Tuesday December 06 2016
Canadian Trade Deficit At 9-Month Low In October
Statistics Canada | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

Canada's merchandise trade gap was recorded at a CAD 1.1 billion in October of 2016, following an upwardly revised CAD 4.38 billion shortfall in the previous month while markets expected CAD 2 billion deficit. It is the lowest trade gap since January, as imports fell 6.3 percent while imports rose 0.5 percent.

Following a record high in September, total imports were down 6.3 percent to CAD 44.7 billion in October, the lowest level since February 2015. The large decline was mostly attributable to lower imports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts (-42 percent to CAD 4.0 billion) This decrease followed a high-value shipment from South Korea destined for the Hebron offshore oil project, which was responsible for the large increase in September. Also, imports fell for energy products (-11.6 percent to CAD 2.0 billion, the third consecutive monthly decrease) and metal ores and non-metallic minerals. Meanwhile, imports rose by 1.6 percent to CAD 5.3 billion for electronic and electrical equipment. Excluding the CAD 2.9 billion increase in imports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts, total imports would have decreased 0.3 percent, and the trade deficit would have narrowed from CAD 1.5 billion in September to CAD 1.1 billion in October. 

Imports from the United States edged down 0.1 percent to CAD 29.7 billion and from countries other than the United States fell 16.7 percent to CAD 15.0 billion. Lower imports from South Korea (-CAD 3.0 billion) were primarily responsible for the decrease, mainly reflecting the large shipment intended for the Hebron offshore oil project in September. There were also lower imports from Algeria and Saudi Arabia, while imports increased from China and Switzerland. 

Total exports rose 0.5 percent to CAD 43.6 billion. Higher sales of energy products (+5.5 percent to CAD 6.5 billion, the eighth consecutive monthly increase) and motor vehicles and parts (+3.2 percent to CAD 8 billion) were partially offset by lower exports of consumer goods (-3.2 percent to CAD 6 billion) and aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts (-4.5 percent to CAD 1.9 billion). Exports excluding energy products were down 0.3 percent. 

Exports to the United States increased 1.6 percent to  CAD 32.8 billion, led by crude oil and crude bitumen. Sales to countries other than the United States decreased 2.7 percent to CAD 10.8 billion. Sales to the United Kingdom fell 469 million on fewer exports of precious metals. There were also lower exports to Brazil, while exports to Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands increased.

Year over year, total exports increased 1.3 percent while imports were down 1.3 percent. 




Tuesday December 06 2016
US Trade Deficit Widens to 4-Month High in October
BEA | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The trade gap in the United States increased to $42.6 billion in October of 2016, up $6.4 billion from a downwardly revised $36.2 billion in September. Exports recorded the biggest decline since January due to lower shipments of food, industrial supplies and materials, automobiles, consumer goods and soybeans while imports reached the highest in 14 months.

The goods deficit widened by $6.3 billion to $63.4 billion while the services surplus narrowed by $0.1 billion to $20.8 billion.

Total exports of goods and services declined 1.8 percent to $186.4 billion. Sales of goods decreased $3.5 billion to $123.1 billion in October: foods, feeds, and beverages decreased $1.4 billion; soybeans fell $1.0 billion; corn went down $0.5 billion; industrial supplies and materials decreased $1.0 billion; nonmonetary gold dropped $0.5 billion; fuel oil decreased $0.5 billion and consumer goods went down $0.9 billion. Exports of services increased $0.1 billion to $63.3 billion, with transport, which includes freight and port services and passenger fares, rising $0.1 billion.

Total imports rose 1.3 percent to $229.0 billion. Imports of goods increased $2.8 billion to $186.5 billion: pharmaceutical preparations increased $0.7 billion; cell phones and other household goods went up $0.4 billion; capital goods rose $1.1 billion and computer accessories increased $0.6 billion while automotive vehicles, parts, and engines decreased $0.7 billion. Imports of services rose $0.2 billion to $42.4 billion: transport increased $0.2 billion.

Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit decreased $8.8 billion, or 2.1 percent, from the same period in 2015. Exports shrank $58.7 billion or 3.1 percent. Imports decreased $67.5 billion or 2.9 percent.





Tuesday December 06 2016
Russia Inflation Rate At 4-Year Low of 5.8% In November
Federal State Statistics Service | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Russia increased 5.8 percent year-on-year in November of 2016, following 6.1 percent growth in the previous month and below market expectations of 5.9 percent. It was the lowest inflation rate since July 2012, as prices rose at a slower pace for food; clothing and footwear; recreation and culture; furnishings and household equipment and alcoholic beverages and tobacco . On a monthly basis, prices went up 0.4 percent, below market consensus of 0.6 percent.

Prices rose at a slower pace for food (+5 percent from +5.5 percent in October); transport (+5.4 percent from +5.7 percent); clothing and footwear (+7.6 percent from +8.1 percent); recreation and culture (+6 percent from +6.5 percent); furnishings and household equipment (+5.6 percent from +6 percent); and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+8.7 percent from +8.9 percent). Meanwhile, housing and utilities inflation rate was steady at 5.3 percent.

Annual core inflation rate declined to 6.2 percent from 6.4 percent in October.

On a monthly basis, prices went up 0.4 percent, below market consensus of 0.6 percent. Main upward pressure came from: food (+0.8 percent); housing and utilities (+0.1 percent); transport (+0.1 percent); clothing (+0.7 percent); furnishings (+0.3 percent); restaurants and hotels (+0.3 percent); and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+0.5 percent). 




Tuesday December 06 2016
Eurozone Q3 GDP Growth Confirmed At 0.3%
Eurostat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The Euro Area economy advanced 0.3 percent on quarter in the three months to September of 2016, the same as in the previous period and in line with earlier estimates. Household consumption and public spending were the main drivers of growth while fixed investment slowed sharply and net external demand contributed negatively.

On the expenditure side, household consumption increased by 0.3 percent (+0.2 percent in Q2) and government spending advanced by 0.5 percent (+0.4 percent in Q2). Meanwhile, gross fixed capital formation rose at a slower 0.2 percent (+1.2 percent in Q2), and changes in inventories added 0.1 p.p. to expansion (-0.2 p.p. in Q2). The contribution of external trade was negative, with exports rising 0.1 percent (+1.2 percent in Q2) and imports increasing at a faster 0.2 percent (+1.2 percent in Q2).

On the production side, industry grew by 0.4 percent (+0.1 percent in Q2), boosted by manufacturing (+0.3 percent from -0.1 percent in Q2). Construction advanced by 0.5 percent (-0.1 percent in Q2). Among services, output rose for: trade, transport, accommodation and food service activities (+0.4 percent, the same as in Q2); administration and other public services (+0.3 percent from +0.2 percent in Q2), real estate activities (+0.1 percent from +0.2 percent in Q2); professional and support service activities (+0.3 percent from +1 percent in Q2); and financial and insurance activities (+0.1 percent from -0.4 percent in Q2). By contrast, output fell for agriculture, forestry and fishing (-0.6 percent, after showing no growth in Q2).

Year-on-year, the economy advanced 1.7 percent, following a 1.6 percent expansion in the previous three months and better than preliminary figures of 1.6 percent. 




Tuesday December 06 2016
Swiss Deflation Deepens in November
Swiss Federal Statistical Office | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Swiss consumer prices declined by 0.3 percent in the year to November 2016, following a 0.2 percent fall in October and worse than market expectations of a 0.2 percent drop. It was the 25th straight month of deflation and the biggest decline in consumer prices since June this year, mainly due to a fall in prices of leisure activities and accommodation.

