Net purchases of Indian stocks by foreign investors totaled $311 million at the week ended on May 15, the most since February 17, amid growing expectations of further rates cuts by the central bank following slowing inflation in April. Oversea investors have purchased a net $13.4 billion of local stocks thus far this year.
South Africa’s rand continued to depreciate against the dollar today, sliding as much as 1.2% to a four-year low of 9.4327, as renewed concern over labor unrest and weakening commodity prices weighted on the country’s economy. The rand has declined 3.2% this week.
High-income Economies…Spain posted its first monthly trade surplus on record in March as imports slumped by 15% (y/y), after government budget cuts undermined domestic demand. The trade balance swung to a surplus of 634.9 million euros in March from a deficit of 1.18 billion euros in February and 3.2 billion euros a year earlier. Exports rose 2% (y/y).
Canada’s annual inflation rate fell in April to 0.4% (y/y) on declining gasoline prices, compared to a 1% gain the previous month. This is the slowest in more than three years, taking it below the central bank’s target band of 1-3% and adding to evidence of growing slack in the world’s 11th largest economy.
Japan’s core machinery orders excluding volatile ship and utility orders, which are a key gauge of future investment demand, jumped by 14.2% (m/m sa) in March after a 4.2% gain in February. Orders for Q1 were flat compared to a decline of 3.1% (q/q saar) in Q4. Overseas orders were up by 54.1% (q/q saar) after a 13.3% increase in Q4.
Developing Economies…East Asia and the Pacific: China’s average wages for employees at non-private enterprises grew by 11.9%, down from 14.4% growth in 2011. Non-private enterprises include state-owned companies, listed companies and joint ventures. Average wages for employees at private companies climbed 17.1% 2012, also decelerating from 18.3% increase in 2011.
Europe and Central Asia: Russia’s GDP grew by 1.6% (y/y) in 2013Q1, slowing for a fifth consecutive quarter and down from a 2.4% (y/y) in 2012Q4. Russian economy is affected by the recession in the euro area extended into a sixth quarter, which accounts for about half of Russian trade. In addition, companies are trimming investment, while government spending on the 2014 Sochi Olympics is drawing to a close and public-wage growth slows.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Mexico’s GDP grew by 1.8% (q/q saar) in 2013Q1, down from 3.1% (q/q saar) in the previous quarter. Growth was affected by economic weakness in the United States. In addition, Mexican public sector expenditure ebbed, common at the beginning of a new presidential administration.