechanism, or ESM, while rejecting a last-minute bid by a German lawmaker to postpone the judgment. Reports said the top court in Karlsruhe will pronounce its ruling on the bailout fund and the fiscal compact for budget discipline at 10 a.m. (0800 GMT) on Wednesday, as originally planned, after rejecting a petition for a temporary injunction by Peter Gauweiler, a member of Parliament. Gauweiler has said in a statement that the fund should not be ratified until the European Central Bank revokes its bond-buying plan.

[Sep11]    OECD July Unemployment Rate At 8% Vs. 7.9% In June

[Sep11]    China's Bank Lending Surges Amid Efforts To Revive Growth

Chinese banks' new local-currency lending exceeded economists' forecasts in August, reflecting higher government spending amid efforts to stimulate growth in Asia's largest economy. New yuan lending rose to CNY 703.9 billion in August from CNY 540.1 billion loans extended in July, data from the People's Bank of China showed Tuesday. The August figure exceeded the forecast of CNY 600 billion. The pick up in lending follows the central bank's two rate cuts earlier this year and the government's approval of infrastructure projects worth more than CNY 1 trillion in the recent weeks. The central bank did not release the money supply data with new loan data today. The central bank reduced interest rates in June and July and has also lowered the reserve requirement ration three times since November last year. Premier Wen Jiabao has repeatedly vowed to continue fine-tuning of government policies to stabilize economic growth. Speaking at APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Russia over the weekend, Chinese President Hu Jintao said that the economy is facing notable downward pressure largely due to slowing export growth. China's economic growth slowed to a three-year low of 7.6 percent in the second quarter, just above the government's full-year target of 7.5 percent. This primarily reflected weak exports due to reduced demand from European Union, its largest trading partner. China's exports grew at a slower pace in August, while imports declined, customs data revealed Monday. Manufacturing has also showed considerable weakness in the recent months, as evidenced by the latest purchasing managers' surveys. According to official data released Sunday, industrial output eased to 8.9 percent annually in August from 9.2 percent in July.

[Sep11]    Fitch Affirms New Zealand's Sovereign Ratings

Fitch Ratings on Tuesday affirmed New Zealand's sovereign ratings despite high external indebtedness and global economic weakness. The long-term foreign- and local currency Issuer Default Ratings were affirmed at 'AA' and 'AA+', respectively, with stable outlook. The ratings reflect Fitch's assessment that high external indebtedness and below median average incomes remain key weaknesses of the sovereign credit profile. Offsetting this is New Zealand's strong track record of monetary policy management, prudent fiscal management, high level of economic development, and a strong governance and business environment, it said. Despite lingering global economic weakness and domestic fiscal austerity, Fitch expects a boost in economic growth from reconstruction of Christchurch following the 2011 earthquake. Sustained improvement in New Zealand's external finance ratios and continued household deleveraging would address a number of weaknesses in the sovereign credit profile, it said.

[Sep11]    German Court Won't Delay Ruling On ESM: Reports

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court said Tuesday that it would not delay its most-awaited ruling on the European Stability Mechanism, or ESM, while rejecting a last-minute bid by a German lawmaker to postpone the judgment. Reports said the top court in Karlsruhe will pronounce its ruling on the bailout fund and the fiscal compact for budget discipline at 10 a.m. (0800 GMT) on Wednesday, as originally planned, after rejecting a petition for a temporary injunction by Peter Gauweiler, a member of Parliament. Gauweiler has said in a statement that the fund should not be ratified until the European Central Bank revokes its bond-buying plan.

[Sep11]    China End-Aug. M2 Money Supply Up 13.5% On Year, M1 Rises 4.5%

[Sep11]    China's Bank Lending Surges Amid Efforts To Revive Growth

Chinese banks' new local-currency lending exceeded economists' forecasts in August, reflecting higher government spending amid efforts to stimulate growth in Asia's largest economy. New yuan lending rose to CNY 703.9 billion in August from CNY 540.1 billion loans extended in July, data from the People's Bank of China showed Tuesday. The August figure exceeded the forecast of CNY 600 billion. The pick up in lending follows the central bank's two rate cuts earlier this year and the government's approval of infrastructure projects worth more than CNY 1 trillion in the recent weeks. The central bank did not release the money supply data with new loan data today. The central bank reduced interest rates in June and July and has also lowered the reserve requirement ration three times since November last year. Premier Wen Jiabao has repeatedly vowed to continue fine-tuning of government policies to stabilize economic growth. Speaking at APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Russia over the weekend, Chinese President Hu Jintao said that the economy is facing notable downward pressure largely due to slowing export growth. China's economic growth slowed to a three-year low of 7.6 percent in the second quarter, just above the government's full-year target of 7.5 percent. This primarily reflected weak exports due to reduced demand from European Union, its largest trading partner. China's exports grew at a slower pace in August, while imports declined, customs data revealed Monday. Manufacturing has also showed considerable weakness in the recent months, as evidenced by the latest purchasing managers' surveys. According to official data released Sunday, industrial output eased to 8.9 percent annually in August from 9.2 percent in July.

[Sep11]    Euro Crisis Still Has "Long Way To Go", IMF's Zhu Says

Europe still has a "long way to go" in resolving its debt crisis, International Monetary Fund Deputy Managing Director Zhu Min reportedly said Tuesday. "The crisis is not over," he was quoted as saying during a speech at the World Economic Forum in the Chinese port city of Tianjin. "We are still in the middle" and "there is a long way to go," he said. Zhu also urged Europe to keep faith in the single currency. On China, he said the economy is currently experiencing "soft landing." Stabilizing Chinese growth is of top priority and the IMF supports further policy easing in China, reports said quoting the official.

[Sep11]    UK May-Jul Exports Up 0.9% On Quarter, Imports Down 0.8%

[Sep11]    Czech July Current Account Deficit CZK11.5 Bln, Consensus CZK8.65 Bln Deficit

[Sep11]    Turkey Current Account Shortfall Narrows In July

Turkey's current account deficit decreased more than economists expected in July, data released by the central bank showed Tuesday. The current account deficit decreased to $3.86 billion in July from $4.19 billion in June. Economists were looking for a deficit of $4 billion. The goods trade account showed a deficit of $6.38 billion, higher than the previous month's 5.74 billion shortfall. The balance in the services account was a surplus of $2.93 billion in July, up from June's $1.84 billion surplus. The shortfall in the income account widened to $455 million in July from $373 million in the previous month, while surplus in the current transfers account decreased to $47 million from $84 million, data showed.

[Sep11]    Dutch July Trade Surplus EUR 2.8 Bln

[Sep11]    Hungary's Inflation Rises As Expected In August

Hungary's consumer price inflation rose to 6 percent annually in August, in line with forecast, from 5.8 percent in July, the Hungarian Central Statistical Office said Tuesday. Food prices surged 6.3 percent from a year ago and the cost of services moved up 4.1 percent. Clothing and footwear charges gained 3.5 percent. EU harmonized inflation also came in at 6 percent. Month-on-month, the index edged up 0.1 percent. On a monthly basis, consumer prices grew 0.1 percent, offsetting July's 0.1 percent fall. Economists had forecast a 0.2 percent rise for August.

[Sep11]    Australia Business Confidence Slips On Commodity Price Outlook

Australian business sentiment fell back in August after a solid improvement in July as weakening outlook for commodity prices toppled confidence in the mining industry, the National Australia Bank (NAB) said in its latest survey published on Tuesday. The business confidence index fell to -2 in August from 3 in July. Mining was the worst affected industry, although most sectors saw weaker confidence levels on the back of global uncertainty. A notable exception was retail where lower rates seem to have offset these impacts, NAB said. At the same time, the business conditions index rose to 1 in August from -3 in July. However, the levels of activity remain subdued. The improvement was driven by broad-based improvements in trading conditions, profitability and to a lesser extent employment. Businesses' demand for credit increased in August helped by rate cuts by Reserve Bank of Australia over the past eleven months. However, overall lending conditions were difficult, the NAB report said. The RBA, led by Governor Glenn Stevens, retained the benchmark cash rate unchanged at 3.5 percent for a third consecutive rate-setting session held on September 4. According to the central bank, some commodity prices of importance to Australia have fallen sharply in recent weeks. Stevens has said that the impact of earlier policy changes is still working its way through the economy. Australia has the highest borrowing costs among the developed economies, even after a cumulative 125 basis-point reduction in cash rate since November last year. The economy expanded 0.6 percent sequentially in the second quarter of 2012 following 1.4 percent expansion in the first quarter.

[Sep11]    Romania July Industrial Production Up 2.9% On Year, Rises Sa. 1.1% On Month

[Sep11]    Spain July House Transactions Down 2.5% On Year

[Sep11]    Japan's Business Confidence Strengthens In Q3

Business confidence among Japanese major firms improved to 2.2 in the third quarter, marking the first increase in four quarters, a quarterly survey published by the Ministry of Finance showed Tuesday. In the first quarter, the index came in at -3.1. Sentiment amongst both major manufacturers and non-manufacturers strengthened during July to September period. The survey showed that large companies' sentiment is set to rise to 5.4 points in the December quarter, before falling to 5.2 points in the first quarter of 2013. Large companies raised their capital spending forecast to 9.8 percent for the fiscal 2012 from 8.4 percent. Non-manufacturers forecast a 6.8 percent increase in capital spending, down from the prior estimate of 7.5 percent. Meanwhile, large manufactures see a 15 percent rise in spending this fiscal year, up from 9.8 percent.

[Sep11]    European Economics Preview: U.K. Foreign Trade Data Due

Foreign trade from the U.K. and wholesale prices from Germany are due on Tuesday, headlining a light day for the European economic news. At 2.00 am ET, Germany's wholesale prices are due. Wholesale price annual inflation is seen at 2.5 percent in August, up from 2 percent in July. Hungary's consumer prices and Turkey's current account figures are due at 3.00 am ET. Hungary's annual inflation is expected to rise to 6 percent in August from 5.8 percent in July. At 3.00 am ET, Statistics Netherlands is set to publish external trade data for July. At 4.30 am ET, the Office for National Statistics is slated to publish foreign trade data. The U.K. visible trade deficit is expected to narrow to GBP 9 billion in July from GBP 10 billion in June. At 8.00 am ET, Poland's current account data is due. The current account deficit is seen at EUR 1.3 billion compared to EUR 1.24 billion in June.

[Sep11]    Australia Business Confidence Slips On Commodity Price Outlook

Australian business sentiment fell back in August after a solid improvement in July as weakening outlook for commodity prices toppled confidence in the mining industry, the National Australia Bank (NAB) said in its latest survey published on Tuesday. The business confidence index fell to -2 in August from 3 in July. Mining was the worst affected industry, although most sectors saw weaker confidence levels on the back of global uncertainty. A notable exception was retail where lower rates seem to have offset these impacts, NAB said. At the same time, the business conditions index rose to 1 in August from -3 in July. However, the levels of activity remain subdued. The improvement was driven by broad-based improvements in trading conditions, profitability and to a lesser extent employment. Businesses' demand for credit increased in August helped by rate cuts by Reserve Bank of Australia over the past eleven months. However, overall lending conditions were difficult, the NAB report said. The RBA, led by Governor Glenn Stevens, retained the benchmark cash rate unchanged at 3.5 percent for a third consecutive rate-setting session held on September 4. According to the central bank, some commodity prices of importance to Australia have fallen sharply in recent weeks. Stevens has said that the impact of earlier policy changes is still working its way through the economy. Australia has the highest borrowing costs among the developed economies, even after a cumulative 125 basis-point reduction in cash rate since November last year. The economy expanded 0.6 percent sequentially in the second quarter of 2012 following 1.4 percent expansion in the first quarter.

[Sep11]    Europe Awaits Top German Court Ruling On ESM

Germany's top court is set to deliver a crucial judgment on the viability of the European Stability Mechanism, or ESM, and the fiscal pact on Wednesday, which would decide the fate of the EUR 500 billion bailout fund and the future course of the region's fight with the protracted debt crisis. While politicians expressed confidence that the bailout fund will survive, many economists feel that the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe may delay the ruling or even impose some conditions, rather than rule against it. Both houses of the Parliament approved the ESM and the fiscal pact on June 29, with two-thirds of the German lawmakers voting in favor of it. Peter Gauweiler, a lawmaker in Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling party and one of the plaintiffs who lodged a temporary injunction request against the ESM, said in a statement on Sunday that the fund should not be ratified until the ECB revoke its plans to become "a hyper rescue fund." The plaintiffs also argue that the bailout fund infringed Germany's budgetary authority, according to reports. Last Thursday, the ECB announced its decision to engage in outright monetary transactions or OMTs, which will allow the bank to purchase sovereign bonds in the secondary markets. Under ECB chief Mario Draghi's plans, the central bank would buy a potentially unlimited amount of bonds of debt-stricken Eurozone members on the condition that these countries made a formal request for bailout funds and stuck to the terms of any deal. "Under appropriate conditions, we will have a fully effective backstop to avoid destructive scenarios with potentially severe challenges for price stability in the euro area," Draghi said after last week's Governing Council meeting. Meanwhile in Greece, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his two coalition partners failed to reach an agreement on the EUR 11.5 billion spending cuts requisitioned by the troika. Samaras is in talks with the troika representatives after they reportedly rejected a part of the austerity plans prepared by the government. The German court ruling coincides with the Dutch elections, which will show if voters will back the parties that signed an austerity agreement to cut down the budget deficit by 3 percent of the GDP by 2013. Meanwhile, in an interview to Spanish television on Monday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the government has not yet taken a decision to request a bailout. He said he will look at the conditions that the European Union will impose if the country requests a bailout. Rajoy said he could not accept being told where the government had to cut spending. The leader vowed that he would not, by any chance, cut pensions.

[Sep11]    U.K. House Prices Decline At Slower Pace In August: RICS

U.K. house prices declined at a slower than expected pace in August as surveyors expect housing activity to improve on government measures, a monthly survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' (RICS) showed Tuesday. The index measuring the average asking price for a home in the U.K. came in at -19 in August, up from July's revised balance of -23. This beat forecasts for a score of -22. At the regional level, London remains the only area where the price balance is positive. Among individual components of the survey, the newly agreed sales balance jumped to 5 from -18 in July, while the new seller instructions balance rose to 0 in August from -12. Despite the Olympics taking centre stage throughout much of August, it did not have any real impact on the proportion of sales going through, said Ian Perry, RICS spokesperson. In August, the Bank of England along with the government had initiated the 'Funding for Lending Scheme' to boost lending to households and companies. Further, Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled last week a package to boost the housing industry that includes relaxation of planning laws and cash injection. The government will guarantee as much as GBP 40 billion of new infrastructure projects. The survey respondents' price expectations for the coming three months as well as a year ahead improved in August, RICS said. Surveyors see an improvement in lending conditions and cheaper finance as a result of measures taken so far by the government and central bank. The recent Halifax house price survey showed that house prices were down 0.4 percent month-on-month in August and 0.7 percent in July. According to Lloyds Banking Group's Halifax division, gradual upward trend in spending power, supported by lower inflation, will possibly support housing demand in the coming months.

[Sep11]    Estonia's Trade Deficit Widens In July

Estonia's merchandise trade deficit increased from last year in July, data released by Statistics Estonia showed Tuesday. The trade deficit increased to EUR95.5 million in July from EUR73.1 million in July last year. In June 2012, the balance was a deficit of EUR104.3 million. Export of goods increased 12 percent on an annual basis to EUR1.05 billion in July. Month-on-month, shipments rose 2 percent. Russia, which accounted for 15 percent of the total exports, became Estonia's largest export partner for the first time. The value of imports advanced 14 percent year-on-year to EUR1.15 billion during the month. Compared to June, arrivals moved up 1 percent.

[Sep11]    Estonia July Trade Deficit EUR95.4 Mln

[Sep11]    China's Bank Lending Surges In August

China's bank lending surged more than expected in August, data from the People's Bank of China showed Tuesday. New yuan lending rose to CNY 703.9 billion from the CNY 540.1 billion loans extended last month. The August figure exceeded the consensus forecast of CNY 600 billion. The increase in lending largely reflects spending in infrastructure projects.

[Sep10]    Manpower Survey Reveals Positive, But Cautious Hiring Plans In Q4

Most of the labor markets in countries across the globe have "continued positive, but cautious" hiring plans for the fourth quarter of 2012, amid ongoing economic uncertainty, the latest survey by ManpowerGroup showed Tuesday. According to the survey, job seekers will see varying degrees of positive hiring activity across 31 of 42 countries and territories, with employers in 22 labor markets reporting improved or relatively stable hiring intentions compared to the third quarter. However, the pace of hiring is expected to weaken in 26 markets compared to one year ago, the report said. Employers in nearly all industry sectors in the emerging markets of China, Brazil and India are expected to slow the pace of hiring compared to fourth quarter last year, most notably in India. Meanwhile, in the world's seven largest economies, hiring forecasts remain "positive yet conservative" in all countries except Italy, where the outlook declined further into negative territory. In the U.S., employers remain confident enough to maintain the same steady hiring pace seen over the past year," ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Joerres said. Despite the continued challenges in the Eurozone, the French, German and UK labor markets exhibit some resiliency compared to three months ago and that's a positive sign, Joerres added.

[Sep10]    Manpower Survey Reveals Positive, But Cautious Hiring Plans In Q4

Most of the labor markets in countries across the globe have "continued positive, but cautious" hiring plans for the fourth quarter of 2012, amid ongoing economic uncertainty, the latest survey by ManpowerGroup showed Tuesday. According to the survey, job seekers will see varying degrees of positive hiring activity across 31 of 42 countries and territories, with employers in 22 labor markets reporting improved or relatively stable hiring intentions compared to the third quarter. However, the pace of hiring is expected to weaken in 26 markets compared to one year ago, the report said. Employers in nearly all industry sectors in the emerging markets of China, Brazil and India are expected to slow the pace of hiring compared to fourth quarter last year, most notably in India. Meanwhile, in the world's seven largest economies, hiring forecasts remain "positive yet conservative" in all countries except Italy, where the outlook declined further into negative territory. In the U.S., employers remain confident enough to maintain the same steady hiring pace seen over the past year," ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Joerres said. Despite the continued challenges in the Eurozone, the French, German and UK labor markets exhibit some resiliency compared to three months ago and that's a positive sign, Joerres added.

[Sep10]    Australia Business Confidence Drops In August

Confidence among Australian businesses fell back in August after a solid improvement in July as weak outlook for commodity prices crushed confidence level in the mining industry, the National Australia Bank (NAB) said in its latest survey, published on Tuesday. The business confidence index fell to -2 in August from 3 in July. Mining was the worst affected industry, although most sectors saw weaker confidence levels on the back of global uncertainty. A notable exception was retail where lower rates seem to have offset these impacts, NAB said. At the same time, the business conditions index rose to 1 in August from -3 in July. However, the levels of activity remain subdued. The improvement was driven by broad-based improvements in trading conditions, profitability and to a lesser extent employment. Businesses' demand for credit increased in August helped by RBA rate cuts over the past eleven months. However, overall lending conditions were difficult, the report said.

[Sep10]    China Aug New Yuan Loans CNY 703.9Bln, Consensus CNY 600Bln

[Sep10]    Manpower Survey Reveals Positive, But Cautious Hiring Plans In Q4

Most of the labor markets in countries across the globe have "continued positive, but cautious" hiring plans for the fourth quarter of 2012, amid ongoing economic uncertainty, the latest survey by ManpowerGroup showed Tuesday. According to the survey, job seekers will see varying degrees of positive hiring activity across 31 of 42 countries and territories, with employers in 22 labor markets reporting improved or relatively stable hiring intentions compared to the third quarter. However, the pace of hiring is expected to weaken in 26 markets compared to one year ago, the report said. Employers in nearly all industry sectors in the emerging markets of China, Brazil and India are expected to slow the pace of hiring compared to fourth quarter last year, most notably in India. Meanwhile, in the world's seven largest economies, hiring forecasts remain "positive yet conservative" in all countries except Italy, where the outlook declined further into negative territory. In the U.S., employers remain confident enough to maintain the same steady hiring pace seen over the past year," ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Joerres said. Despite the continued challenges in the Eurozone, the French, German and UK labor markets exhibit some resiliency compared to three months ago and that's a positive sign, Joerres added.

[Sep10]    Australia Business Confidence Drops In August

Confidence among Australian businesses fell back in August after a solid improvement in July as weak outlook for commodity prices crushed confidence level in the mining industry, the National Australia Bank (NAB) said in its latest survey, published on Tuesday. The business confidence index fell to -2 in August from 3 in July. Mining was the worst affected industry, although most sectors saw weaker confidence levels on the back of global uncertainty. A notable exception was retail where lower rates seem to have offset these impacts, NAB said. At the same time, the business conditions index rose to 1 in August from -3 in July. However, the levels of activity remain subdued. The improvement was driven by broad-based improvements in trading conditions, profitability and to a lesser extent employment. Businesses' demand for credit increased in August helped by RBA rate cuts over the past eleven months. However, overall lending conditions were difficult, the report said.

[Sep10]    Australia Aug NAB Business Conditions Index 1 Vs -3 In July: Reports

[Sep10]    Japan M2 Money Stock +2.4% On Year In August

The value of M2 money stock and CDs in Japan was up 2.4 percent on year in August, the Bank of Japan said on Tuesday, standing at 819.0 trillion yen. That was higher than forecasts for an increase of 2.3 percent following the 2.2 percent gain in July. M3 was up an annual 2.1 percent to 1,126.3 trillion yen - also topping expectations for a 1.9 percent increase, which would have been unchanged from the previous month. L money stock added 0.3 percent on year to 1,462.1 trillion yen in August after showing a flat reading a month prior.

[Sep10]    UK House Price Balance Rises To -19 In August - RICS

An index measuring the average asking price for a home in the United Kingdom came in at -19 in August, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors revealed on Tuesday in its month balance. That beat forecasts for a score of -22 after coming in at an upwardly revised -23 in July (originally -24). Among the individual components of the survey, the newly agreed sales balance jumped to 5 from -18 in July, while the new vendor instructions balance rose to 0 in August from -12. The three-month price expectations balance rose to -13 from -21, while the 12-month price expectations balance was up to -17 from -24.

[Sep10]    UK August House Price Balance -19 Vs. -23 In July - RICS

[Sep10]    New Zealand Electronic Card Spending Increases In August

Retail credit Card spending in New Zealand increased in August by 3.0 percent, Statistics NZ reported Tuesday. The figure is seasonally adjusted. Core retail electronic card spending, which includes motor vehicle related purchases, was up 1.0 percent Statistics NZ said the August increase in fuel spending was the biggest monthly increase for that category since the start of record keeping in October 2002. Most economists were expecting a 1.0 percent increase in overall spending and a 0.8 percent increase in retail credit card expenditures. Overall electronic card spending in New Zealand posted a 0.8 percent decline in July while retail spending was down 0.6 percent.

[Sep10]    New Zealand August Retail Credit Card Transactions Up 3.0%

[Sep10]    Japan Data On Tap For Tuesday

Japan is scheduled to release a raft of data on Tuesday, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. On tap are August figures for machine tool orders and money stock, as well as Q3 numbers for large manufacturing. Machine tool orders were down 6.7 percent on year in July. M2 money stock is expected to rise 2.3 percent on year after adding 2.2 percent in June. M3 is called unchanged at 1.9 percent. The large manufacturing index was down 5.7 percent on quarter, while the all industry index was down 3.1 percent. New Zealand will announce August data for credit card spending, with analysts expecting an increase of 0.8 percent on month and 1.0 percent on year. That follows the 0.6 percent monthly contraction and the 0.8 percent yearly decline in July. Australia will provide the August results of the NAB business survey for confidence and conditions. Confidence saw a score of 4 in July, while conditions were at -3.

[Sep10]    U.S. Consumer Credit Falls $3.3 Billion In July

[Sep10]    Lithuania's Inflation Rises Further In August

Lithuania's annual inflation accelerated for the second consecutive month in August, data released by the Department of Statistics showed Monday. Consumer price inflation increased to 3.3 percent in August from 2.8 percent in the previous month. In June, the rate of inflation was 2.5 percent, which was unchanged form the preceding month. Food and non-alcoholic beverages prices rose 2.9 percent annually during the month, while clothing and footwear prices moved up 3.5 percent. Housing costs and utility prices were higher by 5.4 percent compared to last year, and transportation costs by 4.5 percent. On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.2 percent in August, after remaining unchanged in the previous month.

[Sep10]    Lithuania's Inflation Rises Further In August

Lithuania's annual inflation accelerated for the second consecutive month in August, data released by the Department of Statistics showed Monday. Consumer price inflation increased to 3.3 percent in August from 2.8 percent in the previous month. In June, the rate of inflation was 2.5 percent, which was unchanged form the preceding month. Food and non-alcoholic beverages prices rose 2.9 percent annually during the month, while clothing and footwear prices moved up 3.5 percent. Housing costs and utility prices were higher by 5.4 percent compared to last year, and transportation costs by 4.5 percent. On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.2 percent in August, after remaining unchanged in the previous month.

[Sep10]    Bulgaria Industrial Output Growth Slows In July

Bulgaria's industrial production increased at a notably slower pace in July, preliminary data released by the National Statistical Institute showed Monday. Industrial production increased a working-day adjusted 0.4 percent from last year in July, slower than the 2.2 percent growth seen in June. In May, production had increased 0.4 percent year-on-year. Mining and quarrying production advanced 1.5 percent annually during the month, while manufacturing production decreased 1 percent. Production of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning was higher by 3.1 percent compared to last year. Industrial output moved up a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent compared to June, when it decreased by 0.4 percent, data showed. Separately, the agency said Bulgaria's construction production increased 3.1 percent year-on-year in July, after falling 3.6 percent in June. On a monthly basis, construction output rose a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent, reversing the previous month's 0.8 percent decrease.

[Sep10]    Latvia's Trade Deficit Narrows In July

Latvia's merchandise trade deficit decreased from last year in July, preliminary data released by the Central Statistical Bureau showed Monday. The trade deficit decreased to LVL164.7 million in July from LVL218.2 million in the same month a year earlier. In June, the trade balance was a deficit of LVL169.3 million. Export of goods increased 16.5 percent year-on-year to LVL550.60 million during the month. Compared to June, exports increased 2.5 percent. The value of imports advanced 3.5 percent on an annual basis to LVL715.31 million. Sequentially, arrivals grew 1.2 percent in July. In the January-July period, exports increased by 11.2 percent from the same period a year earlier, while imports climbed 14.3 percent.

[Sep10]    Greek Industrial Output Falls In July

Greece's industrial production decreased from last year in July, after increasing modestly in the previous month, data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority showed Monday. Industrial production decreased 5 percent on an annual basis in July, reversing the previous month's 0.2 percent gain. Mining and quarrying production decreased by 2.6 percent, while manufacturing production dropped 7.8 percent. Output of electricity, meanwhile, advanced 1.2 percent year-on-year during the month, and water supply output by 1.3 percent. On a monthly basis, industrial production increased 7.9 percent in July, notably faster than the 3.9 percent increase seen in the previous month. In the seven-month period ended July, on average, industrial production decreased 4.8 percent from the corresponding period a year earlier.

[Sep10]    Germany Sells 6-month Bubill At Negative Yield

Germany placed its new 6-month treasury bills at negative yield on Monday. The country sold EUR 3.40 billion of its March 2013 Bubill against a target of EUR 4 billion, the Bundesbank said. The sale drew bids totaling EUR 5.125 billion. The average yield was -0.0147 percent versus -0.0499 percent in the previous sale on August 13. The bid-to-cover ratio, which reflects demand, rose to 1.5 from 1.3.

[Sep10]    Latvia July Trade Surplus LVL 715.3 Mln Vs. LVL 690.9 Mln Last Year

[Sep10]    U.K. Aug Business Confidence At 20-Year Low

U.K. business confidence declined to a 20-year low in August, the latest Business Trends report from accountants and business advisers BDO LLP showed Monday. The Optimism Index, which predicts business performance two quarters ahead, suggests the economy will continue to contract at the start of 2013. In August, the index reading came in at 89.1, down from 93.1 in July. The index was down for the sixth consecutive month and hit the lowest since the series began in 1992. The Output Index, which predicts short-run turnover expectations, also fell sharply to 90.8 in August from 93.9 in July, reaching its lowest point for 40 months. Reflecting declines in the optimism and output indices, the employment index slid to 92.1 in August. With the private sector unlikely to absorb further forthcoming public sector job cuts, conditions for UK job seekers are unlikely to improve before the end of the year, BDO said.

[Sep10]    Greek Inflation Rises In August

Greece's consumer price inflation accelerated in August, after remaining stable in the previous month, data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority showed Monday. Inflation rose to 1.7 percent in August from 1.3 percent in July, which was in line with the June growth. Food and non-alcoholic beverages prices rose 2.6 percent annually, while clothing and footwear prices fell by 11 percent. Housing costs were higher by 8.2 percent from July, and transportation costs by 4.4 percent. On a monthly basis, consumer prices dropped 1 percent in August, slower than the 1.4 percent fall seen in July. At the same time, the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP), measured under the EU methodology, increased 1.2 percent annually in August, while month on month it dropped 1.2 percent.

[Sep10]    Fed's Turn To Revive Confidence….