Compared with November 2015, cost of recreation and culture dropped 0.4 percent, following a 1.2 percent increase in October; and prices of restaurants and hotels dropped 0.1 percent, after showing no growth the previous month. Additional downward pressure came from: Health (-0.6 percent, the same as in October); transport (-1.7 percent from -2.4 percent); miscellaneous goods and services (-1.8 percent, the same as in October); and furnishings and household equipment (-2.7 percent from -1 percent). By contrast, prices of housing and utilities advanced 0.6 percent, following a 0.3 percent gain in the previous month; and cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages went up 0.8 percent, the same as in October.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.2 percent, after rising 0.1 percent in October, mainly due to lower prices of recreation and culture (-1.5 percent) while cost rose for housing and utilities (+0.3 percent).




Tuesday December 06 2016
South African GDP Growth Steady at 0.7% YoY in Q3
Statistics South Africa l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The South African economy advanced 0.7 percent year-on-year in the September quarter of 2016, the same from an upwardly revised figure in the second quarter. It was the second straight quarter of growth, as an increase in finance & real estates activities, construction and transport & communication offset a decline in the agriculture, mining and manufacturing.

The finance, real estate and business services recorded the fastest growth (+1.8 percent from +2.2 percent in the prior quarter), followed by general government services (+1.7 percent from +1.7 percent), personal services (+1.4 percent from +1.0 percent); transport, storage and communication (+0.1 percent from +0.1 percent); trade, catering and accommodation (+0.5 percent from +1.8 percent), construction (+1.4 percent from +0.3 percent).  

In contrast, production fell for manufacturing (-0.4 percent from +3.6 percent), agriculture (-3.6 percent from -12 percent) mining (-0.1 percent compared to -3.4 percent) and electricity, gas and water (-1.8 percent compared to -2.6 percent).

On a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, the economy expanded 0.2 percent, compared to an upwardly revised 3.5 percent growth in the June quarter and below market estimates of a 0.5 percent expansion. It was the second straight quarter of growth.




Tuesday December 06 2016
South Africa GDP Growth Slows to 0.2% QoQ in Q3
Statistics South Africa l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The South African economy expanded an annualized 0.2 percent on quarter in the three months to September of 2016, compared to an upwardly revised 3.5 percent growth in the June quarter and below market estimates of a 0.5 percent expansion. It was the second straight quarter of growth, mainly supported by mining, general government services and real estate activities while manufacturing shrank.

The largest contributor to GDP growth was mining and quarrying,  growing 5.1 percent and contributing 0.4 percentage point. This was largely the result of increased production in the mining of ‘other’ metal ores, in particular iron ore.

General government services advanced 1.8 percent and contributed 0.3 percentage point to growth.

Growth in finance, real estate and business services went up 1.2 percent and contributed 0.2 percentage point to growth. Activity increased for financial intermediation, auxiliary activities and real estate services.

In contrast, manufacturing industry contracted by 3.2 percent, compared to a 8.1 percent expansion the the June quarter. Notable decreases were reported by the petroleum products, chemicals, rubber and plastic division; the basic iron and steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery division; and the food, beverages and tobacco division. The output for electricity, water and gas shrank 2.9 percent, compared to a 1.8 percent decline in the June quarter,  largely due to a decline in electricity consumed. Similarly, the amount of water distributed decreased, mainly driven by continued dry conditions and water restrictions in most parts of the country. The agricultural sector shrank 0.3 percent, following a 0.8 percent decline in the previous period. It marks the seventh consecutive quarter of contraction due to severe droughts, mainly due to a decline in horticulture products.

Year-on-year, the economy grew by 0.7 percent, the same from an upwardly revised figure in the second quarter.





Tuesday December 06 2016
Australia Holds Cash Rate Steady at 1.5%
RBA l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Reserve Bank of Australia decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at a record low of 1.5 percent during the meeting held on December 6th, as expected. While saying the economy is continuing its transition following the mining investment boom, policymakers judged some slowing in the year-ended growth rate is likely, before it picks up again.

Excerpt from the statement by the governor, Philip Lowe:

In Australia, further increases in exports of resources are expected as completed projects come on line. The outlook for business investment remains subdued, although measures of business sentiment remain above average.

