MGI Weekly round-up | 30 March 2018

Stories MGI has been tracking this week:

  • France’s Maastricht debt declines
  • Morocco tops the list of investment destinations in Africa 
  • ESM approves €6.7 billion for Greece 

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. In this newsletter, we use the MGI platform (WB section) to look at public health spending as a share of GDP in the Mediterranean countries.

France’s Maastricht debt declines

According to data released by Insee this week, France’s Maastricht debt at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017 fell compared to the debt in the third quarter. The debt amounted to €2.21 trillion – a decrease of €12.9 billion compared to 2017Q3 – and accounted for 97% of GDP. In contrast, however, net public debt increased by €11.6 billion compared to the third quarter of 2017 to around €2 trillion (or 87.7% of GDP).
Insee also released data on the public deficit for 2017 this week, and detailed GDP data for the fourth quarter of 2017. According to these releases, the budget deficit amounted to €59.3 billion (or 2.6% of GDP) in 2017. Expenditure fell to 56.5% of GDP from 56.5% in 2016, while revenue rose to 53.9% from 53.2% in 2016. In addition, the (seasonally and working-day adjusted) real GDP growth for the last quarter of 2017 was revised – from 0.6% (at the end of February) to 0.7% – while the average growth for 2017 was reported at 2% (unchanged compared to the end-February estimate), RTTNews reports.

Morocco tops the list of investment destinations in Africa

Morocco emerged as the most attractive investment destination in Africa, according to the African Investment Index (AII) 2018 released by Quantum Global Research Lab. The news release posted on the Quantum Global’s website reported that: “The country is being recognized as one of the best emerging markets for overseas investment. International investors are looking at a wide range of sectors for investments including areas such as energy, infrastructure, tourism, and ICT amongst others…Morocco ranks first on the Index based on its increasing solid economic growth, strategic geographic positioning, increased foreign direct investment, external debt levels, social capital factors and overall favorable business environment”.
Morocco was followed in the rankings by Egypt, Algeria, Botswana, South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire. Libya – another Mediterranean country – ranked 40th from a list of 54 African countries.
The index is compiled annually and is based on six factors: growth, liquidity, risk, business environment, demographics and social capital.

ESM approves €6.7 billion for Greece

On Tuesday, the Board of Directors of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) approved a €6.7 billion loan installment to Greece as part of its third international rescue program. The money will be used to service the country's debt, clear domestic arrears and establish a cash buffer. The ESM approved the release of the first disbursement under this installment – amounting to €5.7 billion. A new disbursement of €1 billion can be made after 1 May 2018. The ESM said that the approval took place after the Greek government managed to complete a series of required reforms.
Greece has been depending on international rescue loans since 2010, while its third bailout is due to finish this summer, Ekathimerini reports.

Featured content from the MGI data and analysis portal

This week, we use the WB section of the MGI platform to look at Public health expenditure (as % of GDP) in the Mediterranean. Public health expenditure consists of recurrent and capital spending from government (central and local) budgets, external borrowings and grants (including donations from international agencies and nongovernmental organizations), and social (or compulsory) health insurance funds. The most recent dataavailable is for the year 2014.
As the graph shows, in 2014, France was the Mediterranean country with the highest public health expenditure as a share of its gross domestic product (about 9%). Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Malta, Slovenia, Spain and Croatia followed – with an indicator value ranging between 6.4% and 7%, while Egypt, Morocco and Syria were at the bottom of the list - with 2.2%, 2% and 1.5% respectively.

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The week in data

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

Looking ahead
Next week, we expect data on manufacturing, services and composite PMI, employment / unemployment, and industrial production for some Mediterranean countries, as well as real GDP figures for Albania for 2017Q4. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at our release calendar section.
Monday 2 April, 2018:

  • Turkey Manufacturing PMI (Istanbul Chamber of Industry) for March
  • Spain new car sales for March
  • Egypt foreign exchange reserves for March
  • Montenegro unemployment rate and employment for 2017

Tuesday 3 April, 2018:

  • Egypt non-oil private sector PMI for March
  • Spain registered unemployed and Manufacturing PMI for March
  • Spain consumer confidence for March
  • Spain 6-month and 12-month Letras auction
  • Turkey inflation rate and PPI for March
  • Italy Manufacturing PMI for March
  • France Manufacturing PMI for March, final estimate
  • France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction
  • Israel foreign exchange reserves for March
  • Albania real GDP for 2017Q4

Wednesday 4 April, 2018:

  • Spain tourist arrivals for February
  • Italy unemployment rate and employment for February
  • Palestinian Territories IPI for February

Thursday 5 April, 2018:

  • Spain Services PMI for March
  • Spain 3-year, 5-year Bonos auction and 10-year Obligacion auction
  • Italy Services PMI for March
  • France Services and Composite PMI for March, final estimates
  • France retail sales for February and 10-year OAT auction
  • Cyprus inflation rate for March 
  • Greece IPI for February

Friday 6 April, 2018:

  • France current account and budget balance for February
  • Spain IPI for February
  • Turkey Treasury cash balance for March
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