Its Fed's turn now after European Central Bank's Mario Draghi announced last week new outright monetary transactions or purchases of sovereign bonds of 1 to 3 year maturities. The program is unlimited in the sense no quantitative limits are set on the size of transactions. That said, the program is conditional on an EFSF program and can take the form of a full program or a precautionary program that includes the possibility of EFSF/ESM primary market purchases. The central bank also eased collateral rules, namely the suspension of the minimum rating threshold for countries with an OMT or a EU-IMF program. Outside of Friday's jobs data, the U.S. labor market statistics have been fairly benign. Even if QE III is announced, Dankse Bank believes that it will be closely tied to economic data, making the size and scope of asset purchases conditional on the pace of recovery in order to accommodate concerns of hawkish committee members. Any potential augmentation of stimulus could be more gradual than the previous program, with ongoing evaluation from meeting to meeting. Last week, the Labor Department reported that monthly non-farm payrolls numbers rose a weaker than expected 96,000 in August. July's reading was downwardly revised to 141,000 from the 163,000 growth initially estimated. Private sector job growth also slowed to 103,000 in August from 162,000 in July. The decline in labor force participation rate led to a drop in the jobless rate to 8.1 percent. While the average duration of unemployment rose to 39.2 months, average hourly earnings rose 1.7 percent year-over-year, although remaining flat with July. The U.S. manufacturing sector continued to contract for the third straight month in August. The manufacturing index based on the Institute for Supply Management's survey came in at 49.6 in August compared to 49.8 in July. The new orders index fell 0.9 points to 47.1, the lowest level since April 2009, while the order backlogs index slid to 42.5. The employment index was down 0.4 points to 51.6. Of the 18 industries surveyed, 8 reported growth and 8 saw contraction, while the remaining 2 saw little change. Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management's service sector survey showed that activity in the sector expanded at a faster rate in August. The non-manufacturing index based on the survey rose 1.1 points to 53.7. The employment index rose 4.5 points to 53.8 and the order backlogs index rose 6 points to 50.5, while the business activity index slipped 1.6 points to 55.6 and the new orders index edged down 0.6 points to 53.7. Of the 18 industries surveyed, 10 reported growth, 5 reported contraction and the remaining 3 reported no change. The Commerce Department said construction spending fell 0.9 percent month-over-month in July compared to the 0.4 percent growth expected by economists. June spending was left unrevised at 0.4 percent, while May's reading was upwardly revised to show 1.7 percent growth compared to the initially estimated 1.6 percent growth. Residential construction spending fell 1.6 percent and private non-residential spending declined 0.9 percent, while public spending was down 0.4 percent. The FOMC meeting takes the center stage in the unfolding week, as traders look ahead to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to emulate his counterpart at the European Central Bank. Traders may also watch the Commerce Department's retail sales report for August, the Federal Reserve's industrial production report for August, the weekly jobless claims report and the results of a consumer sentiment survey for September by Reuters and the University of Michigan. The Federal Reserve's consumer credit report for July, the Commerce Department's trade balance report for July, the Labor Department's import and export price indexes for August, the Labor Department's producer and consumer price inflation reports for August and a couple of Fed speeches may also draw some attention. The Commerce Department's wholesale and business inventories reports for July, the Treasury Budget for August and Treasury auctions of 3-year and 10-year notes and 30-year bonds round up the economic events of the week. Most economists do not expect the Fed to announce additional quantitative easing at the September meeting. Some like BMO Capital Markets expects the central bank to extend the period of policy rate guidance to at least well into 2015 from the current timeframe of at least through 2014. The belief is based on the argument that the "Operation Twist" program is set to continue until the end of the year. Retail sales are expected to show a strong increase in August, helped by strong auto sales and a surge in gas prices. Even excluding autos and gasoline, retail sales may have remained healthy, given anecdotal evidence of decent back-to-school outlays. Industrial production is expected to reveal weakness, as the soft patch stifles the factory sector. The national manufacturing survey of the Institute for Supply Management showed that the production index fell below the key '50' level for the first time since May 2009 in August, suggesting that firms are cutting production than raising it. Monday The U.S. Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its monthly consumer credit report at 3 pm ET. Consumer credit for July is expected to show an increase of $9.8 billion. Outstanding consumer credit rose by $6.5 billion or 3 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual basis in June. Revolving credit tied to credit cards slipped by $3.7 billion, while non-revolving credit associated with auto loans rose by $10.2 billion. Tuesday The trade gap data for July is due out at 8:30 am ET. Economists estimate that the trade gap widened to $44.3 billion in the month. The trade gap measures the difference between imports and exports of both tangible goods and services. In June, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $42.9 billion, as exports rose 0.9 percent to a record high of $185 billion, while imports were down 1.5 percent. The real trade deficit also narrowed and therefore net trade is likely to give support to the overall growth in the second quarter. Wednesday A 2-day FOMC meeting is scheduled to begin on Wednesday. The export & import price indexes for August, which gives the changes in the prices of non-military goods and services traded between the U.S. and the rest of the world, are due out at 8:30 am ET. The consensus estimates call for a 1.5 percent month-over-month increase in import prices and a 0.5 percent rise in export prices. Export prices rose 0.5 percent month-over-month in July compared to a 0.6 percent drop in import prices. The consensus estimates had called for a 0.2 percent month-over-month decline in import prices and a 0.1 percent decline in export prices. The Commerce Department is due to release its wholesale inventories report at 10 am ET. Economists expect wholesale inventories at the end of July to show a 0.4 percent increase. Wholesale inventories fell 0.2 percent month-over-month in June, while inventories were up 5.3 percent year-over-year. Wholesale sales fell 1.4 percent month-over-month but were up 3.1 percent from last year. Accordingly, the inventories to sales ratio was at 1.20 compared to 1.17 in the year-ago period. The Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release its weekly petroleum inventory report for the week ended September 7th at 10:30 AM ET. Crude oil stockpiles fell by 7.4 million barrels to 357.1 million barrels for the week ended August 31st. Crude oil stockpiles dropped to near the upper limit of the average range. Gasoline stockpiles declined by 2.3 million barrels and were in the lower half of the average range. Meanwhile, distillate inventories rose by 1 million barrels but were below the lower limit of the average range. Refinery capacity utilization averaged 90.3 percent over the four weeks ended August 31st compared to 91.9 percent over the previous four weeks. Thursday The Labor Department is due to release its customary jobless claims report for the week ended September 8th at 8:30 AM ET. Economists expect claims to increase to 370,000 from 365,000 in the previous week. Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 to 365,000 in the week ended September 1st, according to a Labor Department report. The previous week's reading was upwardly revised by 3,000 to 377,000. At the same time, the four-week average rose to 371,300 and continuing claims for the week ended August 27th fell to 3.32 million. The U.S. Labor Department is scheduled to release its report on the producer price index for August at 8:30 am ET. The index measures the average change over time in the prices received by domestic producers of goods and services. Economists expect the headline index for August to have risen by 1.4 percent, while core consumer prices may have risen by a more modest 0.2 percent. Producer prices rose 0.3 percent month-over-month in July, while on a year-over-year basis, prices were up an unadjusted 0.5 percent. Core producer prices climbed 0.4 percent, the biggest increase since the start of the year. Food prices were up 0.5 percent but energy prices fell 0.4 percent. The Federal Open Market Committee, the monetary policy-setting arm of the Federal Reserve, is due to release the post-meeting policy statement at 12:30 am ET, followed by the release of the FOMC forecasts at 2 pm ET. Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a press briefing at 2:15 pm ET. At the July 31st-August 1st meeting, the FOMC did not announce any radical measures despite the economic struggles. The meeting's statement f showed that the Fed's assessment of economic conditions worsened. The August statement acknowledged the deceleration in economic activity when compared to the first half of the year. The Fed's commentary and outlook on other segments such as the job market, inflation and consumer spending were the same as at the previous meeting. While maintaining interest rates at 0-0.25 percent and voicing its opinion of the need to maintain the extremely accommodative monetary policy environment at least through late 2014, the committee said it will closely watch incoming information on economic and financial developments. This in contrast to the June statement, which said the committee is prepared to take further action. Federal Reserve Governor Sara Bloom Raskin is due to speak at the 67th Annual National Conference on Citizenship, on "Exploring the Link Between Civic Engagement and Employment" in Philadelphia at 1:45 pm ET. The Treasury Budget, a monthly account of the surplus or deficit of the federal government, is due to be released at 2 PM ET. The budget is considered an indicator of budgetary trends and the thrust of fiscal policy. Economists expect a deficit of $160 billion for August compared to a deficit of $69.6 billion for July Friday The consumer price index for August is scheduled to be released at 8:30 am ET. The index is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. Economists expect the headline index to have risen by 0.6 percent and the core reading by 0.2 percent. U.S. consumer prices remained unchanged in July compared to the previous month. Food prices were up merely 0.1 percent and energy prices declined 0.3 percent, dropping for the fourth straight month. Excluding food and energy, prices were up a milder than expected 0.1 percent. Retail sales of food and retail companies with one or more establishments that sell merchandise and associated services to final consumers are slated to be released at 8:30 am ET. For August, economists estimate a 0.8 percent increase each in retail sales and excluding autos sales. In July, U.S. retail sales rose 0.8 percent month-over-month, marking the first increase since March. June's decline was downwardly revised to -0.7 percent from -0.5 percent. Auto sales rose 0.8 percent despite unit sales drop in unit sales. Excluding autos, retail sales growth was 0.8 percent. Core retail sales, which strip off autos, gasoline and building materials and are used for GDP calculations, climbed 0.9 percent. All categories saw sales growth in July compared to the previous month. The Federal Reserve's industrial production report is due out at 9:15 am ET. Economists estimate a 0.1 percent drop in the industrial production performance for August, while manufacturing output is estimated to have increased by 0.2 percent. Capacity utilization may edged down by 0.2 points at 79.2 percent. Industrial output rose 0.6 percent month-over-month in July, marking, the fourth straight month of gains. That said, June's growth was downwardly revised to 0.1 percent from the 0.4 percent growth initially estimated. Manufacturing output climbed 0.5 percent, the same pace as in June, mining output was up 1.2 percent and utilities output was 1.3 percent higher. Reflecting the shorter summer shut downs, motor vehicle and parts output rose 3.3 percent. Capacity utilization edged up 0.4 percentage points to 79.3 percent, the highest in four years. The preliminary report of the Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey for September is scheduled to be released at 9.55 am ET. The consumer sentiment index is expected to have edged down to 73.5 from 74.3 in the previous month. The Commerce Department is scheduled to release its business inventories report for July at 10 am ET. The report summarizes the results from the monthly retail trade, wholesale trade and factory goods orders surveys. The report is expected to show a 0.5 percent increase in business inventories for the month. Business inventories at the end of June were up 0.1 percent from the previous month, while business sales slipped 1.1 percent. On a year-over-year basis, business inventories and business sales were up 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively. The business inventories to sales ratio was at 1.29 compared to 1.26 in the year-ago period. Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart is scheduled to deliver welcoming remarks to the Bank's Center for Human Capital Studies conference on "employment Consequences of the Great Recession" at 1 pm ET.

[Sep10]    Greece Aug. CPI Down 1% On Month Vs. 1.4% Fall In July

[Sep10]    Slovenia July Industrial Production Rises 1.9%

Industrial production in Slovenia increased from last year in July, data released by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia showed Monday. Industrial output increased 1.9 percent on an annual basis in July. Production in intermediate goods industries increased by 2 percent, in capital goods industries decreased by 0.1 percent and in consumer goods industries increased 2.6 percent, the agency said. Production in the manufacturing industry rose 0.2 percent annually during the month, while mining and quarrying production decreased 7.6 percent. Output of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning was higher by 20.7 percent compared to last year. On a monthly basis, industrial output decreased 2.2 percent in July. In the first seven months of 2012, production edged down 0.6 percent from the corresponding period a year earlier, data showed.

[Sep10]    Slovenia July Industrial Output Up 1.9% On Year, Falls 2.2% M-o-M

[Sep10]    Norwegian Inflation Accelerates In August

Norway's consumer price inflation accelerated in August, but the rate of growth was below economists' expectations, data released by Statistics Norway showed Monday. Inflation quickened to 0.5 percent in August from 0.2 percent in July, while economists were looking for an inflation rate of 1.1 percent. The acceleration reflected a 4.5 percent growth in electricity prices, including grid rent, and a notable rise in prices of books and fuels and lubricants. Food and non-alcoholic beverages prices rose 1 percent annually, while clothing and footwear prices and transportation costs moved up 0.4 percent and 3 percent respectively. Meanwhile, housing costs and utility prices were lower by 3.2 percent compared to last year. Month-on-month, consumer prices decreased a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent in August, the agency said. Core consumer prices, adjusted for tax changes and excluding energy products, increased 1.2 percent annually in August, while month-on-month, they decreased 0.7 percent. At the same time, the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) measured under the EU methodology, remained unchanged year-on-year in August. Month-on-moth, the HICP dropped 0.5 percent.

[Sep10]    Bulgaria July Construction Output Up 1.5% On Month

[Sep10]    Norway Aug. PPI Inflation At 4.4%

[Sep10]    Sweden July Industrial Output Drops Less Than Expected

Sweden's industrial production decreased at a slower pace than expected by economists in July, preliminary data released by Statistics Sweden showed Monday. Industrial production decreased a working-day adjusted 0.4 percent year-on-year in July, notably slower than the 2.1 percent fall economists had forecast. The annual change in the production in June has been revised upwards by 0.1 percentage point to an increase of 1.2 percent. The majority of the industry sub-sectors showed a negative development, with the motor vehicle industry recording the biggest decline, the agency said. Month-on-month, production increased a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in July, contrary to economists' expectations for a 0.3 percent fall. In June, production had increased at a faster rate of 0.4 percent. At the same time, new orders received by Swedish industries decreased 5.4 percent year-on-year in July. Compared to June, new orders dropped 0.7 percent, data showed.

[Sep10]    European Economics Preview: French Industrial Output Data Due

Industrial production from France and Sentix investor confidence for Eurozone are the major reports due on Monday. At 2.45 am ET, the French statistical office is slated to publish industrial output for July. Economists forecast output to fall 0.6 percent month-on-month in July, after staying flat in June. The Czech Statistical Office is set to release consumer prices for August. Annual inflation is seen rising to 3.3 percent in August from 3.1 percent in July. In the meantime, the Czech jobless rate is due. Turkey's second quarter GDP and industrial production are also due at 3.00 am ET. Economists forecast production to grow 2 percent annually in July after rising 2.7 percent in June. Half an hour later, Sweden's industrial orders and production figures are due. After rising 0.4 percent month-on-month in June, production is seen falling 0.3 percent in July. At 4.00 am ET, Statistics Norway is slated to issue consumer and producer prices for August. Annual inflation is seen at 1.1 percent, up from 0.2 percent in July. At 4.30 am ET, Eurozone Sentix investor confidence is due. The index is forecast to rise to -29.5 in September from -30.3 in August.

[Sep10]    Sweden July Industrial Orders Fall 5.4% On Year, 0.7% On Month

[Sep10]    Czech Inflation Accelerates In August As Expected

The Czech Republic's inflation rate accelerated in August to match economists' expectations, data released by the Czech Statistical Office showed Monday. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 3.3 percent year-on-year, following a 3.1 percent gain in July. Economists also had forecast 3.3 percent inflation for the month. Month-on-month, consumer prices dipped 0.1 percent in August, again in line with expectations. The decline was largely due to lower prices in the food and non-alcoholic beverages, clothing and footwear, and communications groups. These offset the increase in prices in the transport segment.

[Sep10]    France July Industrial Production Rises 0.2% M-o-M, Consensus 0.6% Fall

[Sep10]    China Exports Rise Less Than Forecast; Imports Shrink Unexpectedly

China's exports grew less than expected in August, while imports declined unexpectedly indicating weak private consumption in the economy, the latest figures from the General Administration of Customs showed Monday. Exports rose 2.7 percent year-on-year in August, slightly weaker than the 2.9 percent growth forecast by economists. However, the rate of growth improved from 1 percent recorded in July. Meanwhile, imports fell 2.6 percent year-on-year against expectations for a 3.5 percent gain. The outcome was in contrast to July's 4.7 percent growth. The trade balance showed a surplus of $26.66 billion compared to expectations for a surplus of $19.5 billion. In July, the trade surplus was $25.1 billion. The Commerce Ministry said last month that trade conditions are weakening mainly due to poor demand from the European Union, China largest trading partner. The Ministry said the trade sector will have to face more difficulties and challenges, and even greater pressure to achieve the goal for the whole year, due to the sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone and weak global economic recovery. Speaking at the 20th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in Russia on Saturday, Chinese President Hu Jintao said that the economy is facing notable downward pressure largely due to slowing export growth. The economy grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter, the weakest pace since the first quarter of 2009. The People's Bank of China reduced the interest rates twice this year to counter the slowdown. Additionally, the government recently added more than CNY 1 trillion stimulus to the economy, approving a slew of infrastructure projects last week.

[Sep10]    Japan Consumer Confidence Rises In August

Confidence among Japanese consumers increased unexpectedly in August, data from the Cabinet Office showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted consumer confidence index rose to 40.5 in August from 39.7 in July. Economists expected the index to fall to 39.4. Consumers' assessment of the overall livelihood as well as that of income growth and employment recorded improvements during the month. On an unadjusted basis, the overall consumer confidence index edged up to 40.6 from 40.5 in the previous month.

[Sep10]    Finnish Industrial Production Rebounds In July

Industrial production in Finland increased from last year in July, after falling for six months in a row, data released by Statistics Finland showed Monday. Industrial production rose a working-day adjusted 1.2 percent year-on-year in July, recovering from the previous month's 0.4 percent decrease. July's expansion following six successive declines. Production in the manufacturing industry advanced 1.9 percent annually during the month, while mining and quarrying production fell by 32.8 percent, the agency said. On a monthly basis, industrial output moved up a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent in July, following June's 1.2 percent decrease. In the January-July period, production dropped 2 percent from a year earlier, data showed.

[Sep10]    Australia Home Loans Fall In July

The number of home loans approved in Australia declined in July led by a fall in housing finance commitments for the purchase of new dwellings, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Monday. The number of housing finance commitments for owner occupied housing declined 1 percent month-on-month on a seasonally adjusted basis in July to 44,804. Economists were expecting a flat outcome after a 1 percent gain in the previous month. The number of loans extended to purchase new dwellings fell 6.8 percent on a monthly basis following June's 8.9 percent jump. Loans for purchase of established housing fell 0.9 percent while that for construction of dwellings rose 0.3 percent. The value of investment-housing loans fell 2.7 percent from June to A$6.67 billion. Meanwhile, the number of first home buyer commitments as a percentage of total owner occupied housing finance commitments rose to 19.2 percent in July from 18.5 percent in June. The Reserve Bank of Australia, led by Governor Glenn Stevens, retained the benchmark cash rate unchanged at 3.5 percent for a third consecutive rate-setting session held on September 4. Stevens said that the impact of earlier policy changes is still working its way through the economy and dwelling prices in the country have firmed a little. Australia has the highest borrowing costs among the developed economies, even after a cumulative 125 basis-point reduction in cash rate since November last year. The economy expanded 0.6 percent sequentially in the second quarter of 2012 following 1.4 percent expansion in the first quarter.

[Sep10]    China Exports Rise Less Than Forecast; Imports Shrink Unexpectedly

China's exports grew less than expected in August, while imports declined unexpectedly indicating weak private consumption in the economy, the latest figures from the General Administration of Customs showed Monday. Exports rose 2.7 percent year-on-year in August, slightly weaker than the 2.9 percent growth forecast by economists. However, the rate of growth improved from 1 percent recorded in July. Meanwhile, imports fell 2.6 percent year-on-year against expectations for a 3.5 percent gain. The outcome was in contrast to July's 4.7 percent growth. The trade balance showed a surplus of $26.66 billion compared to expectations for a surplus of $19.5 billion. In July, the trade surplus was $25.1 billion. The Commerce Ministry said last month that trade conditions are weakening mainly due to poor demand from the European Union, China largest trading partner. The Ministry said the trade sector will have to face more difficulties and challenges, and even greater pressure to achieve the goal for the whole year, due to the sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone and weak global economic recovery. Speaking at the 20th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in Russia on Saturday, Chinese President Hu Jintao said that the economy is facing notable downward pressure largely due to slowing export growth. The economy grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter, the weakest pace since the first quarter of 2009. The People's Bank of China reduced the interest rates twice this year to counter the slowdown. Additionally, the government recently added more than CNY 1 trillion stimulus to the economy, approving a slew of infrastructure projects last week.

[Sep10]    Malaysia July Industrial Output Growth Slows More Than Expected

Malaysia's industrial output growth weakened more than economists expected in July, as the mining industry registered a sharp fall in production, data released by the Department of Statistics showed Monday. Industrial production increased 1.4 percent on an annual basis in July. Economists had forecast output to grow at a slower pace of 3 percent than June's 3.7 percent. July's sharp slowdown in production reflected a 10.4 percent fall in mining output. Manufacturing output, meanwhile, rose by 5.5 percent year-on-year, faster than 4.8 percent gain seen in June. Electricity production was higher by 2.8 percent compared to last year, data showed. On a monthly basis, industrial output decreased a seasonally adjusted 4.7 percent in July, as all sectors recorded decline in production, the agency said.

[Sep10]    Japan Consumer Confidence Rises In August

Confidence among Japanese consumers increased unexpectedly in August, data from the Cabinet Office showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted consumer confidence index rose to 40.5 in August from 39.7 in July. Economists expected the index to fall to 39.4. Consumers' assessment of the overall livelihood as well as that of income growth and employment recorded improvements during the month. On an unadjusted basis, the overall consumer confidence index edged up to 40.6 from 40.5 in the previous month.

[Sep10]    Japan Aug. Consumer Confidence 40.5 Vs. 39.7 Last Month

[Sep09]    China Exports Rise Less Than Expected In August

China's exports rose 2.7 percent year-on-year in August, data released by the General Administration of Customs showed Monday. This was slightly weaker than the 2.9 percent growth forecast by economists. Meanwhile, imports recorded a 2.6 percent year-on-year decline against expectations for a 3.5 percent gain. The trade balance showed a surplus of $26.66 billion compared to expectations for a surplus of $19.5 billion.

[Sep09]    China Exports Rise Less Than Expected In August

China's exports rose 2.7 percent year-on-year in August, data released by the General Administration of Customs showed Monday. This was slightly weaker than the 2.9 percent growth forecast by economists. Meanwhile, imports recorded a 2.6 percent year-on-year decline against expectations for a 3.5 percent gain. The trade balance showed a surplus of $26.66 billion compared to expectations for a surplus of $19.5 billion.

[Sep09]    Australia Housing Finance Falls In July

Australia housing finance commitments for owner occupied housing declined 1 percent month-on-month on a seasonally adjusted basis in July, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Monday. Forecasts centered around a flat outcome. The number of loans extended to purchase of new dwellings fell 6.8 percent on a monthly basis. The value of investment-housing loans fell 2.7 percent from June.

[Sep09]    Australia Housing Finance Falls In July

Australia housing finance commitments for owner occupied housing declined 1 percent month-on-month on a seasonally adjusted basis in July, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Monday. Forecasts centered around a flat outcome. The number of loans extended to purchase of new dwellings fell 6.8 percent on a monthly basis. The value of investment-housing loans fell 2.7 percent from June.

[Sep09]    Australia Housing Finance Falls In July

Australia housing finance commitments for owner occupied housing declined 1 percent month-on-month on a seasonally adjusted basis in July, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Monday. Forecasts centered around a flat outcome. The number of loans extended to purchase of new dwellings fell 6.8 percent on a monthly basis. The value of investment-housing loans fell 2.7 percent from June.

[Sep09]    Japan Final Q2 GDP +0.2% On Quarter

Japan's gross domestic product added just 0.2 percent in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the previous three months, the Cabinet Office said on Monday in a revised reading - again suggesting that the recovery from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami remains stuck in neutral. The headline figure was down from last month's preliminary reading of 0.3 percent, and it was significantly lower than the 1.2 percent gain in the first quarter. Nominal GDP was down 0.3 percent on quarter, revised from -0.1 percent in the preliminary ready and missing forecasts for -0.2 percent. Capital spending was up 1.4 percent on quarter, down from the original read of 1.5 percent but still topping forecasts for a 0.9 percent increase. Its contribution to growth was unchanged at 0.2 percentage points. But private sector inventories removed 0.2 percentage points from growth and net exports took off 0.1 percentage point. On a yearly basis, GDP was up 0.7 percent - cut in half from the preliminary reading that showed a 1.4 percent increase, and missing forecasts for a slide to 1.0 percent. GDP had surged 4.7 percent in the previous three months. The GDP deflator fell 0.9 percent on year, beating forecasts for a 1.1 percent contraction, which would have been unrevised. Also on Monday, the Ministry of Finance said that Japan posted a current account surplus of 625.4 billion yen in July, down 40.6 percent on year. The headline figure blew away forecasts for a surplus of 485.6 billion yen and an annual decline of 52.0 percent. That follows the 433.3 billion yen surplus and the 19.6 percent annual contraction in June. The trade balance came in at a deficit of 373.6 billion versus forecasts for a shortfall of 439.5 billion after posting a surplus of 112.0 billion in June. Exports were down 7.4 percent on year to 5.118 trillion yen, accelerating from the 1.5 percent annual contraction in June. Imports collected 1.9 percent on year to 5.491 trillion yen after easing an annual 1.2 percent in the previous month. The adjusted current account reflected a surplus of 335.4 billion yen, missing forecasts for a surplus of 389.0 billion yen following the 773.6 billion yen surplus in June. Also, the Bank of Japan said that overall bank lending in Japan was up 1.1 percent on year in August, coming in at 396.432 trillion. That was in line with expectations following the downwardly revised 0.9 percent annual increase in July - which was originally pegged at 1.0 percent higher. Including trusts, bank lending added 0.9 percent on year to 458.219 trillion yen - up from the 0.7 percent increase in the previous month. Lending from foreign banks plummeted 21.7 percent on year to 2.147 trillion yen, after plunging an annual 22.4 percent a month earlier.

[Sep09]    Japan Bank Lending +1.1% On Year In August

Overall bank lending in Japan was up 1.1 percent on year in August, the Bank of Japan said on Monday, coming in at 396.432 trillion. That was in line with expectations following the downwardly revised 0.9 percent annual increase in July - which was originally pegged at 1.0 percent higher. Including trusts, bank lending added 0.9 percent on year to 458.219 trillion yen - up from the 0.7 percent increase in the previous month. Lending from foreign banks plummeted 21.7 percent on year to 2.147 trillion yen, after plunging an annual 22.4 percent a month earlier.

[Sep09]    Japan Current Account Surplus Y625.4 Billion In July

Japan posted a current account surplus of 625.4 billion yen in July, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday, down 40.6 percent on year. The headline figure blew away forecasts for a surplus of 485.6 billion yen and an annual decline of 52.0 percent. That follows the 433.3 billion yen surplus and the 19.6 percent annual contraction in June. The trade balance came in at a deficit of 373.6 billion versus forecasts for a shortfall of 439.5 billion after posting a surplus of 112.0 billion in June. Exports were down 7.4 percent on year to 5.118 trillion yen, accelerating from the 1.5 percent annual contraction in June. Imports collected 1.9 percent on year to 5.491 trillion yen after easing an annual 1.2 percent in the previous month.

[Sep09]    Japan Bank Lending +1.1% On Year In August

[Sep09]    New Zealand Manufacturing Activity Rises 0.3% In Q2

New Zealand's manufacturing activity by volume was up a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in the second quarter of 2012, Statistics New Zealand said on Monday, slowing from the 0.7 percent gain in the first quarter. Excluding meat and dairy product manufacturing, sales rose 0.5 percent, while meat and dairy product manufacturing rose 1.8 percent. Transport equipment machinery and equipment manufacturing rose 4.7 percent, and petroleum and coal product manufacturing plummeted 9.0 percent. "This quarter's increase was the result of an almost even split of seven industries rising and six industries falling," industry and labor statistics manager Blair Cardno said in a release accompanying the data. By value, total manufacturing was down 1.1 percent in the second quarter. Excluding meat and dairy product manufacturing, sales were relatively unchanged, while meat and dairy product manufacturing fell 3.1 percent. Transport equipment machinery and equipment manufacturing jumped 5.9 percent, while petroleum and coal product manufacturing plunged 8.2 percent.

[Sep09]    New Zealand Q2 Manufacturing Activity +0.3% On Quarter

Manufacturing activity by volume in New Zealand was up a seasonally adjusted 0-.3 percent in the second quarter of 2012, Statistics New Zealand said on Monday, slowing from the 0.7 percent gain in the first quarter. Excluding meat and dairy product manufacturing, sales rose 0.5 percent, while meat and dairy product manufacturing rose 1.8 percent. Transport equipment machinery and equipment manufacturing rose 4.7 percent, and petroleum and coal product manufacturing plummeted 9.0 percent. By value, total manufacturing was down 1.1 percent in the second quarter.

[Sep09]    New Zealand Manufacturing Activity +0.3% In Q2

[Sep09]    Japan Data On Tap For Monday

Japan is scheduled to release a raft of data on Monday, highlighting a busy day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. On tap are final Q2 figures for gross domestic product, July numbers for current account and August data for bank lending, bankruptcies, consumer confidence and the eco watchers survey. GDP is expected to add 0.3 percent on quarter, which would be unrevised from the August 13 preliminary reading - although it is expected to dip to 1.0 percent from last month's 1.4 percent on a yearly basis. In Q1, GDP was up 1.2 percent on quarter and 4.7 percent on year. The current account is tipped to show a surplus of 485.6 billion yen, down 52.0 percent on year after shedding an annual 19.6 percent to 433.3 billion in June. Bank lending is called higher by 1.1 percent on year, up from 1.0 percent in July, while the consumer confidence index is expected to ease to 39.4 from 39.7 in the previous month. The current eco survey is forecast at 43.4, down from 44.2 in July, while the outlook eco survey is tipped at 44.4 from 44.9 a month earlier. Australia will provide home loans data for July, with forecasts suggesting a flat reading after collecting 1.3 percent in June. New Zealand will release Q2 numbers for manufacturing activity; in the first quarter, manufacturing activity was up 0.7 percent on quarter and down 1.8 percent on year. Malaysia will announce July results for industrial and manufacturing production. Industrial output is expected to rise 4.5 percent on year after adding 3.7 percent and falling 1.9 percent on month in June. Manufacturing production was down 0.4 percent on month and up 4.8 percent on year in June.

