MGI Weekly round-up | June 9th 2017

Stories MGI has been tracking this week:

  • European Commission VP stresses need for loans to Greece ahead of finance ministers meeting
  • Maltese Prime Minister wins second term off strength of economy
  • Slovenia will not proceed with sale of country's largest bank

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 highlight the rapid rise in Egypt’s price level over the winter and the stall in recent months as its central bank has intervened.

European Commission VP stresses need for loans to Greece ahead of finance ministers meeting
On Thursday, European Commission Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis gave an impassioned speech stating that the time has come to grant Greece new loans before Athens faces a July default. The speech came as representatives of EU Members States met in Slovenia to discuss the Greek bailout program. Euro zone finance ministers will hold their regular meeting in Luxembourg next week.
 
Elsewhere, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos urged German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble not to let German domestic politics influence his decision on providing debt relief to Greece. Details of the bailout are being decided just as Greek unemployment hits a fresh low.

Maltese Prime Minister wins second term off strength of economy
Malta held a snap election this past Saturday (previewed by MGI last month). The election was called by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to reaffirm support after allegations of corruption in his closest circles. Muscat's Labour Party won a second mandate with 55% of votes and an absolute parliamentary majority. Ninety-two per cent of the island's residents turned out for the vote.
 
The win was largely attributed to Malta’s continued stretch of rapid economic growth and low unemployment, which voters valued over the allegations cast on Muscat’s wife and political allies. The election was closely watched by other EU Member States, as the Maltese government holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Slovenia will not proceed with sale of country's largest bank
Slovenia Prime Minister Miro Cerar announced on Thursday that the offer price was too low to go through with a planned sale of the government’s stake in Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), the country’s biggest bank.
 
The government put 1.55 billion euros into the bank in 2013 and would be expected to recover only 1 billion euros at most for the sale of the entire bank at the current offer price. The sale of 50 per cent of the bank in 2017 and 25 per cent in 2018 was a condition imposed by the European Commission to approve state aid. The Commission issued a statement that discussions for the sale are ongoing.

Featured content from the MGI.online data and analysis portal
Inflation in Egypt eased in May for the first time since the country floated its currency in November 2016. The decision to remove currency exchange restrictions sent prices soaring over the winter. This week’s development suggests that the central bank’s interest rate hike last month is achieving its stated purpose of curbing inflation. The meteoric rise in Egypt’s prices and the subsequent stall in recent months can be viewed below and at MGI.online’s countries-at-a-glance dashboard: https://www.mgi.online/countries-at-a-glance/

 

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

  • Unemployment in Greece continued to fall, reaching 22.5% in March 2017, down from 22.9% in February and 23.8% in March 2016 http://bit.ly/2sJEcwg
  • The latest retail trade volumes in Italy showed no change in April 2017 versus March 2017 but growth of 0.3% versus April 2016 http://bit.ly/2rYtKTH
  • Inflation in Turkey fell in May to 11.7%, down from 11.9% in April http://bit.ly/2qWAT2M
  • Israel's business tendency survey fell from 23.1 in April to 19.6 in May http://bit.ly/2sbpvok

Looking ahead
These are the key statistics planned for release across the Mediterranean region next week. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at https://www.mgi.online/release-calendar/.
 
Monday 12 June, 2017:

  • Italy industrial production for April
  • Albania employment for 2017Q1
  • Montenegro CPI for May

Tuesday 13 June, 2017:

  • France non farm payrolls for 2017Q1
  • Spain CPI and HCPI for May
  • Israel balance of trade for May

Wednesday 14 June, 2017:

  • Albania IPI for 2017Q1
  • Morocco IPI for 2017Q1
  • Palestinian Territories CPI for May 

Thursday 15 June, 2017:

  • France CPI and HCPI for May, final estimate
  • Italy CPI and HCPI for May, final estimate
  • Turkey central bank interest rate decision
  • Israel CPI for MAY

Friday 16 June, 2017:

  • Italy balance of trade for April
  • Croatia CPI for May
  • Slovenia employment (register data) for April