MGI Weekly round-up | 15 September 2017

Stories MGI has been tracking this week:

  • New government’s plans to revive the Tunisian economy announced
  • Algeria: measures to ease financial pressure
  • Tourists’ expenditures lower in Greece vs Spain and Cyprus

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 NATSTATS section of the MGI platform to compare the GDP growth rates of two North African countries – Tunisia and Algeria.

New government’s plans to revive the Tunisian economy announced
On Monday –  less than a week after a wide cabinet reshuffle – the Tunisian Parliament gave its confidence vote to Yousef El-Shahed’s new cabinet. Prime Minister El-Shahed presented his cabinet’s plans for reform to lawmakers. Among other measures, the PM unveiled the government’s intentions to increase the country’s GDP growth to 5% by 2020 (from an expected 2.5% in 2017) and reduce the budget deficit to 3% of GDP (from the 6% expected in 2017).
 
The government’s plans also include cutting the public wage bill to 12.5% of GDP (from 15%) by 2020, achieving a reduction in the debt-to-GDP ratio starting in 2019, as well as taking action against corruption and terrorism. In addition, the PM also announced measures – such as letting Tunisians hold foreign currency accounts locally and introducing an amnesty for illicit foreign currency trade – that would increase foreign currency reserves.
 
Tunisia is under pressure to undertake economic and fiscal reforms linked to a $2.9 billion IMF loan.

Algeria takes measures to ease financial pressure
In an attempt to deal with the sharp decline in energy export revenues, Algeria’s government announced measures to draw more investment in the economy. In an official document, the government mentioned for the first time openly its intention to introduce Sharia-compliant Islamic finance – which respects Islam’s ban on paying interest – while also planning to “ensure the development of the capital market as well as the stock exchange to offer alternatives to financing of investment and capital increases”. The reduction in public expenditures – which have already been cut by 9% in 2016 and 14% this year – is also on the authorities’ agenda, Reuters reports.

Tourists’ expenditures lower in Greece vs Spain and Cyprus
According to official data for June, on average tourists in Greece spent significantly less money than tourists in two other Med countries, Spain and Cyprus. More specifically, tourists in Greece spent €589 on average compared to €1,056 and €735 in Spain and Cyprus respectively.
 
In June, Turkey recorded a 27.1% increase in tourism revenues, the largest among Med countries. Spain, Cyprus and Greece saw smaller increases, at 15.3%, 14.9% and 14.2% respectively, Ekathimerini reports.

Featured content from the MGI.online data and analysis portal
By using the NATSTATS section (Compare countries subsection) of the MGI platform you can compare the real GDP growth rates of different Med countries (https://www.mgi.online/natstats-compare/). This week, we compare the real GDP growth rates of Algeria and Tunisia for the period from 2011Q2 to 2017Q1 and report the MGI forecasts for the year 2018.
 
Despite contracting in 2011, the Tunisian economy recorded positive growth rates in the following years. The GDP growth rate stood at 4.2% in 2012, 2.4% in 2013 and 2.4% in 2014. The economy grew at a slower pace in 2015 and 2016 but managed to expand by 2.1% in 2017Q1.

Algeria, on the other hand, recorded high growth rates throughout the period examined, reaching a minimum of 1.1% in 2013Q2 and a maximum of 5.2% in 2014Q3. In the first quarter of 2017 the GDP YoY growth rate stood at 3.7%.
 
The forecasts indicate a slight convergence between the two countries. In the first quarter of 2018, Algeria’s growth is expected to decrease to 3.6% whereas Tunisia’s to increase to 2.3%.

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

  • Turkey’s real GDP grew 5.1% in the 2nd quarter of 2017 compared to 2nd quarter of 2016 http://bit.ly/2wU5By5
  • Montenegro's consumer prices increased 0.5% (MoM) and 2.8% (YoY) in August 2017 http://bit.ly/2wXvvT7
  • France's payroll employment increased 0.3% in 2017Q2 vs 2017Q1 and 1.2% compared to 2016Q2 http://bit.ly/2wmSq6M
  • Spain's CPI in August 2017 increased 1.6% vs August 2016 and 0.2% compared to July 2017 http://bit.ly/2f5aeA
  • Albania's Production Volume Index increased 14.4% (YoY) in 2017Q2. The Turnover Volume Index increased 6.9% (YoY) http://bit.ly/2fkdoh
  • Palestines's CPI in August 2017 increased 0.56% (MoM) and decreased 0.7% (YoY) http://bit.ly/2wssiYg
  • In 2017 Q2 Greece's Unemployment rate dropped to 21.1% from 23.1% in 2017 Q1. Employment increased 2.4% (YoY) http://bit.ly/2xmuJj8

Looking ahead
In the coming week, we will see data for employment/ unemployment and inflation for several Med countries. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at https://www.mgi.online/release-calendar/.
 
Monday 18 September, 2017:

  • Italy balance of trade for July
  • Israel inflation expectations for September
  • Malta harmonized inflation rate for August
  • Albania balance of trade for August
  • France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction
  • Montenegro unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q2
  • Slovenia unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q2
  • Slovenia employment (register data) for July

Tuesday 19 September, 2017:

  • Italy current account for July
  • Spain 3-month Letras auction
  • Israel IPI for July
  • Israel unemployment rate and employment for August

Wednesday 20 September, 2017:

  • Palestinian Territories current account for 2017Q2
  • Greece current account for July
  • Malta domestic inflation rate for August
  • Turkey central government debt for August

Thursday 21 September, 2017:

  • Spain industrial orders for July
  • Spain 3-year, 5-year Bonos auction and 10-year Obligacion auction
  • Turkey consumer confidence for September
  • Slovenia PPI for August and consumer confidence for September
  • Slovenia employment (detailed register data) for July
  • France 3-year and 5-year BTAN auction
  • Israel composite economic index for August
  • Lebanon inflation rate for August

Friday 22 September, 2017:

  • France real GDP for 2017Q2, detailed data
  • France manufacturing, services and composite PMI for September, flash estimate
  • Spain balance of trade for July
  • Morocco inflation rate for August
  • Croatia unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q2
  • Cyprus unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q2
Round-upalma economics