MGI Weekly round-up | 1 September 2017

Stories MGI has been tracking this week:

  • Tourism boost for Greece
  • Bank of Israel keeps interest rates unchanged
  • Turkish economic confidence index reaches 5-year high

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 to examine the historical evolution of inflation in Israel.

Tourism providing boost to Greece
Numbers released by the Bank of Greece for the first semester of 2017 show an improved situation in the Greek tourism sector. According to this data, both the number of arrivals and tourism revenues have increased during this period. More specifically, in the first six months of 2017 the number of arrivals has increased by 6% compared to the same period in 2016. What is more, revenues from tourism hit €4.1 billion – a 7.9% increase relative to the same period last year.

According to Alpha Bank, the tourism sector is expected to have a strong impact on the country’s economic recovery as well as on the reduction of the trade deficit, Ekathimerini reports. According to the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council), the tourism sector accounted for 18.6% of the country’s gross domestic product in 2016.

Bank of Israel keeps interest rates unchanged
On Tuesday, the Bank of Israel (BOI) decided to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.1%. Given that GDP growth for 2017Q2 was lower than expected and the inflation rate is negative, interest rate increases are not expected to take place soon. Prices were 0.7% lower in July compared to the same month of the previous year whereas GDP increased by 2.7% in the second quarter of 2017.
 
During the last few months, BOI has stressed that it is not going to raise interest rates, especially if inflation remains below the target range of 1-3%, Bloomberg reports. In the statement accompanying the interest rate decision, BOI mentioned that it “intends to maintain the accommodative policy as long as necessary in order to entrench the inflation environment within the target range. The Bank of Israel continues to monitor developments in inflation, the real economy, the financial markets, and the global economy, and will act to attain the monetary policy targets in accordance with such developments.”
 
Turkish economic confidence index reaches 5-year high
According to data released by Turkstat, in August the economic confidence index increased by 2.5% compared to July 2017, reaching its highest level since July 2012. This index “encapsulates consumers’ and producers’ evaluations, expectations and tendencies about the general economic situation” and is a weighted index of consumer confidence, and (seasonally-adjusted) real sector, services, retail trade and construction confidence indices. A value above 100 indicates an optimist outlook towards the general economic situation whereas a value lower than 100 indicates the opposite.

The increase in the index in August was due to increases in the real sector, services, retail trade and construction confidence indices. The consumer confidence index was the only sub-index that declined in August compared to the previous month. Among all sub-indices, the construction confidence index rose the most (3.3%­) ­followed by the real sector, services and retail trade indices which increased by 2.3%, 1.6% and 1.1% respectively.

Featured content from the MGI.online data and analysis portal
The inflation rate (CPI based) for Israel can be retrieved using the MGI platform (https://www.mgi.online/natstats-key-indicators/) by selecting Israel in the Country field and “Inflation Rate (CPI based)” as the indicator of interest. The graph contains all the available data for this indicator since October 1952. So far this year, inflation in Israel has been very low. The country experienced a high of 0.9% in March, followed by deflation in June and July.

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

  • France’s Real GDP grows 0.5% (QoQ) in the 2nd quarter of 2017 http://bit.ly/2xJmkmG
  • Croatia’s Real GDP increases 2.8% (3.4% according to seasonally-adjusted data) in 2017Q2 compared to 2016Q2 http://bit.ly/2vDXNPp
  • Spain's CPI increases 1.6% (YoY) in August 2017 (flash estimate) http://bit.ly/2wRNtb1
  • Frances's consumer prices increase 0.9% (YoY) in August 2017 (provisional results) http://bit.ly/2wkG4iQ
  • Italy's CPI increases 1.2% (YoY) in August 2017, up from 1.1% in July 2017 (provisional data) http://bit.ly/2eHm0hj
  • Italy’s employment increased 0.3% (MoM) in July. Unemployment rate stood at 11.3% (+0.2% over the previous month) http://bit.ly/2x8KtpQ
  • Slovenia’s employment increased 2.1% (QoQ) in 2017Q2. Unemployment rate stood at 6.4% (-1.4% compared to 2016Q2) http://bit.ly/2wLTVQ6
  • Slovenia’s real GDP grows 4.4% (YoY) in 2017Q2 (5.2% (YoY) and 1.1% (QoQ) according to seasonally-adjusted data) http://bit.ly/2vIOTjI

Looking ahead
Next week, we will see new numbers for the IPI, inflation rate for several Med countries and Greece’s unemployment rate for June. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at https://www.mgi.online/release-calendar/.
 
Monday 4 September, 2017:

  • Spain consumer confidence and registered unemployed for August
  • Egypt foreign exchange reserves for August
  • Israel foreign exchange reserves for August
  • France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction

Tuesday 5 September, 2017:

  • Malta IPI for July
  • Palestinian Territories IPI for July
  • Turkey inflation rate and PPI for August
  • Spain services PMI for August
  • Italy services PMI for August
  • France composite and services PMI for August, final
  • France retail sales for July
  • Israel business confidence for August

Wednesday 6 September, 2017:

  • Malta real GDP for 2017Q2
  • Italy retail sales for July 

Thursday 7 September, 2017:

  • Cyprus inflation rate for August
  • Greece unemployment rate and employment for June
  • Tunisia inflation rate for August
  • France balance of trade and current account for July
  • France 10-year OAT auction
  • Spain 3-year, 5-year bonos auction and 10-year obligacion auction

Friday 8 September, 2017:

  • Albania inflation rate for August
  • Cyprus real GDP for 2017Q2
  • France IPI and budget balance for July
  • Spain IPI for July
  • Greece inflation rate for August and IPI for July
  • Slovenia IPI for July
  • Turkey IPI for July
  • Israel tourist arrivals and budget balance for August
Round-upalma economics