MGI Weekly round-up | 9 February 2018

Stories MGI has been tracking this week:

  • Croatia was Bosnia and Herzegovina’s largest trading partner in 2017
  • Algeria scores low on economic freedom
  • Greek businesses hit by taxation, survey shows 

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 (TRADE section) to look at the top imports and exports of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Croatia: Bosnia and Herzegovina's largest trading partner in 2017

According to figures released by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Chamber of Foreign Trade, Croatia was the main trading partner of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2017. Croatian imports amounted to €1.5 billion, while exports reached €678 million. Major imported goods from Croatia included oil, energy, sugar, chocolate and beer, while the main exports to Croatia were electricity, raw aluminum, timber, seat and fabric.
Bosnia and Herzegovina's second largest trading partner was Serbia, followed by Germany, Italy and Slovenia. In addition, EU member states represented their most important trading group, with 70% of Bosnian exports being directed to the nations and 67% of imports coming from them.
In 2017, Bosnia and Herzegovina's trade balance deficit amounted to €3.6 billion, which corresponded to a 61% coverage of imports by exports, Total Croatia News reports.

Algeria scores low on economic freedom

According to the Economic Freedom Index issued by the Heritage Foundation last week, Algeria is one of the worst performing countries in terms of economic freedom worldwide. The North African country ranked 172nd out of 180 countries. Algeria managed to rank higher than only eight countries – Bolivia, Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea, while its overall score was much lower than the global and regional averages.
In terms of other Mediterranean countries, Israel, Malta and Cyprus were the three best ranked countries (31st, 46th and 48th position respectively), while Libya and Syria were not ranked at all.
Economic freedom is measured using twelve qualitative and quantitative factors grouped into four broad areas: rule of law (property rights, government integrity, judicial effectiveness), government size (government spending, tax burden, fiscal health), regulatory efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom) and open markets (trade freedom, investment freedom and financial freedom). Each of the twelve factors is graded on a scale 0-100, and then the overall index is derived from the average of these factors – with an equal weight given to each.

Greek businesses hit by taxation, survey shows

According to a Grant Thornton survey in Greece, about 58% of Greek companies' profits went towards meeting tax obligations, while just 10% of the nation’s companies payed 84% of all corporate taxation. The survey included 8,000 companies from 92 sectors of the Greek economy.
In addition, the survey revealed that the assets of the companies surveyed grew by only 1.3%, earnings before taxes increased by 63%, while about 50% of the companies suffered from low growth and high borrowing, Ekathimerini reports.

Featured content from the MGI data and analysis portal

In this newsletter, we use the UN Comtrade data available on the MGI platform (TRADE section) to look at the main imported and exported goods in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The data presented in the charts below refer to 2016.
As the charts show, the country's most important export category was “Furniture; bedding, mattresses, mattress supports, cushions and similar stuffed furnishings; lamps and lighting fittings, not elsewhere specified or included; illuminated signs, illuminated name-plates and the like; prefabricated buildings”, followed by “Wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal” and “Footwear, gaiters and the like; parts of such articles”. The top imported commodities were “Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes”, “Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances; parts thereof” and “Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling-stock, and parts and accessories thereof”.

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The week in data

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

  • Consumer prices in Turkey increased 1.02% MoM and 10.35% YoY in January 2018
  • Palestine's IPI increased 0.12% MoM in December 2017. In 2017, the IPI rose by 4.11% compared to 2016
  • Cyprus’s CPI decreased by 0.7% YoY in January 2018
  • Consumer prices in Slovenia increased 1.5% YoY in January 2018
  • Employment in Greece decreased 0.3% MoM in November 2017. Unemployment rate stood at 20.9% (seasonally adjusted data)
  • Spain's IPI in December 2017 increased 0.9% MoM, 6.1% YoY (seasonally and calendar adjusted data) and 2.9% YoY (original data)
  • Turkey's IPI in December 2017 increased 0.9% MoM (seasonally and calendar adjusted data) and 8.7% YoY (calendar adjusted data)




Looking ahead

Next week, we expect data on real GDP, employment / unemployment and inflation, for several Mediterranean countries. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at our release calendar section.
Monday 12 February, 2018:

  • Italy 12-month BOT auction
  • Israel consumer confidence for January
  • France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction
  • Tunisia IPI for December

Tuesday 13 February, 2018:

  • Italy 3-year, 7-year and 30-year BTP auction
  • Spain 3-month and 12-month Letras auction
  • Israel balance of trade for January
  • Palestinian Territories unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q4

Wednesday 14 February, 2018:

  • Turkey current account for December
  • Italy real GDP for 2017Q4, preliminary estimate
  • Cyprus real GDP for 2017Q4, flash estimate
  • Israel money supply (M1) for January

Thursday 15 February, 2018:

  • France unemployment rate for 2017Q4
  • Turkey unemployment rate and employment for November
  • Spain domestic and harmonized inflation for January, final estimates
  • Egypt unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q4
  • Israel inflation rate for January
  • Greece inflation rate for January
  • Tunisia real GDP for 2017Q4
  • France 3-year and 5-year BTAN auction
  • Turkey auto production for December and January
  • Spain 3-year, 5-year Bonos auction and 10-year Obligacion auction
  • Italy balance of trade for December
  • Egypt central bank interest rate decision

Friday 16 February, 2018:

  • Israel Manufacturing PMI for January
  • Slovenia employment (register data) for December


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