Polish Economy Grew Faster in 2nd Quarter on German Expansion

Polish economic growth grew faster than expected in the second quarter as a weak zloty and recovery in western Europe spurred exports.

Gross domestic product rose 3.5 percent from a year earlier, compared with 3 percent in the previous quarter, the Warsaw-based Central Statistical Office said today. The result exceeded the 3.2 percent median estimate of 11 economists in a Bloomberg survey.

Poland, the only European Union member to avoid a recession in 2009, was aided by demand from Germany, where GDP expanded at the fastest pace in two decades during the second quarter. The EU forecasts Poland will outperform again this year, growing 2.7 percent, compared with an average of 1 percent for the 27-member bloc.

Advertisements

Nigeria to privatise power firm PHCN

Nigeria is to sell off the state power monopoly, PHCN, President Goodluck Jonathan has announced.

“We need a revolution in the power sector,” he said, in what was touted as a major policy speech.

Nigeria is one of the world’s largest oil exporters but lacks many basic services, such as a regular electricity supply.

Black-outs are common and those who can afford to, use generators.

Many business leaders say the lack of electricity is one of the biggest obstacles they face.

Meanwhile, many Nigerians joke that PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria) really stands for Please Hold Candle Now.

Copper Demand Driven by Users Replenishing Inventories, BHP Billiton Says

Physical copper demand is being driven by consumers replenishing inventories amid a mixed outlook for commodities in the “short term”, BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, said today.

“There is strong physical demand for some commodities such as copper where consumers are restocking and premiums continue to rise,” BHP Billiton said in an earnings statement to the Australian stock exchange. “There is weaker demand for those commodities where short-term demand is likely to be satisfied by inventory rather than primary supply,” the company said.

Ireland Long-Term Sovereign Credit Rating Cut by S&P

Ireland’s long-term sovereign credit rating was cut one step to AA- from AA by Standard & Poor’s, which cited the projected cost of supporting the nation’s financial sector.

“The negative outlook reflects our view that a further downgrade is possible if the fiscal cost of supporting the banking sector rises further, or if other adverse economic developments weaken the government’s ability to meet its medium- term fiscal objectives,” S&P said today in a statement.

S&P said its new projections suggest that Ireland’s net general government debt will rise toward 113 percent of gross domestic product in 2012. That’s more than 1.5 times the median for the average of euro zone sovereign nations, and “well above” the debt burdens the New York-based firm said it projects for similarly rated countries in the region such as Belgium at 98 percent and Spain at 65 percent.

Asia Slowdown to Have `Serious’ on Affect Europe, Economy Chief Rehn Says

Slower economic growth in China, India or other Asian economies would have a “serious negative impact” on Europe’s growth, the European Union’s economic chief said.

Olli Rehn, the EU commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, said yesterday in a Bloomberg Television interview that a slowdown in the U.S. recovery and turmoil in the sovereign debt markets also could cause concern in Europe.

Strengthening global growth helped Europe’s economy show the fastest expansion in four years in the second quarter after the Greek budget crisis earlier damped confidence in the euro currency and forced governments to step up deficit-cutting measures. Euro-area growth is likely to decelerate in the second half of the year as signs of a slowdown in the U.S. and China dim export prospects.

In the U.S., the world’s biggest economy, the Commerce Department may revise lower its second-quarter growth rate to the slowest since the recovery began, according to the median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg News survey. China’s expansion eased to 10.3 percent in the second quarter and industrial production cooled more than forecast in June, data showed last month, signaling a deeper second-half slowdown.

Household finance under pressure in August

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11053227

Household finances came under pressure on all fronts in August, according to market researchers Markit and YouGov.

Their survey of 2,000 households showed people were increasingly worried about losing their jobs and higher costs of living.

The Household Finance Index suggests individuals are feeling few benefits from the growing economy.

Some 30% of polled households said their finances had worsened, compared to 6% who said they had improved.

Nearly 69% of respondents reported a rise in the price of their goods and services in August from July, the highest level since the survey began 18 months ago.

Tim Moore, economist at Markit, said: “Stronger growth in the UK economy has done little to put a floor under the downturn in household finances.”

Tottenham Hotspur name Investec as second shirt sponsor

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10997870

Tottenham Hotspur has signed a deal under which specialist bank and asset management firm Investec will become its second shirt sponsor.

Software infrastructure company Autonomy is the White Hart Lane club’s shirt sponsor in the Premier League.

Now Investec will become shirt sponsor for Champions League and domestic cup competitions for the next two years.

The Autonomy deal is worth £20m, and the Investec deal is believed to be worth worth £5m over two years, although the club has not disclosed the value.

Emerging economies alter dynamics of oil demand

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a6b6d93a-abc0-11df-9f02-00144feabdc0.html

Emerging economies have upended the long-standing pattern of global oil consumption, according to the west’s energy watchdog, in a further sign of how countries such as China and India are transforming commodities markets.

The International Energy Agency estimates that oil demand was higher this year during the second quarter for the first time, at about 86.6m barrels a day, ahead of the traditional peak winter season of January-March, at 86.0m b/d.

But with growing demand for oil coming from countries such as China, India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Indonesia, seasonal patterns are changing, a trend the Paris-based IEA believes will accelerate.

The IEA said: “This emerging seasonality will probably raise new refining and logistical challenges.”

In the past, oil demand fell 1.5-2.0m b/d between the first and second quarters, allowing refineries to undergo maintenance. Low demand periods helped to build inventories to meet peak consumption later.

Russian grain ban angers traders

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4a47ed9a-a898-11df-86dd-00144feabdc0.html

Workers at Novorossiysk, a sprawling port on Russia’s Black Sea coast, were rushing at the weekend to load a last ship with grain before an export embargo kicked in.

Analysts said the embargo had enraged grain traders and ports that have flourished during bumper harvests in the past two years. “Everything was working like a Swiss clock – and then it was stopped in one minute by a decree,” said Dmitry Rylko, the director of the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies, a Moscow-based consultancy.

Moscow announced the grain export ban early this month as an extreme heatwave and drought destroyed more than one-fifth of Russia’s grain crops and wildfires swept across the European part of the country.

Vietnam Devalues Currency to Boost Exports as Stocks Approach Bear Market

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-18/vietnam-devalues-currency-to-boost-exports-as-stocks-approach-bear-market.html

Vietnam devalued its currency for the third time since November, moving to reverse a slump in exports that helped to drive stocks close to a bear market.

The dong slid to a record-low 19,425 per dollar at 9:28 a.m. in Hanoi after the central bank lowered the reference rate by 2 percent to help control a trade deficit. The Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange’s VN Index dropped 1.6 percent to 455.96, extending its decline from the May peak to 17 percent, near the 20 percent that would indicate a bear market.

A weaker currency may boost exports and demonstrates the government’s focus on boosting economic growth over further easing inflation, said Prakriti Sofat, a Singapore-based economist at Barclays Capital. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in June the economy may expand as much as 7 percent this year, beating the 6.5 percent target, from 5.3 percent in 2009.

“The main reason for the central bank’s move is to balance onshore foreign-exchange demand-and-supply and to support exporters,” Sofat said. “Vietnam largely exports low value- added goods and typically competes on prices.”