MGI Weekly round-up | 27 October 2017

Stories MGI has been tracking this week:

  • Macron wants to help the French make peace with private companies
  • Greece’s current account surplus goes up in August
  • Italy’s business and consumer confidence improves in October

And as always, we feature content from the MGI data and analysis platform, a summary of the week’s key statistical releases, and a look to the week ahead in data. This week, we use the MGI platform (Natstats section) to examine the evolution of the current account balance in Greece.


Macron wants to help the French make peace with private companies

The French government intends to take actions that will help the French change their attitude towards private business. The government is launching consultations with entrepreneurs and business people to find ways of helping French enterprises – and in particular aid small firms grow into medium-sized ones. According to estimates by the Finance Ministry, France has far fewer medium-sized businesses than other major European economies such as Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. The consultations also aim to examine ways in which France can increase the number of companies reaching international markets, Bloomberg reports.

 

Greece’s current account surplus goes up in August

According to data released by the Bank of Greece, the nation’s current account surplus increased in August compared to the same month of the previous year. The increase – of about €163 million euros– was due to a higher surplus (+18.5% YoY) of the service balance. "The rise in the surplus of the services balance is due to an improvement mostly in the travel balance, since non-residents' arrivals and the corresponding receipts increased by 14.3 and 16.4 percent respectively", the Bank said. In the period January-August 2017 the current account also improved year-on-year: it recorded a €123 million surplus compared to a deficit of €211 million in the first eight months of 2016.
 
In 2016 Greece had a current account deficit of around €1.1 billion – compared to a surplus of €206 million in 2015 – due to a lower services balance surplus, Reuters reports.

 

Italy’s business and consumer confidence improves in October

According to Istat, business and consumer confidence improved in October. Business confidence rose for the third consecutive month reaching 109.1 compared to 108.1 in September. Among components, the morale increased in manufacturing, retail trade and market services, and decreased in the construction sector.
 
In spite of economists’ expectations, consumer confidence also improved – hitting its highest level in almost two years. The index reached 116.1 compared to 115.6 last month. Among components, the economic climate, personal climate, and current climate components decreased slightly in October. Nevertheless, these reductions were offset by a significant improvement in households’ views on inflation.


Featured content from the MGI data and analysis portal

A country’s current account shows the difference between the value of its imports and that of its exports. When imports exceed exports the current account is said to be in deficit, while when the opposite is true it is in surplus.
 
Current account balance (as % of GDP) can be retrieved using the World Bank section of the MGI platform (https://www.mgi.online/wb-series/). In this newsletter, we are looking at the evolution of the current account balance in Greece since 1980.

As we can see, the current account was in deficit for the whole period under review – except for the year 2015. The deficit was 2.9% on average during 1980-1994, displayed a negative trend until 2008 ­– when it reached a maximum of 14.5% – and a positive trend afterwards. In 2016, Greece recorded a current account deficit of 0.6%. 
 

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The week in data

Highlights from national statistics releases tracked by MGI this week include:

  • Lebanon's CPI in September 2017 increased 0.6% vs August 2017 
  • Montenegro's IPI in September 2017 decreased 8% compared to the previous month
  • Spain added 235,900 jobs in 2017Q3 compared to the previous quarter and its unemployment rate stood at 16.38%


Looking ahead

Next week, we expect real GDP data for Spain and France but also inflation rate, business and consumer confidence and unemployment rate numbers for several Med countries. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at our release calendar section.
 
Monday 30 October, 2017:

  • Turkey economic confidence index for October
  • Spain real GDP for 2017Q3, preliminary estimate
  • Spain business confidence for September
  • Spain domestic and harmonized inflation for October, preliminary estimates
  • Slovenia domestic and harmonized inflation for October and retail sales for September
  • Croatia business and consumer confidence for October
  • Croatia IPI and retail sales for September
  • Cyprus consumer and business confidence for October
  • Cyprus IPI for August
  • Greece consumer and business confidence for October and PPI for September
  • Malta consumer and business confidence for October and PPI for September
  • Italy 5-year and 10-year BTP auction
  • Israel IPI for August
  • Morocco money supply (M2) for September
  • France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction

Tuesday 31 October, 2017:

  • France real GDP for 2017Q3, first estimate
  • France domestic and harmonized inflation for October, preliminary estimate
  • France household consumption expenditure and PPI for September
  • Spain tourism arrivals for September and current account for August
  • Palestinian Territories PPI for September
  • Turkey balance of trade for September and tourism revenues for 2017Q3
  • Turkey tourist arrivals for September
  • Greece retail sales for August
  • Italy unemployment rate and employment for September
  • Italy domestic and harmonized inflation for October, preliminary estimate
  • Italy PPI for September
  • Cyprus unemployment rate for September
  • Montenegro tourist arrivals for September
  • Israel unemployment rate and employment for September
  • Montenegro unemployment rate and employment (register data) for September

Wednesday 1 November, 2017:

  • Turkey Manufacturing PMI for October
  • Turkey central bank inflation report
  • Greece Manufacturing PMI for October
  • Israel composite economic index for September
  • Albania central bank interest rate decision 

Thursday 2 November, 2017:

  • Italy Manufacturing PMI for October
  • France Manufacturing PMI for October
  • France 10-year OAT auction
  • Spain 3-year, 5-year Bonos auction and 10-year Obligacion auction
  • Spain new car sales for October
  • Cyprus inflation rate for October

Friday 3 November, 2017:

  • Turkey inflation rate and PPI for October
  • Lebanon BLOM PMI for October
  • Spain consumer confidence and registered unemployed for October
  • Morocco unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q3
  • Egypt foreign exchange reserves for October
Round-upalma economics