Saudi Arabia converts $ 300 million deposit in Mauritania Central Bank into soft loan
China data to show a sharp decline in March due to the Kovid bite; Turkish Home Sales Growth – Macro Snapshot
Riyadh: China is expected to report a sharp decline in economic activity in March as the Kovid-19 outbreak and lockdowns hit consumers and factories, though first-quarter growth picked up due to a strong start to the year.
Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow 4.4 per cent in January-March, according to a Reuters poll.
On a quarterly basis, however, GDP growth is projected to fall to 0.6 per cent in the first quarter from 1.6 per cent in October-December, indicating the pace of poll cooling.
Analysts say specific data on March activity, especially retail sales, are likely to show a further sharp slowdown, severely damaged by China’s strenuous efforts to contain its largest COVID outbreak since the coronavirus was first discovered in the city of Wuhan in late 2019.
Analysts say April readings will be worse as the mall pulls down lockdowns in Shanghai and elsewhere. Some economists say the risks of a recession are rising.
Turkey home sales rose 20.6%
Turkish home sales rose 20.6 percent in March to 134,170 homes, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute on Friday.
Sales to foreigners rose 31 percent, with Iranian citizens topping the list, the institute said. Iraqis and Russians are next in line to buy Turkish assets.
Wealthy Russians are pouring money into real estate in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, with many property companies saying they are looking for a financial haven in the wake of the Moscow invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions.
March mortgage sales rose 38.8 per cent to 30,271 from the previous year, accounting for 22.6 per cent of total sales during the period.
Foreign currency earnings
Turkey’s central bank has increased the share of foreign currency revenues that exporters have to sell to the central bank from 25 percent to 40 percent, a move designed to boost the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
In January, the government ordered exporters to sell 25 percent of their foreign currency earnings to the central bank, seeking to bulk up its reserves, which declined during the currency crisis late last year.
Although no decisions were made at the time, Reuters reported Monday that authorities are considering raising the threshold to 50 percent.
The central bank’s net foreign currency fell to a record low of $ 7.55 billion in January, mainly as a result of market intervention to raise the tumbling lira. They reached $ 18.30 billion last week, and Turkish officials are looking at export earnings to fill them further.
Turkey’s exports total $ 225 billion in 2021 and government and economists expect it to reach $ 250 billion this year.
Revenue from exports to Russia and Ukraine may initially be in foreign currencies but may be presented in Turkish lira, the central bank said.
BoJ is likely to raise the inflation forecast
Sources close to the bank’s idea said the Bank of Japan is likely to raise its inflation forecast for the current fiscal year to almost 2 percent at this month’s policy meeting, as global commodity inflation raises fuel and food costs.
The upgrade will bring inflation closer to its 2 per cent target, while the central bank emphasizes its intention to keep monetary policy ultra-loose in support of a fragile economic recovery, sources said.
“Consumer inflation could rise to almost 2 percent this fiscal year, but mostly due to fuel and food costs,” a source said.
“Wage growth is slow and it is too early to withdraw stimulus as the economy is still weak,” the source said.