Labour market indicators continue to be somewhat mixed. The unemployment rate has declined this year, although some measures of labour underutilisation are little changed. There continues to be considerable variation in employment outcomes across the country. Part-time employment has been growing strongly, but employment growth overall has slowed. The forward-looking indicators point to continued expansion in employment in the near term.

Inflation remains quite low. The continuing subdued growth in labour costs means that inflation is expected to remain low for some time, before returning to more normal levels.

Low interest rates have been supporting domestic demand and the lower exchange rate since 2013 has been helping the traded sector. Financial institutions are in a position to lend for worthwhile purposes. These factors are assisting the economy to make the necessary adjustments, though an appreciating exchange rate could complicate this.

Conditions in the housing market have strengthened overall, although they vary considerably around the country. In some markets, prices are rising briskly, while in others they are declining. Housing credit has picked up a little, although turnover of established dwellings is lower than it was a year ago. Supervisory measures have strengthened lending standards and some lenders are taking a more cautious attitude to lending in certain segments. Considerable supply of apartments is scheduled to come on stream over the next couple of years, particularly in the eastern capital cities. Growth in rents is the slowest for some decades.

Taking account of the available information, and having eased monetary policy earlier in the year, the Board judged that holding the stance of policy unchanged at this meeting would be consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time.




Tuesday December 06 2016
Philippines Inflation Rate at-21 Month High of 2.5%
Statistic of Philippines l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Philippines rose 2.5 percent year-on-year in November 2016, following a 2.3 percent increase in October and above market expectations of 2.2 percent. It was the highest inflation rate since February 2015, as prices increased at a faster pace for housing and utilities and transport. Core inflation rate rose to 2.4 percent, compared to 2.3 percent in the prior month. On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.6 percent, the biggest growth since July 2014.

Cost rose at a faster pace for: housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (+1.3 percent from + 0.9 percent); transport (+0.5 percent from +0.2 percent) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+6.5 percent from +6.1 percent).

Inflation was steady for: furnishing households equipment and routine maintenance (+2.4 percent); health (+2.6); communication (+0.1 percent) and education (+1.8 percent).

Prices increased at a slower pace for: heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages (+3.3 percent from +3.4 percent); clothing and footwear (+2.6 percent from +2.8 percent); recreation and culture (+1.6 percent from +1.8 percent) and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services (+2.1 percent from +2.4 percent). 

Core consumer prices went up 2.4 percent from a year earlier, faster than a 2.3 percent rise in the prior month. It was the highest inflation rate since April 2015.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices jumped 0.6 percent, after a 0.2 percent gain in October. It was the highest monthly inflation rate since July 2014 driven by: food and non-alcoholic beverages (+0.1 percent); alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+1.3 percent); clothing and footwear (+1.3 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (+0.4 percent); furnishing, households equipment and routine maintenance (+0.1 percent); health (+0.1 percent); transport (+0.2 percent); recreation and culture (+0.1 percent) and education (+0.1 percent). 




Monday December 05 2016
US Services Sector Growth at 13-Month High: ISM
ISM | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI index rose to 57.2 in November of 2016 from 54.8 in the previous month, beating market expectations of 55.4. It is the highest value since October last year, boosted by business activity and employment while new orders growth slowed.

The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased to 61.7 percent, 4 percentage points higher than the October reading of 57.7 percent, reflecting growth for the 88th consecutive month, at a faster rate in November. 

The New Orders Index registered 57 percent, 0.7 percentage point lower than the reading of 57.7 percent in October. 

The Employment Index increased 5.1 percentage points in November to 58.2 percent from the October reading of 53.1 percent. 

The Prices Index decreased 0.3 percentage point from the October reading of 56.6 percent to 56.3 percent, indicating prices increased in November for the eighth consecutive month at a slightly slower rate. 

14 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in November. The majority of respondents' comments are positive about business conditions and the direction of the overall economy.




Monday December 05 2016
Turkish Inflation Rate at 6-Month Low of 7.0% in November
Turkstat l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Turkey rose 7.0 percent year-on-year in November of 2016, following a 7.16 percent rise in October. It was the lowest reading since May, as cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased at a slower pace. On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.52 percent and below market expectations of 0.8 percent gain.

