Russia may see deflation in the early weeks of September, the Ministry of Economic Development said on Wednesday. “We do not rule out deflation in the coming weeks,” a ministry representative told TASS. The Bank of Russia said inflation dynamics in Russia corresponds to the 5-6 percent indicated in its annual outlook, adding that zero inflation in the last week of August was driven by food prices dynamics.
Consumer price inflation in the eurozone was stuck at 0.2 percent in August, a low rate that could encourage the European Central Bank to offer more stimulus sooner rather than later. The figure reported Wednesday by statistics agency Eurostat was the same as in July and below economists’ expectations for an uptick to 0.3 percent. It also remains far short of the ECB’s target of 2 percent. The main culprit was a 5.7 percent annual drop in energy prices. But inflation for other goods and services was also relatively weak. (AP)
Portugal’s economy is growing only half as quickly as the anti-austerity government had hoped, as its key policy of driving domestic demand comes up short. Portugal’s economy grew at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter, the national statistics agency said Wednesday. That is far short of the government’s goal of 1.8 percent for 2016 and places the country among the eurozone’s weakest economies. Its finances are closely watched after it needed a €78 billion ($87 billion) bailout in 2011 and deepened the bloc’s financial crisis. The center-left Socialist government lowered some taxes, reversed government worker pay cuts and raised the lowest pensions. (AP)
The mileage scandal at Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is widening after the Japanese government ordered sales halted on eight more models after finding mileage was falsely inflated. The Japanese automaker acknowledged in April it systematically falsified mileage data on its eK wagon and eK Space minicars, also produced for Nissan Motor Co. The transport ministry carried out its own tests and said Tuesday that it had found other models, including the Pajero sport utility vehicle, had inflated mileage by as much as 8.8 percent, and on average 4.2 percent. No overseas models are affected. Mitsubishi’s vehicle sales in Japan has nose-dived, falling 35 percent last month compared to the same month last year. (AP)
Cyprus and Egypt signed Wednesday an agreement paving the way for the supply of gas to the Arab nation via an undersea pipeline that officials hope will create a regional energy hub. Cypriot Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Tarek el-Molla said the deal sets the political framework for additional commercial agreements that will determine the details of how, where and when the gas will reach Egypt. “This is part of the development of the east Mediterranean gas as a whole,” el-Molla said. Lakkotrypis said the first gas through the new pipeline should reach Egypt sometime between 2020 and 2022. (AP)
The number of Germans without jobs dropped slightly in August in seasonally adjusted terms, leaving the unemployment rate in Europe’s largest economy unchanged at 6.1 percent. The Federal Labor Agency said Wednesday that the number of unemployed dropped by 7,000 in August over July, slightly more than the decline of 4,000 expected by economists. In unadjusted terms, a total of 2.684 million people were jobless in August, up 0.1 percentage point from the previous month for an unemployment rate also of 6.1 percent. That was 111,000 fewer than in August 2015, reflecting ongoing strength in the German labor market. (AP)
Canada will apply to join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the bank’s president Jin Liqun said on Wednesday in a statement issued ahead of a news conference. Canada will submit its application to join the AIIB by the end of 2016, said David Lauzon, a Canadian finance ministry official. (Reuters)