MGI Weekly round-up | 9 March 2018

Stories MGI has been tracking this week:

  • Tunisia’s public debt goes up
  • Spanish services sector records the strongest growth in 7 months
  • New Egyptian refinery to launch test run in 2018 

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 (WB section) to look at the historical evolution of multilateral debt as a percentage of total external debt in Tunisia.

Tunisia’s public debt goes up 

According to Tunisian finance ministry data published online last Friday, the country's public debt amounted to just under 70% of GDP at the end of December 2017 (against around 60% of GDP in December 2016). In nominal terms, government debt was TND 68.07 billion compared to TND 55.92 billion in December 2016. Additionally, debt servicing increased by 34.7% (to about TND 7 billion) compared to December of 2016, Financial Tribune reports.
About 68.7% of total public debt was external (TND 46.8 billion) and the remaining 31.3% was domestic (TND 21.3 billion). For foreign debt, 50% was multilateral, 14% bilateral, while 36% was debts contracted with international financial markets. For domestic debt, the main sources were treasury bonds and deposits at the General Treasury of Tunisia, which accounted for 90% of total domestic debt at the end of December 2017.

Spanish services sector records the strongest growth in 7 months

In February 2018, the Spanish service sector expanded at its fastest pace since July 2017. Markit's Services PMI increased to 57.3 points (+ 0.4 units compared to January 2018). An index value of more than 50 indicates expansion, a value below 50 shrinkage, while a value of 50 shows no change compared to the previous month. The index was above 50 in each of the months following October 2013, Reuters reports.
“The growth rebound in the Spanish service sector continued in February, with the rate of expansion in business activity quickening for the third month running. The concerns around the political situation in Catalonia in the final quarter of 2017 appear to have eased, with companies largely getting back on track. The first quarter of 2018 looks increasingly likely to have seen a strong start to the year”, Andrew Harker, Associate Director at IHS Markit said.

New Egyptian refinery to launch test run in 2018

A new oil refinery near Cairo will begin a test run in the third quarter of 2018. The refinery – which is a joint venture between the state-controlled Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Arab Refining company –will have the capacity to produce 4.7 million tonnes of refined products annually when fully operational. The refinery is expected to be operational by the end of 2018 or early 2019, and its production will be sold to EGPC to be used domestically. In addition, it will cover 30% to 50% of the nation’s imports of petroleum products, reducing its dependence on oil product imports, Reuters reports.

Featured content from the MGI data and analysis portal

In this newsletter, we use the WB section of the MGI platform to examine the historical evolution of Multilateral debt (% of total external debt) in Tunisia. The period under review is 1970-2016.
In 1970 the indicator was low – around 7.3% – but increased significantly over the next 24 years, reaching 37% in 1994. The average for the next 22 years (1995-2016) was 31.7%. In 2016 – the last year for which data is available – multilateral debt accounted for about 32.7% of the country’s total external debt. 


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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 inflation, industrial production and employment / unemployment figures for several Mediterranean countries. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at our release calendar section.
Monday 12 March, 2018:

  • Turkey current account for January
  • Italy 12-month BOT auction
  • France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction
  • Albania unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q4
  • Greece IPI for January
  • Montenegro inflation rate for January, final data
  • Montenegro inflation rate for February, preliminary data
  • Tunisia IPI for January

Tuesday 13 March, 2018:

  • France payroll employment for 2017Q4
  • Spain domestic and harmonized inflation for February, final estimates
  • Spain 3-month Letras auction
  • Italy 3-year, 7-year and 30-year BTP auction
  • Italy unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q4
  • Israel balance of trade for February

Wednesday 14 March, 2018:

  • Israel money supply (M1) for February
  • Spain retail sales for January
  • Italy retail sales for January
  • Palestinian Territories inflation rate for February

Thursday 15 March, 2018:

  • Turkey unemployment rate and employment for December
  • France domestic and harmonized inflation for February, final estimates
  • France 3-year and 5-year BTAN auction
  • Spain 3-year, 5-year Bonos auction and 10-year Obligacion auction
  • Israel inflation rate and Manufacturing PMI for February
  • Greece unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q4

Friday 16 March, 2018:

  • Turkey IPI for January
  • Albania IPI for 2017Q4
  • Croatia inflation rate for February
  • Italy domestic and harmonized inflation for February, final estimates
  • Slovenia employment (register data) for January
Round-upalma economics