Monthly point of conjuncture in November 2014
WORLD ECONOMIC GROWTH AND INFLATION
After a slight dip in growth in 2013, the world economy would certainly do no better in 2014, given the already low levels recorded over the past period, even though at the beginning of the year, the different initial forecasts of most international organizations have bet on a significant improvement in activity. According to the latest IMF indicators, the level of increase in world production would stabilize at 3.3%, while the initial forecasting expected a rate of 3.6%. Indeed, the global economy is still plagued by recurrent instability factors that block the activity both in developed countries and emerging countries. During the first three quarters of 2014, Gross Domestic Product growth of the G20 would be estimated at 3.3% quarter on quarter, against 2.9% for the same period in 2013. However, it should be noted that these figures mask the differences between the economic zones and within them. Thus, within the OECD, the average growth is estimated at 1.8% this year from 1.2% the previous year. If the United States and the United Kingdom seem to draw their game, with rates of RESPECTIVELY 2.3% and 2.9% in 2014 against 1.9% and 1.5% in 2013 it is not the same for the euro zone and Japan, with rates of 0.9% and 0.2% after -0.7% and 1.4% a year earlier.
In the major emerging economies, growth has slowed in this period in China, at 7.4% from 7.7%, but it has accelerated in India, reaching 5.8% after 4.7%. Elsewhere, in Russia and Brazil, the pace of economic growth declined sharply this year to 0.7% and 0.3% respectively against 1.2% and 2.6% a year ago. This weakness of the global economic recovery continues to reduce the rise in consumer prices and the continuing slowdown in price variation made fear the start of a deflationary process, particularly in advanced countries, especially in the Eurozone. Indeed, with the continuing collapse of oil prices, the Community zone frighteningly approximates deflation. According to the latest figures published by the OECD in November, prices in countries sharing the euro rose only 0.3% year on year, after 0.4% in October. Certainly, the slowdown in inflation is common to the whole area, however its evolution is characterized by heterogeneity between, on the one hand, the major economies such as Germany (0.6%), France (0, 3%) and Italy (0.2%) and, on the other hand, countries that have benefited from European financial assistance, such as Spain (-0.4%), Portugal (0.07 %) and Greece (-1.2%). Elsewhere in the US, UK and Japan, the inflation level is estimated relatively high, with rates of 1.3%, 1.0% and nearly 3%.
FINANCIAL AND MONETARY MARKET
On the international financial market, the easing of monetary policy is currently the best thing shared by the major central banks. Just after the US Federal Reserve announcement on the end of its quantitative easing (QE), the European Central Bank (ECB) and Japan announced their intention to strengthen their own easing plan. The purpose of these non- conventional measures is to inject cash into the markets to boost the activity and restore financial stability.
On the interest rates market, major central banks kept their key interest rates at historically low levels. In early November, the European Central Bank announced the continuation of its key rate at 0.05% set in September. Elsewhere, the rates were left unchanged at 0.25% in the US, at 0.05% in the Eurozone, 0.10% in Japan and 0.50% in the UK.
On the foreign exchange market, the euro continues to lose ground against the dollar which benefits from the strength of the US economy. Indeed, in November 2014, the European currency was worth 1.2470 dollars, against 1.2668 dollars, a month earlier, and 1.3491 against the dollar in the same period in 2013. However, against the Japanese currency, the European currency was trading at 144.5 yen, thus appreciating 5.6% in a monthly basis and 7.0% yoy. Against the dollar, the yen depreciates by 7.6% and 16.1% respectively in a monthly basis and year on year.
Lower prices for industrial production
Lower prices for industrial production In November 2014, the industrial activity is marked by a 0.9% decline in producer prices. This is mainly explained by lower producer prices of chemical (-4.5%) and food (- 0.2%) industries. However, the increase in producer prices of construction materials industries (+ 0.3%) and mechanical engineering (+ 0.1%) could not reverse the trend. At the same time, production prices of the extractive industries, energy, textiles and leather, paper and paperboard and other manufacturing industries remained unchanged.
Compared with November 2013, producer prices rebounded 0.7%. The average prices of the first eleven months of 2014 decreased 0.8% compared to the corresponding period of 2013.
The Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices at the base 100 in 2008 decreased by 0.1% in December 2014 compared to the previous month.
This change is attributable to the decline in services prices of «housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels", “transportation" and "recreation and culture". Year over year, the consumer prices fell by 0.8%. The annual inflation rate in 2014 stood at 1.1%.
The underlying inflation remained stable month on month and retreated by 0.5% yoy. The local products price index increased by 0.1% while imported goods prices fell by 0.7%. Year over year, local and imported products prices respectively declined by 0.2% and 2.2%.
The National Index of Consumer Prices fell by 0.4% in October 2014 compared to the previous month.
This was the result of lower prices of "food and non-alcoholic beverages" (-0.9%). However, it is mitigated by the increased cost of services of "communication" (+ 2.8%), «education" (+ 1.8%) and "clothing and footwear articles" (0.6 %). Year over year, the consumer prices fell by 2.3%. The average price ratio of the first ten months of 2014 over that of the corresponding period of 2013 shows 1.5% decrease.
The underlying inflation was down by 0.2% month on month and 2.1% yoy. During the period under review, the price indexes of local and imported products fell by 0.4% each. Compared to October 2013, they have dropped by 2.7% and 1.1% respectively.