Thursday, May 24, 2012

20120524 1108 Local & Global Economy Related News.

Malaysia: Economic growth slows as exports slide
Malaysia’s economy grew at a slower pace of 4.7% in the first quarter as compared with 5.2% in the previous quarter as global economic conditions continued to be challenging. Growth was sustained by firm domestic demand even as exports suffered from weak external demand. First quarter exports contracted the most in nine months, slumping 20.8% y-o-y. Construction sector growth, however, surged 15.5% in the first quarter, double the rate of the previous quarter. (Malaysian Insider)

Malaysia: April inflation rate up 1.9% y-o-y as food, non-food costs rise
Malaysia's inflation rate, measured by the consumer price index (CPI), rose 1.9% in April from a year ago due to increases in food and non-food. The increase in CPI from 102.6 to 104.5 is mainly due to the indices of the food and non-alcoholic and non-food, which increased 2.3% and 1.6% from a year ago. (Bloomberg)

China: Pledges more ‘fine-tuning’ in support for growth
China’s leaders pledged to intensify “fine-tuning” of policies in the second government statement in four days signaling a commitment to growth as domestic demand slows and Europe’s debt crisis escalates. “We must proactively take policies and measures to expand demand and to create a favorable policy environment for stable and relatively fast economic growth,” the government said. (Bloomberg)

Taiwan: April industrial output falls
Taiwan's industrial output fell for the second straight month in April from a year earlier, due to falling demand for electronic, mechanical and petrochemical products amid the rising global uncertainty associated with the European debt crisis. The industrial output index slid 2.3% y-o-y in April to 129.74. The decline was worse than the median 1.2% drop forecast by 10 economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires, but better than March's revised 3.4% fall. From a month earlier, industrial output decreased 4.0%. (Bloomberg)

UK: Retail sales fall most in 2 years as rain hits demand
UK retail sales fell the most in more than two years in April as record rainfall reduced demand for clothing and fuel sales plunged. Sales including auto fuel declined 2.3% from March, when warm weather helped lift sales by an upwardly revised 2%. Sales excluding fuel dropped 1%, the most for almost a year. (Bloomberg)

Spain: To inject EUR9bn into Bankia
The Spanish government will inject at least EUR9bn into Bankia SA to recapitalize the ailing bank, Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos said. The government will provide funds to cover the bank's provisioning needs, as the bank otherwise is unable to comply with two banking reforms presented this year. Bankia is the third-largest bank in Spain by assets and controls about 10% of the country's loans and deposits. (MarketWatch)

UK: BOE's 'finely balanced' decision keeps QE options open
Bank of England policy makers kept open the possibility that they may resume stimulus again, saying a decision to halt bond purchases this month was "finely balanced" because of risks from the euro area. The central bank said in the minutes of the meeting published today that there was a case for injecting more and it could do so if needed. (Bloomberg)

US: New home sales climb 3.3% in April
Sales of new US houses rose 3.3% in April as the real-estate market continued a slow ascent back to good health. The Commerce Department said new homes in the US were sold at an annual rate of 343,000 last month. In March, the sales rate was revised up to 332,000 from an original reading of 328,000. Over the past three months, sales have averaged 344,000 compared to just 301,000 in the same period one year earlier — a 14% increase. (MarketWatch)

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