MGI Weekly round-up | 28 July 2017

Stories MGI has been tracking this week:

  • Greece returns to the bond markets
  • Will Macron succeed to reform the labour law?
  • Libya’s PM and military strongman agree to elections and ceasefire

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 take a closer look at the growth of the industrial production index of Montenegro. 

Greece returns to bond markets
On Tuesday, Greece returned to bond market for the first time since 2014. The country managed to sell €3 billion of five-year bonds at a yield of 4.625% and to attract more than €6.5 billion in orders. The yield was lower than the 4.95% of the 2014 five-year bonds.
 
The event was praised by the PM Tsipras who stated that this successful return represents an important step towards ending the long cycle of rescue packages. The EC finance commissioner P. Moskovici declared “We are conscious that the Greek people have made lots of sacrifices. So, it is time for them to see the benefits of those sacrifices with a reformed economy and a stronger society and a country that has recovered its credibility”, Euronews reports.

Will Macron succeed in reforming the labour law?
Reforming the labour law is one of President Macron’s priorities. A recent Bloomberg article briefly reviews Macron’s plan and comments on the probability of its success.
 
Compared with other developed countries, France’s unemployment rate is high, standing at 9.6%. President Macron repeatedly declared during the election campaign that the reason for this is the restrictive French labour law. In discussions Macron and the French labour minister had with business and union leaders the following topics have been central: (i) giving companies more say on contractual issues; (ii) merging the large numbers of workers’ councils that increase in number as companies grow; (iii) putting limits on imposed severance pays. The government asked parliament to empower it to change the labour law by decree. This law is expected to pass this month, after which the government will continue the discussions with union and business leaders. The decrees will be published in September.
 
A main question the article adresses is weather Macron will manage to achieve his goals given that his predecessors, due to public protest, were able to achieve only some of their desired labour market reforms. The situation might be different this time. Firstly, unlike other former presidents – such as Chirac or Hollande - Macron ran openly on a platform of liberalizing the French economy. Secondly, the labour unions do not appear to have a united front on the issue. The CGT, France’s second largest union has called for strikes in September whereas the first and the third largest unions - CFDT and Force Ouvriere – declared that they are going to wait for the decrees before taking further steps.
 
Surveys of public opinion show varying results. Some show the French public supports the President’s initiative, while others highlight the unpopularity some of his proposals.

Libya’s PM and military strongman agree to elections and ceasefire
Libya has been mired in chaos and fighting following the toppling of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafiin 2011. Previous attempts towards peace in the country often failed due to divisions among the country’s rival armed groups. On Tuesday, in peace talks hosted by President Macron near Paris, the UN-backed PM Fayez al-Serraj and the military commander Khalifa Haftar agreed to a ceasefire and to work towards holding elections next spring. “We commit to a ceasefire and to refrain from any use of armed force for any purpose that does not strictly constitute counter-terrorism”, the two men declared.
 
The French President wants his country to play a bigger role in ending the crisis in Libya. A country in which the absence of a strong government, has allowed Islamic State militants to gain a stronger position and the human-traffic to thrive.

Featured content from the MGI.online data and analysis portal
Montenegro’s industrial production index year-on-year growth rate can be retrieved using the MGI platform (https://www.mgi.online/natstats-key-indicators/) by filtering by ‘Montenegro’ and ‘IPI YoY % change’. In the visualization below, you can see Montenegro’s industrial production dropped 14% in June 2017 following a 1.2% decrease in May.

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

  • Montenegro's IPI decreased 7.8% in June compared to May and 13.9% compared to June 2016 http://bit.ly/2uTCWut
  • Households’ confidence in France decreased in July with the composite indicator dropping from 108 in June to 104 http://bit.ly/2tYhdg9
  • Israel added 3000 jobs in June. Unemployment rate remained constant at 4.5% http://bit.ly/2uFGGgn
  • Spain added 37500 jobs in 2017Q2 compared to 2017Q1. The unemployment rate dropped from 18.75% to 17.22% http://bit.ly/2w2SY1Y

Looking ahead
Next week we will see new numbers for Manufacturing PMI from many Med countries, as well as several new releases from Italy and Spain. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at https://www.mgi.online/release-calendar/.
 
Monday 31 July, 2017:

  • Spain tourist arrivals YoY for June and current account for May
  • Turkey balance of trade for June and tourism revenues for 2017Q2
  • Italy unemployment rate, employment and PPI for June
  • Italy harmonized and domestic inflation for July, preliminary estimate
  • France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction
  • Montenegro unemployment rate and employment (register data) for June
  • Slovenia CPI for July
  • Tunisia real GDP for 2017Q1

Tuesday 1 August, 2017:

  • Turkey Manufacturing PMI for July
  • Spain Manufacturing PMI and new car sales YoY for July
  • Italy Manufacturing PMI for July
  • France Manufacturing PMI for July, final
  • Greece Manufacturing PMI for July
  • Turkey central bank inflation report

Wednesday 2 August, 2017:

  • Spain unemployment (register data) for July
  • Albania interest rate decision

Thursday 3 August, 2017:

  • Turkey inflation rate and PPI for July
  • Spain Services PMI for July
  • Italy Services PMI for July
  • France Composite and Services PMI for July, final estimate
  • Spain consumer confidence for July
  • Cyprus inflation rate for July
  • France 3-year, 5-year, 10-year BTAN auction and retail sales for June
  • Malta retail sales for June
  • Spain 3-year, 5-year Bonos auction and 10-year Obligacion auction
  • Italy retail sales for June
  • Palestinian Territories IPI for June

Friday 4 August, 2017:

  • Italy retail sales for June
  • Malta IPI for June
  • Spain IPI for June
  • Morocco unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q2
Round-upalma economics