[Sep09]    South Korea PPI +0.7% On Month, +0.3% On Year In August

[Sep09]    APEC Leaders Vow To Move Towards Exchange Rate Flexibility

Leaders in the Asia-Pacific region vowed on Sunday to move toward greater exchange rate flexibility. They welcomed European leaders' commitment to solve the sovereign debt crisis, according to the declaration issued at the conclusion of the 20th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in Vladivostok, Russia. The declaration outlines leaders' view on addressing the challenges and downside risks within the global economic environment, including financial markets that remain fragile. APEC is an economic forum in the Asia-Pacific region, formed in 1989. Now it has 21 members. The meeting also affirmed to cut tariffs on certain environmental products to 5 percent or less by the end of 2015, leaders said on the final day of the summit. Further, the leaders sought concerted effort to strengthen food security. Further, leaders reaffirmed their commitment to achieve a 10 percent improvement in supply-chain performance by 2015. Leaders said they will effectively combine the potential of all economies to foster innovative growth. "For APEC, the priority is to ensure that their economies remain resilient to external pressures, which means not only the right macroeconomic policies, but also measures to ensure that growth is more inclusive and can benefit as many people as possible," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who took part in the summit, said. Chinese President Hu Jintao yesterday said the Chinese economy is facing notable downward pressure largely due to slowing export growth. Lagarde reiterated IMF's support for the European Central Bank's plan to purchase bonds of nations like Spain and Italy. She said the IMF is ready to design and monitor the program.

[Sep09]    Iran's Currency Falls To Record Low Versus Dollar

Iran's currency, the rial, dropped to a record low against the U.S. dollar on Sunday, reports said citing traders. The decline in the Middle-east country's currency is seen as the impact of the sanctions imposed by Western countries. The rial fetched nearly 24,000 versus the dollar in street trading on Sunday, down more than eight percent in three days. Last Friday, Canada severed its ties with Iran by closing its embassy in Iran and expelling the latter country's diplomats. Canada accused Iran of providing increasing military aid to Syria. The country also cited Iran's failure to comply with UN resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program, its routine threats against Israel and its racist anti-Semitic rhetoric, among others. The official exchange rate is fixed at 12,260 rials, which is used by government agencies and for priority imports such as food and medicine. The United States, EU and their allies have imposed a series of separate sanctions on Iran, targeting its oil and banking sectors, after a report released by the IAEA in November cautioned that Tehran may be planning to develop nuclear weapons. The EU sanctions on import of Iranian oil came into effect on July 1.

[Sep09]    BoE's Dale Sees Risks Rising From Sustained Loose Monetary Policy

Prolonged and aggressive monetary accommodation, combined with other unconventional policy tools, comes with potential costs and risks, Bank of England's Chief Economist and Monetary Policy Committee member Spencer Dale said Saturday. In a speech in Dublin, he said, "Over longer periods of time, sustained loose monetary policy could lead to increases in the risk taking of investors and financial institutions in a way that could store up problems for the future." Further, it will delay the rebalancing and restructuring that the economy needs, Dale says. The BoE expanded its asset purchase programme by GBP 50 billion in July to the current GBP 375 billion. The interest rate is at a historic low of 0.50 percent. There are limits to the scope of monetary policy, Dale said. "If output growth remains weak, the MPC will need to assess carefully developments in potential supply as well as demand before deciding how to respond," the economist said. At the same time, Dale said policymakers should remain firmly focused on hitting inflation target.

[Sep09]    China's Inflation Rises, Industrial Production Growth Slows

China's inflation accelerated from a 30-month low in August, reducing possibilities of another monetary easing, while a weaker-than-expected industrial output growth put pressure for more stimulus. Annual inflation rose to 2 percent, in line with expectations, from 1.8 percent in July, the National Bureau of Statistics said Sunday. This was the first increase in inflation since March. Food inflation climbed to 3.4 percent from 2.4 percent. At the same time, non-food prices gained only 1.4 percent. Month-on-month, consumer prices moved up 0.6 percent in August, the fastest increase since the start of the year. On the other hand, the decline in producer prices deepened further. The producer price index declined by a faster-than-expected 3.5 percent from a year ago, compared to a 2.9 percent drop in July. Economists had forecast a 3.2 percent fall. On a month-on-month basis, the index slid 0.5 percent after easing 0.8 percent in July. Industrial output grew 8.9 percent year-on-year in August, the smallest expansion since May 2009 and less than the 9.2 percent growth logged in July, the statistical office said in a separate report. It was also weaker than the 9 percent rise forecast by economists. Meanwhile, retail sales improved 13.2 percent in August from last year, slightly better than the 13.1 percent growth marked in the previous month. Also, the country's fixed-asset investment increased 20.2 percent from last year in the first eight months of the year, slower by 0.2 percentage points from the growth in the January to July period, the agency said. The economy grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter, the weakest pace since the first quarter of 2009. The slowdown in major exports markets of China has dampened its future external demand stimulus. Both government and central bank have initiated steps to put the economy back on the track. The government last week added stimulus worth more than CNY 1 trillion through the approval of a slew of infrastructure projects. It includes rail projects as well as highway construction. Chinese President Hu Jintao yesterday warned that the economy is facing notable downward pressure. Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Russia, he said some small and medium enterprises are facing hardships and exporters are facing more difficulties. It is an arduous task of creating jobs for new entrants, Hu added. The People's Bank of China reduced the interest rates twice this year to counter a slowdown in economic growth. The central bank also reduced the reserve requirement ratio for commercial lenders three times since November last year.

[Sep09]    China's Inflation Rises, Industrial Production Growth Slows

China's inflation accelerated from a 30-month low in August, reducing possibilities of another monetary easing, while a weaker-than-expected industrial output growth put pressure for more stimulus. Annual inflation rose to 2 percent, in line with expectations, from 1.8 percent in July, the National Bureau of Statistics said Sunday. This was the first increase in inflation since March. Food inflation climbed to 3.4 percent from 2.4 percent. At the same time, non-food prices gained only 1.4 percent. Month-on-month, consumer prices moved up 0.6 percent in August, the fastest increase since the start of the year. On the other hand, the decline in producer prices deepened further. The producer price index declined by a faster-than-expected 3.5 percent from a year ago, compared to a 2.9 percent drop in July. Economists had forecast a 3.2 percent fall. On a month-on-month basis, the index slid 0.5 percent after easing 0.8 percent in July. Industrial output grew 8.9 percent year-on-year in August, the smallest expansion since May 2009 and less than the 9.2 percent growth logged in July, the statistical office said in a separate report. It was also weaker than the 9 percent rise forecast by economists. Meanwhile, retail sales improved 13.2 percent in August from last year, slightly better than the 13.1 percent growth marked in the previous month. Also, the country's fixed-asset investment increased 20.2 percent from last year in the first eight months of the year, slower by 0.2 percentage points from the growth in the January to July period, the agency said. The economy grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter, the weakest pace since the first quarter of 2009. The slowdown in major exports markets of China has dampened its future external demand stimulus. Both government and central bank have initiated steps to put the economy back on the track. The government last week added stimulus worth more than CNY 1 trillion through the approval of a slew of infrastructure projects. It includes rail projects as well as highway construction. Chinese President Hu Jintao yesterday warned that the economy is facing notable downward pressure. Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Russia, he said some small and medium enterprises are facing hardships and exporters are facing more difficulties. It is an arduous task of creating jobs for new entrants, Hu added. The People's Bank of China reduced the interest rates twice this year to counter a slowdown in economic growth. The central bank also reduced the reserve requirement ratio for commercial lenders three times since November last year.

[Sep09]    China's Industrial Output Growth Slows To 8.9% In August

China's industrial value-added output grew 8.9 percent year-on-year in August, but came in below the 9.2 percent growth logged in July, the National Bureau of Statistics said Sunday. Meanwhile, retail sales improved 13.2 percent in August from last year, slightly better than the 13.1 percent growth marked in the prior month. Also, the country's fixed-asset investment increased 20.2 percent from last year in the first eight months of the year, slower by 0.2 percentage points from the growth in the January to July period, the agency said. The agency said earlier in the day that consumer price index rose 2 percent year-on-year in August from a 1.8 percent growth in July. Month-on-month, the CPI grew 0.6 percent in August. The producer price index declined 3.5 percent in the month, compared to a 2.9 percent drop in July. The PPI slid 0.5 percent on a month-on-month basis.

[Sep08]    China August Inflation Rises To 2%

Consumer price index in the world's second-largest economy rose 2 percent year-on-year in August from a 1.8 percent growth in July, the National Bureau of Statistics said late Saturday. Month-on-month, the CPI grew 0.6 percent in August. Food prices, which account for nearly one-third of the CPI, advanced 3.4 percent in August from last year. This was faster than the 2.4 percent increase witnessed in July. The producer price index declined 3.5 percent in the month, compared to a 2.9 percent drop in July. The PPI slid 0.5 percent on a month-on-month basis. Producer purchase prices fell 4.1 percent from last year in August, while the slide was 0.5 percent from July. China recently added stimulus worth more than CNY 1 trillion ($158 billion) as the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) approved a slew of infrastructure projects to help the economy counter the global gloom. The government approved 25 rail projects that would require an investment of around CNY 800 billion. The NDRC said that the government has also approved construction of 2000 kilometers of highways in the country. Premier Wen Jiabao has repeatedly vowed to continue fine-tuning of government policies to stabilize economic growth, that hit a three-year low of 7.6 percent in the second quarter of 2012. Exports remained weak reflecting poor demand from abroad. Manufacturing has also showed considerable weakness in the recent months, as evidenced by the latest purchasing managers' surveys.

[Sep08]    China August Inflation Rises To 2%

Consumer price index in the world's second-largest economy rose 2 percent year-on-year in August from a 1.8 percent growth in July, the National Bureau of Statistics said late Saturday. Month-on-month, the CPI grew 0.6 percent in August. Food prices, which account for nearly one-third of the CPI, advanced 3.4 percent in August from last year. This was faster than the 2.4 percent increase witnessed in July. The producer price index declined 3.5 percent in the month, compared to a 2.9 percent drop in July. The PPI slid 0.5 percent on a month-on-month basis. Producer purchase prices fell 4.1 percent from last year in August, while the slide was 0.5 percent from July. Last week, China added stimulus worth more than CNY 1 trillion ($158 billion) as the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) approved a slew of infrastructure projects to help the economy counter the global gloom. The government this week approved 25 rail projects that would require an investment of around CNY 800 billion. The NDRC said that the government has also approved construction of 2000 kilometers of highways in the country. Premier Wen Jiabao has repeatedly vowed to continue fine-tuning of government policies to stabilize economic growth, that hit a three-year low of 7.6 percent in the second quarter of 2012. Exports remained weak reflecting poor demand from abroad. Manufacturing has also showed considerable weakness in the recent months, as evidenced by the latest purchasing managers' surveys.

[Sep07]    U.S. Unemployment Rate Drops Despite Disappointing Job Growth

Employment in the U.S. rose by much less than expected in the month of August, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Friday, although the report also showed an unexpected drop by the unemployment rate. The report showed that employment increased by 96,000 jobs in August following a downwardly revised increase of 141,000 jobs in July. Economists had expected an increase of about 125,000 jobs compared to the addition of 163,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month. While the service-providing sector added 119,000 jobs during the month, the increase was partly offset by the loss of 16,000 jobs in the goods-producing sector. Employment in the automotive industry fell by 7,500 jobs in August, contributing to the loss of jobs in the goods-producing sector. On the other hand, the leisure and hospitality industry saw an increase of 34,000 jobs. Employment in the professional and business services industry also rose by 28,000 jobs and the education and health services industry added another 22,000 jobs. Private sector employment as a whole rose for the 30th consecutive month, increasing by 103,000 jobs in August following an increase of 162,000 jobs in July. Meanwhile, government employment continued to decrease, edging down by a relatively modest 7,000 jobs in August after sliding by 21,000 jobs in July. Despite the weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent in August from 8.3 in July amid a notable decrease in the size of the workforce. The unemployment rate had been expected to come in unchanged. With the unexpected decrease, the unemployment rate matched the three-year low that was set in April. The unemployment rate has not been lower since hitting 7.8 percent in January of 2009. However, the drop by the unemployment rate came as the workforce shrank by 368,000 people in August, while the volatile household survey showed that the number of employed people fell by 119,000. Paul Ashworth, Chief U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, said, "Under those circumstances, it is hard to characterize the drop in the unemployment rate as any sort of good news." Ashworth noted that the employment-to-population ratio dropped to a 12-month low of 58.3 percent when stripping out the swings in the labor force. "This failure to fulfill the full employment side of its dual mandate is why the Fed is expected to launch another round of large-scale asset purchases at next week's FOMC meeting," he added. The Labor Department report also showed that the average workweek for payroll employees was unchanged in August at 34.4 hours. Average hourly employee earnings edged down by $0.01 to $23.52, although average hourly earnings are up by 1.7 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

[Sep07]    Belgium Q2 GDP Drops 0.3% On Year Vs. 0.4% Rise In Q1, Flash 0.4% Fall

[Sep07]    Belgium Q2 GDP Drops Sa. 0.5% Q-o-Q Vs. 0.2% Rise In Q1, Flash 0.6% Fall

[Sep07]    German July Industrial Output Recovers Unexpectedly

German industrial production recovered unexpectedly in July suggesting that the largest euro-area economy is weathering the impact of the debt crisis. Industrial production expanded 1.3 percent in July from a month ago, the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology said Friday. The increase follows June's revised 0.4 percent fall and came in contrast to a flat reading forecast by economists. Output of investment goods rose 3.8 percent on month and construction output advanced 1.9 percent. Meanwhile, consumer goods output fell 0.4 percent. On the other hand, working-day adjusted industrial output slipped 1.4 percent annually, reversing June's 0.3 percent rise. Nonetheless, the decline was slower than the expected decrease of 3 percent. On an unadjusted basis, output growth slowed to 2 percent annually from 3.7 percent a month ago. Factory orders grew 0.5 percent month-on-month in July after declining 1.6 percent in June, data showed yesterday. Increases were recorded in both domestic as well as foreign orders. In July, exports unexpectedly rebounded by 0.5 percent from a month ago, despite the debt crisis significantly disrupting trading activities across Europe, Destatis reported today. Industrial production and trade figures suggest that the economy made a good start to the third quarter despite falling demand in the Eurozone, Jennifer McKeown, economist at Capital Economics said. Even if the German economy expands in third quarter, Capital Economics suspects that it will slip back into recession before long. The German economy expanded 0.3 percent in the June quarter as robust growth in exports and domestic spending help offset a contraction in investment. However, the rate of expansion was slower than the 0.5 percent growth seen in the previous quarter.

[Sep07]    Canadian Building Permits Fell 2.3% In July

[Sep07]    Latvia Q2 GDP Growth Slows More Than Expected

Latvia's economic growth slowed slightly more than initially estimated in the second quarter, final data released by the Central Statistical Bureau showed Friday. Gross domestic product (GDP) increased 5 percent year-on-year on a non-adjusted basis, slightly slower than the 5.1 percent expansion estimated earlier. The revised rate was lower first quarter's 6.9 percent, which was revised up from 6.8 percent. The latest growth was influenced by a 23.5 percent jump in construction and a 9 percent gain in the manufacturing sector. A 7.5 percent growth in the transport and communication sector, and a 6.1 percent expansion in trade also contributed to the GDP. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, GDP advanced a seasonally adjusted 1.3 percent in the second quarter, which exceeded the 1 percent growth the preliminary estimates showed.

[Sep07]    U.K. Industrial Production Grows At Fastest Pace In 25 Years

U.K. industrial production in July expanded at the fastest pace in 25 years as activity picked up from June's extra-holiday driven weakness. The July's rebound has raised hopes of better growth prospects in the third quarter. A separate report showed that the factory gate inflation in the U.K. increased more-than-expected in August on higher petroleum prices. Industrial output grew 2.9 percent month-on-month, reversing June's 2.4 percent fall. The increase was the biggest since February 1987, and exceeded the 1.5 percent rise forecast by economists. Similarly, manufacturing output climbed 3.2 percent from a month ago, when it dropped 2.9 percent. Economists had forecast only a 1.8 percent rise. July's growth was the sharpest since July 2002. The ONS warned that users should be cautious when interpreting data as there were more public holidays in June 2012. On a yearly basis, overall production fell at a slower pace of 0.8 percent, following a 3.8 percent drop in June. This was the 16th consecutive monthly fall on the same month a year ago. At the same time, the decline in manufacturing output slowed sharply to 0.5 percent from 3.9 percent in June. Economists had forecast industrial output to ease 2.7 percent and manufacturing output to fall 2.4 percent. Capital Economics UK Economist Samuel Tombs said July's pick-up in industrial production seems likely to be just a temporary rebound, rather than the start of a sustained recovery. The British economy still remains in a double-dip recession. Gross domestic product was down 0.5 percent in the second quarter. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development downgraded its growth outlook for the U.K. this week. The Paris-based think tank sees a contraction of 0.7 percent this year, which is in contrast to the 0.5 percent growth projected in the previous report. Output price inflation accelerated more-than-expected to 2.2 percent annually in August from 1.8 percent in July, the ONS said in a separate report. The annual rate was forecast to rise to 1.9 percent. This increase in the annual rate was the first significant rise following a period of slowing inflation from September 2011. Output prices climbed 0.5 percent month-on-month, which was faster than the 0.1 percent increase in July and 0.2 percent rise forecast by economists. Excluding food, beverages and tobacco, core output price inflation remained unchanged at 1.2 percent in August. At the same time, input prices gained 1.4 percent year-on-year, partially offsetting the 2.4 percent decline in July. The annual rate matched economists' expectations. Monthly inflation rose to 2 percent from 0.4 percent. The Bank of England yesterday maintained the quantitative easing programme at GBP 375 billion and its key rate unchanged at 0.50 percent.

[Sep07]    Dutch Manufacturing Output Stagnates In July

Production in Netherlands' manufacturing sector remained unchanged from last year in July, data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics showed Friday. Factory output remained broadly unchanged year-on-year in July, after falling 2 percent in the previous month. Economists expected a 2.3 percent decline. In May, production had edged up 0.1 percent. July's production level was slightly above the level reached just before the credit crunch at the end of 2008, the agency said. Production in the petroleum, chemical and plastic industry rose 5 percent during the month. All the other branches recorded contraction, with the sectors of transport and equipment and wood and construction materials recording the most substantial falls. On a seasonally adjusted basis, production during the June-July period moved up 0.2 percent from the two months ended May, data showed.

[Sep07]    Portugal Q2 GDP Contraction Confirmed At 1.2%

The Portuguese economy contracted 1.2 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter, Statistics Portugal said Friday, confirming the preliminary estimate. This comes after a 0.1 percent fall in the gross domestic product in the first quarter. The stronger decline in GDP in the second quarter was led by significant drop in domestic demand, which deducted 2.7 percentage points from the overall GDP. However, this effect was partially offset by the positive net external demand contribution, which added 1.5 percentage point to the total output. The GDP fell 3.3 percent year-on-year in the second quarter in line with the flash estimate. This compares with a 2.3 percent drop in national output in the first quarter. According to the statistical office, the stronger decline of GDP was led by a more negative contribution of domestic demand during the period.

[Sep07]    Portugal Q2 GDP Contraction Confirmed At 1.2%

The Portuguese economy contracted 1.2 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter, Statistics Portugal said Friday, confirming the preliminary estimate. This comes after a 0.1 percent fall in the gross domestic product in the first quarter. The stronger decline in GDP in the second quarter was led by significant drop in domestic demand, which deducted 2.7 percentage points from the overall GDP. However, this effect was partially offset by the positive net external demand contribution, which added 1.5 percentage point to the total output. The GDP fell 3.3 percent year-on-year in the second quarter in line with the flash estimate. This compares with a 2.3 percent drop in national output in the first quarter. According to the statistical office, the stronger decline of GDP was led by a more negative contribution of domestic demand during the period.

[Sep07]    Iceland Economy Contracts Sharply In Q2

Iceland's economy contracted at a marked pace in the second quarter, after recording growths in the previous three quarters, data released by Statistics Iceland showed Friday. Gross domestic product (GDP) fell a seasonally adjusted 6.5 percent sequentially in the second quarter, reversing first quarter's 0.3 percent gain. The contraction was driven mainly by a 17.4 percent fall in investment. Households' final consumption increased 2.1 percent quarter-on-quarter, while government's final consumption dropped 0.4 percent. Year-on-year the unadjusted GDP increased 0.5 percent in the second quarter, sharply slower than the 4.2 percent growth recorded in the first quarter. In the first six months of the year, the economy expanded 2.4 percent from the same period a year earlier, data showed.

[Sep07]    German Exports Unexpectedly Rebound In July

German exports bounced back unexpectedly in July, despite the debt crisis significantly disrupting trading activities across Europe, in part due to poor demand. Imports also recorded a surprise recovery, reflecting the still-strong private consumption in the economy. Exports increased 0.5 percent month-on-month in July on a calender and seasonally adjusted basis, the Federal Statistical Office said Friday. This was in contrast to economists' prediction of a 0.5 percent decline and comes after a 1.4 percent drop in June. Imports gained 0.9 percent following a 2.9 percent fall in the previous month. The outcome defied expectations of a 0.3 percent fall. Germany exported commodities to the value of EUR 93.6 billion and imported commodities worth EUR 76.7 billion in July. Compared to July 2011, exports and imports increased 9.2 percent and 1.9 percent respectively. The foreign trade balance showed a surplus of EUR 16.9 billion in July, slightly less than EUR 18 billion in June. In July 2011, the surplus was EUR 10.4 billion. Economists had forecast a surplus of EUR 15.3 billion. In calendar-and-seasonally adjusted terms, the trade surplus was EUR 16.1 billion. Shipments to EU member states increased at an annual pace of 4.4 percent in July, while shipments to euro area rose 3.2 percent. Exports to countries outside the European Union jumped 15.9 percent from a year earlier in July. The German economy expanded 0.3 percent in the June quarter as robust growth in exports and domestic spending help offset a contraction in investment. However, the rate of expansion was slower than the 0.5 percent growth seen in the previous quarter. Recent indicators also suggest that the biggest Eurozone economy is weathering the crisis better than other euro members. Data from the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology showed Thursday that factory orders grew 0.5 percent month-on-month in July after declining 1.6 percent in June. Increases were recorded in both domestic as well as foreign orders. However, the spreading debt woes in Eurozone prompted the Organization for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD) to downgrade the growth forecast for Germany in its latest interim assessment report released on Thursday. The German economy is now seen growing 0.8 percent this year, weaker than the 1.2 percent expansion projected in May. Soon after, European Central Bank cut the Eurozone 2012 growth outlook range to between -0.6 percent and -0.2 percent. The risks surrounding the economic outlook for the euro area are assessed to be on the downside, the bank said. The statistical office also reported today that the current account surplus fell to EUR 12.8 billion from EUR 18.5 billion surplus in June. Economists expected a decline to EUR 13.5 billion.

[Sep07]    German Industrial Output Recovers In July

German industrial production expanded 1.3 percent in July from a month ago, the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology said Friday. The increase follows June's 0.4 percent fall. Economists had forecast output to remain flat on a monthly basis. Year-on-year, working-day adjusted industrial output slipped 1.4 percent, reversing June's 0.3 percent rise. Nonetheless, the decline was slower than the 3 percent drop forecast by economists. On an unadjusted basis, output growth slowed to 2 percent annually from 3.7 percent a month ago.

[Sep07]    Greece Falls Deeper Into Recession In Q2

The Greek economy contracted at a faster-than-expected pace in the second quarter, suggesting a deeper recession than estimated earlier, final data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority showed Friday. The unadjusted gross domestic product (GDP), at constant prices, fell 6.3 percent annually in the second quarter, faster than the 6.2 percent decease recorded in the preliminary estimates. The latest change was, however, slower than the 7.5 percent contraction seen in the first quarter. Final consumption expenditure fell 7.2 percent compared to last year, while gross fixed capital formation plunged by 19.4 percent. Meanwhile, the trade deficit decreased by 39.9 percent annually, contributing positively to the GDP. Exports and imports decreased 4.1 percent and 12.3 percent respectively during the three-month period. At current prices, GDP slipped at a faster pace of 6.5 percent annually in the second quarter after easing 6.1 percent in the previous three months. The initial estimated were for a 6.6 percent fall.

[Sep07]    Croatia Aug Total PPI Inflation 7.8% Vs. 6.9% In July

[Sep07]    U.K. July Industrial Output Expands More Than Forecast

U.K. industrial production recovered in July at a faster than expected pace, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday. Industrial output grew 2.9 percent month-on-month, reversing June's 2.4 percent fall. The increase exceeded the 1.5 percent rise forecast by economists. Manufacturing output climbed by a more than expected 3.2 percent from a month ago, when it dropped 2.9 percent. Economists had forecast only 1.8 percent rise. The ONS said, "Users should be cautious when interpreting movements involving June 2012 due to the changes in public holidays as a result of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee." On a yearly basis, overall production fell at a slower pace of 0.8 percent, following a 3.8 percent drop in June. Likewise, the decline in manufacturing output slowed to 0.5 percent from 3.9 percent in June. Economists had forecast industrial output to ease 2.7 percent and manufacturing output to fall 2.4 percent.

[Sep07]    U.K. July Manufacturing Output Drops 0.5% Annually, Consensus -2.4%

[Sep07]    BoE Survey: 67%-6% Expect Worse For Economy If Inflation Rises Vs.68%-4% In May

[Sep07]    Taiwan's Exports Fall More Than Expected In August

Taiwan's merchandise exports decreased more than economists expected in August, data released by the Ministry of Finance showed Friday. The value of shipments decreased 4.2 percent on an annual basis to $24.69 billion in August. Economists had expected exports to decreased by 2.7 percent. The value of imports plunged 7.6 percent year-on-year to $21.38 billion during the month, contrary to economists forecast for a 1.5 percent increase. The net trade in August resulted in a surplus of $3.3 million, significantly higher than the $1.5 billion surplus estimated by economists. In the January-August period, Taiwan's exports dropped 5.6 percent from the same period a year earlier, and import decreased by 5.7 percent, resulting in a surplus of $15.43 billion, data showed.

[Sep07]    Taiwan Aug. Trade Surplus $3.31 Bln, Consensus $1.5 Bln

[Sep07]    Norway July Industrial Production Up 2.6% On Year, Down 4.5% On Month

[Sep07]    Sweden Aug. Budget Surplus Stays Below Expectations

Sweden's central government payments showed a surplus of SEK 11.1 billion in August, which was SEK 9.7 billion lower than the government estimate, figures from the National Debt Office showed Friday. The weaker-than expected surplus reflects higher tax refund in August. The Debt Office's net lending to central government agencies was SEK 1.7 billion higher than projected. Again, interest payments on central government debt exceeded forecast by SEK 0.5 billion. During twelve months ended August, central government payments resulted in a deficit of SEK 22.9 billion.

[Sep07]    Sweden Aug. Budget Surplus SEK 11.1 Bln: Debt Office

[Sep07]    South Africa Gross Reserves Increase In August

South Africa's gross reserves increased to $49.99 billion in August from $49.398 billion in July, data released by the South African Reserve Bank showed Friday. Economists expected total reserves to increase to $49.79 billion. International liquidity position or net reserves totaled $48.3 billion in August, up from $47.97 billion in the previous month. Foreign exchange reserves advanced to $40.6 billion from $40.2 billion in July. Gold reserves increased slightly to $6.679 billion from $6.53 billion in the previous month.

[Sep07]    Spain's Industrial Production Continues To Fall

Spain's industrial production continued to decline in July, the statistical office INE said Friday. Production was down by working day adjusted 5.4 percent in July from a year ago, slower than the 6.1 percent decrease seen in June. However, the rate of decline exceeded the 5.2 percent drop forecast by economists. On an unadjusted basis, overall production slipped only 2.6 percent year-on-year after easing 6.8 percent in June.

[Sep07]    Spain July Industrial Output Falls 5.4% On Year, Consensus -5.2%

[Sep07]    France Trade Gap Narrows Sharply In July

The French trade deficit narrowed more than expected in July due to a fall in imports from the prior month, data released by the Directorate General of Customs and Excise showed Friday. The deficit plunged to EUR 4.27 billion in July from EUR 6.06 billion in June. The deficit was forecast to fall to EUR 5.85 billion in July. Exports rose to EUR 36.58 billion from EUR 36.27 billion in June. Meanwhile, imports fell to EUR 40.85 billion from EUR 42.33 billion a month ago.

[Sep07]    European Economics Preview: German Industrial Output, Foreign Trade Data Due

Industrial production and foreign trade from Germany are due on Friday, headlining a busy day for the European economic news. At 1.45 am ET, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs is slated to publish Swiss unemployment data for August. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate is forecast to remain unchanged at 2.9 percent. At 2.00 am ET, Germany's foreign trade data is due. The trade surplus is seen falling to EUR 15.3 billion from EUR 17.9 billion in June. The French trade balance is due at 2.45 am ET. The trade deficit is expected to narrow to EUR 5.85 billion in July from EUR 5.99 billion in June. A slew of statistical reports are due at 3.00 am ET. Final GDP figures from Czech Republic and Hungary are due. The Hungary's Central Statistical Office is also set to publish industrial output figures. In the meantime, Spain's industrial output data is due. Production is seen falling by 5.2 percent annually in July, following a 6.3 percent drop in June. At 4.00 am ET, Statistics Norway is set to publish industrial production data for July. Half an hour later, U.K. industrial production and producer price figures are due. On a monthly basis, industrial output is forecast to rise 1.5 percent in July. At the same time, input price annual inflation is seen at 1.4 percent and output price inflation at 1.9 percent. At 6.00 am ET, the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology is scheduled to issue German industrial output figures. Output is forecast to remain flat in July on a monthly basis after easing 0.9 percent in June.

