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2015-05-18 18:15:00



Venezuela is pushing for a new agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC nations to stabilize oil prices, President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday, in the most serious indication yet of a renewed drive to boost prices back to $100 per barrel.

Cash-strapped Venezuela has been a historic price hawk, and a severe recession and product shortages have heightened Maduro's need for a market recovery.

"We're currently working on a deal that hopefully can materialize in June regarding an announcement between OPEC and some of the most important (oil) producers in the world to finish stabilizing the market in the second half of the year," he said after a meeting with Qatar's emir.

It is unclear how successful these efforts may be now, with global Brent prices having rebounded by nearly 50 percent from their January lows to more than $65 a barrel.

His comments come a month after Russian officials said they had been in "unprecedentedly" active consultation with OPEC nations, although there has been no tangible result from those discussions.

Officials from Russia, the world's second-largest producer, have given no sign that they are willing to cut.

"It's in the best interest of Venezuela and OPEC for the price of (oil) to stabilize at 100 (dollars) in the medium term," said Maduro.

That view is at odds with many others in OPEC, with most saying they do not expect to see such prices for years to come. Some OPEC sources have suggested the group's core Gulf members are hoping for crude to equalize at around $70 a barrel, in line with what analysts are currently projecting for 2016.

Maduro himself said in January prices would not return to $100, and told citizens, "God will provide."

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets on June 5 in Vienna. The group in November shot down calls by price hawks including Venezuela for an output cut.

Ali al-Naimi, the oil minister of OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia, has said in recent months that he is open to cooperating with non-OPEC producers to stabilize the market, but that OPEC will no longer cut output without other nations joining in.

While OPEC and non-OPEC nations agreed to joint output cuts 15 years ago to revive prices that had tumbled to $10 a barrel, many analysts doubt they have the political will to do so again - and wonder if Gulf members would trust any pledges to pump less.




2018, June, 18, 14:00:00


IMF - Within the next few years, the U.S. economy is expected to enter its longest expansion in recorded history. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the approved increase in spending are providing a significant boost to the economy. We forecast growth of close to 3 percent this year but falling from that level over the medium-term. In my discussions with Secretary Mnuchin he was clear that he regards our medium-term outlook as too pessimistic. Frankly, I hope he is right. That would be good for both the U.S. and the world economy.

2018, June, 18, 13:55:00


IMF - The near-term outlook for the U.S. economy is one of strong growth and job creation. Unemployment is already near levels not seen since the late 1960s and growth is set to accelerate, aided by a near-term fiscal stimulus, a welcome recovery of private investment, and supportive financial conditions. These positive outturns have supported, and been reinforced by, a favorable external environment with a broad-based pick up in global activity. Next year, the U.S. economy is expected to mark the longest expansion in its recorded history. The balance of evidence suggests that the U.S. economy is beyond full employment.

2018, June, 18, 13:50:00


U.S. FRB - Industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in May after rising 0.9 percent in April. Manufacturing production fell 0.7 percent in May, largely because truck assemblies were disrupted by a major fire at a parts supplier. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, factory output moved down 0.2 percent. The index for mining rose 1.8 percent, its fourth consecutive month of growth; the output of utilities moved up 1.1 percent. At 107.3 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 3.5 percent higher in May than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.2 percentage point in May to 77.9 percent, a rate that is 1.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.

2018, June, 18, 13:45:00


IMF - South Africa’s potential is significant, yet growth over the past five years has not benefitted from the global recovery. The economy is globally positioned, sophisticated, and diversified, and several sectors—agribusiness, mining, manufacturing, and services—have capacity for expansion. Combined with strong institutions and a young workforce, opportunities are vast. However, several constraints have held growth back. Policy uncertainty and a regulatory environment not conducive to private investment have resulted in GDP growth rates that have not kept up with those of population growth, reducing income per capita, and hurting disproportionately the poor.

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