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Tag: economic

What's behind Italy's economic turbulence?

What's behind Italy's economic turbulence?

Business
The controversy surrounding the Italian government's spending plans has led to continued nervousness on the financial markets.The budget set out by the country's coalition government last month - which involves greater spending than previously planned - had already sent Italian share prices lower and knocked the value of the euro.The cost of government borrowing for Italy, represented by the yield (or interest rate) on its bonds (the debt issued by the Italian government), has been rising, demonstrating that investors are getting twitchy.Markets are concerned that the government's plans mean the country is heading for a stand-off with the European Commission.Why is the Italian government's financial situation back in the news? The government that took off...
The obvious Brexit link in economic slowdown

The obvious Brexit link in economic slowdown

Business
No excuses.Try as one might to blame the weather for the weakness of these GDP figures, to judge from what we have just heard from the Office for National Statistics, the economy was starting to sag well before the Beast from the East came in and disrupted UK economic activity.Consumers - the engine of the UK economy for decades - have been spending less and less in recent quarters.The services sector, which grew by around 2% a year in 2015 and 2016, is now growing by around 1% a year.Image:Snowy weather in February and March exacerbated the slowdown in the economyThe construction sector - always volatile - was certainly affected by the Beast. But activity was already trending lower well before the temperatures dropped.All of which is why overall growth is quite so weak. The first quarter'...
UK economic growth revised downwards

UK economic growth revised downwards

Business
The UK economy expanded by less than previously thought in the last three months of 2017, official figures say.GDP grew by 0.4% in the October-to-December period, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, down from the initial estimate of 0.5%.The revision was due to slower growth in production industries, the ONS said. In 2017 as a whole, the economy grew by 1.7%, also slightly lower than previously thought and the weakest since 2012.The ONS had previously estimated that the economy grew by 1.8% last year.The statistics body said that household spending grew by 1.8% last year, also the slowest annual rate since 2012. It said the slowdown was partly because of shoppers facing higher prices in stores."A number of very small revisions to mining, energy generation and service were enough...
IMF’s Christine Lagarde praises the ‘courage’ of Arab countries undergoing economic reform

IMF’s Christine Lagarde praises the ‘courage’ of Arab countries undergoing economic reform

Finance
Changes in the world economy and the price of oil mean that many countries across the Arab world will need to undergo significant changes in order to survive, and those that are doing so should be praised, Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) told CNBC."These countries have gone through a massive transition. Those that were exporting oil have clearly seen a big drop in their growth rates. But those economies have to transition from an oil-fed economy to a more diversified, more inclusive, reformed economy," Lagarde said at the World Government Summit in Dubai.Some countries are ahead of the game, she described, while others are working on reforms. "But certainly we will be seeing different countries in a few years' time, given where the price of...
UK economic growth 'better than expected'

UK economic growth 'better than expected'

Business
The UK economy grew by a better than expected 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2017 but remains "slower and uneven", official figures show.Britain's performance in the October-December period was an improvement on the 0.4% rate seen in the previous quarter but still meant that for the year as a whole, growth was at its weakest since 2012.The pound, which in recent days has been trading at its highest levels since the Brexit vote, lifted by a cent to just under $ 1.43 in the wake of the figures.Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 1.8% in 2017, below the 1.9% pace seen in 2016, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.ONS head of GDP Darren Morgan said: "Despite a slight uptick in the latest quarter, the underlying picture is of slower and uneven growth across the economy."He said the boo...