[Sep07]    German Corporate Insolvencies Decline In June

German enterprise insolvencies fell 6.1 percent in June from a year ago to 2,367, Destatis reported Friday. Altogether 12,634 insolvencies were registered in June, down 1.6 percent. The courts registered 8,284 consumer insolvencies, which were 1.3 percent more than in June 2011. During the first half of 2012, business insolvencies dropped 3.1 percent. Likewise, consumer insolvencies declined 3.9 percent.

[Sep07]    Germany's Labor Costs Rise At Faster Rate In Q2

Labor costs in Germany increased at a faster pace in the second quarter, data released by the Federal Statistical Office showed Friday. The labor cost index, a measure of costs per hour worked, rose a seasonally and calendar-adjusted 1.5 percent sequentially in the second quarter, faster than the 0.2 percent gain seen in the first quarter. In the second quarter of 2011, labor costs had increased 0.9 percent. The sequential growth in labor costs was particularly large for the economic branches of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, water supply and manufacturing. Labor costs were down in information and communication, other service activities, human health and social work activities and arts, entertainment and recreation, the agency said. Costs of wages and salaries were higher by 1.8 percent quarter-on-quarter, while non-wage costs moved up 0.5 percent. Year-on-year, labor costs increased 2.5 percent in the second quarter, after rising 1.8 percent in the first three months of 2011.

[Sep07]    Japan's Leading Index Falls For Fourth Month

Japan's leading economic index declined for a fourth consecutive month in July, preliminary data released by the Cabinet Office showed Friday. The leading index, which is designed to measure the direction of the economy in the months ahead, fell to 91.8 in July from 93.2 in June. Economists were looking for decline to 91.6. The coincident index, which measures the current economic activity, dropped to 92.8 in July from 94.1 in June. Meanwhile, the lagging index fell to 86.3 from 86.6.

[Sep07]    German Exports Increase Unexpectedly In July

Germany's exports and imports increased unexpectedly in July, data from Destatis revealed Friday. Exports grew 0.5 percent month-on-month, partially offsetting June's 1.4 percent fall. Likewise, imports gained 0.9 percent after falling 2.9 percent in June. Economists had forecast a 0.5 percent drop in exports and 0.3 percent decrease in imports. The trade surplus fell to EUR 16.9 billion from EUR 18 billion in June. But it exceeded the consensus forecast of EUR 15.3 billion. At the same time, the current account of the balance of payments showed a surplus of EUR 12.8 billion in July compared to EUR 8.3 billion in the prior year.

[Sep07]    Finnish Trade Surplus Rises In July

Finland's merchandise trade surplus increased from the previous month in July, data released by the customs office showed Friday. The trade surplus increased to EUR60 million in July from EUR35 million in June. In July 2011, the balance was a deficit of EUR184 million. Export of goods increased 2 percent annually to EUR4.5 billion in July. Shipments to the European Union were higher by 1 percent, while exports to the Eurozone remained unchanged. The value of imports, meanwhile, decreased by 3 percent from last year to EUR4.44 billion in July. Arrivals form the EU nations increased by 2 percent compared to July 2011, while imports for the Eurozone advanced 5 percent, data showed. In the January-July period, Finland trade balance was a deficit of EUR1.12 billion. The value of dispatches remained unchanged during the seven-month period, while imports decreased 1 percent.

[Sep07]    Europe Monster Employment Index Falls In August

The Monster Employment Index for Europe, a measure of online recruitment activity, declined in August, a report showed Friday. The index fell to 138 in August from 142 in July and June. On an annual basis, the index recorded a 1 percent fall, marking the first year-on-year decline since April 2010, Monster Worldwide said. Germany is the only large country to report year-over-year growth in August, up 7 percent. However, it registered single digit growth for the first time in 25 months. With the exception of the United Kingdom, all other countries showed year-over-year decline with the Netherlands and France registering double digit falls. "As the Index registers its first decline since April 2010, it is clear we remain in an uncertain climate where even the previous stalwart growth of Germany is seeing moderated online recruitment trajectory in response to reduced business and consumer confidence across Europe," said Alan Townsend of Monster Europe.

[Sep07]    Germany Jul Current Account Surplus EUR 12.8 Bln, Consensus EUR 13.5 Bln

[Sep07]    Swiss Jobless Rate Unchanged In August

The Swiss unemployment rate remained unchanged in August, data released by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) showed Friday. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 2.9 percent as expected by economists. On an unadjusted basis, the rate rose to 2.8 percent in August from 2.7 percent in July. This was also in line with the forecasts. The number of unemployed rose by 3,529 or 3 percent month-on-month to 119,823 at the end of August. At the same time, the number of registered job seekers increased 1.8 percent to 170,276.

[Sep07]    European Economics Preview: German Industrial Output, Foreign Trade Data Due

Industrial production and foreign trade from Germany are due on Friday, headlining a busy day for the European economic news. At 1.45 am ET, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs is slated to publish Swiss unemployment data for August. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate is forecast to remain unchanged at 2.9 percent. At 2.00 am ET, Germany's foreign trade data is due. The trade surplus is seen falling to EUR 15.3 billion from EUR 17.9 billion in June. The French trade balance is due at 2.45 am ET. The trade deficit is expected to narrow to EUR 5.85 billion in July from EUR 5.99 billion in June. A slew of statistical reports are due at 3.00 am ET. Final GDP figures from Czech Republic and Hungary are due. The Hungary's Central Statistical Office is also set to publish industrial output figures. In the meantime, Spain's industrial output data is due. Production is seen falling by 5.2 percent annually in July, following a 6.3 percent drop in June. At 4.00 am ET, Statistics Norway is set to publish industrial production data for July. Half an hour later, U.K. industrial production and producer price figures are due. On a monthly basis, industrial output is forecast to rise 1.5 percent in July. At the same time, input price annual inflation is seen at 1.4 percent and output price inflation at 1.9 percent. At 6.00 am ET, the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology is scheduled to issue German industrial output figures. Output is forecast to remain flat in July on a monthly basis after easing 0.9 percent in June.

[Sep07]    Hungary PM Rejects IMF Loan Conditions

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has rejected the conditions attached to a loan it sought from the International Monetary Fund last year and said the government will present an alternative proposal to the global lender in the next few days. In a video posted on his Facebook page, Orban said the terms and conditions of the loans are "unacceptable." He said the list of loan terms is long and are not in Hungary's interests. The IMF has asked Hungary to cut pensions and to roll back tax on banks, which according to Orban, do not serve the nation's interests. The government will present an alternative proposal for the negotiations in the coming days, he said. Hungary requested an IMF creditline worth EUR 15 billion in November last year. However, Hungary's tough stance on the loan terms is delaying the aid deal. The government's unorthodox policy reforms, including the one that limits the central bank's independence have made the EU/IMF deal tough and have also invited the European Union's ire which once threatened legal action against the country over its new constitution. The government policy moves also prompted the three world's leading rating agencies to downgrade the country's credit rating to "junk" status. The economy slipped into recession in the second quarter, with nearly half of its industries recording stagnation. Gross domestic product decreased 1.2 percent year-on-year, after falling 0.7 percent in the first quarter. In August, Hungary's central bank reduced its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 6.75 percent, after keeping it unchanged for seven months in a row.

[Sep07]    Estonia's Economic Growth Slows Less Than Expected In Q2

Estonia's economic growth weakened less than initially estimated in the second quarter, final data released by Statistics Estonia showed Friday. Gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.2 percent on an annual basis in the second quarter, faster than the 2 percent growth recorded in the preliminary estimates. The rate of growth was notably slower than the first quarter's 3.4 percent gain, and marked the third successive slowdown. The fast growth of the value added in construction, trade, information and communication activities contributed the most to the latest economic growth, the agency said. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP grew a seasonally and working-day adjusted 0.5 percent during the three-month period, slightly faster than the 0.4 percent expansion seen in the flash estimates.

[Sep07]    U.S. Monster Employment Index Rises In August

The U.S. employment index increased rose 6 percent year-on-year in August, Monster Worldwide said Friday. The index climbed to 156 from 147 in July. Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting continues to lead all sectors in recruitment growth alongside transportation and warehousing. At the same time, retail trade recruitment rebounded, aligning with seasonal consumer patterns. Meanwhile, public administration and educational services continue to drag down the index with negative annual growth. The Monster employment index is a monthly gauge of U.S. online job posting activity based on a real-time review of millions of employer job opportunities culled from a large representative selection of career Web sites and online job listings.

[Sep06]    Japan Foreign Reserves Rise In August

Japan's foreign exchange reserves increased marginally at the end of August, the latest figures from the Ministry of Finance showed Friday. The total reserve assets rose to $1.2732 trillion at the end of August from $1.2728 trillion at end-July. At the end of last month, Japan's foreign currency reserves stood at $1.2 trillion, while IMF reserves totaled $14.28 billion. Special Drawing Rights amounted to $19.65 billion and gold reserves totaled $40.56 billion.

[Sep06]    Japan FinMin Warns Govt. May Run Of Cash By End-November

The Japanese government is most likely to run out of cash by the end of November, reports said Friday, citing remarks by Finance Minister Jun Azumi. Azumi said the Parliament should find a consensus and pass a debt-issuance bill, which is needed to fund a large part of the government's budget for the current fiscal. The government on Friday approved a contingency plan, delaying JPY 5 trillion worth of budget spending. The spending plan is likely to be delayed further if the political impasse over the bond bill continues, the Minister was quoted as saying. This will have unfavorable impact on the economy, he added.

[Sep07]    Malaysia Jul Exports Down 1.9% On Year

[Sep06]    IMF Says Ready To Cooperate With ECB On New Program

The International Monetary Fund is ready to work with the European Central Bank in the effective implementation of its new crisis-fighting measures, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Thursday. Welcoming the ECB decision, she said "the IMF stands ready to cooperate within our frameworks." Decisive implementation of the new intervention program will help repair monetary transmission, and support countries' efforts to secure finance at a reasonable cost while they undertake sustained macroeconomic adjustment, Lagarde said. "We see the ECB's action as an important step toward strengthening stability and growth in the Euro Area," she added. Meanwhile, in a regular press briefing on Thursday, IMF External Relations Department Director Gerry Rice said the IMF mission will go back to Athens around the middle of next week. Confirming earlier reports, Rice said a conversation did take place between Lagarde and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and they discussed the current economic situation in Greece and developments in the euro area. Responding to a query on a possible Spain bailout, he clarified that Spain has not requested IMF financial support and the Fund is not working on any plan in this regard.

[Sep06]    Japan Foreign Reserves Rise In August

Japan's foreign exchange reserves increased marginally at the end of August, the latest figures from the Ministry of Finance showed Friday. The total reserve assets rose to $1.2732 trillion at the end of August from $1.2728 trillion at end-July. At the end of last month, Japan's foreign currency reserves stood at $1.2 trillion, while IMF reserves totaled $14.28 billion. Special Drawing Rights amounted to $19.65 billion and gold reserves totaled $40.56 billion.

[Sep06]    Japan FinMin Warns Govt. May Run Of Cash By End-November

The Japanese government is most likely to run out of cash by the end of November, reports said Friday, citing remarks by Finance Minister Jun Azumi. Azumi said the Parliament should find a consensus and pass a debt-issuance bill, which is needed to fund a large part of the government's budget for the current fiscal. The government on Friday approved a contingency plan, delaying JPY 5 trillion worth of budget spending. The spending plan is likely to be delayed further if the political impasse over the bond bill continues, the Minister was quoted as saying. This will have unfavorable impact on the economy, he added.

[Sep06]    IMF Says Ready To Cooperate With ECB On New Program

The International Monetary Fund is ready to work with the European Central Bank in the effective implementation of its new crisis-fighting measures, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Thursday. Welcoming the ECB decision, she said "the IMF stands ready to cooperate within our frameworks." Decisive implementation of the new intervention program will help repair monetary transmission, and support countries' efforts to secure finance at a reasonable cost while they undertake sustained macroeconomic adjustment, Lagarde said. "We see the ECB's action as an important step toward strengthening stability and growth in the Euro Area," she added. Meanwhile, in a regular press briefing on Thursday, IMF External Relations Department Director Gerry Rice said the IMF mission will go back to Athens around the middle of next week. Confirming earlier reports, Rice said a conversation did take place between Lagarde and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and they discussed the current economic situation in Greece and developments in the euro area. Responding to a query on a possible Spain bailout, he clarified that Spain has not requested IMF financial support and the Fund is not working on any plan in this regard.

[Sep06]    Australia Has A$556 Million Trade Deficit In July

Australia posted a seasonally adjusted merchandise trade deficit of A$556 million in July, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Friday. That was well shy of forecasts for a shortfall of A$300 million following the downwardly revised deficit of A$227 million in June - which originally reflected a surplus of A$9 million. Exports were down 3 percent on month to A$25.757 billion after a flat showing in the previous month. Goods and services credits fell 3 percent or A$728 million to A$25.757 billion. Non-monetary gold plummeted 25 percent or A$420 million, while non-rural goods dipped 1 percent or A$244 million and rural goods shed 3 percent or A$81 million. Net exports of goods under merchanting surged 23 percent or A$5 million. Services credits rose A$12 million. Imports eased 1.0 percent to A$26.313 billion, after falling 2 percent a month earlier. Goods and services debits declined 1 percent or A$399 million to A$26.313 billion. Capital goods lost 8 percent or A$495 million. Intermediate and other merchandise goods added 1 percent or A$102 million, while consumption goods rose A$13 million and non-monetary gold jumped A$2 million. Services debits fell A$20 million. Also on Friday, a survey from the Australian Industry Group and Housing Industry Association showed that activity in Australia's construction industry contracted further in August. The group's Performance of Construction index fell 0.4 points in the month to a seasonally adjusted 32.2. Readings below 50.0 indicate contraction in the surveyed sector. The construction engineering index fell 3.8 points or 35.7. AIG said in a release that many respondents cited the negative impacts of dwindling demand from the resources sector and project delays. Upon the release of the data, the Australian dollar drifted lower against its major opponents, trading near 81.12 against the yen, 1.0281 against the U.S. dollar, 1.2291 against the euro and 1.2840 against the New Zealand dollar.

[Sep06]    Australia Construction Sector Contracts Further In August - AIG/HIA

Activity in Australia's construction industry contracted further in August, according to survey results pub lished Friday by the Australian Industry Group and Housing Industry Association. The group's Performance of Construction index fell 0.4 points in the month to a seasonally adjusted 32.2. Readings below 50.0 indicate contraction in the surveyed sector. The construction engineering index fell 3.8 points or 35.7. AIG said in a release that many respondents cited the negative impacts of dwindling demand from the resources sector and project delays.

[Sep06]    Australia August Performance Of Construction Index Down 0.4 Points At 32.2 - AIG

[Sep04]    Draghi's Leaked Remarks Fortify Bond-Purchase Expectations

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has given his clearest signal yet on what the central bank is upto and how the ECB is going act on the euro crisis, in what seems to be an unofficial disclosure by European lawmakers of his confidential statement before the European Parliament. According to reports, during the closed-door meeting of the lawmakers, Draghi defended a number of measures introduced by the ECB, including the controversial bond-purchase plan, and indicated that the central bank is not averse to buying government bonds of up to 3-year maturities on the secondary market. Draghi, who is widely expected to announce the details of his latest crisis-fighting measures after the ECB Governing Council meeting on Thursday, reportedly said that the latest plan will not amount to state financing of euro area governments. The task before Draghi is to get the backing of Germany for his plan, which remains staunchly opposed to bond-purchases of indebted euro members. The borrowing costs of Eurozone countries such as Italy and Spain have eased somewhat in the recent weeks amid speculation of a strong ECB action in the near-term. The euro rose after the disclosure of the comments. Meanwhile, Moody's Investors Service downgraded the credit outlook on the European Union's AAA rating to 'negative' from 'stable', reflecting the negative outlook on EU's triple-A rated budget contributors, including Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands, which together account for around 45 percent of the EU's budget revenue.

[Sep06]    Spain Borrowing Costs Fall On ECB Bond Purchase Hopes

Spain's borrowing costs declined at the bond auction on Thursday as investors expect the European Central Bank to announce its strategy on bond purchase later today. The Spanish Treasury raised EUR 3.5 billion from the sale, meeting the upper end of the EUR 2.5 billion - EUR 3.5 billion target range. The agency sold EUR 682 million of securities maturing on April 2014, at an average yield of 2.798 percent, significantly down from 4.706 percent at the previous auction in June. The bid-to-cover ratio halved to about 2 from 4 last time. From the issue of July 2015 bonds, Spain received EUR 1.4 billion. The yield dropped sharply to 3.676 percent from 5.086 percent in July. The demand exceeded the offer by 1.8 times compared to 2.3 times last time. The treasury raised EUR 1.4 billion from the auction of October 2016 bonds. It was sold at an average yield of 4.603 percent compared to 5.971 percent last month. The bid-to-cover ratio fell to 1.9 from 2.7. Spain has already sought a EUR 100 billion assistance to stem its banking crisis. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel later today in Madrid to discuss euro-area crisis. The Spanish government has to find a solution to fund its borrowings before a major repayment due next month. The economy is reeling under severe recession. Gross domestic product fell 0.4 percent in the second quarter and the unemployment rate reached a record 24.63 percent during the same period. Elsewhere, France raised about EUR 8 billion from the issue of OATs at lower yields. The European Central Bank on Thursday is expected to cut its key rate by a quarter point to 0.50 percent and unveil measures to battle the sovereign debt crisis that has plagued the euro area, which could including the purchase of bonds of the peripheral governments from the secondary market. The ECB should support countries like Spain that are implementing adjustment measures, Secretary-General of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said in a radio interview early this week. The Paris-based OECD today forecast 1.6 percent contraction for the Spanish economy this year.

[Sep06]    ECB Holds Fire For Second Month As Draghi Readies Bond Plan

The European Central Bank held its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low for the second straight month on Thursday, increasing the odds of bank chief Mario Draghi unveiling a bond buying plan to tackle the sovereign debt crisis threatening to wreck the currency-bloc. The main refinancing rate was maintained at 0.75 percent, following the meeting of the Governing Council in Frankfurt. Economists had expected the ECB to slash the rate to 0.50 percent. The central bank also kept its deposit rate at zero and the marginal lending facility rate at 1.50 percent. In July, the bank reduced these rates by a quarter-point, taking the refi rate below 1 percent for the first time in the ECB's history. ECB President Mario Draghi is set to hold his regular post-decision press conference in Frankfurt at 8.30 am ET when he is widely expected to announce measures to battle the sovereign debt crisis, which could include buying bonds of peripheral governments. Economists also worry that Draghi may not reveal enough details regarding a possible ECB bond-buying plan as there is unlikely to be any consensus within the ECB's rate-setting body. "President Mario Draghi is likely to state that such purchases will be limited and that they will not begin until after the EFSF or ESM have bought bonds themselves," Capital Economics Senior European Economist Jennifer McKeown said earlier. "He will probably also eschew calls for the ECB to set an explicit cap on peripheral bond spreads." Meanwhile, ING Bank Senior Economist Carsten Brzeski thinks Draghi will eventually present explicit targets for short-term bond yields, probably up to three years, under the new bond-buying plan. While explicit targets contain the risk of inviting speculative attacks, implicit or secret targets are harder to defend in a credible fashion, he said before the decision. "To avoid the issue of setting "neutral" levels for bond spreads and to stress the fact that SMP 2.0 is mainly targeted at the transmission of monetary policy, the ECB could actually link targets for short-term bond yields to the refi rate and not another benchmark bond," Brzeski added. Draghi told European lawmakers in a closed-door meeting on Monday that the central bank is not averse to buying government bonds of up to three-year maturities on the secondary market. He also defended a number of measures introduced by the ECB, including the previous controversial bond-purchase plan called the Securities Market Programme that was halted earlier this year. There has been high drama in the euro area ever since Draghi pledged late July that the ECB will do "whatever it takes" to save the euro. At the post-decision ECB press conference in August, he went on to hint that the central bank will consider purchasing bonds of troubled Eurozone governments. Though his words apparently restored some investor confidence as reflected by the lower Spanish and Italian yields, the sentiment within the Governing Council deteriorated with Bundesbank, known as Buba, voicing strong opposition to any bond purchases by the ECB. Bundesbank Chief Jens Weidmann warned that central bank financing could be "addictive like a drug" and that such a policy is too close to financing state debt by printing money. The German also believes that he is not alone is having reservations about the bond buying plan. Marking a new low in the ECB-Buba rift, a German tabloid reported last Friday that Weidmann considered resigning over the ECB's plan to start a new round of sovereign bond purchases and discussed such a move with the Bundesbank board several times in recent weeks. Later on, Weidmann decided against resignation, partly due to pressure from the German government, the report said. While Buba is opposing ECB's sovereign bond purchases, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has hinted support for the measure. With Draghi staying away from the Jackson Hole symposium last weekend, markets are eager to see if he goes ahead and delivers on his word. Meanwhile, some economists have the view that he may choose to do nothing this month so as to keep the pressure on the peripheral governments. Under the proposed bond-buying plan, the ECB will intervene in the secondary market to buy bonds in an attempt to lower borrowing costs for troubled euro area members such as Italy and Spain. However, the intervention will be conditional on these governments placing a formal request for bailout from the rescue funds EFSF and ESM. Such a bailout would come with strict conditions. Despite supporting Draghi's resolve, Spain and Italy are yet to place any request for bailout. Spain today held a successful debt auction which saw lower borrowing costs for the country. Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy and German Chancellor Merkel are set to meet later today to gauge support for a bailout. Germany's Constitutional Court is set to rule on the compatibility of the euro area permanent bailout fund called the European Stability Mechanism on September 12. The central bank is also set to unveil its latest macroeconomic forecasts today. The ECB Staff projections are likely to show a downgrade to the economic outlook for 2012 and 2013. Last week, European Central Bank Governing Council Member Ewald Nowotny said the divergence between North and South will increase further. He expects negative growth rates, contraction in all the southern countries in 2012, and stagnation in France.

[Sep06]    U.S. Service Sector Activity Grows Faster Than Expected

Economic activity in the U.S. service sector grew for the 32nd consecutive month in August, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Thursday, with the pace of growth accelerating by more than anticipated. The ISM said its non-manufacturing index rose to 53.7 in August from 52.6 in July, with a reading above 50 indicating an increase in activity in the service sector. Economists had been expecting the index to show a more modest increase to a reading of 53.0. Anthony Nieves, chair of the ISM Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said, "According to the NMI, 10 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in August." "Respondents' comments continue to be mixed, and for the most part reflect uncertainty about business conditions and the economy," he added. The report showed a turnaround by employment in the service sector, with the employment index climbing to 53.8 in August 49.3 in July. The previous month's reading on the employment index below 50 had pointed to the first contraction in service sector employment since December of 2011. On the other hand, the report showed that the business activity index dipped to 55.6 in August from 57.2 in July, pointing to a slowdown in the pace of growth. The new orders index also edged down to 53.7 in August from 54.3 in July, although it remained above the key 50 level for the 37th consecutive month. With regard to inflation, the prices index jumped to 64.3 in August from 54.9 in July, indicating a notable acceleration in the pace of price growth. Tuesday morning, the ISM released a separate report showing a continued contraction in activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector in the month of August. The manufacturing index edged down to 49.6 in August from 49.8 in July, with the drop surprising economists, who had expected the index to inch up to 50.0.

[Sep06]    ISM U.S. Non-Manufacturing Index Climbs To 53.7 In August

[Sep06]    Draghi Announces ECB's New Bond Purchase Programme

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Thursday unveiled the bank's latest bond purchase plan, as expected, in a bid to tackle the euro area debt crisis. "The Governing Council today decided on the modalities for undertaking Outright Monetary Transactions (OMTs) in secondary markets for sovereign bonds in the euro area," Draghi said in his introductory statement to the regular post-decision press conference. "As we said a month ago, we need to be in the position to safeguard the monetary policy transmission mechanism in all countries of the euro area." The central bank left the interest rates unchanged today for the second month in a row. The ECB expects the OMTs to enable it to address severe distortions in government bond markets which originate from, in particular, unfounded fears on the part of investors of the reversibility of the euro. "Hence, under appropriate conditions, we will have a fully effective backstop to avoid destructive scenarios with potentially severe challenges for price stability in the euro area," Draghi said. He urged the Eurozone policymakers to hasten fiscal consolidation and structural reforms to restore investor confidence. "Governments must stand ready to activate the EFSF/ESM in the bond market when exceptional financial market circumstances and risks to financial stability exist - with strict and effective conditionality in line with the established guidelines," the ECB Chief said. Draghi also presented the new ECB staff macroeconomic projections which revealed downgrades to growth forecasts, while upgrades to the inflation outlook.

[Sep06]    U.S. Private Sector Job Growth Exceeds Estimates In August

Private sector employment in the U.S. rose by much more than expected in the month of August, according to a report released by payroll processor Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) on Thursday, with the data likely to generate some optimism about the government report due on Friday. ADP said private sector employment increased by 201,000 jobs in August following a revised increase of 173,000 jobs in July. Economists had expected employment to increase by about 149,000 jobs compared to the addition of 163,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month. Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC, said "The August increase of 201,000, following a solid gain in July, supports the notion that the underlying trend in hiring has picked back up after slowing sharply during the spring." "The August increase was well above the consensus forecast for today's release and for the official jobs number due out Friday from The Bureau of Labor Statistics," he added. The stronger than expected job growth was largely due to a notable increase in employment in the service-providing sector, which added 185,000 jobs in August following an increase of 156,000 jobs in July. Employment in the goods-producing sector increased by a more modest 16,000 jobs in August, with manufacturing employment rising by 3,000 jobs after an increase of 6,000 jobs in the previous month. The report also showed strong job growth at both small and medium-size businesses, which added 99,000 jobs and 86,000 jobs, respectively. Employment at large businesses edged up by 16,000 jobs. Prakken said, "The gain in private employment in August is strong enough to suggest that the national unemployment rate may have declined." "Today's estimate, if matched by a similar reading on employment from the BLS on Friday, will alleviate concerns that the economy has slipped into a downturn," he added. Friday morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled to release its closely watched monthly employment report, which includes both public and private sector jobs. Economists expect the report to show an increase of about 125,000 jobs in August following the addition of 163,000 jobs in July. However, the unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 8.3 percent.

[Sep06]    Euro Area Economy Shrinks In Q2 Amid Weak Investment

The Eurozone economy contracted as expected in the second quarter as a marked improvement in export growth was offset by a further fall in investment amid the unresolved debt crisis. Gross domestic product, or GDP, decreased a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent sequentially after remaining unchanged in first three months of 2012, statistical office Eurostat said. The GDP reading was in line with the initial estimates. Investment in the single-currency bloc decreased 0.8 percent compared to the first quarter, following a faster contraction of 1.3 percent in the preceding quarter. Total exports grew 1.3 percent after rising 0.7 percent in the first quarter. Domestic final consumption expenditure decreased 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter, while public consumption expenditure edged up 0.1 percent. Compared to the second quarter of 2011, the euro area economy contracted at a faster rate of 0.5 percent than the 0.4 percent estimated initially. In the first quarter, GDP had remained unchanged year-on-year. The EU27 logged a 0.1 percent sequential decline in GDP. Meanwhile, the German economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 0.3 percent, supported by positive contributions from final consumption expenditure and net trade. The Organization for Economic Co-operation Development,or OECD, warned that recession in key euro area economies is having an impact worldwide and is dampening global economic prospects. The agency expects Germany, France and Italy to shrink at an annualised rate of 1 percent on average during the third quarter and at 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter. The European Central Bank, which is scheduled to meet today, is widely expected to announce measures to battle the sovereign debt crisis that has plagued the euro area, which could include buying bonds of peripheral governments as indicated by the bank's President Mario Draghi last month. Releasing the final purchasing managers' survey results yesterday, Markit Economics said that Eurozone's private sector continued to contract in August, adding to concerns that the economy is likely to fall back into a technical recession in the third quarter.

[Sep06]    Euro Area Economy Shrinks In Q2 Amid Weak Investment

The Eurozone economy contracted as expected in the second quarter as a marked improvement in export growth was offset by a further fall in investment amid the unresolved debt crisis. Gross domestic product, or GDP, decreased a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent sequentially after remaining unchanged in first three months of 2012, statistical office Eurostat said. The GDP reading was in line with the initial estimates. Investment in the single-currency bloc decreased 0.8 percent compared to the first quarter, following a faster contraction of 1.3 percent in the preceding quarter. Total exports grew 1.3 percent after rising 0.7 percent in the first quarter. Domestic final consumption expenditure decreased 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter, while public consumption expenditure edged up 0.1 percent. Compared to the second quarter of 2011, the euro area economy contracted at a faster rate of 0.5 percent than the 0.4 percent estimated initially. In the first quarter, GDP had remained unchanged year-on-year. The EU27 logged a 0.1 percent sequential decline in GDP. Meanwhile, the German economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 0.3 percent, supported by positive contributions from final consumption expenditure and net trade. The Organization for Economic Co-operation Development,or OECD, warned that recession in key euro area economies is having an impact worldwide and is dampening global economic prospects. The agency expects Germany, France and Italy to shrink at an annualised rate of 1 percent on average during the third quarter and at 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter. The European Central Bank, which is scheduled to meet today, is widely expected to announce measures to battle the sovereign debt crisis that has plagued the euro area, which could include buying bonds of peripheral governments as indicated by the bank's President Mario Draghi last month. Releasing the final purchasing managers' survey results yesterday, Markit Economics said that Eurozone's private sector continued to contract in August, adding to concerns that the economy is likely to fall back into a technical recession in the third quarter.

