The specter of competing regional trade deals and a rapidly deteriorating trade balance is pushing the Brazilian government to open up the most closed major economy of the Western Hemisphere. Today’s graphic shows trade balance and trade as percentage of GDP for BRIC, Mexico and U.S.
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Australia’s “Big Four” banks – Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, National Australia Bank , Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corp – are on track for combined record first-half cash profits of more than A$13 billion, defying the subdued credit environment. With capital to spare, they are competing for investors with dividend giveaways. Today’s graphic shows the global top 15 banks by market cap. It also shows the top banks combined market cap as a percent of GDP by country.
Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at a 2.5% annual rate after growth nearly stalled at 0.4% in the fourth quarter. The increase, however, missed economists’ expectations for a 3.0% growth pace. Today’s graphic breaks down GDP and tracks the changes over the last four years.
Cyprus said that a sale of its gold reserves was among the options for its contribution towards an international bailout, but ultimate responsibility rested with its central bank. Because of this, euro zone nations such as Italy and Portugal could come under pressure to put their bullion reserves to work. Today’s graphic looks at gold reserves as a percentage of debt and GDP for some of the world’s largest economies.
Italy’s stunned political parties searched for a way forward after an inconclusive election gave no one a parliamentary majority. Financial markets fell sharply at the prospect of a stalemate and threatening prolonged instability and a renewal of the European financial crisis. Today’s graphic is a snapshot of the Italian economy using eight key economic indicators.
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Today’s graphic shows the top economic releases expected globally this week, including the median forecast of analysts surveyed by Reuters and the last reported figure. Do you think we’ll see any major surprises?
Last week, Yoshihiko Noda became the longest serving Japanese prime minister since Junichiro Koizumi stepped down in 2006 after five years in office. Since it seems as though a loss is looming, a comeback from behind would be nothing short of a political miracle. But since the vote is unlikely to produce a clear winner, a solid election result could keep Noda’s party in play if some sort of coalition is formed. Today’s graphic looks at key economic indicators during the tenures of Japanese prime ministers since 2000.
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Not all new countries are really new. Some are born almost fully formed and others have to start from nothing. South Sudan, whose first year Reuters has chronicled in a series of special reports, is the most extreme example of that. A Reuters examination of more than a dozen key indicators in the 31 nations founded or reconstituted since 1990 shows just how steep a climb South Sudan faces. Today’s graphic shows the progress made by new countries using 6 key indicators (GDP per capita, life expectancy, under 5 mortality, press freedom, corruption perception, and debt as percentage of GDP).
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The ASEAN Summit is an annual meeting held by the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in relation to economic, and cultural development of Southeast Asian countries. This year’s summit takes place in Cambodia on Saturday & Sunday, followed by the East Asia Summit on Monday & Tuesday. Today’s graphic has some key statistics about the ASEAN economies.
By Andy Bruce, Polling Correspondent, Reuters
The euro zone’s new recession will extend until the end of the year and 2013 promises little better than stagnation, a Reuters poll of more than 70 economists showed on Thursday.
Conducted before Thursday’s data that showed the euro zone returned to recession in the third quarter, the survey showed only meager economic growth awaits the region over the coming year.
For the first time, economists expect the current recession to spill over into this quarter as well. The consensus was for a 2012 contraction of 0.5 percent and just a 0.1 percent growth next year.
With more austerity on the way across the continent, which sparked a series of general strikes across southern Europe on Wednesday, Europe’s leaders have left themselves few options to spur economic growth next year. (more…)