MGI Weekly round-up | 11 May 2018

Stories MGI has been tracking this week:

  • Air France hit by new strike, quitting CEO and government warning
  • Egypt approves law to regulate ride-sharing services
  • Lebanon eyes $2 billion Eurobond sale 

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 NATSTATS section of the MGI platform to look at the evolution of real GDP growth in Lebanon.

Air France hit by new strike, quitting CEO and government warning

The dispute at Air France-KLM intensified on 4 May when the employees rejected the company’s latest wage proposal, prompting the carrier’s CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac to resign. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister urged the company and its staff to resume talks, delivering a blunt assessment of the airline’s future as he warned that the state’s 14% share was no guarantee it will bail out the company. “If it doesn’t make the necessary efforts to be at the same competitive level of Lufthansa and other major airlines, it will disappear,” said in an interview on 6 May, further adding that the union’s salary demands are “unjustified”.
Even though the number of strikers appears to have declined as the airline enters its 14th day of walkouts in recent months, Air France was forced to cancel about 15% of its flights on 7 May. This turmoil sent the airline’s share price down by 14% when French markets opened that day, though that moderated to a 9.8% decline by closing time. The carrier warns that the strikes will wipe out at least €300 million in operating profit.

Egypt approves law to regulate ride-sharing services

The Egyptian parliament passed a law to regulate the work of land transport services which use information technology for consumers, including ride-hailing services Uber and Careem. It recently became urgent to pass legislation governing such services, as on 20 March the country’s Administrative Court issued a verdict ordering the government to shut down Uber and Careem for violating Egyptian law by using private cars as taxis.
The legislation passed by parliament requires ride-hailing companies to obtain a five-year renewable license for a fee of 30 million Egyptian pounds ($1.71 million), to retain user data for 180 days and share it with government authorities whenever requested, Reuters reports. The vehicle owners are also required to obtain special licenses to drive for Uber and Careem by paying an annual fee in the range of 1,000-2,000 Egyptian pounds ($56-$112).

Lebanon eyes $2 billion Eurobond sale 

Lebanon plans to sell up to $2 billion in Eurobonds over the next 12 monthssaid Riad Salameh – the Central Bank’s Governor – in a recent interview, part of a debt-swap with the aim of reducing servicing costs in the world’s third most indebted country. The country held its first parliamentary election in nine years last Sunday and Salameh said that it was important for the next government to take action towards reviving the economy, as “Lebanon is at a stage where positive economic and financial news are needed”.
Salameh, who has been running the Central Bank for the past 25 years, announced that he will give the finance ministry local-currency Treasury bills at low interest rates in return for dollar-denominated Eurobonds by the end of May, in a transaction worth between $5.5 billion and $6 billion. Around $2 billion of this will then be sold on to private investors.

Featured content from the MGI data and analysis portal 

In this newsletter we use the NATSTATS section of the MGI platform to look at real GDP growth in Lebanon over the past half-century. During the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), real GDP fluctuated widely during the 70’s and 80’s, recording a drop of as high as 57% in 1976, and an increase of 88.3% in the following year. From 1992 onwards, the county’s economy has grown steadily, with GDP increasing on average by 4% each year.

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The week in data

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


  • In 2018 Q1 Palestine's unemployment rate increased to 30.2% from 24.5% in 2017 Q4 
  • Malta's IPI in March 2018 increased 0.7% over the previous month (seasonally adjusted). When compared to March 2017, IPI (adjusted for working days) decreased by 4.8% 
  • In March 2018, France's IPI slipped back by -0.4%, after a 1.1% increase in February (seasonally and working-day adjusted data) 
  • In Spain IPI in March 2018 increased 5.1% YoY and 1.2% MoM (data adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects) 
  • Italy's IPI in March 2018 increased 1.2% MoM (seasonally adjusted data) and 3.6% YoY (calendar adjusted data)
  • IPI in Greece increased 2.5% MoM (seasonally adjusted data) and 1.1% YoY (working day adjusted data) in March 2018 
  • Employment in Greece increased 0.9% YoY and decreased 0.4% MoM in March 2018. Unemployment rate stood at 20.8% (seasonally adjusted data) 


Looking ahead

MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at our release calendar section.
Monday 14 May, 2018:

  • Turkey current account for March
  • Israel money supply (M1) for April
  • France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction 
  • Palestinian Territories CPI for April

Tuesday 15 May, 2018:

  • France employment for 2018Q1, flash estimate
  • France harmonised and domestic inflation rate for April, final estimates
  • Turkey unemployment rate and employment for February
  • Egypt unemployment rate and employment for 2018Q1
  • Israel inflation rate for April
  • Cyprus real GDP for 2018Q1, flash estimate
  • Slovenia IPI (detailed data) for March

Wednesday 16 May, 2018:

  • Italy industrial orders and industrial sales for March
  • Italy harmonised and domestic inflation rate for April, final estimates
  • Israel, real GDP 2018Q1, preliminary estimate
  • Croatia CPI for April
  • Slovenia employment (register data) for March
  • Turkey IPI for March

Thursday 17 May, 2018:

  • Turkey trade sales for March
  • Italy balance of trade for March
  • Spain 3-year, 5-year Bonos and 10-year Obligacion auction
  • France 3-year and 5-year BTAN auction
  • France unemployment rate for 2018Q1
  • Israel Manufacturing PMI for April
  • Egypt interest rate decision

Friday 18 May, 2018:

  • Israel inflation expectations for May
  • Italy current account for March