MGI Weekly round-up | 16 March 2018

Stories MGI has been tracking this week:

  • Construction activity in Greece improves in 2017 compared to 2016
  • Egyptian exports to Turkey rise in 2017
  • The Lebanese Cabinet agrees on the 2018 budget 

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 major importers of Egyptian products as well as Egypt’s main export commodities.
 

Construction activity in Greece improves in 2017 compared to 2016

According to preliminary data released by ELSTAT on Monday, total building activity (calculated on the basis of the number of building permits) in 2017 amounted to 13,847, corresponding to 2,856.2 thousand m2 of surface area and 12,669.8 thousand m3 of volume. Compared to 2016, the number of building permits issued increased by 8.6%, the area by 17.7% and the volume by 20.1%. This was the first year since 2005 that construction activity grew in Greece, Ekathimerini reports.
 

Egyptian exports to Turkey rise in 2017

Trade between Egypt and Turkey amounted to $4.35 billion in 2017 – an increase of 4.3% compared to 2016. Exports from Egypt to Turkey increased significantly – 38.5% year-on-year – to about $2 billion, while imports of the North African country from Turkey decreased by 13.7%. Three sectors accounted for about 80% of Egypt's total exports to Turkey: chemicals, textiles and clothing. Turkey was the second largest importer of Egyptian products after Saudi Arabia, the Ecomnewsmed reports.
 

The Lebanese Cabinet agrees on the 2018 budget

On Monday, Lebanon’s cabinet agreed the 2018 budget and passed it to parliament for approval. The country is under pressure to pass a budget and show its willingness to introduce fiscal reforms before an international donor meeting next month in France. The budget projects a deficit of 7.3 trillion Lebanese pounds ($4.5 billion) – 220 billion pounds ($145 million) less than 2017 – and does not include new taxes. Last year, the country managed to pass its first budget since 2005, Reuters reports.  
 
Lebanon’s public debt is one of the largest in the world relative to its GDP and its current path was characterized as unsustainable by the IMF last month.
 

Featured content from the MGI data and analysis portal

In this newsletter, we use the TRADE section of the MGI platform to look at the major importers of Egyptian products as well as Egypt’s main export commodities. The figures are for the year 2015.
 
As shown in the first graphic, Saudi Arabia was the main importer of Egyptian products (about $2 billion), followed by Italy (about $1.6 billion) and Turkey (about $1.3 billion). The second graphic shows the main products exported from Egypt to Turkey. As can be seen, the three main categories were: "Plastic and articles thereof" (about $285 million), “Cotton” (about $129 million) and " Miscellaneous chemical products" (about $99 million).

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The week in data

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

  • Greece's IPI in January 2018 decreased 0.4% MoM (seasonally adjusted data) and 1.7% YoY (working day adjusted data)
  • In 2017Q4 Albania's unemployment rate stood at 13.4% (-0.2% compared to 2017Q3 and -0.8% compared to 2016Q4). Employment increased 4.3% YoY
  • France's payroll employment increased 0.3% in 2017Q4 vs 2017Q3 and 1.1% compared to 2016Q4
  • Spain's CPI increased 1.1% YoY and 0.1% MoM in February 2018 (final estimate)
  • Palestine's CPI in February 2018 decreased 0.05% (MoM) and 0.94% (YoY)

 

Looking ahead

Next week, we expect data on industrial production and employment / unemployment for some Mediterranean countries as well as on real GDP in Montenegro for the last quarter of 2017. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at our release calendarsection.
 
Monday 19 March, 2018:

  • Turkey retail sales for January
  • Turkey auto production for February
  • Israel inflation expectations for March
  • Italy IPI and balance of trade for January
  • France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction
  • Montenegro unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q4
  • Slovenia unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q4

Tuesday 20 March, 2018:

  • Turkey consumer confidence for March
  • Turkey central government debt for February
  • Israel IPI for January

Wednesday 21 March, 2018:

  • Spain balance of trade for January
  • Israel composite economic index for February
  • Slovenia employment (detailed register data) for January
  • Slovenia IPI for January

Thursday 22 March, 2018:

  • France business confidence for March
  • France Manufacturing, Services and Composite PMI for March, flash estimates
  • Italy wholesale prices for February
  • Turkey business confidence and capacity utilization for March
  • Malta inflation rate for February

Friday 23 March, 2018:

  • Spain PPI for February
  • Croatia unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q4
  • Cyprus unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q4
  • Montenegro real GDP for 2017Q4
Round-upalma economics