World Bulletin / News Desk
India's industrial output contracted for the third time in four months inJune, increasing pressure on new Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram to move quickly to pullAsia's third-largest economy from its worst slowdown in almost a decade.
The contraction provided further ammunition to the slew of private economists who downgraded their growth outlook for India this week, citing a worsening drought and political hurdles to economic reform.
"The data bodes ill for Q2 (FY Q1) GDP growth which may well remain below 6 percent year-on-year. It highlights continued softness of the Indian economy amid contracting exports and weaker domestic demand," said Dariusz Kowalczyk, an economist with Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong.
Industrial output in June shrank 1.8 percent, driven down by a deep dip in manufacturing, the data released on Thursday showed. The number was lower than a forecast of 1.0 percent growth in a Reuters poll and sharply lower than 9.5 percent growth a year earlier.
Economic growth faltered to a nine-year low of 5.3 percent in the quarter ending in March, with corporate investors deterred by high interest rates and a policy gridlock. Several economists this week cut their full-year growth forecast for India to around 5.5 percent -- which would be the slowest rate in 10 years.
India's industrial output data is volatile but is still considered a barometer of GDP growth. May's figure was revised to 2.5 percent from 2.4 percent, the data showed.
Manufacturing, which constitutes about 76 percent of industrial production, shrank an annual 3.2 percent from a year earlier, the federal statistics office said.
Markets dipped after the unexpected contraction. The rupee was last trading at 55.15 per dollar compared to around 55.08 before the data, though that was still stronger than its 55.42/43 close against the dollar on Wednesday.
The benchmark 10-year bond yield fell about 2 basis points to 8.11 percent from levels before the data.
Capital goods, a key investment indicator that has shown growth only once in the past 10 months, slumped 27.9 percent in June, data on Thursday showed.
A tanker has docked at Es Sider and begun loading 600,000 barrels of oil, said Mohamed El Harari, spokesman for state-run National Oil Corp
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Ethiopia, Africa's largest coffee grower, is set to continue talks with global buyers in hopes of branding and trademarking its world-renowned coffee and boosting national revenue.
Russia has banned the import of EU food products including fruit and vegetables from Poland, whose total food exports to Russia were worth around $1.5 bln last year.
Ukraine is prepared to compromise on the price until a lawsuit it has filed against Gazprom is resolved, minister Yuri Prodan said.
Finnish electricity specialist Hiekkala: 'Finland and Baltic countries have possibilities to replace the import from Russia by own capacity or Nordic import.'
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Citizens unable to pay their credit card bills can apply to Finance Ministry to have their debts expunged.
Greek Cypriot Farmers’ Union EKA general secretary Panicos Hambas said that the Russian sanctions on the Greek Cypriot export of citrus fruits could lead Turkish Cypriot farmers to export their own fruits to Russia via Turkey.
The closing off of a major export market threatens to hurt segments of the euro zone economy at a time when growth is pretty poor anyway.
Soaring Chinese demand for commodities like coal has underwritten Mongolia's rapid growth, with more than 90 percent of its exports sold to China.
Thailand avoided recession in the second quarter, the state planning agency said on Monday, but questions remain about the pace and depth of growth.
The new ban would not apply to foreign automakers' production inside Russia. Ford, Volkswagen , Ford Renault, Toyota and Hyundai Motor Co all have production facilities inside Russia.
Across Asia's low-cost garment manufacturing industry in particular, there have been more strikes as unions use a shortage of skilled workers to press for better pay and improved safety
More than eight out of ten French citizens do not trust the government of Prime Minister Valls to improve economic situation, poll shows
Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years on July 31 after losing a lengthy legal battle with hedge funds demanding full payment on debt