MGI Weekly round-up | 10 November 2017

Stories MGI has been tracking this week:

  • Crete at the heart of the Africa-Europe power link project
  • Morocco launches its first reconnaissance satellite 
  • Amid a political crisis, Moody’s sends a warning to Lebanon

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 at the week ahead in data. In this newsletter, we look at the historical evolution of renewable energy production (as a share of total energy production) in several North African countries and Greece.

Crete at the heart of the Africa-Europe power link project

The Greek island of Crete could become an electricity interconnection hub if an ambitious plan for the transfer of solar energy from North Africa to Europe is implemented. The company Green Power 2020 has drawn up a plan to transfer power from the port of Tobruk in Libya to Crete. The two locations will be connected via a 2,00MW two-way underwater cable.
According to the founder of Green Power 2020, Gassan Anbar, the project will be financed by the private sector and will not affect the state budget. In addition, Greek companies will be given preference for required construction works, Ekathimerini reports.

Morocco launches its first reconnaissance satellite

On Wednesday, Morocco’s first earth observation satellite – named for the Moroccan king Mohammed VI – was launched into orbit. The satellite will be mainly used for “mapping and land surveying activities, spatial planning, monitoring of agricultural activities, prevention and management of natural disasters, and monitoring of environmental changes and desertification”. In addition, it will strengthen the capacities of national bodies responsible for monitoring road infrastructure, transport networks and the coasts, The North African Post reports.
Morocco, has become the third African country – after South Africa and Egypt – to have its own reconnaissance satellite.

Amid a political crisis, Moody’s issues warning to Lebanon

Following the unexpected resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, Moody's warns of the negative impact that the resulting political crisis could have on the country's creditworthiness. “A drawn-out political stalemate less than a month after the government passed its first budget in 12 years would undermine recent institutional improvements and expose the banking system to a loss in confidence… Any loss of confidence in the banking system or in the stability of Lebanon’s institutions leading to a significant slowdown in private sector deposit inflows or outright outflows would be credit negative”, the rating agency said. Nevertheless, the governor of the central bank, the finance minister and the head of banking associations made statements that highlight the country’s monetary and financial stability.

Lebanon is among the countries with the highest debt-to-GDP ratio worldwide. 

Featured content from the MGI data and analysis portal

We use the World Bank section of the MGI platform to look at “Electricity production from renewable sources, excluding hydroelectric” (as % of total electricity production) for several North African countries and Greece (NB. there is no available data for Libya). The indicator refers to production of electricity from geothermal, solar, tides, wind, biomass, and biofuels. We analyze data from 2000 to 2014 and present MGI forecasts until 2019. 
In 2000, the share of electricity production from renewable sources was very low – below 1% – in all countries examined. Since then, the indicator exhibited an upward trend for Greece – reaching a value of around 5% in 2010 and 17% in 2015. The share of electricity generation from renewable sources was similarly low in North African countries, with Morocco being the country performing best in this respect. In 2014, the share of power production from renewable resources in North African countries remained well below the level of Greece.

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The week in data

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

  • Malta's IPI in September decreased by 0.5% over the previous month (seasonally-adjusted data)
  • Tunisia's CPI increased 5.8% (YoY) in October 2017
  • Turkey's IPI in September 2017 increased 0.6% compared to August 2017 (seasonally and calendar adjusted data)
  • Spain's IPI in September 2017 increased 0.1% MoM and 3.4% YoY (seasonally and calendar adjusted data)
  • Albania's consumer prices increased 1.9% (YoY) in October 2017
  • Greece added 101,578 jobs in August 2017 compared to August 2016. Unemployment rate stood at 20.6% (seasonally adjusted data)
  • Greece's CPI increased 0.7% (YoY) in October 2017
  • Greece's IPI in September decreased by 3.4% over the previous month (seasonally-adjusted data)


Looking ahead

Next week, we expect real GDP data for Italy, Cyprus, Tunisia and Israel for the third quarter of 2017. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at our release calendar section.
Monday 13 November, 2017:

  • Turkey current account for September and auto production for October
  • Tunisia IPI for September
  • Italy 3-year, 7-year and 30-year BTP auction
  • Israel balance of trade for October
  • France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTP auction

Tuesday 14 November, 2017:

  • Palestinian Territories inflation rate for October
  • Spain domestic and harmonized inflation for October, final estimate
  • Spain 6-month and 12-month Letras auction
  • Italy real GDP for 2017Q3, preliminary estimate
  • Italy domestic and harmonized inflation for October, final estimate
  • Cyprus real GDP for 2017Q3, flash estimate

Wednesday 15 November, 2017:

  • Turkey unemployment rate and employment for August
  • France domestic and harmonized inflation for October, final estimate
  • Tunisia real GDP for 2017Q3
  • Israel inflation rate and consumer confidence for October

Thursday 16 November, 2017:

  • France unemployment rate for 2017Q3
  • France 3-year and 5-year BTAN auction
  • Italy balance of trade for September
  • Spain 3-year, 5-year Bonos auction and 10-year Obligacion auction
  • Croatia inflation rate for October
  • Malta inflation rate for October
  • Israel real GDP for 2017Q3, first estimate
  • Israel Manufacturing PMI for October
  • Slovenia employment (register data) for September
  • Egypt unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q3
  • Egypt central bank interest rate decision

Friday 17 November, 2017:

  • Italy current account for September
  • Albania balance of trade for October
Round-upalma economics