MGI Weekly round-up | 1 June 2018

Stories MGI has been tracking this week:

  • Populists form government in Italy
  • Algerians call on President Bouteflika not to seek a fifth term
  • Police clears illegal refugee camp in Paris

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 examine the historical evolution of exports in Algeria.

Populists form government in Italy 

Italian President Sergio Mattarella vetoed the League-Five Star coalition’s choice of eurosceptic Paolo Savona as finance minister on 27 May, in the name of preserving Italy’s economic stability. The following morning, Mattarella asked economist Carlo Cottarelli to form an interim cabinet of non-party technocrats to steer the country back to the polls. Cottarelli told reporters that elections would be held in the autumn or early next year.
On 31 May however, Five Star’s Luigi Di Maio and League’s Matteo Salvini issued a joint announcement that they reached a new deal to form a government. Later that afternoon, Giuseppe Conte – the coalition’s chosen prime minister – was appointed. Italy’s new government will be sworn in later today, ending the country's three-month long political uncertainty.

Algerians call on President Bouteflika not to seek a fifth term

Algerian politicians and other public figures published an open letter to the country’s President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, urging him not to run in next year’s elections. “Your old age and your dramatic health conditions require that you abstain from holding heavy state responsibilities. There is no doubt that another term will cause you and the country more hardship”. Signatories included former Prime Minister Ahmed Benbitour, Soufiane Djilali – leader of the opposition party Jil Jadid – and civil society activist Amira Bouraoui.
The 81-year-old president has been in power for nearly two decades, winning his fourth consecutive term in 2014 despite his deteriorating health. Bouteflika suffered a stroke in 2013 that left him confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak intelligibly. Since then, he made few public appearances and had to cancel meetings with other leaders, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Iranian President Hassan Rohani.
Back in April, the secretary general of the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN), Djamel Ould Abbes, along with Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and other key officials, asked Bouteflika to run for another term.

Police clears illegal refugee camp in Paris

On 30 May, in a new effort to tackle the large number of immigrants that have accumulated in the country since 2015, the French police cleared the Millénaire illegal refugee camp, located in north-eastern Paris. Reuters reports that 1,000 (out of 1,600) immigrants were evacuated and transferred to temporary residences around the French capital. According to the country’s Interior Minister, Gerard Collomb, this was the 34th evacuation that took place since June 2015. Immigrants were removed for reasons of general welfare and security, and the police will fully commit themselves to preventing the rebuilding of such camps, the minister added.

Featured content from the MGI data and analysis portal

In this newsletter, we use the MGI platform (WB section) to look at the evolution of exports in Algeria over the past thirty years. As shown in the first chart below, exports of goods and services (as % of GDP) were relatively low during the greatest part of the Algerian Civil War (1991-2002). However, they grew significantly towards its end, recording a peak value of 42% of GDP in 2000, and continued to further increase in the following years, reaching roughly 49% in the late 2000s.From 2008 onwards, Algeria’s exports showed a negative trend, dropping to 21% of GDP in 2016.
In addition, the TRADE section (LIST VIEW and TREEMAP) of the MGI platform allows users to look at Algeria’s main export products and its main export destinations. According to the second and third charts below, oil (the principal export of the country) was mainly sold to Italy, USA, Spain and France.


The week in data

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

  • Employment in Slovenia increased by 29,000 in 2018Q1 vs 2017Q1. Unemployment rate stood at 5.9% 
  • Croatia's IPI in April 2018, as compared to March 2018, decreased by 0.9% (seasonally and working-day adjusted). When compared to April 2017, IPI (working-day adjusted) decreased by 1.3% 
  • In Spain, the annual change of CPI stands at 2.0% (flash estimate) in May 2018, nine tenths higher than that registered in April 
  • Real GDP in Croatia increased 0.2% QoQ in 2018Q1 (seasonally adjusted, first estimate) and by 2.5% as compared to 2017Q1 (original data) 
  • In 2018Q1, real GDP in France (seasonally and working-day adjusted) decelerated: +0.2% after +0.7% in 2017Q4
  • In May 2018, Italy's CPI increased 0.4% on monthly basis and 1.1% compared with May 2017 (preliminary estimates) 


Looking ahead

Next week, we expect data on inflation, PMI and IPI for several Mediterranean countries, as well as real GDP figures for Cyprus, Greece and Malta for 2018Q1. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at our release calendar section.
Monday 4 June, 2018:

  • Spain unemployment change and consumer confidence for May
  • Turkey inflation rate and PPI for May
  • Greece real GDP for 2018Q1
  • France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction

Tuesday 5 June, 2018:

  • France budget balance and retail sales for April
  • Spain Services PMI for May
  • Italy Services PMI for May
  • France Composite and Services PMI for May
  • Malta real GDP for 2018Q1 and retail sales for April
  • Palestinian Territories IPI for April

Wednesday 6 June, 2018:

  • Spain IPI for April
  • Malta IPI for April

Thursday 7 June, 2018:

  • France current account for April
  • Italy retail sales for April
  • Spain 3-year, 5-year Bonos and 10-year Obligacion auction
  • Croatia retail sales for April
  • Cyprus inflation rate for May
  • France 10-year OAT auction
  • Greece unemployment rate and employment for March
  • Greece balance of trade for April
  • Croatia balance of trade for April
  • Turkey interest rate decision

Friday 8 June, 2018:

  • France IPI for April
  • Slovenia balance of trade and IPI for April
  • Croatia PPI for May
  • Cyprus real GDP for 2018Q1, final estimate
  • Greece IPI for April
  • Greece harmonised and domestic inflation rate for May