Year-on-year, prices rose at a slower pace for food and non-alcoholic beverages (+3.55 percent compared to +5.20 percent in October); clothing and footwear (+4.59 percent from +60.7 percent); health (+9.16 percent from +9.35 percent) and education (+9.50 percent compared to +9.58 percent). Price increased at a faster pace for: housing and utilities (+5.87 percent from +5.50 percent); miscellaneous goods and services (+10.92 percent compared to +9.34 percent), transportation (+9.57 percent from+8.19 percent); hotels, cafes and restaurants (+8.50 percent compared to +8.34 percent).
 
On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.52 percent, and below market expectations of a 0.8 percent increase, mainly driven by a 3.89 percent gain in cost of clothing and footwear and 0.49 percent rise in transportation.




Friday December 02 2016
Canada Unemployment Rate Falls to 6.8%
Statistics Canada | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The jobless rate in Canada declined to 6.8 percent in November of 2016 from 7 percent in the previous three months, beating market expectations of 7 percent. It is the lowest unemployment rate in five months as the economy added 10.7 thousand jobs and fewer people looked for work.

Part-time jobs rose by 19.4 thousand while full-time decreased by 8.7 thousand. More people were employed in the finance, insurance, real estate and leasing industry, in information, culture and recreation, in the "other services" industry and in agriculture. On the other hand, declines were observed in construction, in manufacturing, as well as in transportation and warehousing.

There were fewer self-employed workers in November, while the number of employees was little changed in both the public and private sectors.

In November, employment increased for men in the 25 to 54 age group and for men 55 and older, while it declined for women 55 and older. There was little change among the other demographic groups.

Provincially, employment rose in Nova Scotia while it fell in Alberta.




Friday December 02 2016
US Jobless Rate At 9-Year Low Of 4.6%
BLS | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

US unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent in November 2016 from 4.9 percent in the previous month and well below market expectations of 4.9 percent. It was the lowest jobless rate since August 2007, as the number of unemployed persons declined by 387 thousand to 7.4 million while the labor force participation rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point to 62.7 percent.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men declined to 4.3 percent in November. The rates for adult women (4.2 percent), teenagers (15.2 percent), Whites (4.2 percent), Blacks (8.1 percent), Asians (3.0 percent), and Hispanics (5.7 percent) showed little or no change over the month. 

The number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs edged down by 194,000 to 3.6 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.9 million and accounted for 24.8 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 198,000. 

The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, changed little in November, and the employment-population ratio held at 59.7 percent. These measures have shown little movement in recent months.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 5.7 million, changed little in November but was down by 416,000 over the year. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. 

In November, 1.9 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, up by 215,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached, there were 591,000 discouraged workers in November, little different from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in November had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.





Friday December 02 2016
US Economy Adds More Jobs Than Expected
BLS | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Total nonfarm payroll employment in the United States increased by 178,000 in November of 2016, more than a downwardly revised 142,000 in October and above market expectations of 175,000. Employment gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care.

Employment in professional and business services rose by 63,000 in November and has risen by 571,000 over the year. Over the month, accounting and bookkeeping services added 18,000 jobs. Employment continued to trend up in administrative and support services (+36,000), computer systems design and related services (+5,000), and management and technical consulting services (+4,000).

Health care employment rose by 28,000 in November. Within the industry, employment growth occurred in ambulatory health care services (+22,000). Over the past 12 months, health care has added 407,000 jobs.

Employment in construction continued on its recent upward trend in November (+19,000), with a gain in residential specialty trade contractors (+15,000). Over the past 3 months,construction has added 59,000 jobs, largely in residential construction.

Employment in other major industries, including mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government, changed little over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in November. In manufacturing, the workweek declined by 0.2 hour to 40.6 hours, while overtime was unchanged at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.6 hours. 