[Sep06]    Cyprus Inflation Rises To 2.7% In August

Cyprus' annual inflation accelerated for the second month in a row in August, data released by the statistical office showed Thursday. The consumer price index increased 2.67 percent on an annual basis in August, faster than the 2.17 percent gain seen in July. In June, the rate of growth was 1.77 percent. Food and non-alcoholic beverages prices rose 2.47 percent annually during the month, while clothing and footwear prices decreased 1.66 percent. Housing costs and utility prices were higher by 10.21 percent compared to last year, and transportation costs by 3.57 percent. Month-on-month, consumer prices advanced 0.54 percent in August. In the January-August period, consumer prices recorded an increase of 2.77 percent compared to the corresponding period a year earlier, data showed.

[Sep06]    ECB's Draghi: Euro Reversibility Fears Are Unfounded

[Sep06]    ECB's Draghi: Govt Must Be Ready To Activate EFSF/ESM When Needed

[Sep06]    Draghi: ECB Acts Strictly Within Mandate, Remains Independent

[Sep06]    ECB's Draghi Announces Outright Monetary Transactions In Secondary Market

[Sep06]    ECB Holds Fire For Second Month As Draghi Readies Bond Plan

The European Central Bank held its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low for the second straight month on Thursday, increasing the odds of bank chief Mario Draghi unveiling a bond buying plan to tackle the sovereign debt crisis threatening to wreck the currency-bloc. The main refinancing rate was maintained at 0.75 percent, following the meeting of the Governing Council in Frankfurt. Economists had expected the ECB to slash the rate to 0.50 percent. The central bank also kept its deposit rate at zero and the marginal lending facility rate at 1.50 percent. In July, the bank reduced these rates by a quarter-point, taking the refi rate below 1 percent for the first time in the ECB's history. ECB President Mario Draghi is set to hold his regular post-decision press conference in Frankfurt at 8.30 am ET when he is widely expected to announce measures to battle the sovereign debt crisis, which could include buying bonds of peripheral governments. Economists also worry that Draghi may not reveal enough details regarding a possible ECB bond-buying plan as there is unlikely to be any consensus within the ECB's rate-setting body. "President Mario Draghi is likely to state that such purchases will be limited and that they will not begin until after the EFSF or ESM have bought bonds themselves," Capital Economics Senior European Economist Jennifer McKeown said earlier. "He will probably also eschew calls for the ECB to set an explicit cap on peripheral bond spreads." Meanwhile, ING Bank Senior Economist Carsten Brzeski thinks Draghi will eventually present explicit targets for short-term bond yields, probably up to three years, under the new bond-buying plan. While explicit targets contain the risk of inviting speculative attacks, implicit or secret targets are harder to defend in a credible fashion, he said before the decision. "To avoid the issue of setting "neutral" levels for bond spreads and to stress the fact that SMP 2.0 is mainly targeted at the transmission of monetary policy, the ECB could actually link targets for short-term bond yields to the refi rate and not another benchmark bond," Brzeski added. Draghi told European lawmakers in a closed-door meeting on Monday that the central bank is not averse to buying government bonds of up to three-year maturities on the secondary market. He also defended a number of measures introduced by the ECB, including the previous controversial bond-purchase plan called the Securities Market Programme that was halted earlier this year. There has been high drama in the euro area ever since Draghi pledged late July that the ECB will do "whatever it takes" to save the euro. At the post-decision ECB press conference in August, he went on to hint that the central bank will consider purchasing bonds of troubled Eurozone governments. Though his words apparently restored some investor confidence as reflected by the lower Spanish and Italian yields, the sentiment within the Governing Council deteriorated with Bundesbank, known as Buba, voicing strong opposition to any bond purchases by the ECB. Bundesbank Chief Jens Weidmann warned that central bank financing could be "addictive like a drug" and that such a policy is too close to financing state debt by printing money. The German also believes that he is not alone is having reservations about the bond buying plan. Marking a new low in the ECB-Buba rift, a German tabloid reported last Friday that Weidmann considered resigning over the ECB's plan to start a new round of sovereign bond purchases and discussed such a move with the Bundesbank board several times in recent weeks. Later on, Weidmann decided against resignation, partly due to pressure from the German government, the report said. While Buba is opposing ECB's sovereign bond purchases, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has hinted support for the measure. With Draghi staying away from the Jackson Hole symposium last weekend, markets are eager to see if he goes ahead and delivers on his word. Meanwhile, some economists have the view that he may choose to do nothing this month so as to keep the pressure on the peripheral governments. Under the proposed bond-buying plan, the ECB will intervene in the secondary market to buy bonds in an attempt to lower borrowing costs for troubled euro area members such as Italy and Spain. However, the intervention will be conditional on these governments placing a formal request for bailout from the rescue funds EFSF and ESM. Such a bailout would come with strict conditions. Despite supporting Draghi's resolve, Spain and Italy are yet to place any request for bailout. Spain today held a successful debt auction which saw lower borrowing costs for the country. Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy and German Chancellor Merkel are set to meet later today to gauge support for a bailout. Germany's Constitutional Court is set to rule on the compatibility of the euro area permanent bailout fund called the European Stability Mechanism on September 12. The central bank is also set to unveil its latest macroeconomic forecasts today. The ECB Staff projections are likely to show a downgrade to the economic outlook for 2012 and 2013. Last week, European Central Bank Governing Council Member Ewald Nowotny said the divergence between North and South will increase further. He expects negative growth rates, contraction in all the southern countries in 2012, and stagnation in France.

[Sep06]    ADP: U.S. Private Sector Employment Rose By 201,000 Jobs In August

[Sep06]    Spain Borrowing Costs Fall On ECB Bond Purchase Hopes

Spain's borrowing costs declined at the bond auction on Thursday as investors expect the European Central Bank to announce its strategy on bond purchase later today. The Spanish Treasury raised EUR 3.5 billion from the sale, meeting the upper end of the EUR 2.5 billion - EUR 3.5 billion target range. The agency sold EUR 682 million of securities maturing on April 2014, at an average yield of 2.798 percent, significantly down from 4.706 percent at the previous auction in June. The bid-to-cover ratio halved to about 2 from 4 last time. From the issue of July 2015 bonds, Spain received EUR 1.4 billion. The yield dropped sharply to 3.676 percent from 5.086 percent in July. The demand exceeded the offer by 1.8 times compared to 2.3 times last time. The treasury raised EUR 1.4 billion from the auction of October 2016 bonds. It was sold at an average yield of 4.603 percent compared to 5.971 percent last month. The bid-to-cover ratio fell to 1.9 from 2.7. Spain has already sought a EUR 100 billion assistance to stem its banking crisis. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel later today in Madrid to discuss euro-area crisis. The Spanish government has to find a solution to fund its borrowings before a major repayment due next month. The economy is reeling under severe recession. Gross domestic product fell 0.4 percent in the second quarter and the unemployment rate reached a record 24.63 percent during the same period. Elsewhere, France raised about EUR 8 billion from the issue of OATs at lower yields. The European Central Bank on Thursday is expected to cut its key rate by a quarter point to 0.50 percent and unveil measures to battle the sovereign debt crisis that has plagued the euro area, which could including the purchase of bonds of the peripheral governments from the secondary market. The ECB should support countries like Spain that are implementing adjustment measures, Secretary-General of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said in a radio interview early this week. The Paris-based OECD today forecast 1.6 percent contraction for the Spanish economy this year.

[Sep06]    OECD Urges ECB To Cut Policy Rates

The Organization for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD) on Thursday warned that the global economy has weakened with recession hitting key euro area economies such as Spain and Italy. The think tank sought more supportive monetary policy in the region and urged the European Central Bank to do more to stem the turmoil. "Our forecast shows that the economic outlook has weakened significantly since last spring," OECD Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan said while presenting the latest Interim Economic Assessment. The continuing euro area crisis is dampening global confidence, weakening trade and employment and slowing economic growth for OECD and non-OECD countries alike, the report warned. The OECD projects that the euro area's three largest economies, Germany, France and Italy, will shrink at an annualised rate of 1 percent on average during the third quarter and at 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter. The group suggested a number of actions to address the adverse feedback loops that undermine the stability of the euro. This included full recognition of non-performing loans enforced by common supervision, further progress towards banking union, and the availability of area-wide public funds for recapitalisation. To stem the fears of a particular country exiting the euro area and to prevent a subsequent rise in yields, the ECB should undertake bond market intervention, the Paris-based organisation said. It also recommended a reduction in the interest rate on the marginal lending facility. "The ECB should consider further action to help normalise monetary policy transmission in vulnerable countries, provided conditions are met in line with ECB guidance," the OECD report said. Speaking of advanced economies in general, OECD said central banks should cut policy rates and expand asset purchase programs if the activity is weak and inflation under control. The group warned that fiscal consolidation is acting as a drag on short-term economic activity in some countries. In the U.S., current legislation implies "fiscal cliff" or an extremely sharp fiscal tightening in 2013 that would probably push the US economy into recession. OCED forecasts the U.S economy to expand 2.3 percent this year, slower than 2.4 percent expansion projected in the May report. The Japanese economy is seen growing 2.2 percent, slightly faster than the previously estimated 2 percent. Germany and France are projected to grow 0.8 percent and 0.1 percent in 2012, weaker than previous forecasts of 1.2 percent and 0.6 percent. The Spanish economy is expected to contract 1.6 percent this year. Italy is seen contracting 2.4 percent, which is severe than the 1.7 percent shrinkage predicted earlier. Euro area as a whole is seen contracting 0.1 percent. The U.K. economy is expected to contract 0.7 percent this year, which is in contrast to the 0.5 percent growth projected in the previous report. The G7 economies are expected to grow 1.4 percent this year. OECD pointed out that in China, inflation has come down to an extent that further monetary policy loosening could continue. This should be accompanied by measures to boost the supply of new construction land, it said. The report further warned that the weak growth outlook may push unemployment beyond the already high levels. In all countries, particularly in the euro area, labour market reforms are crucial to foster near-term employment growth, the report said.

[Sep06]    Spain Borrowing Costs Fall On ECB Bond Purchase Hopes

Spain's borrowing costs declined at the bond auction on Thursday as investors expect the European Central Bank to announce its strategy on bond purchase later today. The Spanish Treasury raised EUR 3.5 billion from the sale, meeting the upper end of the EUR 2.5 billion - EUR 3.5 billion target range. The agency sold EUR 682 million of securities maturing on April 2014, at an average yield of 2.798 percent, significantly down from 4.706 percent at the previous auction in June. The bid-to-cover ratio halved to about 2 from 4 last time. From the issue of July 2015 bonds, Spain received EUR 1.4 billion. The yield dropped sharply to 3.676 percent from 5.086 percent in July. The demand exceeded the offer by 1.8 times compared to 2.3 times last time. The treasury raised EUR 1.4 billion from the auction of October 2016 bonds. It was sold at an average yield of 4.603 percent compared to 5.971 percent last month. The bid-to-cover ratio fell to 1.9 from 2.7. Spain has already sought a EUR 100 billion assistance to stem its banking crisis. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel later today in Madrid to discuss euro-area crisis. The Spanish government has to find a solution to fund its borrowings before a major repayment due next month. The economy is reeling under severe recession. Gross domestic product fell 0.4 percent in the second quarter and the unemployment rate reached a record 24.63 percent during the same period. Elsewhere, France raised about EUR 8 billion from the issue of OATs at lower yields. The European Central Bank on Thursday is expected to cut its key rate by a quarter point to 0.50 percent and unveil measures to battle the sovereign debt crisis that has plagued the euro area, which could including the purchase of bonds of the peripheral governments from the secondary market. The ECB should support countries like Spain that are implementing adjustment measures, Secretary-General of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said in a radio interview early this week. The Paris-based OECD today forecast 1.6 percent contraction for the Spanish economy this year.

[Sep06]    Greek Unemployment Hits New Record In June

Greece's unemployment rate climbed to a new record in June, as economic activity in the crisis-stricken country continued to deteriorate, data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority showed Thursday. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 24.4 percent in June from 23.5 percent in May, which was revised up from 23.1 percent. In June 2011, the jobless rate was 17.2 percent. In June, there were a total of around 1.22 million unemployed persons in Greece, sharply higher than 858,076 recorded in June 2011. Unemployment among youth, aged between 15 and 24, rose to 55 percent in June from 44.4 percent in the same month last year. The number of employed persons, meanwhile, dropped to around 3.77 million form about 4.12 million in June 2011, data showed.

[Sep06]    Bank Of England Keeps QE, Rates On Hold

The Bank of England policymakers maintained the size of quantitative easing at GBP 375 billion and the record low interest rate unchanged as expected by economists. At the end of two-day rate setting meeting on Thursday, the Monetary Policy Committee led by Governor Mervyn King voted to retain the asset purchase programme at GBP 375 billion. The previous change in asset purchases was in July, when it was raised by GBP 50 billion. The MPC expects the asset purchases programme to take another two months to complete. It said the scale of the programme will be kept under review. The panel also decided to hold the key interest rate at 0.50 percent. The current rate is the lowest since the central bank was established in 1694.

[Sep06]    OECD Urges ECB To Cut Policy Rates

The Organization for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD) on Thursday warned that the global economy has weakened with recession hitting key euro area economies such as Spain and Italy. The think tank sought more supportive monetary policy in the region and urged the European Central Bank to do more to stem the turmoil. "Our forecast shows that the economic outlook has weakened significantly since last spring," OECD Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan said while presenting the latest Interim Economic Assessment. The continuing euro area crisis is dampening global confidence, weakening trade and employment and slowing economic growth for OECD and non-OECD countries alike, the report warned. The OECD projects that the euro area's three largest economies, Germany, France and Italy, will shrink at an annualised rate of 1 percent on average during the third quarter and at 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter. The group suggested a number of actions to address the adverse feedback loops that undermine the stability of the euro. This included full recognition of non-performing loans enforced by common supervision, further progress towards banking union, and the availability of area-wide public funds for recapitalisation. To stem the fears of a particular country exiting the euro area and to prevent a subsequent rise in yields, the ECB should undertake bond market intervention, the Paris-based organisation said. It also recommended a reduction in the interest rate on the marginal lending facility. "The ECB should consider further action to help normalise monetary policy transmission in vulnerable countries, provided conditions are met in line with ECB guidance," the OECD report said. Speaking of advanced economies in general, OECD said central banks should cut policy rates and expand asset purchase programs if the activity is weak and inflation under control. The group warned that fiscal consolidation is acting as a drag on short-term economic activity in some countries. In the U.S., current legislation implies "fiscal cliff" or an extremely sharp fiscal tightening in 2013 that would probably push the US economy into recession. OCED forecasts the U.S economy to expand 2.3 percent this year, slower than 2.4 percent expansion projected in the May report. The Japanese economy is seen growing 2.2 percent, slightly faster than the previously estimated 2 percent. Germany and France are projected to grow 0.8 percent and 0.1 percent in 2012, weaker than previous forecasts of 1.2 percent and 0.6 percent. The Spanish economy is expected to contract 1.6 percent this year. Italy is seen contracting 2.4 percent, which is severe than the 1.7 percent shrinkage predicted earlier. Euro area as a whole is seen contracting 0.1 percent. The U.K. economy is expected to contract 0.7 percent this year, which is in contrast to the 0.5 percent growth projected in the previous report. The G7 economies are expected to grow 1.4 percent this year. OECD pointed out that in China, inflation has come down to an extent that further monetary policy loosening could continue. This should be accompanied by measures to boost the supply of new construction land, it said. The report further warned that the weak growth outlook may push unemployment beyond the already high levels. In all countries, particularly in the euro area, labour market reforms are crucial to foster near-term employment growth, the report said.

[Sep06]    Malaysia's Central Bank Holds Interest Rate As Expected

Malaysia's central bank on Thursday decided to keep its policy interest rate unchanged at 3 percent, amid continuing uncertainties in the global economy. The decision was in line with economists' expectations. The last policy change was in May when the rate was hiked by 25 basis points to the current level. The monetary policy committee noted that while Malaysia's economy is affected by adverse global developments, domestic demand has continued to support growth. The bank forecasts that domestic demand will continue to support the economy. Private consumption is seen rising on income growth and stable employment conditions. The MPC observed that inflation is expected to remain moderate for the remainder of 2012 and into 2013. Upside risks to inflation could emerge should supply disruptions result in higher global prices for commodities. Malaysia's economic growth unexpectedly accelerated in the second quarter, after slowing in the previous two quarters, as robust domestic demand, spending and investment, offset a further moderation in exports.

[Sep06]    Recession In Eurozone Countries Hurting Global Economy, OECD Says

Recession in key euro area economies is having an impact worldwide and is dampening global economic prospects, the Organization for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD) said in its latest report. "Our forecast shows that the economic outlook has weakened significantly since last spring," OECD Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan said while presenting the latest Interim Economic Assessment on Thursday. The continuing euro area crisis is dampening global confidence, weakening trade and employment and slowing economic growth for OECD and non-OECD countries alike, the report warned. The OECD projects that the euro area's three largest economies, Germany, France and Italy, will shrink at an annualised rate of 1 percent on average during the third quarter and at 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter.

[Sep06]    Riksbank Unexpectedly Cuts Repo Rate

The Swedish central bank unexpectedly lowered the benchmark repo rate by a quarter-point on Thursday, as it expects inflationary pressures to be lower than initially thought due to a strong currency and unexpectedly high productivity growth. The repo rate was cut by 25 basis points to 1.25 percent, while economists expected the Riksbank to retain the rate at 1.5 percent. The rate cut was intended "to prevent inflation from being too low in the coming period," the Riksbank said in a statement. The bank projects inflation to be at 1.2 percent in 2012 and 1.3 percent in 2013 compared to its July forecasts of 1.1 percent and 1.7 percent respectively. Reducing the rates, the central bank said that due to faster-than-expected appreciation of krona and unexpectedly high productivity, inflationary pressures are likely remain lower than forecast in July. "Growth in the Swedish economy is now slowing down after an unexpectedly strong outcome so far this year," the bank said in the statement. The central bank noted that weak demand from the euro area will dampen exports and this contributes to the forecast for weak GDP growth over the coming period. Unemployment will therefore increase somewhat over the year and then fall back as economic activity improves. The economy is now forecast to grow 1.5 percent in 2012, compared to 0.6 percent forecast in July. The GDP forecast for 2013 was revised to 1.9 percent from the 1.7 percent predicted in July. The bank, at the same time, lowered the repo-rate path for the entire forecast period from what was assessed in July. The Executive Board of the bank expects the repo rate to remain at this level until the middle of next year, which will support economic activity and contribute to inflation rising towards the target of 2 percent and keep resource utilisation around a normal level. Regarding the prospects for the global economy, the bank said the economic downturn in the euro area will be protracted as it will take time to rectify the underlying structural problems. However, the recovery of the US economy is continuing, and the world economy is growing at a good pace. Deputy Governor Lars Svensson entered reservations against the Monetary Policy Update and the decision about the repo rate and the repo rate path in the Monetary Policy Update. Meanwhile, Deputy Governor Karolina Ekholm entered a reservation against the repo-rate path and advocated a still lower interest rate path.

[Sep06]    Germany July Factory Orders Fall 4.5% On Year, Consensus -4.5%: Reports

[Sep06]    Germany July Factory Orders Up 0.5% On Month, Consensus 0.3%: Reports

[Sep06]    Spain's Borrowing Costs Fall

Spain's borrowing costs declined ahead of the European Central Bank decision later today. The Treasury on Thursday sold EUR 3.5 billion from the auction of securities, matching the upper end of the target range of EUR 2.5 billion to EUR 3.5 billion. It sold EUR 682 million of securities maturing on April 2014, at an average yield of 2.798 percent. The cost declined from 4.706 percent at the previous auction in June. The bid-to-cover ratio came in at 2, down from 4 last time. From the issue of bonds maturing in July 2015, Spain received EUR 1.4 billion. The yield dropped to 3.676 percent from 5.086 percent in July. The demand exceeded offer by 1.8 times compared to 2.3 times in the prior issue. The treasury gained EUR 1.4 billion from bonds maturing in October 2016. It was sold at an average yield of 4.603 percent compared to 5.971 percent last month. The bid-to-cover ratio fell to 1.9 from 2.7.

[Sep06]    Spain Sells EUR 3.5 Bln Bonds, Max. Target EUR 3.5 Bln: Reports

[Sep06]    Czech Trade Surplus Shrinks In July

Czech trade surplus declined in July from a month earlier, the latest figures published by Czech Statistical Office showed Thursday. The trade balance showed a surplus of CZK 25.8 billion in July, less than CZK 28.9 billion in June. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the country's exports grew 2 percent month-on-month, while imports fell 0.5 percent. Annually, the trade surplus recorded an increase of CZK 13.8 billion. Exports and imports recorded increases of 10.3 percent and 4.2 percent year-on-year respectively during the month.

[Sep06]    Czech Industrial Output Growth Beats Forecast

Czech industrial production grew more than expected by economists in July, data from the Czech Statistical Office showed Thursday. Industrial production increased 4.2 percent year-on-year at constant prices in July. Economists expected a modest 1.7 percent increase. On a working-day adjusted basis, production rose 1.7 percent on an annual basis. Seasonally adjusted industrial production was 1.1 percent higher than in the previous month. Meanwhile, the value of new orders received by the industrial firms increased 16 percent year-on-year. Separately, the statistical office reported that the construction output declined 0.5 percent year-on-year in real terms in July. The seasonally adjusted construction output was 1.7 percent lower compared to the same month last year.

[Sep06]    Czech Industrial Output Growth Beats Forecast

Czech industrial production grew more than expected by economists in July, data from the Czech Statistical Office showed Thursday. Industrial production increased 4.2 percent year-on-year at constant prices in July. Economists expected a modest 1.7 percent increase. On a working-day adjusted basis, production rose 1.7 percent on an annual basis. Seasonally adjusted industrial production was 1.1 percent higher than in the previous month. Meanwhile, the value of new orders received by the industrial firms increased 16 percent year-on-year. Separately, the statistical office reported that the construction output declined 0.5 percent year-on-year in real terms in July. The seasonally adjusted construction output was 1.7 percent lower compared to the same month last year.

[Sep06]    Czech Q2 Current Account Deficit EUR 260.2 Mln Vs. EUR913.1 Mln Surplus In Q1

[Sep06]    Swiss Economy To Expand 1.5% In 2013: Credit Suisse

The Swiss economy will expand 1.5 percent next year as the structural advantages provide a sound basis for expansion, the economists at Credit Suisse said Thursday. The estimate matched their previous forecast published on March 5. Low interest rates, high levels of immigration, and a robust labor market will contribute to this expansion, Credit Suisse said. Further, it expects the Swiss National Bank to provide vital support on the exchange rate front. "However, uncertainty and nervousness will remain constant companions next year too, and not all sectors of the economy will be able to benefit to the same extent from the slight, but bumpy upward trend," it added. Inflation is seen at 1 percent for 2013.

[Sep06]    Riksbank: Inflationary Pressures Are Expected To Be Lower Than Forecast

[Sep06]    Romania Q2 Economic Growth Confirmed At 0.5%

The Romanian economy expanded in the second quarter as estimated earlier, following a modest contraction in the first quarter, data released by the National Institute of Statistics showed Thursday. Gross domestic product increased a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter, reversing the 0.1 percent decrease seen in the first quarter. Year-on-year, GDP grew 1.2 percent during the three-month period, in line with the preliminary estimates. The rate of growth was faster than the 0.3 percent rise seen in the first quarter.

[Sep06]    Slovak Q2 Jobless Rate 13.6% Vs. 13.2% Last Year

[Sep06]    French ILO Jobless Rate Rises In Q2

French jobless rate under the definition of International Labor Organization increased marginally in the second quarter, figures from the statistical office Insee showed Thursday. The overall unemployment rate rose to 10.2 percent in the second quarter from 10 percent in the first quarter. This was in line with economists' forecast. The jobless rate in metropolitan France edged up to 9.7 percent from 9.6 percent in the first three months of 2012. The rate is as high as in 1999, the statistical office said. The number of persons out of work in metropolitan France increased by 52,000 compared to a quarter ago. Meanwhile, the employment rate increased by 0.1 point to 63.9 percent. In August, the labor ministry said that unemployment in France rose at the sharpest pace in nearly three years in July. The number of registered job seekers increased for a fifteenth consecutive month to reach 2.987 million. The number of job seekers increased 1.4 percent from June, while it rose 8.5 percent annually, according to the ministry.

[Sep06]    French ILO Jobless Rate Rises In Q2

French jobless rate under the definition of International Labor Organization increased marginally in the second quarter, figures from the statistical office Insee showed Thursday. The overall unemployment rate rose to 10.2 percent in the second quarter from 10 percent in the first quarter. This was in line with economists' forecast. The jobless rate in metropolitan France edged up to 9.7 percent from 9.6 percent in the first three months of 2012. The rate is as high as in 1999, the statistical office said. The number of persons out of work in metropolitan France increased by 52,000 compared to a quarter ago. Meanwhile, the employment rate increased by 0.1 point to 63.9 percent. In August, the labor ministry said that unemployment in France rose at the sharpest pace in nearly three years in July. The number of registered job seekers increased for a fifteenth consecutive month to reach 2.987 million. The number of job seekers increased 1.4 percent from June, while it rose 8.5 percent annually, according to the ministry.

[Sep06]    European Economics Preview: ECB, BoE Decisions In Focus

The European Central Bank and the Bank of England are set to announce their monetary policy decisions later today. While the ECB is expected to take bold measures to tackle the crisis, the BoE is seen maintaining quantitative easing at GBP 375 billion. At 1.30 am ET, the French statistical office Insee is scheduled to publish ILO unemployment rate. The second quarter jobless rate is seen at 10.2 percent, up from 10 percent in the first quarter. The Czech statistical office is slated to release industrial and construction output and trade balance for July. Industrial output is forecast to grow 1.7 percent annually in July, partially offsetting June's 2.2 percent fall. The trade surplus is seen at CZK 21 billion, down from CZK 29.4 billion in June. In the meantime, Hungary's final GDP and trade figures are due. Sweden's central bank is expected to announce its interest rate decision at 3.30 am ET. The Riksbank is seen holding key rate at 1.50 percent. At 4.30 am ET, Spain's debt auction results are due. The government plans to raise between EUR 2.5 billion and EUR 3.5 billion from the issue of securities maturing in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is set to publish interim economic outlook at 5.00 am ET. In the meantime, Eurostat is slated to issue second estimate for Eurozone second quarter GDP. According to flash estimate, GDP was down 0.2 percent sequentially. Germany's factory order figures are due at 6.00 am ET. Economists expect orders to rise 0.3 percent month-on-month in July, following a 1.7 percent drop in June. The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England is widely expected to maintain the asset purchase programme unchanged at GBP 375 billion and the key interest rate at a historic low of 0.50 percent. The announcement is due at 7.00 am ET. The European Central Bank is likely to cut its record low benchmark interest rate, known as the refi, to 0.50 percent from 0.75 percent. The bank will announce its rate decision at 7.45 am ET. Draghi will hold a regular press conference at 8.30 am ET. He is expected to announce measures to battle the sovereign debt crisis that has plagued the euro area, which could include buying bonds of peripheral governments. Draghi told European lawmakers in a closed-door meeting on Monday that the central bank is not averse to buying government bonds of up to three-year maturities on the secondary market.

[Sep06]    Finland Vehicle Sales Fall Further In August

Motor vehicle sales in Finland decreased further in August, data released by Statistics Finland showed Thursday. The number of new vehicles registered decreased 18.2 percent on an annual basis to 13,903 units in August, after recording a notable decline in July also. Of the total vehicles sold in August, 8,835 were automobiles. Sales of new passenger cars fell by 24.8 percent year-on-year to 7,535 units in August. The share of new diesel-driven passenger cars was 37.6 percent. In the January-August period, new vehicle sales declined 10.8 percent from last year to 140,472 units. Passenger car sales dropped 10.1 percent annually during the eight-month period, data showed.

[Sep06]    France Q2 ILO Jobless Rate 10.2%, Consensus 10.2%

[Sep06]    U.K. Govt. To Unveil Plans To Boost Construction Sector

The U.K. government said Thursday that it will relax the planning rules for building extensions on houses and business premises as part of a new package to be unveiled today, in an attempt to rebuild the economy, reports said. Under the planned package, homeowners will be temporarily allowed to build extensions and carry out major renovations without seeking a planning approval. According to the government, relaxing the planning rules will kick-start the construction sector, thus giving a boost to the recession-hit economy. Reports said that Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will announce the plan on Thursday. They are expected to announce support to 16,500 first-time buyers by expanding the FirstBuy scheme. Under this, those who are looking to buy a home can get an equity loan of up to 20 percent of the property value, which could be used as a deposit.

[Sep05]    China 2011 GDP Growth Revised Up

China on Wednesday revised up its gross domestic product estimate for 2011 to 9.3 percent from the initially reported 9.2 percent growth, according to the latest figures published by the National Bureau of Statistics. The revised data showed that the agricultural sector grew 4.3 percent, down from the previously reported 4.5 percent growth. The rate of growth in the manufacturing industry was cut to 10.3 percent from 10.6 percent. Growth rate for the services sector, however, was revised up to 9.4 percent from 8.9 percent.

