MGI Weekly round-up | 24 November 2017
Stories MGI has been tracking this week:
- Morocco and Mercosur start talks on a free trade agreement
- Paris wins battle to host EBA
- Algerian FX reserves are expected to shrink further this year
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 (WB section) to look at the historical evolution of total reserves (excluding gold) in Algeria.
Morocco and Mercosur start talks on a free trade agreement
Morocco and Mercosur – a sub-block that has as full members Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay –began negotiations on a free trade agreement. A meeting was held last week in Brazil, and a second meeting is planned in the capital of Morocco in the first half of 2018.
According to the Moroccan Ambassador to Brazil, a free trade agreement between Morocco and Mercosur will boost Moroccan exports and allow the country to strengthen its position and attractiveness as a logistics, commerce and industry hub in Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
The main trade route between Morocco and Mercosur concerns Moroccan exports of phosphates to Brazil whereas goods imported by the country from the Latin-American bloc are mainly agricultural.
Paris wins battle for EBA
Paris was chosen as the new host of the EU banking regulator - the European Banking Authority (EBA) based in London - after Brexit. The final decision was taken after three rounds of voting that failed to produce a winner. Paris tied with Dublin in the third round, while Frankfurt - another top EU financial center - was excluded from the race at an earlier stage. Altogether, eight cities - Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Paris, Prague, Luxembourg City, Vienna and Warsaw - offered to host the EBA.
The EU decision was welcomed by French President Macron, who said that it is a proof of his country's attractiveness and a reward for its European commitment. According to the spokesman of the French government, EBA’s reallocation will bring “tens of thousands” of banking jobs to the French capital.
Algerian FX reserves are expected to shrink further this year
Algerian foreign exchange reserves are expected to fall further this year. Due to the drop in oil prices - oil and gas account for 94% of the nation's exports - the country is unable to produce enough foreign currency to pay for its imports. For this reason, the government recently imposed restrictions on imports of 30 goods - such as cars, food and raw materials. The country has set a target of $15 billion in imports this year. However, imports declined by only 1.8% in the first ten months of the current year compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, while food imports increased by 4.5%. Analysts believe the measures are doomed to fail due to a lack of domestic production, while importers warn that restricting imports of key products - such as medicines - will lead to shortages, The North African Post reports.
Foreign exchange reserves are expected to reach $97 billion this year - the lowest value since the downward trend began in 2014.
Featured content from the MGI data and analysis portal
In this newsletter, we use the MGI platform (World Bank, World Development Indicators) to examine the historical evolution of Total reserves minus gold (in current US$) in Algeria. The indicator includes special drawing rights, reserves of IMF members held by the IMF, and holdings of foreign exchange under the control of monetary authorities, while gold holdings are excluded. The data is in current US dollars and the period under review is 2000-2016.
As we can see from the graph below, the indicator hit a peak of around $195 billion in 2013 and since then has displayed a negative trend. In 2016, the indicator reached $114 billion and is projected to decline further.
The week in data
Highlights from national statistics releases tracked by MGI this week include:
Consumer prices in Morocco increased 0.6% (YoY) in October 2017
- Malta's inflation (YoY) for October 2017 stood at 1.32%, up from 1.05% in September 2017
In the next week, we expect data for business and consumer confidence, Manufacturing PMI, inflation and real GDP for several Med countries. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at our release calendar section.
Monday 27 November, 2017:
- Italy consumer and business confidence for November
- Montenegro balance of trade for October
- Tunisia PPI for September
- France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction
- Israel central bank interest rate decision
Tuesday 28 November, 2017:
- Palestinian Territories PPI for October
- Turkey economic confidence index for November
- France consumer confidence for November
- Spain retail sales for October
- Malta PPI for October
- Italy 6-month BOT auction and retail sales for October
Wednesday 29 November, 2017:
- France real GDP for 2017Q3, second estimate
- France household consumption expenditure for October
- Spain domestic and harmonized inflation for November, preliminary estimates
- Spain business confidence for November
- Croatia IPI for October
- Croatia business and consumer confidence for November
- Croatia real GDP for 2017Q3, first estimate
- Cyprus business and consumer confidence for November
- Cyprus IPI for September
- Greece business and consumer confidence for November
- Israel composite economic index for October
- Malta business and consumer confidence for November
- Italy 5-year and 10-year BTP auction
- Turkey tourist arrivals for October
Thursday 30 November, 2017:
- Turkey balance of trade for October
- France PPI for October
- France domestic and harmonized inflation for November, preliminary estimates
- Spain real GDP for 2017Q3
- Spain tourist arrivals for October and current account for September
- Croatia retail sales for October
- Italy unemployment rate and employment for October
- Italy domestic and harmonized inflation for November, preliminary estimates
- Italy PPI for October and Man
- Slovenia domestic and harmonized inflation for November
- Slovenia real GDP for 2017Q3 and retail sales for October
- Slovenia unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q3
- Cyprus unemployment rate for October
- Greece retail sales for September and PPI for October
- Montenegro tourist arrivals for October
- Montenegro unemployment rate and employment (register data) for October
- Egypt money supply (M2) for October
- Morocco money supply (M2) for October
Friday 1 December, 2017:
- Turkey Manufacturing PMI for November
- Italy Manufacturing PMI for November
- Italy real GDP for 2017Q3
- France Manufacturing PMI for November, final estimate
- Greece Manufacturing PMI for November
- Croatia real GDP for 2017Q3, first estimate (detailed data)