MGI Weekly round-up | 2 February 2018

Stories MGI has been tracking this week:

  • France records its highest annual GDP growth since 2011
  • Turkey's economic confidence index rises in January
  • A new cement plant is set to begin operations in Egypt

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 MGI platform (NATSTATS section) to look at the historical evolution of real GDP growth in France.
 

France records the highest annual GDP growth since 2011 

According to seasonal and working-day adjusted figures, France’s real GDP increased 0.6% QoQ in the last quarter of 2017 – the fifth consecutive quarterly increase in economic activity. Gross fixed capital formation increased by 1.1% (up from 0.9% in 2017Q3), household expenditure increased by 0.3% (down from 0.6% in 2017Q3), the foreign trade balance increased by 0.6% (compared to -0.5% in 2017Q3), while changes in inventories contributed negatively to growth. The average growth rate for 2017 was 1.9% – the fastest growth rate over the last six years and much higher than the average growth rate (0.8%) recorded in the decade prior to 2016.
 
These positive numbers – which coincide with stronger GDP growth in the Euro area as a whole – may partly be down to recent reforms introduced by President Macron as well as by cuts in business taxes applied by the previous government, Bloomberg reports.
 
“This is the result of return of confidence of households and entrepreneurs since the election of the president and the implementation of reforms, as well as a positive international environment…The latest data shows that this trend should continue in 2018”, the French Finance minister said.
 

Turkey’s economic confidence index rises in January 

According to TurkStat, Turkey's economic confidence index increased by 10% in January 2018 – to 104.9. The increase was due to an increase in the consumer confidence index and seasonally adjusted real sector, service, retail and construction confidence indices. The consumer confidence index stood at 72.3 points (+ 11% compared to December 2017), the real sector index rose to 110.9 (+ 1.6% compared to December 2017), the services index amounted to 102 (+ 6% versus December 2017), the retail trade index increased to 106.2 (+ 5.6% as compared to December 2017), while the construction confidence index reached 87 (+ 6.7% compared to December).
 
An economic confidence index value above 100 shows an optimistic outlook for the overall economic situation, while a value below 100 points to a pessimistic outlook. The next economic confidence figures will be released on February 27, Financial Tribune reports.
 

A new cement plant is set to begin operations in Egypt

A 900 million cement plant will begin operating within a few days in Egypt, 120 km south of Cairo. The factory belongs to the company El-Arish Cement, which in turn belongs to the Egyptian armed forces. The plant has six production lines and will produce 13 million tons of cement annually.
 
Interestingly, the factory is starting to operate at a time when the country has already reached it’s cement production capacity. In 2017 Egypt had 79 million tons of annual capacity while consumption was only 53 million tons. In addition, at least three cement companies reported losses in 2017Q3 while the national inventory currently stands at 5 million tons, an employee of a rival company said, Reuters reports.
 

Featured content from the MGI data and analysis portal

In this newsletter we use the NATSTATS section of the MGI platform to look at the historical evolution of the real GDP YoY % change in France. The period under review is 1950Q1-2017Q4, while figures are seasonally and working-day adjusted.
 
The average value for the decades 1950-59, 1960-69, 1970-1979, 1980-1989, 1990-1999 and 2000-2009 was 4.76%, 5.95%, 4%, 2.37%, 2%, 1.4% respectively and 1.23% for the 2010-2017 period – that is, average growth declined steadily after the period 1960-69.
 
According to the latest INSEE data, average GDP growth was 1.9% in 2017 - the strongest growth since 2011.

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The week in data

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

  • Croatia's IPI in December 2017 increased 1.6% MoM (seasonally and working-day adjusted data) and decreased 2.5% YoY (working-day adjusted data)
  • France’s Real GDP in the 4th quarter of 2017 increased 0.6% QoQ (first estimate)
  • Spain’s Real GDP grew by 3.1% YoY and 0.7% QoQ in 2017Q4 (flash estimate)
  • France’s CPI increased by 1.4% YoY in January 2018 (preliminary estimates)
  • Consumer prices in Spain increased by 0.5% YoY in January 2018 (flash estimate)
  • Employment in Italy decreased by 0.3% in December 2017 vs November 2017. Unemployment rate stood at 10.8% (seasonally adjusted data)

 

Looking ahead

Next week, we expect industrial production and inflation figures for several Mediterranean countries as well as employment / unemployment figures for Greece in November 2017. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed in our release calendar section.
 
Monday 5 February, 2018:

  • Egypt non-oil private sector PMI for January
  • Turkey inflation rate and PPI for January
  • Spain Services PMI and consumer confidence for January
  • Italy Services PMI for January
  • France Services and Composite PMI for January, final estimates
  • France retail sales for December
  • France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction
  • Palestinian Territories IPI for December

Tuesday 6 February, 2018:

  • France budget balance for December
  • Cyprus inflation rate for January
  • Tunisia inflation rate for January

Wednesday 7 February, 2018:

  • France current account for December
  • Italy retail sales for December
  • Israel budget balance and foreign exchange reserves for January
  • Turkey Treasury cash balance for January
  • Slovenia inflation rate for January

Thursday 8 February, 2018:

  • Turkey IPI and retail sales for December
  • Spain IPI for December
  • Malta IPI for December
  • Israel business confidence and tourist arrivals for January
  • Greece unemployment rate and employment for November
  • Albania inflation rate for January

Friday 9 February, 2018:

  • France IPI for December
  • Italy IPI for December
  • Greece IPI for December
  • Slovenia IPI for December
Round-upalma economics