Consumption the main growth driver in Romania as retail sales soar in 1Q19

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 7, 2019

Romania's average retail sales index was up 8.4% y/y in 1Q19, the highest annual growth rate in the past five quarters and no surprise after the net average wage rose by 14% y/y in January-February.

Russia's Services PMI eases notably in April, composite output down

bne IntelliNews May 6, 2019

Russia's services sector posted a notable slowdown in April, as the May 6 report by IHS Markit showed the softest rise in services output since June 2018, while the rate of new business growth slowed down to a ten-month low.

Russian crude production down 0.6% m/m in April, gas output rose 3.9% y/y

bne IntelliNews May 6, 2019

The decline in Russian crude output continued to be driven by the production cuts at integrated oil companies under the OPEC+ agreement. The exception was Gazprom Neft, which increased crude output 3.3% m/m.

Investment flows into EMs up – except Russia

bne IntelliNews May 2, 2019

Non-resident investment flows into emerging markets equity was up in April to $38bn in April, except Russia which saw $2.8bn of outflows as sanctions fears reappear.

Russia’s PMI remains in the black on rising new orders but slows from March

bne IntelliNews April 30, 2019

Russian manufacturers registered a moderate improvement in operating conditions in April on the back of growing production and a strong increase in client demand, but activity slowed from March’s strong result.

Prague recorded the lowest unemployment rate of 1.3% again among EU regions

bne IntelliNews April 30, 2019

Czech capital Prague again posted the lowest unemployment rate in the European Union of 1.3% in 2018, followed by Czech South-West region, according to Eurostat data published on April 29.

Bond flows into EMs and Russia flashing red, says BCS GM

Ben Aris in Berlin April 29, 2019

Bankers warned that bond markets were “flashing red” after nearly a billion dollars left emerging market bonds in the last week, reports BCS Global Markets.

Russia’s reserves top $490bn in April, highest level since 2014

bne IntelliNews April 28, 2019

The CBR has been able to build up reserves thanks to the record high current account surplus that topped $115bn in 2018.

Russia’s corporate profits rise strongly year-on-year in first months of 2019 but a boom is still a long way off

bne IntelliNews April 27, 2019

The various crises of recent years have caused a consolidation with the result that profits have become increasingly concentrated in the biggest companies and are growing.

Putin’s popularity rises mildly in April, but governors' popularity rises dramatically

bne IntelliNews April 27, 2019

The mood of the population in Russia improved in April as approval ratings rose mildly across the board, according to the latest political polls from independent pollster the Levada Center.

Russia's business confidence turns in another -2% result in April

bne IntelliNews April 27, 2019

There was a wobble last autumn, but since the start of this year business has been cautiously optimistic about how the rest of the year will turn out.

Russia’s CBR keeps rate unchanged, allows for cuts in 2Q19

bne IntelliNews April 26, 2019

As expected the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) kept rates on hold at 7.75%, but analysts say it will cut them at least once and maybe twice later this year

Russian foreign debt increased slightly in 1Q19

bne IntelliNews April 26, 2019

Russia’s external debt increase slightly in the first quarter, mainly due to the government’s debt to foreigners, Bank of Finland Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT) reports.

Immigration pushed up Slovenia’s population in 2018

bne IntelliNews April 25, 2019

Slovenia is an attractive destination for workers from other former Yugoslavian countries as it offers the highest wages in the region.

Ukraine's NBU cuts rates for the first time since last summer to 17.5%

bne IntelliNews April 25, 2019

The steady downward trend in inflation towards the 5% target allows the National Bank of Ukraine to begin the cycle of reducing the refinancing rate, said the central bank's governor Yakiv Smolii.

Ukraine industrial output increases 2% y/y in March

bne IntelliNews April 25, 2019

Ukraine's industrial output rose 2.1% year-on-year in March, after a 1.8% y/y fall in February, due to restored growth in manufacturing and continuing growth in mining, the nation's state statistics service Ukrstat reported on April 23.

Czech household confidence down for third consecutive month, at its lowest level since 2016

bne IntelliNews April 25, 2019

Confidence in Czech economy increased very slightly by 0.1 point month-on-month in April to 97.1 from 97.0 in March

Slovakia´s unemployment rate at its new minimum in March, the lowest number since 1993

bne IntelliNews April 24, 2019

Slovakia´s registered unemployment rate amounted to 5.03% in March, from 5.16% in February, down by 0.13 percentage points (pp) month-to-month and by 0.52pp year-on-year, according to data published by the Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Centre

Russia cautious over Zelensky win in Ukraine

bne IntelliNews April 24, 2019

The Kremlin believes that it would be premature for President Vladimir Putin to send congratulatory messages to Volodymyr Zelenskiy on winning the presidential election in Ukraine or to talk about opportunities for collaboration.

Russia's unexpectedly mild inflation gives the CBR room for two rate cuts this year, says VTBC

bne IntelliNews April 23, 2019

Russia’s inflation surged at the end of 2018 but has been much milder this year, leading some analysts to say the central bank of Russia will cut rates twice during 2019.