In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls declined by 3 cents to $25.89, following an 11-cent increase in October. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees edged up by 2 cents to $21.73 in November.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up from +191,000 to +208,000, and the change for October was revised down from +161,000 to +142,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 2,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 176,000 per month.




Friday December 02 2016
Switzerland GDP Stalls in Q3
Seco l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Switzerland's economy showed no growth on the quarter from July to September, following a 0.6 percent expansion in the previous three months and missing market consensus of a 0.3 percent growth. While domestic demand and investment grew, government expenditure shrank and the net trade balance contributed negatively as imports rose and exports declined.

In the third quarter, household consumption rose 0.1 percent, after remaining unchanged in the previous quarter. In contrast, government expenditure shrank 0.1 percent, swinging from a 1.7 percent expansion in the preceding three months.

Investment in equipment increased by  0.5 percent, compared to a 0.9 percent decline in the June quarter, driven primarily by research and development as well as machinery. Investment in construction also expanded 0.5 percent, after falling 0.2 percent previously.

Exports of goods (excluding non-monetary gold and valuables) decreased by 0.2 percent, the same pace as in the preceding quarter. Sales fell for precision instrumens, watches and jewellery. In contrast, positive contributions came from chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Imports of goods (excluding non-monetary gold and valuables) rose 0.2 percent, slowing from a 0.5 percent increase in the June quarter.

Year-on-year, the economy expanded 1.3 percent, slowing from a 2.0 percent growth in the June quarter and below consensus of a 1.8 percent growth. 




Friday December 02 2016
Brazil Trade Surplus Widens 297% YoY
Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The trade surplus in Brazil rose to USD 4.76 billion in November of 2016, much higher than a USD 1.2 billion surplus a year earlier. It is the wider surplus for a November month on record and better than market expectations of a USD 3 billion. Exports recorded the biggest gain in six years while imports continued to contract. The country has been reporting trade surpluses since March last year, as a weaker real weighed down on imports but failed to boost exports.

Exports rose 17.5 percent year-on-year to USD 16.22 billion, the first anual rise in three months and the biggest gain since November of 2011. A weaker real has failed to boost sales due to lower international prices for the country's main export commodities, including soybeans, iron, oil, sugar and coffee. Yet, shipments remain around 38 percent lower than a record high reached in August of 2011. Commodities account for nearly 50 percent of total sales.
 
Imports slumped 9.1 percent year-on-year to USD 11.46 billion. Purchases have been falling systematically since 2014 due to a slump in the real and lower internal demand amid a severe recession. Imports fell in all months since March 2014 except in August this year (+0.4 percent year-on-year) and in September of 2014 (+9 percent year-on-year), remaining around 50 percent lower than a record high reached in October of 2013.

Considering the first eleven months of the year, exports declined 3.3 percent over a year earlier to USD 169.3 billion. Sales declined mainly for coffee (-15.9 percent); oil (-14.3 percent); soybean meal (-11.7 percent); corn (-11.1 percent); iron (-10.4 percent) and copper (-8.4 percent) but increased for platforms for oil extraction (222.7 percent); passenger cars (38.2 percent); refined sugar (22.7 percent) and airplanes (14.7 percent). Imports fell at a faster 22 percent to USD 126 billion, due to declines in purchases of fuels and lubricants (-44.9 percent); capital goods (-22 percent), consumption goods (-21.8 percent) and intermediate goods (-17.2 percent). As a result, the trade surplus increased to USD 43282 billion compared to a USD 13445 billion surplus a year earlier. 




Thursday December 01 2016
US Factories Grew For Third Straight Month
Anna | anna@tradingeconomics.com

The Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing PMI rose to 53.2 in November 2016 from 51.9 in October, above market expectations of 52.2. It was the highest reading in five months as new orders, production and inventories of raw materials came in stronger than in the previous month while employment growth slowed down.

