Southeast Asia: Malaysia, Singapore grapple with prolonged dry spell
According to CNBC, Malaysia and Singapore are both facing some of the driest weather on record, which is putting pressure on water supplies and also disrupting farming and offshore fishing.
Ukraine: Hryvnia keeps falling on higher inflation expectations
As the Kyiv Post reports, on 25 February, the interbank foreign exchange market’s trade session closed with the hryvnia (UAH) at 9.68-9.78 against the dollar (USD), bringing it close to the 2008 record low value of 10.00 UAH per USD. Increasing inflation expectations, the likelihood of a default as a result of recent political developments and a persistent current account deficit are the main drivers behind the hryvnia deterioration.
Eurozone: Expectations for Growth in Europe Are Increased
The NY Times reports that the newly released forecasts from the European Commission show stronger growth in the common-currency area this year and next. The economy of the 18-country euro zone is expected to grow 1.2% in 2014 and 1.8% in 2015.
Germany: German consumer confidence rises to 7-year high
Consumer confidence in Germany remains on an upward trend, according to the GfK forward-looking indicator. According to GfK, the index rose to 8.5 points in March, from 8.3 points in February. March’s result overshot the 8.2 points expected by analysts.
United Kingdom: Trade Leads U.K. Economy to Growth as Recovery Broadens
Bloomberg reports that the British economy grew 0.7% in the last quarter of 2013 over the previous quarter. The result was broadly in line with the economists’ forecast. The largest contribution to growth came from net trade, handing a boost to Chancellor Osborne who warned this month that Britain needs to export and invest more to boost the recovery.