MGI Weekly round-up | 1 December 2017
Stories MGI has been tracking this week:
- Egypt still interested in Israeli gas
- EU Commission to investigate Spanish incentives to coal power plants
- Malta tops the list of economies dependent on cash
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. In this newsletter, we use the MGI platform (WB section) to examine the historical evolution of energy production from coal sources in Spain, Italy and France.
Egypt still interested in Israeli gas
The Israeli energy minister and Egyptian oil minister last week discussed the possibility of exporting Israeli natural gas to Egypt. However, the main barrier to a deal is a $2 billion fine which a Swiss court ruled that Egyptian gas companies must pay to the Israeli state electricity provider for violating previous contracts - and progress in talks depends on resolving this issue.
The companies that have shares in the Leviathan field – a large natural gas field located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel – view Egypt as a potential market. The American company Noble Energy Inc. and Delek Group of Israel hold the most shares in the gas pool.
The value of the shares of Israeli natural gas producers increased as a result of the talks, with Delek Group closing 6.94% higher on the Tel Aviv stock exchange on Sunday, Bloomberg reports.
EU Commission to investigate Spanish incentives to coal power plants
On Monday, the European Commission launched a survey on Spain's environmental incentives for coal power plants. Since 2007, fourteen coal power plants have received more than €440 million for the installation of sulphur oxide filters and payments are to be continued by 2020.
“We currently believe that this Spanish scheme did not incentivise coal power plants to reduce harmful sulphur oxide emissions – they were already under an obligation to do so under EU environmental law. Therefore, we are concerned that the support gave these coal power plants an unfair competitive advantage”, the European Competition Commissioner said.
Malta tops the list of economies dependent on cash
A European Central Bank report analysing the use of cash and other payment methods in the euro area in 2016 showed that Malta topped the list of countries where most transactions are carried out using cash. In 2016, 92% of all transactions in this country were made in cash (+ 13% compared to the EU average) while cash transaction constituted 74% of the total value of transactions (+ 20% compared to the EU). Some other southern EU countries closely followed Malta. In Greece and Cyprus, 88% of transactions were made in cash while Italy followed closely with 87%. Northern European countries were less dependent on cash, with the Netherlands having the fewest cash transactions (45%), Times of Malta reports.
Featured content from the MGI data and analysis portal
In this newsletter, we use the MGI platform (WB section) to look at the historical evolution of electricity production from coal sources (as % of total energy production) in three European Med countries – Spain, Italy and France.
For most of the period under consideration, coal was more important for energy production in Spain than in France and Italy. For Spain, the indicator showed a positive trend until the mid-1980s followed by a negative trend until 2010. In 2015, coal production in this country accounted for around 20% of total energy production (the same as in 1969) and is projected to remain around this level in the near future.
In addition, the graph shows the impressive reduction of this indicator for France - since the early 1980s France has all but phased out coal, with just 2% of its electricity production originating from coal sources in 2015.
The week in data
Highlights from national statistics releases tracked by MGI this week include:
- France’s Real GDP in the 3rd quarter of 2017 increased 2.2% YoY and 0.5% QoQ (second estimate)
- Croatia’s Real GDP increased 3.3% (3.2% according to seasonally-adjusted data) in 2017Q2 compared to 2016Q2
- Slovenia’s real GDP grew 4.5% YoY in 2017Q3 (4.9% YoY and 1.0% QoQ according to seasonally-adjusted data)
- Spain’s Real GDP in the 3rd quarter of 2017 increased 3.1% YoY and 0.8% QoQ
- Consumer prices in Italy increased 0.9% YoY in November 2017 (preliminary data)
Next week, we will see real GDP, inflation rate, industrial production and balance of trade numbers for several Mediterranean countries. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at our release calendar section.
Monday 4 December, 2017:
- Turkey inflation rate and PPI for November
- Spain unemployment (register data) and consumer confidence for November
- Spain new car sales for November
- Greece real GDP for 2017Q3
- Egypt foreign exchange reserves for November
- France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction
Tuesday 5 December, 2017:
- Palestinian Territories IPI for October
- Spain IPI for October and Services PMI for November
- Spain 6-month and 12-month Letras auction
- Italy Services PMI for November
- France Services and Composite PMI for November, final estimate
- France retail sales for October
- Malta balance of trade and retail sales for October
- Montenegro retail sales for October
- Israel business confidence for November
Wednesday 6 December, 2017:
- Egypt non-oil private sector PMI for November
- Lebanon BLOM PMI for November
- Tunisia inflation rate for November
Thursday 7 December, 2017:
- France balance of trade and current account for October
- France 3-year, 5-year BTAN auction and 10-year OAT auction
- Spain 3-year, 5-year Bonos auction and 10-year Obligacion auction
- Croatia balance of trade for October
- Cyprus inflation rate for November
- Greece unemployment rate and employment for September
- Italy unemployment rate for 2017Q3
- Malta real GDP for 2017Q3
- Israel foreign exchange reserves for November
- Turkey treasure cash balance for November
Friday 8 December, 2017:
- Egypt inflation rate and core inflation rate for November
- Turkey IPI and retail sales for October
- France IPI and budget balance for October
- Slovenia IPI and balance of trade for October
- Croatia PPI for November
- Cyprus real GDP for 2017Q3
- Greece balance of trade for October
- Greece domestic and harmonized inflation for November
- Malta IPI for October
- Israel budget balance and tourist arrivals for November