[Sep05]    IMF Approves $1.15Bln Loan Installment To Ireland

The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday agreed to disburse loan installment worth $1.15 billion to Ireland as part of a financing package of $106.91 billion (EUR 85 billion), approved in 2010. With the latest disbursement, the total loan amount received by Ireland from the IMF reached about $24.02 billion (EUR 19.1 billion). The decision came after the IMF Executive Board's Article IV Consultation with Ireland. After the review, the Fund noted that the 2012 budget remains on track for the fiscal deficit target of 8.6 percent of GDP, despite a slowing in real GDP growth. Ireland's economic growth is expected to ease to 0.5 percent in 2012 from 1.4 percent in 2011 owing to weaker trading partner growth. The IMF staff pointed out that though income tax, VAT, and corporation tax collections were ahead of expectations, this over-performance was partly offset by higher health spending and unemployment benefits. "All program targets for end June have been met," said David Lipton, IMF First Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair. "Benefiting from the strengthened European support signaled at the euro area summit at end June, Irish bond yields have declined significantly in recent months, and the country regained access to sovereign bond markets in July." "Nonetheless," he noted that "the economic recovery is tentative and unemployment unacceptably high."

[Sep05]    Japan Investors Sold Net Y34.6 Billion In Foreign Stocks

Japanese residents sold a net 34.6 billion yen in foreign stocks in the week ended September 1, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday. Japanese residents also purchased a net 875.4 billion yen in foreign bonds and notes last week, the ministry said. Foreign investors purchased a net 395.4 billion yen in Japanese bonds and notes last week, the data showed, and they also sold a net 44.8 billion yen in Japanese stocks.

[Sep05]    Foreign Investors Bought Net Y395.4 Billion In Japan Bonds Last Week

[Sep05]    South Korea GDP +0.3% In Q2

South Korea's gross domestic product added 0.3 percent in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the previous three months, the Bank of Korea said in Thursday's final reading. That was down from July's preliminary reading that called for a 0.4 percent increase following the 0.9 percent gain in the first quarter. On a yearly basis, GDP came in at 2.3 percent - again slowing from 2.4 percent in the advance estimate. The economy expanded 2.8 percent in the previous three months. Real gross national income rose 1.2 percent on quarter, while nominal gross national income eased 0.2 percent.

[Sep05]    South Korea GDP Due On Thursday

South Korea will on Thursday release gross domestic product numbers for the second quarter of 2012, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. GDP is expected to rise 0.4 percent on quarter and 2.4 percent on year following the 0.9 percent quarterly increase and the 2.8 percent yearly gain in the previous three months. The Malaysia central bank will conclude its monetary policy meeting and then announce its decision on interest rates. The bank is widely expected to keep rates on hold at 3.00 percent. Australia will release employment data for August, with analysts expecting the unemployment rate to come in at 5.3 percent, up from 5.2 percent in July. The employment change is expected to show the addition of 5,000 jobs after adding 14,000 in the previous month.

[Sep05]    Eurozone Private Sector Downturn Points To Recession In Q3: Markit

Eurozone's private sector contracted more than initially estimated in August, adding to concerns that the economy is on course to fall back into technical recession in the third quarter, data from a survey by Markit Economics showed Wednesday. The seasonally adjusted composite output index, designed to measure activity in both the manufacturing sector and the service sector, dropped to 46.3 in August from 46.5 in July. The index was initially estimated to rise to 46.6. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. The August survey showed widespread contraction of economic activity across almost all of the surveyed nations. The steepest declines were still registered in Spain and Italy, while Germany and France continued to record modest declines. The downturn in output was steeper in the manufacturing sector, though the rate of contraction eased to a two-month low. At the same time, the relevant index for the services sector came in at 47.2 in August, down from 47.5 seen in the preliminary estimates and 47.9 recorded in July. Business activity in the services sector fell for the seventh straight month, and at a slightly faster pace than in July. "The final August PMI came in only slightly below its earlier flash estimate, leaving the Eurozone economy on course to fall back into technical recession in the third quarter," Rob Dobson, Senior Economist at Markit said. "Sharp declines in new orders at manufacturers and service providers, plus further job losses, mean that there is little prospect of a sustained improvement in economic conditions over the near-term."

[Sep05]    Bank Of England To Hold Fire On QE, Rates

Bank of England policymakers are set to hold fire on quantitative easing and interest rate as officials continue to assess the impact of bond purchases and the lending facility on economic activity. Given the weak economic condition, the case for more stimulus is seen in the pipeline. Economists widely expect the Monetary Policy Committee headed by Governor Mervyn King to maintain the quantitative easing programme at the current GBP 375 billion. It is set to leave the Bank Rate unchanged at 0.50 percent. The announcement is due on Thursday at 7.00 am ET. All nine MPC members favored a status quo decision at the August meeting. The minutes of the August meeting as well as the Inflation Report have the left door open for more QE. The BoE last expanded the size of its asset purchase program in July, by GBP 50 billion to aid weak economic activity. Chief UK Economist of Capital Economics, Vicky Redwood forecasts more quantitative easing and an interest rate cut in November. Purchasing Managers' survey results showed that the manufacturing sector stayed in negative territory in August. Nonetheless, the rate of contraction slowed from the prior month. Meanwhile, the service sector logged a solid expansion as it benefited from incoming new business. The British economy remains in double-dip recession. Gross domestic product was down 0.5 percent in the second quarter. The BoE expects economic growth to be around 2 percent in two years. The International Monetary Fund sees 0.2 percent GDP growth in 2012. Both British Chambers of Commerce and the Confederation of British Industry downgraded U.K. GDP outlook last month. The BCC projects 0.4 percent contraction in 2012, while CBI sees a 0.3 percent GDP decline. In July, U.K. inflation rose to 2.6 percent from a 31-month low. Although it stands above the 2 percent target, the BoE sees inflation near 1.7 percent in two years time. The U.K. interest rate currently stands at the lowest level since the bank was established in 1694. The rate has been maintained at the current 0.50 percent since March 2009.

[Sep05]    U.S. Labor Productivity Rose 2.2% In Q2, Costs Roses 1.5%

[Sep05]    Brazilian Inflation Stable In August

Brazil's annual inflation remained stable in August, and was broadly in line with economists' forecast, data released by statistical office IBGE showed Wednesday. The consumer price index increased 5.24 percent on an annual basis in August, a tad faster than 5.2 percent recorded in July. Economists were looking for an inflation rate of 5.23 percent. On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose at a slower pace of 0.41 percent in August than 0.43 percent in July. Economists expected a 0.4 percent monthly growth. Food prices rose 0.88 percent month-on-month, while housing costs moved up 0.22 percent. Prices of household articles were higher by 0.4 percent compared to July, and transportation costs by 0.06 percent, data showed.

[Sep05]    Medium-Term Risk To Financial Stability Building Up, Says SNB's Danthine

The medium-term risk to financial stability has been building up largely due to strong momentum in the mortgage and real estate markets, Swiss National Bank Vice Chairman Jean-Pierre Danthine said Wednesday. "The dismal consequences of the recent global crisis as well as our own housing market crisis experience of the early 1990s are stark reminders that we should not take any chances in this regard," Danthine said at a conference in Zurich. A countercyclical capital buffer, is an important step forward against a background of persistently strong growth in the Swiss credit and property markets, he said. "When activated, the CCB should help reduce the amplitude and the consequences of imbalances for financial stability," he added.

[Sep05]    Eurozone Retail Sales Fall As Crisis Cripples Consumer Spending

Retail sales volume in Eurozone declined in July after showing some improvement in the past two months as the debt crisis in the region continued to weigh on consumers' ability to spend. Sales fell 0.2 percent month-on-month in July, in line with economists' forecast, data released by Eurostat showed Wednesday. This followed a 0.1 percent gain in June and 0.9 percent rise in July. "Falling retail sales in July adds to the Eurozone's economic woes, indicating that consumer spending is likely to be poor again in the third quarter," said Howard Archer, Chief UK and European Economist at IHS Global Insight. The largest month-on-month decrease in retail sales was observed in Spain, followed by Malta, Austria, Germany and Slovenia. Retail trade in Spain, which has the highest unemployment rate in Eurozone, dropped 1.9 percent compared to June. Meanwhile, Germany, the largest Eurozone economy, saw sales falling 0.9 percent month-on-month in July. This adds to signs that the economy is being increasingly hurt by the Eurozone's problems and soft global growth, Archer noted. On an annual basis, sales fell 1.7 percent in July faster than 0.9 percent drop in the previous month. This was also in line with forecast. The prospects for consumer spending in the Eurozone look troubling in the near term at least given very low consumer confidence, high and rising unemployment, generally muted wage growth and tightening fiscal policy in many countries, according to Archer. Eurozone's unemployment rate hit a new record high of 11.3 percent in July, the latest official data showed in August. Meanwhile, preliminary data released by the European Commission showed last month that Eurozone consumer sentiment declined for the third consecutive month in August. Releasing the final purchasing managers' survey results on Wednesday, Markit Economics said that Eurozone's private sector continued to contract in August, adding to concerns that the economy is likely to fall back into a technical recession in the third quarter. According to the survey, business conditions in service sector worsened further in August and the manufacturing sector also showed deterioration. IHS's Archer pointed out that falling retail sales in July and deepened service sector contraction in August makes further Eurozone GDP contraction in the third quarter look ever more inevitable. The European Central Bank on Thursday is widely expected to announce measures to battle the sovereign debt crisis, which could include buying bonds of peripheral governments. ECB President Mario Draghi reportedly told European lawmakers on Monday that the central bank is not averse to buying government bonds of up to 3-year maturities.

[Sep05]    U.K. Official Reserves Rise Further In August

U.K. government's net foreign reserves increased for the third successive month in August, data from the HM Treasury showed Wednesday. Net foreign currency reserves increased to $47.03 billion at the end of August from $46.29 billion in the previous month, marking the third consecutive rise. At the same time, gross reserves advanced to $100.94 billion in August from $98.99 billion at the end of July. The Bank of England's (BoE) net holdings of foreign currency and gold decreased $8 million month-on-month in August. BoE's gross reserves dropped by $25 million to $26.86 billion, data showed.

[Sep05]    Eurozone Retail Sales Fall As Crisis Cripples Consumer Spending

Retail sales volume in Eurozone declined in July after showing some improvement in the past two months as the debt crisis in the region continued to weigh on consumers' ability to spend. Sales fell 0.2 percent month-on-month in July, in line with economists' forecast, data released by Eurostat showed Wednesday. This followed a 0.1 percent gain in June and 0.9 percent rise in July. "Falling retail sales in July adds to the Eurozone's economic woes, indicating that consumer spending is likely to be poor again in the third quarter," said Howard Archer, Chief UK and European Economist at IHS Global Insight. The largest month-on-month decrease in retail sales was observed in Spain, followed by Malta, Austria, Germany and Slovenia. Retail trade in Spain, which has the highest unemployment rate in Eurozone, dropped 1.9 percent compared to June. Meanwhile, Germany, the largest Eurozone economy, saw sales falling 0.9 percent month-on-month in July. This adds to signs that the economy is being increasingly hurt by the Eurozone's problems and soft global growth, Archer noted. On an annual basis, sales fell 1.7 percent in July faster than 0.9 percent drop in the previous month. This was also in line with forecast. The prospects for consumer spending in the Eurozone look troubling in the near term at least given very low consumer confidence, high and rising unemployment, generally muted wage growth and tightening fiscal policy in many countries, according to Archer. Eurozone's unemployment rate hit a new record high of 11.3 percent in July, the latest official data showed in August. Meanwhile, preliminary data released by the European Commission showed last month that Eurozone consumer sentiment declined for the third consecutive month in August. Releasing the final purchasing managers' survey results on Wednesday, Markit Economics said that Eurozone's private sector continued to contract in August, adding to concerns that the economy is likely to fall back into a technical recession in the third quarter. According to the survey, business conditions in service sector worsened further in August and the manufacturing sector also showed deterioration. IHS's Archer pointed out that falling retail sales in July and deepened service sector contraction in August makes further Eurozone GDP contraction in the third quarter look ever more inevitable. The European Central Bank on Thursday is widely expected to announce measures to battle the sovereign debt crisis, which could include buying bonds of peripheral governments. ECB President Mario Draghi reportedly told European lawmakers on Monday that the central bank is not averse to buying government bonds of up to 3-year maturities.

[Sep05]    Ireland August Jobless Rate Unchanged At 14.7%

[Sep05]    Eurozone Retail Sales Fall In July

Retail sales in Eurozone declined 0.2 percent month-on-month in July, in line with economists' forecast, data released by Eurostat showed Wednesday. This followed a 0.1 percent increase in June. On an annual basis, sales fell 1.7 percent in July. This was also in line with forecast. Decreases in sales were observed in Spain, Malta and Austria as well as in Germany and Slovenia.

[Sep05]    Eurozone July Retail Sales Down 1.7% On Year, Consensus -1.7%

[Sep05]    UK August Service Sector Growth Fastest In Five Months

Activity in the British service sector increased at the fastest pace in five months in August, and the rate of growth exceeded economists' forecast, data from a survey by Martkit Economics and The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) showed Wednesday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers index (PMI) for the service sector rose to 53.7 in August from 51 in July. Economists had forecast a slower growth to 51.2. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while one below suggests contraction. The latest reading signaled the twentieth consecutive month of growth, and the fastest growth since March, data showed. The strong growth reflected a further rise in incoming new business. Output in the sector increased further as positive expectations were retained the majority of service providers. Staffing levels at service sector firms increased for a ninth successive month in August, though at a modest pace that was the slowest since February. At the same time, a faster rise in input prices led to slight output charge inflation during the month.

[Sep05]    UK Aug. Services PMI At 53.7 Vs. 51 In July, Consensus 51.2

[Sep05]    Eurozone Private Sector Downturn Points To Recession In Q3: Markit

Eurozone's private sector contracted more than initially estimated in August, adding to concerns that the economy is on course to fall back into technical recession in the third quarter, data from a survey by Matkit Economics showed Wednesday. The seasonally adjusted composite output index, designed to measure activity in both the manufacturing sector and the service sector, dropped to 46.3 in August from 46.5 in July. The index was initially estimated to rise to 46.6. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. The August survey showed widespread contraction of economic activity across almost all of the surveyed nations. The steepest declines were still registered in Spain and Italy, while Germany and France continued to record modest declines. The downturn in output was steeper in the manufacturing sector, though the rate of contraction eased to a two-month low. At the same time, the relevant index for the services sector came in at 47.2 in August, down from 47.5 seen in the preliminary estimates and 47.9 recorded in July. Business activity in the services sector fell for the seventh straight month, and at a slightly faster pace than in July. "The final August PMI came in only slightly below its earlier flash estimate, leaving the Eurozone economy on course to fall back into technical recession in the third quarter," Rob Dobson, Senior Economist at Markit said. "Sharp declines in new orders at manufacturers and service providers, plus further job losses, mean that there is little prospect of a sustained improvement in economic conditions over the near-term."

[Sep05]    Slovakia Retail Sales Decline In July

Retail sales in Slovakia fell 0.7 percent month-on-month in July, the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic said Wednesday. On the other hand, internal trade activities increased in sale and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles as well as in the wholesale sector. On an annual basis, retail sales fell for a second consecutive month. In July, sales dropped 2 percent compared to the same month last year following a 0.9 percent fall in June.

[Sep05]    French Private Sector Contraction Steeper Than Estimated

French private sector activity declined in August, at a slightly faster pace than previously estimated, the final results of a survey by Markit Economics showed Wednesday. The composite output index, that gauges the level of activity in both manufacturing and service sectors, scored 48 in August, down from the flash estimate of 48.9. However, the reading was a tad above July's 47.9 and the highest in five months. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion of the sector, while a reading below 50 suggests contraction. According to the final estimates, the service sector activity declined in August in contrast to the modest expansion shown in the flash report. The services activity index was at 49.2 in August compared to the flash score of 50.2. In July, the index was at 50, suggesting stagnation in output. Service sector activity declined primarily in response to a further drop in new business. Due to a slowdown in the rate of decline of new orders at manufacturing firms, the overall new business across the private sector fell at the slowest pace since March.

[Sep05]    German Aug. Final Composite PMI Falls To 47 From 47.5 In July

[Sep05]    Thai Central Bank Holds Rate In Split Vote

The Bank of Thailand decided to leave key rate unchanged as expected by economists, but through a split vote. The Monetary Policy Committee voted 5 to 2 to maintain the policy rate at 3.00 percent, with two votes in favor of a 0.25 percent decrease. The majority of members assessed the current monetary policy stance to be accommodative enough to support domestic economic growth going forward and cushion, to some degree, against global economic risks. The central bank said it would closely monitor developments in the global economy as well as domestic demand conditions and stands willing to take appropriate action as warranted.

[Sep05]    Italy Aug. Services PMI At 44 Vs. 43 In July, Consensus 43.3

[Sep05]    Spanish Services Sector Contracts Further In August

Activity in Spain's service sector decreased for the fourteenth consecutive month in August, though at a slower pace, data from a survey by Markit Economics showed Wednesday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the service sector rose to 44 in August from 43.7 in July, but remained below the no-change 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. Activity fell for the fourteenth successive month, but the rate of contraction was the weakest since March. New orders at Spanish services companies decreased further as clients were reluctant to commit to new projects given the crisis in the domestic economy. Employment in the sector dropped further during the month, extending the current sequence of job cuts to four-and-a-half years. Input prices rose for the fifth time in the past six months, and at the fastest pace since July 2011, owing mainly to an increase in fuel costs. Firms, meanwhile, lowered their output prices for the forty-ninth consecutive month.

[Sep05]    Irish Service Sector Activity Recovers In August

Irish service sector activity bounced back in August, recording growth for the first time in four months mainly led by an increase in new orders, a report from Markit Economics showed Wednesday. The business activity index, that measures the performance of the service sector, rose to 51.7 in August from 49.1 in July. This signaled a first increase in activity in four months. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion of the sector, while a reading below 50 suggests contraction. The improvement can mainly be attributed to the rise in new business from both domestic and external sources, Markit said. Among service sector firms, optimism regarding the 12-month outlook for activity improved to the strongest in three months.

[Sep05]    Irish Service Sector Activity Recovers In August

Irish service sector activity bounced back in August, recording growth for the first time in four months mainly led by an increase in new orders, a report from Markit Economics showed Wednesday. The business activity index, that measures the performance of the service sector, rose to 51.7 in August from 49.1 in July. This signaled a first increase in activity in four months. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion of the sector, while a reading below 50 suggests contraction. The improvement can mainly be attributed to the rise in new business from both domestic and external sources, Markit said. Among service sector firms, optimism regarding the 12-month outlook for activity improved to the strongest in three months.

[Sep05]    Slovakia Retail Sales Decline In July

Retail sales in Slovakia fell 0.7 percent month-on-month in July, the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic said Wednesday. On the other hand, internal trade activities increased in sale and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles as well as in the wholesale sector. On an annual basis, retail sales fell for a second consecutive month. In July, sales dropped 2 percent compared to the same month last year following a 0.9 percent fall in June.

[Sep05]    Hong Kong PMI Rises To 5-Month High

Hong Kong private sector economy grew at the fastest pace in five months in August, although the overall rate of growth was only marginal, a survey report from Markit Economics revealed Wednesday. The headline HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index, a composite index designed to measure changes in prevailing business conditions in Hong Kong's private sector economy, rose to a five-month high of 50.5 in August from 50.3 in July. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion of the sector and this index posted above the no-change mark of 50 for a second month running. Output growth reached its highest level since March this year, despite the level of incoming new business being unchanged from July. Nonetheless, firms reduced their workforces for a fourth consecutive month.

[Sep05]    Sweden Aug. Services PMI At 50.8 Vs. 54.8 In July

[Sep05]    Finnish Economy Contracts In Q2

Finland's economy contracted in the sector, after recording a modest growth in the previous quarter, data released by Statistics Finland showed Wednesday. Gross domestic product (GDP) decreased a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent in the second quarter, following the first quarter's 0.9 percent increase, which was revised up from 0.9 percent. The volume of exports dropped 2.3 percent in the second quarter, while imports decreased by 3.6 percent. The volume of private consumption was lower by 2.2 percent compared to the the previous quarter, and public consumption by 0.8 percent. Investments decreased 0.7 percent sequentially during the quarter. On an annual basis, GDP edged down a working-day adjusted 0.1 percent during the three-month period, reversing the upwardly revised 2.2 percent gain seen in the first three months of 2012.

[Sep05]    Irish Service Sector Activity Recovers In August

Irish service sector activity bounced back in August, recording growth for the first time in four months mainly led by an increase in new orders, a report from Markit Economics showed Wednesday. The business activity index, that measures the performance of the service sector, rose to 51.7 in August from 49.1 in July. This signaled a first increase in activity in four months. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion of the sector, while a reading below 50 suggests contraction. The improvement can mainly be attributed to the rise in new business from both domestic and external sources, Markit said. Among service sector firms, optimism regarding the 12-month outlook for activity improved to the strongest in three months.

[Sep05]    European Economics Preview: Eurozone Retail Sales Data Due

Retail sales and Purchasing Managers' survey from Eurozone are the major reports due on Wednesday. At 2.00 am ET, Statistics Finland is set to publish second quarter GDP data. The economy expanded 0.8 percent sequentially in the first quarter. At 3.00 am ET, the Czech Statistical Office is slated to release retail sales for July. Economists forecast sales to edge up 0.1 percent annually. At 3.15 am ET, the Federal Statistical Office is slated to release Swiss consumer prices for August. On a yearly basis, consumer prices are forecast to fall 0.4 percent, following a 0.7 percent drop in July. Final Purchasing Managers' survey results are due from France and Germany at 3.50 am ET and 3.55 am ET, respectively. At 4.00 am ET, Markit Economics is slated to release Eurozone composite PMI data. The final composite PMI is seen matching the flash reading of 46.6. Half an hour later, the U.K. services PMI is due. The index is expected to rise marginally to 51.2 in August from 51 in July. At 5.00 am ET, Eurostat is set to release Eurozone retail sales figures for July. Retail sales are expected to fall 0.2 percent month-on-month, offsetting a 0.2 percent rise in June. On a yearly basis, sales are seen falling 1.7 percent in July. The German government aims to raise EUR 5 billion from the auction of 10-year Federal bonds. The results are due at 5.30 am ET. Poland's central bank is set to announce its interest rate decision at 7.00 am ET. The bank is widely seen maintaining the rate at 4.75 percent.

[Sep05]    Russian Service Sector Records Anemic Growth In August

Russian service sector growth remained in low gear in August despite a modest improvement from July, a report from Markit Economics showed Wednesday. The HSBC Business Activity Index for the service sector edged up to 52.6 in August from 52 in July. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion of the sector, but the latest figure still indicated a muted rate of expansion. Activity growth was held back by a further weak increase in new business, leading to a faster decline in outstanding work, Markit said. The Composite Output Index, that measures the performance of both manufacturing and service sectors, edged higher to 53 from 52.6 in July, indicative of moderate expansion.

[Sep04]    Taiwan Inflation Rises More Than Expected

Taiwan's inflation accelerated more than expected in August as bad weather pushed up prices of fruits and vegetables, the latest figures published by the Director-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics showed Wednesday. The inflation rate measured by the consumer price index (CPI) increased to 3.42 percent in August from 2.46 percent in July. Economists had forecast the rate to rise to 2.6 percent. Consumer prices increased 0.97 percent from the preceding month, mainly due to a 28.49 percent monthly jump in prices of vegetables, affected by typhoon Saola and Libra, the statistical office said. Annually, prices of vegetables and fruits increased 57.93 percent and 20.14 percent respectively. Prices of egg, dairy products and fish and shellfish also moved up during the month. Costs of fuels and lubricants, gas, electricity increased both in year-on-year as well as month-on-month terms. The core CPI, that excludes fruits, vegetables, fish, shellfish and energy, rose 0.95 percent year-on-year in August and was down 0.21 percent on a monthly basis. Further, the statistical office reported that the wholesale price index fell 0.94 percent on an annual basis mainly due to decline in costs of basic metal and chemical materials. Month-on-month, the index rose 1.1 percent.

[Sep04]    Japan Private Sector Activity Contracts For Third Month

Japan's private sector activity decreased for a third consecutive month in August, but the rate of contraction was weaker than in July, a survey report from Markit Economics showed Wednesday. The composite output index, that measures performance of both manufacturing and service sectors, rose modestly to 48.6 in August from 47.4 in July. However, the reading below 50 indicated contraction of the sector. The business activity index rose to 49.3 in August from 47.5 in July, suggesting a slower contraction in service sector output last month. August data pointed to a second successive monthly decline in new business received by service providers in Japan. Composite data also indicated a further decline in private sector new business.

[Sep04]    Hong Kong Aug Whole Economy PMI 50.5 Vs 50.3 In July

[Sep04]    Taiwan Inflation Rises More Than Expected

Taiwan's inflation accelerated more than expected in August as bad weather pushed up prices of fruits and vegetables, the latest figures published by the Director-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics showed Wednesday. The inflation rate measured by the consumer price index (CPI) increased to 3.42 percent in August from 2.46 percent in July. Economists had forecast the rate to rise to 2.6 percent. Consumer prices increased 0.97 percent from the preceding month, mainly due to a 28.49 percent monthly jump in prices of vegetables, affected by typhoon Saola and Libra, the statistical office said. Annually, prices of vegetables and fruits increased 57.93 percent and 20.14 percent respectively. Prices of egg, dairy products and fish and shellfish also moved up during the month. Costs of fuels and lubricants, gas, electricity increased both in year-on-year as well as month-on-month terms. The core CPI, that excludes fruits, vegetables, fish, shellfish and energy, rose 0.95 percent year-on-year in August and was down 0.21 percent on a monthly basis. Further, the statistical office reported that the wholesale price index fell 0.94 percent on an annual basis mainly due to decline in costs of basic metal and chemical materials. Month-on-month, the index rose 1.1 percent.

[Sep04]    Australia Q2 GDP +0.6% On Quarter; +3.7% On Year

[Sep04]    Australia GDP On Tap For Wednesday

Australia is on Wednesday scheduled to release Q2 figures for gross domestic product, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. GDP is expected to add 0.8 percent on quarter and 3.7 percent on year following the 1.3 percent quarterly increase and the 4.3 percent yearly gain in the previous three months. Australia also will see the August results of the AiG Performance of Service Index; in July, it came in at 46.5. New Zealand will provide Q2 numbers for building value, with forecasts suggesting a seasonally adjusted increase of 3.0 percent following the 0.4 percent contraction in the first quarter. China will release the August results for the HSBC Services PMI; in July, it was 53.1. The Philippines will announce consumer price index data for August and producer price figures for July. In July, CPI was up 0.3 percent on month and 3.2 percent on year, while PPI dipped 1.7 percent on month and 2.0 percent on year in June.

[Sep04]    Manufacturing, Construction Data Paint Gloomy Picture

U.S. manufacturing activity fell at the fastest pace since 2009 in August, according to the figures from the Institute for Supply Management released Tuesday. The ISM's index of national factory activity fell to 49.6 in August from 49.8 in July. Economists predicted a reading of 50. A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector. In a sign that factories may not spring to life after the summer lull, new orders index dropped to 47.1 in August, down from 48 in July. This was the lowest new orders reading in more than three years. Meanwhile, U.S. construction spending fell by the most in a year in July. Construction spending unexpectedly dropped 0.9 percent to an annual rate of $834.4 billion, after a 0.4 percent rise in June, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. July's construction spending was the lowest level since April, suggesting the recovery in the housing market may be losing steam. Analysts were calling for July to match the increase recorded in June. Private construction fell 1.2 percent, as spending on homes and condos was down 1.6 percent. The government spent 1.3 percent less on projects in July than than month before.

[Sep04]    Swiss Economy Contracts Unexpectedly In Q2

The Swiss economy shrank unexpectedly in the second quarter, taking a hit from the double whammy of softening domestic demand and weak external trade, official data showed Tuesday. Real gross domestic product fell 0.1 percent sequentially after expanding by a revised 0.5 percent in the first quarter, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said. The decline was in contrast to a 0.2 percent rise forecast by economists. The contraction was the first since the third quarter of 2011. The first quarter growth was lowered from an originally estimated 0.7 percent. On a yearly basis, economic growth more than halved to 0.5 percent from 1.2 percent. The growth rate was shy of estimates, which had pitched the annual growth at 1.6 percent. Consumer spending climbed 0.3 percent sequentially, but down from the 0.9 percent growth in the first quarter. On the other hand, government spending recovered from the prior quarter. General government expenditure rose 1 percent, offsetting the 0.4 percent fall in first quarter. As companies scaled back their investment, gross fixed capital formation remained flat following a 0.2 percent rise in the first quarter. The export of goods and services delivered a negative contribution to GDP. Exports of goods, excluding valuables, slipped 0.7 percent. Likewise, imports not taking into account valuables were down 0.5 percent, primarily reflecting weak auto imports. At the same time, domestic demand was down 0.2 percent. According to UBS data released last month, consumption dropped in July owing to a fall in new car registrations. However, it expects new car registrations to reach record levels this year. To counter the appreciation of the currency and support exporters, the Swiss National Bank enforced a minimum exchange rate of CHF 1.20 per euro in September last year.

[Sep04]    Manufacturing, Construction Data Paints Gloomy Picture

U.S. manufacturing activity fell at the fastest pace since 2009 in August, according to the figures from the Institute for Supply Management released Tuesday. The ISM's index of national factory activity fell to 49.6 in August from 49.8 in July. Economists predicted a reading of 50. A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector. In a sign that factories may not spring to life after the summer lull, new orders index dropped to 47.1 in August, down from 48 in July. This was the lowest new orders reading in more than three years. Meanwhile, U.S. construction spending fell by the most in a year in July. Construction spending unexpectedly dropped 0.9 percent to an annual rate of $834.4 billion, after a 0.4 percent rise in June, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. July's construction spending was the lowest level since April, suggesting the recovery in the housing market may be losing steam. Analysts were calling for July to match the increase recorded in June. Private construction fell 1.2 percent, as spending on homes and condos was down 1.6 percent. The government spent 1.3 percent less on projects in July than than month before.

