MGI Weekly round-up | 26 January 2018

Stories MGI has been tracking this week:

  • EU funds power link between France and Spain
  • $333m to be invested in Egypt sugar factory by UAE Group
  • Debt reduction must be a priority for the next govt, says Italian econ minister

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 at the week ahead in data. This week, we use the WB section of the MGI platform to look at the evolution of central government debt (as % of GDP) in Italy.

 

EU funds power link between France and Spain

€578 million ($717 million) is being provided by the EU to help build a – 370 km long – power link between Spain and France. According to Reuters, the European Commission wants the power connection to help support the uptake of renewable energy in both countries, reduce the continent’s dependence on Russian gas and help it achieve its climate goals.
 
The grant will be drawn from a total budget of €873 million for energy infrastructure projects in the EU – which include, among other projects, a €101 million grant for the introduction of natural gas in Cyprus and €3.7 million for a study on a possible Malta-Italy gas connection.
 

$333m to be invested in Egypt Sugar Factory by UAE Group 

Egypt secured its biggest non-oil foreign direct investment deal since floating the pound in November 2016, with the Al Ghurair Group agreeing to invest $333 million into a new sugar factory and farm.
 
Egypt has been harbouring hopes of a revival in foreign investment to help boost growth and create jobs, with overseas investors carefully tracking the food, health and education sectors to capitalise on its 96 million population.
 
The new factory will produce one million tons of sugar annually which is enough to plug four fifths of the current production gap, according to the government.
 

Debt reduction must be a priority for the next govt, says Italian economy minister

With voting just a little over one month away, Italy’s Economy Minister stated that the next government must focus on reducing the country’s debt. Carlo Padoan, who will be standing at the election, stated that “the emphasis in the coming years, in the next legislature, needs above all to be on a mechanism that guarantees a constant and credible fall in the debt”.
 
Italy, the second most indebted country in the eurozone with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 132%, failed to reduce its public debt under the current government, Reuters 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 central government debt (% of GDP) in Italy. The period under review is 1991-2015. As shown in the graph, the ratio was relatively low in 1991 (72% of GDP), showed a positive trend until 1998 (when it reached 129%) and remained below 120% over the next 13 years. In the years after 2011, the debt-to-GDP ratio rose significantly, reaching 150% of GDP in 2015.

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The week in data

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

  • Morocco's CPI increased 1.9% in December 2017 vs December 2016 and 0.5% compared to November 2017
  • Malta's Retail Price Index increased 1.21% YoY in December 2017 (down from 1.3% in November 2017)
  • Employment in Spain decreased by 0.27% in 2017Q4 compared to 2017Q3. Unemployment rate stood at 16.55% 

Looking ahead

Next week, we expect data for business and consumer confidence, Manufacturing PMI and PPI for some Mediterranean countries, as well as preliminary real GDP data for Spain and France. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at our release calendar section.

Monday 29 January, 2018:

  • Spain retail sales for December
  • Italy PPI for December and 3-month BOT auction
  • Croatia IPI for December
  • Malta PPI for December
  • Egypt money supply (M2) for December
  • France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction

Tuesday 30 January, 2018:

  • France real GDP for 2017Q4 (first estimate)
  • France household consumption expenditure for December
  • Turkey economic confidence index for January
  • Spain real GDP for 2017Q4 (preliminary estimate)
  • Spain business confidence for January
  • Croatia retail sales for December
  • Croatia business and consumer confidence for January
  • Italy business and consumer confidence for January
  • Italy 5-year and 10-year BTP auction
  • Cyprus business and consumer confidence for January and IPI for November
  • Greece business and consumer confidence for January and PPI for December
  • Malta business and consumer confidence for January
  • Montenegro IPI for December

Wednesday 31 January, 2018:

  • Palestinian Territories PPI for December
  • Turkey trade balance for December and tourism revenues for 2017Q4
  • France domestic and harmonized inflation for January, preliminary estimates
  • France PPI for December
  • Spain domestic and harmonized inflation for January, preliminary estimates
  • Spain current account for November
  • Italy unemployment rate and employment for December
  • Slovenia retail sales for December
  • Greece retail sales for November
  • Montenegro tourist arrivals for December
  • Montenegro unemployment rate and employment (register data) for December
  • Israel unemployment rate and employment for December

Thursday 1 February, 2018:

  • Turkey Manufacturing PMI (Istanbul Chamber of Industry) for January
  • Spain tourist arrivals for December and Manufacturing PMI for January
  • Spain new car sales for January
  • Italy Manufacturing PMI for January
  • France Manufacturing PMI for January, final estimate
  • France 10-year OAT auction
  • Greece Manufacturing PMI for January
  • Morocco money supply (M2) for December

Friday 2 February, 2018:

  • Spain registered unemployed for January
  • Italy domestic and harmonized inflation for January, preliminary estimate
  • Egypt foreign exchange reserves for January
Round-upalma economics