The Macro Sweep

August 16, 2013 1:52 pm

Europe, Hong Kong, Peru

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Hong Kong recorded its fastest rate of economic growth since December 2011. As with many other parts of the world, improvements in economic conditions were driven more by domestic demand than booming overseas trade.

Germany still managed to lead the way in Europe with the largest trade surplus in the first five months of this year.

The central bank in Peru may well eye an interest-rate cut as the economy slows, but it will have to take inflationary pressures into consideration.

Europe

The eurozone’s harmonised index of consumer prices remained up 1.6 per cent year on year. Inflation dropped 0.5 percentage points from the month before.

The eurozone’s trade surplus widened to €17.3bn in June from €14.5bn in May. The European Union had a surplus of €9.9bn in June. Although this was lower than the €15.7bn surplus recorded in May, it was an improvement on the €1bn deficit recorded in June 2012.

Within the EU, the balance was helped by a decline in the energy deficit. The manufactured goods surplus also increased to €163bn for the five months to May from €133.3bn during the same period last year.

Germany had the largest surplus at €81bn. France and the UK, meanwhile, had the largest deficits at €32.9bn and €26.1bn respectively.

The eurozone’s seasonally adjusted current account surplus dropped in June to €16.9bn from €19.5bn in May. Net current transfers showed a deficit of €9.1bn.

Austria: Consumer inflation dropped to 2 per cent in July from 2.2 per cent in June, helped by lower prices for food and clothing. the harmonised index of consumer prices was at 2.1 per cent.

Asia

Taiwan: Seasonally adjusted real GDP grew at an annualised rate of 2.34 per cent in the second quarter of this year.

Hong Kong: The economy grew at its fastest rate in over a year and a half in the second quarter of this year. It rose 0.8 per cent quarter on quarter, and 3.3 per cent from the year before. It was helped by growth in household consumption, which slowed but maintained growth of 4.2 per cent year on year.

The government said that the domestic sector would remain resilient as rising wages helped consumption. Analysts at ANZ said that property prices were preserving household wealth, but warned that “policy makers should be prepared to act pre-emptively as the global interest rates may become more volatile in light of the timing and size of Fed tapering”.

Singapore: non-oil domestic exports fell 0.7 per cent year on year in July after an 8.9 per cent decrease in June.

Electronic product shipments fell 7.6 per cent, while non-electronic product exports grew 3 per cent, driven by a sharp increase in boat exports. Growth in exports to the US, Hong Kong and China were offset by declines in shipments to the EU, Korea and Taiwan.

Americas

Peru: The economy expanded less than expected, growing 4.4 per cent year on year in June. It decelerated as growth slowed to 7 per cent in the construction sector, 5 per cent in retail sales and 4 per cent in transport. Business confidence is also at its lowest point in about two years.

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