[Sep04]    Manufacturing, Construction Data Paints Gloomy Picture

U.S. manufacturing activity fell at the fastest pace since 2009 in August, according to the figures from the Institute for Supply Management released Tuesday. The ISM's index of national factory activity fell to 49.6 in August from 49.8 in July. Economists predicted a reading of 50. A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector. In a sign that factories may not spring to life after the summer lull, new orders index dropped to 47.1 in August, down from 48 in July. This was the lowest new orders reading in more than three years. Meanwhile, U.S. construction spending fell by the most in a year in July. Construction spending unexpectedly dropped 0.9 percent to an annual rate of $834.4 billion, after a 0.4 percent rise in June, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. July's construction spending was the lowest level since April, suggesting the recovery in the housing market may be losing steam. Analysts were calling for July to match the increase recorded in June. Private construction fell 1.2 percent, as spending on homes and condos was down 1.6 percent. The government spent 1.3 percent less on projects in July than than month before.

[Sep04]    Mexican Consumer Sentiment Weakens In August

Mexico's consumer confidence deteriorated in August, after improving in the previous month, data released by statistical office INEGI showed Tuesday. The consumer confidence index decreased to 97.6 in August from 98.9 in July. A month earlier, the reading was 95.5. Mexican households were less upbeat about their financial situation in August compared twelve months earlier, with the corresponding indicator declining to 98.3 from 98.9 in the previous month. At the same time, the expectations component of personal finances dropped to 105.9 from 106.1. Consumers' perception of the current general economic situation turned slightly gloomy during the month. The corresponding sub-index edged down to 99.1 from 99.2 in July. Mexican households were slightly less optimistic about prospects for the economy in the next 12-month period, with the relevant index dropping to 106.8 in August from 106.9 in the previous month, data showed.

[Sep04]    Brazil July Industrial Output Rises Sa. 0.3% M-o-M, Consensus Flat

[Sep04]    Eurozone July Producer Price Inflation Exceeds Forecast

Eurozone producer price inflation exceeded expectations in July on higher energy prices, signaling upside risks to inflationary pressure in the months ahead. The producer price index rose 1.8 percent year-on-year in July, the same rate of increase as seen in June, data released by statistical office Eurostat showed Tuesday. Economists had forecast a slower growth of 1.6 percent. Energy product prices climbed 4.8 percent annually during the month, marginally higher than the 4.7 percent rise in June. While capital goods prices rose 1 percent, intermediate goods prices remained flat. Prices of durable consumer goods and non-durable consumer goods were higher by 1.9 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively than a year earlier, data showed. Month-on-month, producer prices advanced 0.4 percent in July, recovering from the previous month's 0.5 percent decrease. Economists had forecast producer prices to rise 0.2 percent. Consumer price inflation in the currency bloc remains above the central bank's target of 'below, but close to 2 percent'. In August, inflation increased to 2.6 percent. The European Central Bank is set to announce its monetary policy decision on Thursday. The central bank is widely expected to disclose its strategy on bond purchase programme. The bank is also likely to cut its economic outlook for this year. The interest rate now stands at 0.75 percent. The last reduction in interest rate was in July, when the ECB took the rate below 1 percent for the first time in ECB's history. IHS Global Insight's Howard Archer said the ECB is likely to cut interest rates to 0.50 percent by October, with a move possible as soon as its September meeting this Thursday. Output prices in the European Union moved up 0.4 percent compared to June, taking the annual growth to 1.5 percent, data showed. Among the member states, the largest increase in the total index was observed in Cyprus, followed by Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. Meanwhile, decreases were recorded in Denmark, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

[Sep04]    OECD Area Inflation Slows For Fifth Month

Consumer price inflation in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) area weakened for the fifth consecutive month in July, latest data showed. Annual inflation in the OECD area slowed to 1.9 percent in July from 2 percent in June, marking the fifth consecutive slowdown. In the Eurozone, inflation remained unchanged at 2.4 percent for the second successive month, while in the United Kingdom it rose to 2.6 percent from 2.4 percent. In the United States, inflation was 1.4 percent in July, down from the previous month's 1.7 percent. Inflation in Germany and France remained stable at 1.7 percent and 1.9 percent respectively during the month, while in Italy it dropped to 3.1 percent from 3.3 percent. Meanwhile, Japan's recorded deflation for the second month in a row. On a monthly basis, overall consumer prices in the OECD area dropped 0.1 percent in July, slower than the 0.2 percent decrease seen in June, data showed.

[Sep04]    Draghi's Leaked Remarks Fortify Bond-Purchase Expectations

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has given his clearest signal yet on what the central bank is upto and how the ECB is going act on the euro crisis, in what seems to be an unofficial disclosure by European lawmakers of his confidential statement before the European Parliament. According to reports, during the closed-door meeting of the lawmakers, Draghi defended a number of measures introduced by the ECB, including the controversial bond-purchase plan, and indicated that the central bank is not averse to buying government bonds of up to 3-year maturities on the secondary market. Draghi, who is widely expected to announce the details of his latest crisis-fighting measures after the ECB Governing Council meeting on Thursday, reportedly said that the latest plan will not amount to state financing of euro area governments. The task before Draghi is to get the backing of Germany for his plan, which remains staunchly opposed to bond-purchases of indebted euro members. The borrowing costs of Eurozone countries such as Italy and Spain have eased somewhat in the recent weeks amid speculation of a strong ECB action in the near-term. The euro rose after the disclosure of the comments. Meanwhile, Moody's Investors Service downgraded the credit outlook on the European Union's AAA rating to 'negative' from 'stable', reflecting the negative outlook on EU's triple-A rated budget contributors, including Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands, which together account for around 45 percent of the EU's budget revenue.

[Sep04]    Draghi's Leaked Remarks Fortify Bond-Purchase Expectations

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has given his clearest signal yet on what the central bank is upto and how the ECB is going act on the euro crisis, in what seems to be an unofficial disclosure by European lawmakers of his confidential statement before the European Parliament. According to reports, during the closed-door meeting of the lawmakers, Draghi defended a number of measures introduced by the ECB, including the controversial bond-purchase plan, and indicated that the central bank is not averse to buying government bonds of up to 3-year maturities on the secondary market. Draghi, who is widely expected to announce the details of his latest crisis-fighting measures after the ECB Governing Council meeting on Thursday, reportedly said that the latest plan will not amount to state financing of euro area governments. The task before Draghi is to get the backing of Germany for his plan, which remains staunchly opposed to bond-purchases of indebted euro members. The borrowing costs of Eurozone countries such as Italy and Spain have eased somewhat in the recent weeks amid speculation of a strong ECB action in the near-term. The euro rose after the disclosure of the comments. Meanwhile, Moody's Investors Service downgraded the credit outlook on the European Union's AAA rating to 'negative' from 'stable', reflecting the negative outlook on EU's triple-A rated budget contributors, including Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands, which together account for around 45 percent of the EU's budget revenue.

[Sep04]    South Africa Vehicle Sales Rise 9.4% In August: NAAMSA

South Africa's automobile industry continued to record strong growth in vehicle sales, data released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) showed Tuesday. Aggregate domestic sales increased 9.4 percent on an annual basis to 56,253 units in August, with all the major segments registering relatively better sales compared to last year. Sales in the export market edged up 0.8 percent annually to 25,024 units during the month. New car registrations advanced 11.5 percent annually to 40,345 units during the month, while sales of new light commercial vehicles, mini-trucks and mini buses moved up 5.7 percent. In the medium truck segment, sales increased 11.8 percent during the month, while sales of heavy trucks and buses dropped 8 percent, data showed. In the eight months ended August, overall vehicle sales advanced 11.3 percent compared to the same period a year earlier, data showed.

[Sep04]    Draghi's Leaked Remarks Fortify Bond-Purchase Expectations

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has given his clearest signal yet on what the central bank is upto and how the ECB is going act on the euro crisis, in what seems to be an unofficial disclosure by European lawmakers of his confidential statement before the European Parliament. According to reports, during the closed-door meeting of the lawmakers, Draghi defended a number of measures introduced by the ECB, including the controversial bond-purchase plan, and indicated that the central bank is not averse to buying government bonds of up to 3-year maturities on the secondary market. Draghi, who is widely expected to announce the details of his latest crisis-fighting measures after the ECB Governing Council meeting on Thursday, reportedly said that the latest plan will not amount to state financing of euro area governments. The task before Draghi is to get the backing of Germany for his plan, which remains staunchly opposed to bond-purchases of indebted euro members. The borrowing costs of Eurozone countries such as Italy and Spain have eased somewhat in the recent weeks amid speculation of a strong ECB action in the near-term. The euro rose after the disclosure of the comments. Meanwhile, Moody's Investors Service downgraded the credit outlook on the European Union's AAA rating to 'negative' from 'stable', reflecting the negative outlook on EU's triple-A rated budget contributors, including Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands, which together account for around 45 percent of the EU's budget revenue.

[Sep04]    Eurozone July PPI Up 0.4% On Month Vs. 0.5% Fall In June, Consensus 0.2% Rise

[Sep04]    Moody's Cuts Outlook On EU's Triple-A Rating

Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the credit outlook on the European Union's AAA rating to 'negative' from 'stable', reflecting the negative outlooks on EU's triple-A rated budget contributors. The rating agency said that the move reflected the negative outlooks now assigned to the Aaa sovereign ratings of key contributors to the EU budget, including Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands. These countries together account for around 45 percent of the EU's budget revenue. "It is reasonable to assume that the EU's creditworthiness should move in line with the creditworthiness of its strongest key member states considering the significant linkages between member states and the EU, and the likelihood that the large Aaa-rated member states would likely not prioritise their commitment to backstop the EU debt obligations over servicing their own debt obligations," the agency said in a statement on Monday. According to Moody's, the creditworthiness of these member states is highly correlated, as they are all exposed to the euro area debt crisis. It noted that a deterioration in the creditworthiness of EU member states could lead to a downgrade of the EU's credit rating. Further, a weakening of the commitment of the member states to the EU and changes to the EU's fiscal framework would also be credit negative for the region. On the other hand, if the rating outlooks on the budget contributors could return to 'stable' from 'negative', the outlook on EU's ratings could also be revised, Moody's said.

[Sep04]    U.K. Aug. Construction PMI Falls To 49 From 50.9 In July, Consensus 50

[Sep04]    Spanish Unemployment Rises In August

Unemployment in Spain increased in August after four consecutive declines in the past months, data released by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security showed Tuesday. The number of registered unemployed rose by 38,179 between July and August, representing a rate of growth of 0.83 percent. This follows a decline of 27,814 people or 0.6 percent in July. However, the labor ministry said that this was the weakest growth seen since 2006 and is below its long-term average. Total registered unemployment in Spain stood at 4.63 million at the end of last month. Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the EU. Compared to August 2011, unemployment increased by 494,707 persons or 11.98 percent. Registered unemployment in agricultural sector fell 0.81 percent month-on-month while in industry, unemployment rose 1.3 percent. The number of unemployed increased in construction as well as in services compared to July.

[Sep04]    Swiss Economy Contracts Unexpectedly In Q2

The Swiss economy shrank unexpectedly in the second quarter, taking a hit from the double whammy of softening domestic demand and weak external trade, official data showed Tuesday. Real gross domestic product fell 0.1 percent sequentially after expanding by a revised 0.5 percent in the first quarter, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said. The decline was in contrast to a 0.2 percent rise forecast by economists. The contraction was the first since the third quarter of 2011. The first quarter growth was lowered from an originally estimated 0.7 percent. On a yearly basis, economic growth more than halved to 0.5 percent from 1.2 percent. The growth rate was shy of estimates, which had pitched the annual growth at 1.6 percent. Consumer spending climbed 0.3 percent sequentially, but down from the 0.9 percent growth in the first quarter. On the other hand, government spending recovered from the prior quarter. General government expenditure rose 1 percent, offsetting the 0.4 percent fall in first quarter. As companies scaled back their investment, gross fixed capital formation remained flat following a 0.2 percent rise in the first quarter. The export of goods and services delivered a negative contribution to GDP. Exports of goods, excluding valuables, slipped 0.7 percent. Likewise, imports not taking into account valuables were down 0.5 percent, primarily reflecting weak auto imports. At the same time, domestic demand was down 0.2 percent. According to UBS data released last month, consumption dropped in July owing to a fall in new car registrations. However, it expects new car registrations to reach record levels this year. To counter the appreciation of the currency and support exporters, the Swiss National Bank enforced a minimum exchange rate of CHF 1.20 per euro in September last year.

[Sep04]    Amended: Spain Aug Unemployment Change 38.2K Vs -27.8K In July: Reports

[Sep04]    Romania July Retail Sales Up Sa. 0.6% On Month, Rises 4.6% On Year

[Sep04]    UAE Non-oil Private Sector Records Strong Growth In August

Activity in the non-oil private sector of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continued to increase steadily in August, data from a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC Bank showed Tuesday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the non-oil private sector came in at 53.3 in August, broadly unchanged from July's 53.4, marking the thirty-first successive growth in activity. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while one below suggests decline. Production at UAE factories increased at a steady pace during the month, and the rate of growth quickened modestly from July's four-month low. The output growth reflected further growth in incoming new business, which rose at the sharpest rate in three months amid reports of improved market conditions. In line with rising workloads, firms increased their workforces further in August, but the pace of job growth was the slowest since April. Input price inflation accelerated to a three-month high in the non-oil private sector. Consequently, firms increased their output costs further amid strong competitive pressures.

[Sep04]    RBA Retains Cash Rate Again

The Reserve Bank of Australia, or RBA, on Tuesday decided to retain the benchmark cash rate unchanged at 3.5 percent for a third consecutive month, saying that the monetary policy stance remained "appropriate", given the more subdued global outlook and expectations for a close-to-trend growth of the domestic economy. The decision was in line with economists' forecast. The RBA reduced the cash rate by 50 basis points in May and by a quarter-point in June, following two back-to-back rate cuts towards the end of 2011. Even after a cumulative 125 basis point reduction in cash rate since November last year, Australia has the highest borrowing costs among the developed economies. The economy has proved comparatively more resilient to the global economic turbulence, courtesy its once-in-a-century mining boom. Australia's gross domestic product rose a seasonally adjusted 1.3 percent quarter-over-quarter in the first three months of 2012 following a 0.6 percent increase in the previous three months. The Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to release the second quarter GDP data on September 5. Governor Glenn Stevens said most of the indicators suggest that growth has been running close to trend, led by very large increases in capital spending in the resources sector. Consumption growth was also quite firm in the first half of the year, he said. Labor market data have shown moderate employment growth despite job shedding by some industries. He noted that due to earlier decisions, interest rates for borrowers are a little below their medium-term averages. The impact of those changes is still working its way through the economy, Stevens said. However, the central banker observed that dwelling prices have firmed a little and business credit has picked up this year. "The exchange rate has declined over the past month or two, though it has remained higher than might have been expected, given the observed decline in export prices and the weaker global outlook," Stevens said. Regarding the developments in the world economy, he said the risk to global GDP outlook are still on the downside. He pointed out that some recent global indicators have been weaker and this has added to uncertainty about near-term growth. "Around Asia generally, growth is being dampened by the more moderate Chinese expansion and the weakness in Europe." Inflation remains low Stevens noted, adding that inflation is expected to be consistent with the target over the next one to two years. The introduction of carbon price is expected to influence consumer price developments over the next couple of quarters.

[Sep04]    RBA Retains Cash Rate Again

The Reserve Bank of Australia, or RBA, on Tuesday decided to retain the benchmark cash rate unchanged at 3.5 percent for a third consecutive month, saying that the monetary policy stance remained "appropriate", given the more subdued global outlook and expectations for a close-to-trend growth of the domestic economy. The decision was in line with economists' forecast. The RBA reduced the cash rate by 50 basis points in May and by a quarter-point in June, following two back-to-back rate cuts towards the end of 2011. Even after a cumulative 125 basis point reduction in cash rate since November last year, Australia has the highest borrowing costs among the developed economies. The economy has proved comparatively more resilient to the global economic turbulence, courtesy its once-in-a-century mining boom. Australia's gross domestic product rose a seasonally adjusted 1.3 percent quarter-over-quarter in the first three months of 2012 following a 0.6 percent increase in the previous three months. The Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to release the second quarter GDP data on September 5. Governor Glenn Stevens said most of the indicators suggest that growth has been running close to trend, led by very large increases in capital spending in the resources sector. Consumption growth was also quite firm in the first half of the year, he said. Labor market data have shown moderate employment growth despite job shedding by some industries. He noted that due to earlier decisions, interest rates for borrowers are a little below their medium-term averages. The impact of those changes is still working its way through the economy, Stevens said. However, the central banker observed that dwelling prices have firmed a little and business credit has picked up this year. "The exchange rate has declined over the past month or two, though it has remained higher than might have been expected, given the observed decline in export prices and the weaker global outlook," Stevens said. Regarding the developments in the world economy, he said the risk to global GDP outlook are still on the downside. He pointed out that some recent global indicators have been weaker and this has added to uncertainty about near-term growth. "Around Asia generally, growth is being dampened by the more moderate Chinese expansion and the weakness in Europe." Inflation remains low Stevens noted, adding that inflation is expected to be consistent with the target over the next one to two years. The introduction of carbon price is expected to influence consumer price developments over the next couple of quarters.

[Sep04]    Norwegian Consumer Sentiment Improves In Q3

Norway's consumer confidence improved for the third consecutive quarter, data released by the Finance Norway and survey group TNS Gallup showed Tuesday. The consumer sentiment index rose to 23.4 in the third quarter from 21.9 in the second quarter. The survey was conducted between August 16 and 23. Households' disposable income increased on good growth and low interest rates. Moreover, inflation remained low. However, assessment of economic condition for the coming year fell to -3.6 from 13.3 a quarter ago.

[Sep04]    Swiss Q2 GDP Up 0.5% On Year, Consensus 1.6%

[Sep04]    Moody's Downgrades EU's Rating Outlook

Moody's Investors Service on Tuesday downgraded European Union's rating outlook to Negative from Stable. The rating agency maintained triple-A rating of the European Union. The downward revision reflects the negative outlooks now assigned to the Aaa sovereign ratings of key contributors to the EU budget, namely Germany, France, the U.K. and the Netherlands. These nations together account for around 45 percent of the EU's budget revenue. The EU's creditworthiness move in line with the creditworthiness of its strongest key member states, it said. In July, Moody's had changed to negative its outlooks for the Aaa ratings of Germany and the Netherlands.

[Sep04]    Moody's Cuts EU's Rating Outlook To Negative From Stable

[Sep04]    Norway Q3 Consumer Confidence 23.4 Vs. 21.9 In Q2

[Sep04]    RBA: Monetary Policy Stance Remains Appropriate

[Sep03]    Spain's Andalusia Seeks Bailout From Madrid

Andalusia joined Spain's 'bailout club' by seeking 1 billion euros in emergency lifeline from the government on Monday. Andalusia is the fourth Spanish region to ask for immediate funding from the central government, which has repeatedly ruled out the need for a full-blown international bailout for the country. Valencia, Catalonia and Murcia have already requested aid from the 18-billion euros rescue fund, set up by Madrid to support its debt-ridden regions. Catalonia, the most indebted of Spain's 17 autonomous regions, requested for a 5 billion euros bailout on August 28. Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said in August that the government is well-informed about the autonomous regions that may request aid and that in no event would it allow any region to fall into default. Spain's Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro said last month that the regional authorities would have to comply with the deficit target for 2013 and the debt ceiling for the year, which is below 4 percent of GDP. He said the regional governments should also maintain "zero deficit." Eurozone nations have committed as much as 100 billion euros to a European assistance program specifically targeted to the restructuring of Spain's financial sector. Out of this, some 30 billion euros have already been approved. Despite harsh spending cuts introduced by the government led by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Spain is struggling to meet the deficit targets, partly due to its deepening recession. The economy contracted 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter, following a 0.3 percent contraction in the first quarter. Annually, the gross domestic product shrank 1.3 percent, more than 1 percent estimated preliminarily. The government also faces a daunting task of reducing deficit amid high borrowing costs. Though recent positive comments from European leaders, including European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, have helped ease the borrowing costs, they still remain much higher compared to that of Germany. Also, Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the European Union. One in four Spaniards is out of work, with the youth bearing the brunt of the severe labor market crisis. The European Central Bank will hold its next meeting in Frankfurt on September 6 even as the market expects ECB President Mario Draghi to speak on his latest crisis-fighting-strategy. Speculation is rife that the ECB will begin buying bonds to ease liquidity strains of the region, which may help ease borrowing costs faced by euro members such as Italy and Spain.

[Sep03]    Australia Has A$11.8 Billion Q2 Current Account Deficit

Australia posted a seasonally adjusted current account deficit of A$11.801 billion in the second quarter of 2012, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday - down 9 percent or A$1.196 billion from the first quarter. The headline figure topped forecasts for a shortfall of A$12.2 billion following the A$14.892 billion deficit three months earlier. The deficit on the balance of goods and services plunged 31 percent or A$631 million to A$1,382 million. The primary income deficit dropped 5 percent or A$520 million to A$10.199 billion. In seasonally adjusted chain volume terms, the deficit on goods and services shed 6 percent or A$871 million from A$14.506 billion in the March quarter 2012 to A$13.635 billion in the June quarter 2012. Net exports are expected to contribute 0.3 percentage points to GDP, below forecasts for 0.6 percentage points but up from -0.5 percentage points in the previous three months. Australia's net IIP liability position was A$879.5 billion at the end of Q2, a decrease of A$5.2 billion from the previous quarter. Australia's net foreign debt liability increased A$14.9 billion to a liability position of a$756.2 billion. Australia's net foreign equity liability decreased A$20.1 billion to a liability position of A$123.3 billion. Upon the release of the data, the Australian dollar weakened against most major currencies, trading near a six-week low of 1.0226 against the U.S. dollar, a three-month low of 1.0090 against the Canadian dollar, a two-month low of 1.2320 against the Euro and 80.22 against the yen.

[Sep03]    Australia Current Account Deficit A$11.8 Billion In Q2

Australia saw a current account deficit of A$11.801 billion in the second quarter of 2012, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday. That beat forecasts for a shortfall of A$12.2 billion following the A$14.892 billion deficit in the first quarter. Net exports are expected to contribute 0.3 percentage points to GDP, below forecasts for 0.6 percentage points but up from -0.5 percentage points in the previous three months.

[Sep03]    Australia Q2 Current Account Deficit A$11.8 Billion

[Sep03]    Japan Monetary Base Rises 6.5% In August

The monetary base in Japan was up 6.5 percent on year in August, the Bank of Japan said on Tuesday, standing at 1,214.636 billion yen. That follows the 8.6 percent annual expansion in July. Banknotes in circulation were up an annual 2.4 percent, while coins in circulation added 0.3 percent. Current account balances spiked 18.0 percent on year, including a 20.7 percent annual surge in reserve balances. The seasonally adjusted monetary base was down 14.7 percent to 1,211.542 billion yen following the 32.4 percent surge in July.

[Sep03]    Japan Monetary Base +6.5% On Year In August

[Sep03]    UK Like-For-Like Sales -0.4% On Year In August - BRC

[Sep03]    Australia Rate Decision, Current Account Due On Tuesday

The Reserve Bank of Australia will on Tuesday conclude its monetary policy meeting and then announce its decision on interest rates, highlighting a light day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. The RBA is widely expected to keep rates on hold at 3.50 percent. Australia also will see Q2 figures for current account, with forecasts suggesting a deficit of A$12.2 billion following the A$14.892 billion shortfall in the previous three months. Net exports of GDP are expected to rise 0.6 percent after shedding 0.5 percent in the first quarter. Japan will provide July figures for labor cash earning and August numbers for monetary base. Labor cash earnings are expected to fall 0.5 percent on year after easing 0.6 percent in June. The monetary base was up 8.6 percent in July.

[Sep03]    Brazilian Factory Sector Contracts Modestly In August

Activity in Brazil's manufacturing sector decreased modestly in August, data from a survey by HSBC Bank and Markit Economics showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector increased to 49.3 in August from 48.7 in July. A PMI reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector, while one above suggests growth. New business received by Brazilian manufacturers declined for the fifth consecutive month in August, but the latest reduction was only marginal. Companies reduced their output during the month, though marginally, in line with the lower new order requirements. Employment in the sector fell for the fifth consecutive month in August, reflecting the decline in production. Input prices increased further during the month, owing mainly to higher transportation, food and steel prices. Consequently, firms raised their output prices.

[Sep03]    Brazil Aug. Manufacturing PMI At 49.3 Vs. 48.7 In July

[Sep03]    Hungarian Manufacturing Sector Contracts In August

Activity in the Hungarian manufacturing sector decreased in August, after growing in the previous month, data released by the Hungarian Association of Logistics, Purchasing and Inventory Management showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector dropped to 49.5 in August from 51.8 in July, which was revised down from 51.9. A PMI reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector, while one above suggests growth. Production at Hungarian factories decreased in August, reflecting a notable decline in new business. Firms reduced their staffing levels during the month, ending the six-month long growth. Input price inflation in the manufacturing sector slowed in August, and hit the lowest level since 1995, data showed.

[Sep03]    India's Exports Decline In July

India's exports declined 14.8 percent annually in July, the latest figures from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry showed Monday. India's total shipments during the month amounted to $22.4 billion. Cumulative value of exports for the period April-July was $97.6 billion, down 5.06 percent compared to the same period last year. In July, imports fell 7.61 percent year-on-year to $37.9 billion. During the April-July period, imports recorded a 6.47 percent fall to reach a value of $153.2 billion. Oil imports were down 5.5 percent to $12.2 billion in July, data showed. India's trade deficit in July amounted to $15.49 billion compared to $14.72 billion last year. The trade deficit for April - July is estimated at $55.55 billion.

[Sep03]    India's Exports Decline In July

India's exports declined 14.8 percent annually in July, the latest figures from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry showed Monday. India's total shipments during the month amounted to $22.4 billion. Cumulative value of exports for the period April-July was $97.6 billion, down 5.06 percent compared to the same period last year. In July, imports fell 7.61 percent year-on-year to $37.9 billion. During the April-July period, imports recorded a 6.47 percent fall to reach a value of $153.2 billion. Oil imports were down 5.5 percent to $12.2 billion in July, data showed. India's trade deficit in July amounted to $15.49 billion compared to $14.72 billion last year. The trade deficit for April - July is estimated at $55.55 billion.

[Sep03]    Spanish Manufacturing Slump Eases In August

Activity in the Spanish manufacturing sector decreased at a slower pace in August, data from a survey by Markit Economics and the Spanish Association of Purchasing Managers and Supply showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector came in at 44 in August, and remained below the no-change 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. The latest reading was, however, higher tan 42.3 recorded in July, and indicated the weakest deterioration in business conditions since March. Production at Spanish factories decreased for the sixteenth successive month in August, and the rate of contraction remained broadly unchanged from July. Contributing to the slump in production, new orders declined further during the month, but the rate of fall was the slowest since February. Firms lowered their workforces in August at a marginally slower rate compared to July. Input prices increased for the first time in three months in August, due mainly to higher raw material costs. Meanwhile, output prices continued to decrease amid strong competition and weak demand.

[Sep03]    U.K. Manufacturing Sector Rebounds In August

The U.K. manufacturing sector rebounded in August from a month ago at a faster-than-expected pace to a near-neutral level due to a lesser degree of decline in production, a closely watched survey showed Monday. The Purchasing Manager's Index for manufacturing rose to 49.5 from 45.2 in July, a survey by Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply showed. Economists had forecast the index to rise to 46.3. The reading is only slightly below the 50-mark that separates expansion from contraction. The sector continues to struggle against economic headwinds especially from Europe. "The marked easing in the rate of contraction at U.K. manufacturers is heartening, if only because last month's steep pace of decline wasn't repeated," Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit said. Manufacturing production declined for the second successive month in August, albeit to a much lesser degree than in July. The main factor underlying the downturn in production has been weak market conditions, the survey carried out between August 13 and 28 showed. Companies reported a modest increase in new work from domestic clients in August. The rate of decline in new export orders also eased sharply, despite weak demand from Europe. Manufacturing employment improved slightly for the second straight month. Reflecting lower metal and plastic prices, average input costs declined for the third month running in August. U.K. manufacturers continued to raise their average selling prices in August, as they tried to recover some of the margin lost earlier this year. August saw manufacturers maintain a preference for reduced holdings of both pre- and post-production inventories. They scaled back purchasing activity. Moreover, lower demand for raw materials reduced the pressure on supplier capacity. The British Chambers of Commerce last week cut its U.K. economic forecast. The economy is now estimated to shrink 0.4 percent this year compared to the prior forecast of 0.1 percent growth. The Confederation of British Industry sees 0.3 percent contraction this year.

[Sep03]    Saudi Non-Oil Private Sector Posts Steady Growth In August

Activity in Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector increased at steady pace in August, data from a survey by Saudi British Bank, HSBC Bank and Markit Economics showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the non-oil private sector rose to 58.3 in August from 58.1 July, indicating another robust improvement in business conditions. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while one below suggests contraction. Contributing to the overall improvement, incoming new business increased sharply during the month, helped by, among others, greater sales and marketing efforts and improved market conditions. Output at non-oil private sector firms increased further in August, though the rate of growth eased to the weakest since October 2011. Companies increased their workforces at the slowest pace in five months. Input price inflation increased slightly from July's seven-month low, driven mainly by growth of purchasing and staff costs. Meanwhile, prices charged by companies decreased for the first time since the series started, data showed.