The New Orders Index registered 53 percent, an increase of 0.9 percentage point from the October reading of 52.1 percent. The Production Index registered 56 percent, 1.4 percentage points higher than the October reading of 54.6 percent. The Employment Index registered 52.3 percent, a decrease of 0.6 percentage point from the October reading of 52.9 percent. Inventories of raw materials registered 49 percent, an increase of 1.5 percentage points from the October reading of 47.5 percent. The Prices Index registered 54.5 percent in November, the same reading as in October, indicating higher raw materials prices for the ninth consecutive month. Comments from the panel cite increasing demand, some tightness in the labor market and plans to reduce inventory by the end of the year.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 11 are reporting growth in November in the following order: Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Petroleum & Coal Products; Paper Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Chemical Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Machinery; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; and Primary Metals. The six industries reporting contraction in November — listed in order — are: Printing & Related Support Activities; Wood Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Transportation Equipment; and Furniture & Related Products.




Thursday December 01 2016
US Markit Manufacturing PMI Revised UP
Markit | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The Final US Markit Manufacturing PMI increased to 54.1 in November of 2016 from 53.4 in October and above flash estimates of 53.9. It is the strongest reading since October last year as output rose the most in 20 months, payrolls increased and cost inflation slowed.

A sharp and accelerated rise in new business volumes was reported by manufacturing companies during November. This was mainly driven by domestic sales, as new orders from abroad increased only marginally since the previous month, with survey respondents citing competitive pressures and the strong dollar. Anecdotal evidence suggested that improving U.S. economic conditions and greater confidence among clients had led to rising levels of new work.
 
Mirroring the trend for new business, latest survey data highlighted the steepest rise in production volumes since early-2015. Increased manufacturing output has now been recorded for six months in a row, and the latest expansion was faster than the post-crisis trend. Alongside stronger sales, higher production also reflected efforts to boost inventories. Stocks of finished goods have risen in each of the past two months, in contrast to the declines seen through the third quarter of 2016.
 
Improving demand conditions resulted in a sustained accumulation of unfinished work across the manufacturing sector in November. Backlogs have now risen for six months running, which is the longest continuous period since late-2015.
 
Renewed pressures on operating capacity resulted in a moderate increase in payroll numbers. Some firms linked greater staff recruitment to more confidence regarding the business outlook. This also contributed to further increases in input buying and pre-production inventories at manufacturing companies in November.
 
Despite rising purchasing activity, supplier lead times were broadly unchanged in November. Moreover, input cost pressures remained moderate, and the rate of inflation eased from October’s two-year peak. Factory gate charges also increased at a slower pace in November, reflecting weaker cost pressures and intense competition for new work.




Thursday December 01 2016
US Jobless Claims at 5-Month High
DOL | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased by 17 thousand to 268 thousand in the week ended November 26th from the previous week's level of 251 thousand. It is the highest figure since the last week of June and above market expectations of 253 thousand. However, it is the 91st consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970.

The 4-week moving average which smooths out week-to-week volatility was 251,500, an increase of 500 from the previous week's unrevised average of 251,000.
 
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.5 percent for the week ending November 19, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate.

Continuing claims during the week ending November 19 were at 2,081,000, an increase of 38,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 2,043,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,037,500, an increase of 12,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 2,024,750.




Thursday December 01 2016
Italy Unemployment Rate Falls to 11.6%
Istat | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The jobless rate in Italy decreased to 11.6 percent in October of 2016 from 11.7 percent in the previous month, matching market expectations. However, the economy shed 30 thousand jobs and 82 thousand more people left the labour force.

There were 2.989 million unemployed people, 37 thousand less than in the previous month. Employment fell by 30 thousand to 22.75 million and those detached from the labour force increased by 82 thousand to 13.64 million. As a result, the employment rate declined by 0.1 percentage point to 57.2 percent and the inactivity rate rose by 0.2 percentage points to 35.1 percent.
 
Unemployment was steady at 11 percent for men but fell by 0.3 percentage points to 12.4 percent for women as more women were detached from the labour force. The inactivity rate for women went up by 0.3 percentage points to 45 percent while for men it increased by a smaller 0.1 percentage point to 25.2 percent.
 
Among youth, unemployment declined by 0.4 percentage points to 36.4 percent.