[Sep03]    India's Exports Decline In July

India's exports declined 14.8 percent annually in July, the latest figures from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry showed Monday. India's total shipments during the month amounted to $22.4 billion. Cumulative value of exports for the period April-July was $97.6 billion, down 5.06 percent compared to the same period last year. In July, imports fell 7.61 percent year-on-year to $37.9 billion. During the April-July period, imports recorded a 6.47 percent fall to reach a value of $153.2 billion. Oil imports were down 5.5 percent to $12.2 billion in July, data showed. India's trade deficit in July amounted to $15.49 billion compared to $14.72 billion last year. The trade deficit for April - July is estimated at $55.55 billion.

[Sep03]    South Africa Manufacturing Activity Stagnates

Activity in South African manufacturing sector remained almost unchanged in August, a report published by the Bureau for Economic Research, in conjunction with CIPS Africa and Kagiso Tiso Holdings, showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index scored 50.2 in August, close to the no-change threshold of 50, up from 51 in July. The level of the index suggests that there was no growth in factory sector output between August and July 2012, the report said. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion of the sector, while a reading below 50 suggests contraction. The new sales orders index, which continues to be quite volatile from month to month, fell by 5.3 points from a month earlier to 46.9. The inventory index declined by 4.3 points to 52.2. Purchasing managers continued to downscale their expectations with the index measuring expected business conditions in six months' time declining for a third consecutive month to reach 52.9. A lower reading was last recorded in June 2009.

[Sep03]    Latvia's Industrial Output Growth Slows In July

Industrial production in Latvia increased at a slightly slower pace in July, data released by the Central Statistical Bureau showed Monday. Industrial production increased a calendar-adjusted 5.3 percent annually in July, following the previous month's 5.4 percent gain. Manufacturing production move up 7.3 percent year-on-year, while mining and quarrying output rose 0.3 percent. Production and supply of electricity and gas were lower by 1.7 percent from last year, data showed. On a monthly basis industrial output edged up a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in July, slower than the 1 percent growth seen in June. In the January-July period, industrial production advanced 6.4 percent from the corresponding period a year earlier, the agency said.

[Sep03]    Latvia July Industrial Output Rises Sa. 0.2% On Month

[Sep03]    Croatian Industrial Output Falls Further In July

Croatia's industrial production decreased at a steady pace in July, data released by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics showed Monday. Industrial output declined 5.5 percent on an annual basis in July, as it did in the previous month, the agency said. Mining and quarrying production fell by 20.4 percent annually in July, while manufacturing output decreased 4.6 percent. Output of intermediate goods plunged 17.4 percent during the month, while capital goods production edged down 0.1 percent. Production of consumer durables and energy products were higher by 0.7 percent and 2.8 percent respectively compared to a year earlier. On a monthly basis, industrial production increased a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent in July, reversing the previous month's 1.6 percent decline. In the January-July period, production declined 6.1 percent from the same period a year earlier, data showed.

[Sep03]    India August Manufacturing Growth Slowest This Year

India's manufacturing sector expanded at the slowest pace so far this year in August due to weak external demand and output disruptions caused by power outages, data from a survey showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted HSBC purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector dropped to 52.8 from July's 52.9. The reading remained above the no-change 50 mark that separates growth from contraction as well as above the 52 forecast by economists. "The power failures also partly contributed to a rise in backlogs of work as manufacturing companies struggled to finish orders on time," HSBC Chief Economist for India and ASEAN Leif Eskesen said. Output in Indian factories expanded at the slowest pace in nine months in August. New business received by manufacturing firms increased for the 41st consecutive month, but the rate of growth slowed to the lowest level since last November. Export orders declined for the second straight month due to weaker global demand and unfavorable exchange rate conditions, the survey said. Input prices increased at the slowest pace in six months. Output prices also rose as manufacturers passed on the latest rise in raw material prices to their clients. Companies increased their workforces for the sixth successive month amid reports of business growth, and the latest growth was the fastest since April 2005. "With the slowdown partly supply driven and inflation risks still lingering, these numbers underscore that the room for policy rate cuts is very limited at the moment," Eskesen said. The Indian economy expanded at a faster-than-expected rate of 5.5 percent in the June quarter, after a 5.3 percent expansion in the preceding three months, helped mainly by construction and services activity. Despite growth beating expectations, it remained anemic mainly due to slowdown in manufacturing activity. The country's high inflation rate has been preventing the Reserve Bank of India from lowering interest rates. The central bank expects the economy to expand 6.5 percent in 2012-13. The bank has forecast that slower global growth and a potential slowdown in the service sector expansion could possibly act as a drag on the economy in the coming quarters. A slew of banks and brokerages have cut their forecast for India's economic growth recently. Citigroup and CLSA early this month downgraded their view of the country's growth for the current fiscal year to 5.4 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively. Today, Morgan Stanley cut its growth forecast for the fiscal year ending March 2013 to 5.1 percent from 5.8 percent, citing weak external demand as well as low private investment. The outlook for next fiscal was slashed to 6.1 percent from 6.6 percent.

[Sep03]    South Africa Manufacturing Activity Stagnates

Activity in South African manufacturing sector remained almost unchanged in August, a report published by the Bureau for Economic Research, in conjunction with CIPS Africa and Kagiso Tiso Holdings, showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index scored 50.2 in August, close to the no-change threshold of 50, up from 51 in July. The level of the index suggests that there was no growth in factory sector output between August and July 2012, the report said. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion of the sector, while a reading below 50 suggests contraction. The new sales orders index, which continues to be quite volatile from month to month, fell by 5.3 points from a month earlier to 46.9. The inventory index declined by 4.3 points to 52.2. Purchasing managers continued to downscale their expectations with the index measuring expected business conditions in six months' time declining for a third consecutive month to reach 52.9. A lower reading was last recorded in June 2009.

[Sep03]    Eurozone Factory PMI Rises Less Than Estimated

Eurozone's manufacturing sector continued to contract in August, but a slower pace than in July, the detailed survey results from Markit Economics confirmed Monday. However, the improvement was slightly weaker than estimated in the flash report. The purchasing managers' index, that measures the activity in the factory sector, rose to 45.1 in August from 44 in July. The revised reading was below the flash score of 45.3. Downturns in output and new orders eased slightly during the month, but remain widespread across nations, Markit said. The manufacturing sector has now contracted for thirteen successive months.

[Sep03]    Croatia July Industrial Production Down 5.5% On Year, Up 1.1% On Month

[Sep03]    Czech Manufacturing Sector Contracts For Fifth Month

Activity in the Czech manufacturing sector decreased for the fifth consecutive month in August, data from the survey by Markit Economics and HSBC Bank showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector dropped to 48.7 in August from 49.5 in July. The index remained below the no-change 50 mark - which separates growth from contraction - for the fifth month running. Production at Czech manufacturing units dropped modestly in August, after holding flat in the previous two months. New orders contracted for the fifth consecutive month, and the latest decline was the strongest since May. Moreover. Employment in the sector fell in August, ending a two-month run of job creation. Input prices paid by manufacturers rose during the month, after declining marginally in the previous month. Firms cut their output prices for the seventh month in a row, reflecting tough trading conditions.

[Sep03]    U.K. Manufacturing Activity Contracts At Slower Pace

The downturn in the U.K. manufacturing sector showed signs of easing in August, survey results from Markit Economics showed Monday. The Markit/Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply Purchasing Manager's Index rose more than expected to 49.5 from 45.2 in July. Economists had forecast the index to rise to 46.3. The reading is only slightly below the 50.0 mark that separates expansion from contraction. "The marked easing in the rate of contraction at UK manufacturers is heartening, if only because last month's steep pace of decline wasn't repeated," Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit said. "The performance of the sector is therefore likely to remain subdued and volatile until underlying structural imbalances are resolved," Dobson added.

[Sep03]    Swiss Factory PMI Falls Unexpectedly

An indicator of Swiss manufacturing sector performance declined unexpectedly in August, pointing to further deterioration in business conditions during the month, a survey revealed Monday. The procure.ch /SVME purchasing managers' index fell to 46.7 from 48.6 in July. Economists had forecast an increase to 49.4. The PMI traded beneath the growth threshold of 50 for the fourth month in succession, suggesting contraction of the factory sector. "In view of the roller coaster ride in Europe, Swiss industry is failing to pick up," the report pointed out. Following two months of growth, production decreased again in August. The production sub-component fell by 4.8 points to 46.7 and therefore slid out of the growth zone. The backlog of orders fell again for the fifth consecutive month. The corresponding index fell to 45.8 in August from 47.8 in the previous month.

[Sep03]    Greek Manufacturing Activity Continues To Fall

Activity in the Greek manufacturing sector continued to decrease in August, though at a slower rate, data from a survey by Markit Economics showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector edged up to 42.1 in August, but remained below the no-change 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. The sector contracted for the sixth consecutive month. New orders received by manufacturing firms decreased sharply in August, with demand in both the domestic market as well as export market falling. Reflecting the slump in new orders, output in factories decreased further during the month. Manufacturers reduced their staffing levels markedly during the month in line with poor underlying trends in orders and output. Input price inflation accelerated to a four-month high. Meanwhile, average output charges dropped for an eighteenth successive month amid competitive pressures and poor demand.

[Sep03]    U.K. Aug. Manufacturing PMI Rises To 49.5 From 45.2 In Jul, Consensus 46.3

[Sep03]    Australia Retail Sales Fall Unexpectedly In July

Australia's retail sales declined unexpectedly in July and at the fastest pace in almost two years as consumers trimmed their spending. Retail sales dropped 0.8 percent in July from a month ago, marking the largest fall since October 2010, the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Monday. The July's fall confounded expectations for a 0.2 percent gain. Sales had increased by a revised 1.2 percent in June and 0.6 percent in May. A 10.2 percent drop in department store sales was the major reason behind the overall decline in July. Sales in other retailing eased 2.8 percent and clothing and footwear sales slipped 0.9 percent. Food retailing gained only 0.1 percent in July and household goods retailing climbed 2.4 percent. Elsewhere, a survey from ANZ showed that job advertisements declined at a faster pace of 2.3 percent in August from a month ago, when it slipped 0.8 percent. It was the fifth consecutive monthly fall. The number of job advertisements in newspapers fell 6.1 percent and internet job advertisements dropped 2.1 percent. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens told lawmakers last month that the ongoing mining boom will likely see its peak within the next year or two. He said policymakers are prepared to respond if the economy slows. The bank eased monetary policy in May and June, lowering the cash rate by a total of 75 basis points. This was done in addition to two adjustments made last year. Despite weak economic data, the central bank is widely expected to leave its key rate unchanged at 3.5 percent on Tuesday. The second quarter GDP growth data is due on September 5. The economy is seen expanding at a slower pace of 3.7 percent annually after growing 4.3 percent in the first quarter.

[Sep03]    German Aug Manufacturing Activity Falls More Than Estimated

Germany's manufacturing activity declined more than initially estimated for August, final data from Markit Economics showed Monday. The final Markit/BME Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 44.7 in August, down from the flash reading of 45.1. However, the reading rose from a 37-month low of 43 in July. The latest reading was still below the neutral value, thereby pointing to an overall deterioration in business conditions, while it was the first month-on-month rise in the PMI since January. August data pointed to a fall in production levels for the fifth month. Companies that reported a decrease in production levels in August generally linked this to lower volumes of new business and fewer outstanding workloads at their plants. Lower workloads once again contributed to cautious hiring trends in the manufacturing sector. Further, manufacturers reported ease in inflationary pressures as output prices dropped the most since January 2010. Nonetheless, input costs slipped at a much less marked rate than in July.

[Sep03]    UK To Speed Up Infrastructure Projects, Osborne Says

The British government will introduce a bill in Parliament in the next few weeks to speed up planning decisions and financing of private sector building projects to jump start the recession-hit economy, Chancellor George Osborne said in an interview to the BBC television. The government is to underwrite up to GBP 50 billion of private sector building projects which need finance, he said. According to Osborne, the Infrastructure Bill should be law by the end of October. Meanwhile, writing an opinion column in the Mail on Sunday, Prime Minister David Cameron said his government will stick to the deficit-cut plan, " rejecting the easy path, restoring sanity to our finances and keeping Britain safe." "What we need is a bigger private sector; wealth spread more widely across the country; more emphasis on the industries of the future, such as green technology and advanced manufacturing," Cameron wrote in the daily.

[Sep03]    Eurozone Factory PMI Rises Less Than Estimated

Eurozone's manufacturing sector continued to contract in August, but a slower pace than in July, the detailed survey results from Markit Economics confirmed Monday. However, the improvement was slightly weaker than estimated in the flash report. The purchasing managers' index, that measures the activity in the factory sector, rose to 45.1 in August from 44 in July. The revised reading was below the flash score of 45.3. Downturns in output and new orders eased slightly during the month, but remain widespread across nations, Markit said. The manufacturing sector has now contracted for thirteen successive months.

[Sep03]    Eurozone Aug Manufacturing PMI 45.1 Vs 44 In July, Flash 45.3

[Sep03]    French Manufacturing Contraction Steeper Than Estimated

The French manufacturing sector contracted steeper than previously estimated in August, a detailed report from Markit Economics showed Monday. The headline purchasing managers' index, a seasonally adjusted index designed to measure the performance of the manufacturing economy, posted 46 compared to the flash estimate of 46.2. The latest reading was the highest since April this year. The pace of decline in manufacturing activity was slower than in July, when the PMI scored 43.4. A PMI reading below 50 suggests contraction. A key contributor to the rise in the PMI was a slower decline in the volume of new orders. Although still substantial, the latest fall in new work was the weakest since February.

[Sep03]    France Aug Manufacturing PMI 46 Vs 43.4 In July, Flash 46.2

[Sep03]    Italy August Manufacturing PMI At 43.6 Vs. 44.3 In July

[Sep03]    Swiss Factory PMI Falls Unexpectedly

An indicator of Swiss manufacturing sector performance declined unexpectedly in August, pointing to further deterioration in business conditions during the month, a survey revealed Monday. The procure.ch /SVME purchasing managers' index fell to 46.7 from 48.6 in July. Economists had forecast an increase to 49.4. The PMI traded beneath the growth threshold of 50 for the fourth month in succession, suggesting contraction of the factory sector. "In view of the roller coaster ride in Europe, Swiss industry is failing to pick up," the report pointed out. Following two months of growth, production decreased again in August. The production sub-component fell by 4.8 points to 46.7 and therefore slid out of the growth zone. The backlog of orders fell again for the fifth consecutive month. The corresponding index fell to 45.8 in August from 47.8 in the previous month.

[Sep03]    Czech Aug Factory PMI 48.7 Vs. 49.5 In July

[Sep03]    Poland Factory Slowdown Continues

Poland's manufacturing sector continued to shrink during August due to steeper declines in output as well as new orders, survey data released by Markit Economics showed Monday. The headline HSBC Poland Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dropped to 48.3, which was second-lowest figure in 35 months. A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector. The latest score indicated a fifth successive overall monthly deterioration in the business climate. On the positive side, manufacturing workforce expanded for the fifth month in a row, though at a slower pace. Inflationary pressures were muted as input as well as output prices dropped for the second straight month.

[Sep03]    UK To Speed Up Infrastructure Projects, Osborne Says

The British government will introduce a bill in Parliament in the next few weeks to speed up planning decisions and financing of private sector building projects to jump start the recession-hit economy, Chancellor George Osborne said in an interview to the BBC television. The government is to underwrite up to GBP 50 billion of private sector building projects which need finance, he said. According to Osborne, the Infrastructure Bill should be law by the end of October. Meanwhile, writing an opinion column in the Mail on Sunday, Prime Minister David Cameron said his government will stick to the deficit-cut plan, " rejecting the easy path, restoring sanity to our finances and keeping Britain safe." "What we need is a bigger private sector; wealth spread more widely across the country; more emphasis on the industries of the future, such as green technology and advanced manufacturing," Cameron wrote in the daily.

[Sep03]    Sweden Aug. Manufacturing PMI At 45.1 Vs. 50.6 In July, Consensus 50.4

[Sep03]    China Non-Manufacturing Growth Improves In August

China's non-manufacturing sector growth accelerated in August, data from the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) showed Monday. However, the improvement was not sufficient to counter the weakness in the manufacturing sector. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index for the non-manufacturing sector rose to 56.3 in August from 55.6 in July. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion of the sector. In August, the new orders index fell by 0.5 points from a month earlier to 52.7. Meanwhile, the new export orders rebounded slightly with the index rising by 0.2 point on month to 49.6. Despite strong advances in the non-manufacturing activity, the manufacturing sector continued to show weakness mainly due to slowing new orders. CFLP survey results for the manufacturing sector, released over the weekend, has reignited concerns over the slowdown in Chinese economy with the manufacturing sector showing first contraction in nine months in August. The official PMI for the manufacturing sector fell to 49.2 from 50.1 in July. This was the first time since November 2011 that the reading fell below the 50 no-change mark. Meanwhile, a report from the HSBC and Markit Economics showed today that the manufacturing sector operating conditions deteriorated for a tenth consecutive month in August. The PMI score fell to 47.6 in August, the lowest since March 2009, from 49.3 in July. Manufacturing output declined during the month, while the pace of reduction in new orders was the most marked in nine months. New export orders also decreased in August, and at the sharpest rate since March 2009, Markit said. The PMI data confirmed that China's manufacturing sector still faces intensifying downward pressure, HSBC chief economist Hongbin Qu said. "Beijing must step up policy easing to stabilize growth and foster job market conditions," the economist added. Rating agency Standard & Poor's last month opined that China could afford another big stimulus if economic conditions deteriorate sharply. The agency expects 8.2 percent real growth for next year after slowing to about 8 percent in 2012. In the second quarter, the GDP growth hit a three-year low of 7.6 percent with exports acting as a major drag on the economy.

[Sep03]    Irish Factory Sector Growth Weakens In August

Activity in the Irish manufacturing sector increased marginally in August, after growing at a much faster pace in the previous month, data released by Markit Economics and NCB showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector dropped to 50.9 in August from 53.9 in July, indicating the weakest improvement in operating conditions in four months. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while one below suggests decline. Production at Irish factories continued to rise in August, extending the current sequence of growth to four months. New orders increased for the seventh successive month, helped mainly by a marked gain in new export orders. Firms increased their workforces for the sixth successive month, in line with improved demand and work on new products. However, the rate of job creation slowed to the weakest in the current sequence of rising staffing levels. Input prices grew sharply in August, ending a two-month sequence of falling costs. Meanwhile, companies lowered their output prices further amid intense competition.

[Sep03]    European Economics Preview: Eurozone Manufacturing PMI Data Due

Purchasing Managers' survey results from Eurozone and the U.K. are due on Monday, headlining a busy day for the European economic news. At 2.30 am ET, Sweden's manufacturing PMI is due. The index is forecast to fall to 50.4 in August from 50.6 in the prior month. Half an hour later, PMI figures are due from Norway and Poland. Turkey's statistical office is slated to release consumer and producer prices for August. At 3.15 am ET, the Federal Statistical Office is slated to release Swiss retail sales for July. Sales were up 3.7 percent in June. Italy's manufacturing PMI is due at 3.45 am ET. Thereafter, final PMI readings are due from France and Germany. The Eurozone final PMI figure is due at 4.00 am ET. The index is expected to match the flash reading of 45.3 in August. At 4.30 am ET, Markit is set to publish U.K. manufacturing survey results. The PMI is forecast to rise to 46.3 in August from 45.4 in July.

[Sep03]    Dutch Manufacturing PMI Rises In August

An indicator for the performance of the Dutch manufacturing sector rose to a six-month high in August, though it signaled slight deterioration in business conditions during the month, a survey by Markit Economics showed Monday. The headline NEVI Purchasing Managers' Index rose to a six-month high of 49.7 in August from 48.9 in July. However, the reading below 50 suggests contraction of the sector. Helping to push the headline index higher over the month was a modest improvement in new order volumes, the first growth recorded in half a year, Markit said. New orders recorded the strongest gain in 15 months in August.

[Sep03]    Indonesia Inflation Rises Marginally In August

Indonesia's inflation rose slightly to 4.58 percent in August from 4.56 in July, Statistics Indonesia said Monday. Economists had forecast the rate to slow to 4.42 percent. The central bank has kept its interest rate unchanged at 5.75 percent for the sixth straight rate-setting meeting in August. The bank forecasts inflation to remain within the target range of 3.5-5.5 percent this year. Meanwhile, core inflation slowed to 4.16 percent from 4.28 percent a month ago. In a separate report, the statistical office said exports fell 7.27 percent annually and imports rose 0.8 percent in July. The trade balance showed a deficit of $0.18 billion, smaller than the consensus forecast of $1.54 billion shortfall.

[Sep03]    Russia's Factory Sector Growth Slows In August

Activity in the Russian manufacturing sector increased at a slower pace in August, data from a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC Bank showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector dropped to 51 in August from 52 in July. The index, however, remained above the no-change 50 mark - which separates growth from contraction -for the eleventh consecutive month. The slow down in growth reflected weaker growth in new business in the sector, which increased for the eleventh consecutive month. Production at Russian factories increased further in August, extending the upward momentum started in August 2009. Firms increased their workforces at a marginal rate during the month. Input price inflation strengthened for the second month running, and hit the highest level since October 2011. Output prices rose at a weak rate, reflecting the lackluster business conditions, data showed.

[Sep03]    China Non-Manufacturing Growth Improves In August

China's non-manufacturing sector growth accelerated in August, data from the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) showed Monday. However, the improvement was not sufficient to counter the weakness in the manufacturing sector. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index for the non-manufacturing sector rose to 56.3 in August from 55.6 in July. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion of the sector. In August, the new orders index fell by 0.5 points from a month earlier to 52.7. Meanwhile, the new export orders rebounded slightly with the index rising by 0.2 point on month to 49.6. Despite strong advances in the non-manufacturing activity, the manufacturing sector continued to show weakness mainly due to slowing new orders. CFLP survey results for the manufacturing sector, released over the weekend, has reignited concerns over the slowdown in Chinese economy with the manufacturing sector showing first contraction in nine months in August. The official PMI for the manufacturing sector fell to 49.2 from 50.1 in July. This was the first time since November 2011 that the reading fell below the 50 no-change mark. Meanwhile, a report from the HSBC and Markit Economics showed today that the manufacturing sector operating conditions deteriorated for a tenth consecutive month in August. The PMI score fell to 47.6 in August, the lowest since March 2009, from 49.3 in July. Manufacturing output declined during the month, while the pace of reduction in new orders was the most marked in nine months. New export orders also decreased in August, and at the sharpest rate since March 2009, Markit said. The PMI data confirmed that China's manufacturing sector still faces intensifying downward pressure, HSBC chief economist Hongbin Qu said. "Beijing must step up policy easing to stabilize growth and foster job market conditions," the economist added. Rating agency Standard & Poor's last month opined that China could afford another big stimulus if economic conditions deteriorate sharply. The agency expects 8.2 percent real growth for next year after slowing to about 8 percent in 2012. In the second quarter, the GDP growth hit a three-year low of 7.6 percent with exports acting as a major drag on the economy.

[Sep03]    Indian Manufacturing Sector Records Steady Growth In August

The Indian manufacturing sector recorded stable growth in August, data from a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC Bank showed Monday. The seasonally adjusted purchasing managers' index for the manufacturing sector came in at 52.8 in August, broadly unchanged from 52.9 recorded in July. Economists had forecast the index to fall to 52. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while one below suggests contraction. August's pace of expansion was the slowest so far this year. New business received by firms increased for the fourteenth consecutive month in August, though the rate of growth slowed to the lowest since last November. Input price inflation continued to increase in the Indian manufacturing sector, but the the rate of increase was the slowest in six months. Output prices also rose as manufacturers passed on the latest rise in raw material prices to their clients. Companies increased their workforces for the sixth successive month amid reports of business growth, and the latest growth was the fastest since April 2005.

[Sep03]    Russia Aug Manufacturing PMI Falls To 51 From 52 In July

[Sep02]    Japan Capital Spending Rises For Third Straight Quarter

Japan's companies stepped up their investment in plant and machinery during the April-June period for a third straight quarter, but at a slower pace than forecast by economists. Data released by the Finance Ministry on Monday showed that Japanese firms' capital spending jumped 7.7 percent on year in the second quarter of 2012. This was much faster than the 3.3 percent gain in the first quarter, but slower than the 8.9 percent increase expected by economists. The capex figures are key to calculating revisions to the second quarter gross domestic product figures. Economists expect a downward revision to the updated GDP figures, which is due to be released on September 10. According to preliminary estimates, the economy expanded 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter, following a 1.6 percent growth in the first quarter. Excluding software, capital spending climbed 6.6 percent from a year ago. This was also weaker than the expected 7.8 percent rise. Capital spending by manufacturers climbed 14.7 percent year-on-year after 3.8 percent rise in the previous period. The increase in investment spending comes despite fragile economic growth mainly due to global economic woes and a strong yen, which have affected companies' profit margins. Capex in the non-manufacturing sector rose 3.9 percent during the period, following 3 percent rise in the March quarter, the data showed. Meanwhile, excluding investment and software, the seasonally adjusted capital spending declined 0.5 percent compared to the previous quarter. This follows 2 percent decline in the March quarter. The Japanese government last week lowered its economic assessment for the first time in ten months as global slowdown and an intensification of the euro area debt crisis damped the country's exports and industrial production. In the August report, the Cabinet Office said exports are in weak tone and industrial production has leveled off. Industrial production in Japan fell 1.2 percent on a monthly basis in July, according to data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

[Sep03]    Australia's Monthly Inflation Rises In August

Australia's TD Securities - Melbourne Institute monthly inflation gauge rose 0.6 percent in August, the largest monthly increase since March 2011, following an increase of 0.2 percent in June, the survey showed. "These outcomes suggest that annual inflation remains at similar levels to that in the prior June quarter," Annette Beacher, head of Asia-Pacific Research at TD Securities said Monday. In the twelve months to August, the inflation gauge climbed 2.2 percent, following a 1.5 percent rise for the twelve months to July. Contributing to the overall change in August were price rises for fruit and vegetables, automotive fuel, and alcohol and tobacco. These were offset by falls in footwear, holiday travel and accommodation, and audio, visual and computing equipment and services. The trimmed mean of the inflation gauge gained 0.6 percent after falling by 0.1 percent in July.

[Sep03]    Australia's Manufacturing Contracts In August

Australia's manufacturing sector contracted in August, but at a slower pace, data from the Australian Industry Group showed Monday. The AIG-PwC Performance of Manufacturing Index rose by 5 points to 45.3 in August. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction in activity with the distance from 50 indicative of the strength of the decrease. Manufacturing production and employment improved although both remain in the red. Only three of the eleven sub-sectors expanded in August. The strong Australian dollar, soft retail demand and rising utility costs were among the factors cited as impacting activity in August. "Manufacturing conditions continue to be very challenging across the sector with the high dollar and weakness in demand in the domestic and export markets weighing on growth," Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox said.

[Sep02]    South Korea Aug. Inflation At 12-Year Low

Inflation in South Korea eased to its weakest level in 12 years in August, boosting expectations that the central bank may ease policy further to support economic growth. The consumer price index rose 1.2 percent year-on-year in August, with the rate of inflation easing from 1.5 percent in July. Economists expected the rate to ease only modestly to 1.4 percent. This was the weakest inflation rate since May 2000. Core consumer prices, which exclude oil and agricultural products, advanced 1.3 percent year-on-year, slightly faster than 1.2 percent rise in the preceding month. Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 1.2 percent annually and that of clothing and footwear increased 0.4 percent. Utility costs increased 4.7 percent and transport costs were up 1.8 percent. In July, the Bank of Korea slashed inflation outlook for a second time this year, mainly due to declines in international commodity prices. Consumer prices are now forecast to rise 2.7 percent in 2012 and 2.9 percent in 2013, running below the midpoint of the inflation target. The weak inflation data supports the case for further monetary easing by the central bank after its unexpected rate cut in July. In July, the bank also slashed the gross domestic product growth forecast for 2012 to 3 percent from April's forecast of 3.5 percent. In 2013, growth is seen at 3.8 percent compared to 4.2 percent projected earlier. The central bank had noted that the contribution of domestic demand to overall growth will outstrip that of exports, with export growth slowing due to the heightened uncertainties in external conditions The latest survey of purchasing managers released by Markit Economics on Monday pointed to sharpest contraction in the manufacturing output in eight months in August amid reports of a strike in the auto sector. The purchasing managers' index registered 47.5 in August, broadly in line with the reading of 47.2 in July and pointing to a further deterioration in the health of the South Korean manufacturing sector. New orders, including export orders, contracted during the month, but at a weaker pace than in July.

[Sep02]    South Korea Aug. Inflation At 12-Year Low

Inflation in South Korea eased to its weakest level in 12 years in August, boosting expectations that the central bank may ease policy further to support economic growth. The consumer price index rose 1.2 percent year-on-year in August, with the rate of inflation easing from 1.5 percent in July. Economists expected the rate to ease only modestly to 1.4 percent. This was the weakest inflation rate since May 2000. Core consumer prices, which exclude oil and agricultural products, advanced 1.3 percent year-on-year, slightly faster than 1.2 percent rise in the preceding month. Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 1.2 percent annually and that of clothing and footwear increased 0.4 percent. Utility costs increased 4.7 percent and transport costs were up 1.8 percent. In July, the Bank of Korea slashed inflation outlook for a second time this year, mainly due to declines in international commodity prices. Consumer prices are now forecast to rise 2.7 percent in 2012 and 2.9 percent in 2013, running below the midpoint of the inflation target. The weak inflation data supports the case for further monetary easing by the central ban