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Hong Kong's consumer prices increased at a slightly slower rate in August, less than the consensus estimate, a report from the Census and Statistics Department showed Monday.

Consumer prices rose 3.9 percent year-over-year in August following a 4 percent increase in July. Economists had expected prices to rise at the stable rate of 4 percent.

Prices of electricity, gas and water climbed the most, by 24.3 percent.

This was mainly because mainly because some households had used up the full amount of Government's one-off electricity charge subsidy, the report said.

Excluding the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the underlying consumer prices rose at a slower rate of 3.2 percent in August, after the 3.3 percent rise in July.

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Italy's industrial orders dropped at a stable rate in July, figures from the statistical office Istat showed Monday.

Total orders fell 1.5 percent month-over-month in July, the same rate as in June.

Orders in the domestic market slid 0.9 percent and orders in the international market declined 2.1 percent.

On a year-over-year basis, industrial orders dropped 0.7 percent in July after increasing 1.3 percent in the previous month.

Industrial turnover decreased 1 percent compared to the previous month and 1.3 percent compared to the corresponding month of the previous year in July.

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Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann has criticized the European Central Bank's latest measures to boost the euro area economy, such as the planned purchases of covered bonds and asset-backed securities and covered bonds, as well as the interest rate reduction this month.

The latest decisions suggest a fundamental shift in strategy and a drastic change for the ECB's monetary policy, Weidmann reportedly said in an interview to the German magazine Der Spiegel, published on Sunday.

The majority of the Governing Council has signaled that monetary policy is ready to go very far and to enter new territory, he added.

Last week, banks took up less-than-expected amount of funds at the ECB's first targeted longer term refinancing operation, or TLTRO, damping the hopes of the success of the measure that was aimed to boost liquidity to help revive lending to small businesses and households.

Results of its first TLTRO showed that 255 banks were allotted EUR 82.60 billion, which was below the EUR 100 - EUR 150 billion predicted by analysts.

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Consumer confidence in Denmark declined after six consecutive months of increase in September, a report from Statistics Denmark showed Monday.

The headline consumer confidence index fell to 7.1 in September from 11.4 in August.

Assessment about the current general economic situation dropped to 11.9 from 17.6 in the previous month and the expectations measure also fell to 16.8 from 25 in August.

Consumer's were less optimistic about the family's present economic situation, as the index dipped to 2.1 from 4.8 in August. Perceptions on future family economic situation also deteriorated, with the corresponding index falling to 13.1 in September from 14.6 in August.

Meanwhile, Consumers still expect that unemployment will fall in a year, the survey added.

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Denmark's retail sales rose in August, after remaining stagnant in July, figures from Statistics Denmark showed Monday.

Retail sales grew by a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent month-over-month in August, after remaining unchanged in the previous month.

Retail sales of clothing and other consumer goods increased 2.6 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, sales of food and other groceries remained flat in August.

On a year-over-year basis, retail sales, adjusted for price developments, grew at a faster rate of 1.1 percent in August following the 0.7 percent rise in July.

by RTT Staff Writer

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A leading indicator of India's economy declined in August, data from the Conference Board showed Monday.

The Conference Board leading economic index fell 0.5 percent month-over-month in August following a 0.3 percent increase in July.

Two out of the eight sub-indices contributed positively to the index.

"August's decline in the LEI follows five consecutive monthly increases, and while the LEI still points to continued growth in the second half of the year, the widespread weaknesses among the components suggest the economy may be facing risks," Jing Sima, economist at the Conference Board, said.

Meanwhile, the Conference Board coincident index rebounded by 0.2 percent in August, after the 0.1 percent decline in July.

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Estonia's producer prices declined at a faster pace in August, figures from Statistics Estonia showed Monday.

Producer prices fell 1 percent year-over-year in August following the 0.4 percent drop in July.

Prices in the manufacturing sector slid 0.1 percent and prices in the utilities tumbled 9.7 percent. Meanwhile, prices in the mining sector rose 1.3 percent in August.

On a month-over-month basis, producer prices dropped 0.1 percent in August, after the 0.6 percent rise in July.

The export prices index dropped 2.6 percent year-over-year in August and 0.5 percent month-over month. Likewise, the import price index fell 1.5 percent in August compared to the previous year and 0.7 percent from the previous month.

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Euro Area consumer confidence and Italian industrial orders data are among a few economic data scheduled for release on Monday.

At 10 am ET, the European Commission is expected to release its preliminary consumer sentiment report. The consumer sentiment index is expected to come in at -10.5 in September following the -10 score in August.

At 4 am ET, Italian statistical office ISTAT is scheduled to release its industrial orders report for July. In June, industrial orders had dropped 2.5 percent year-over-year and 2.1 percent month-over-month.

At 9 am ET, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is expected to speak to the European Union Parliament Committee in Brussels.

by RTT Staff Writer

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The unemployment rate in Taiwan edged down in August, less than the consensus estimate, data from the Directorate General of Budget Accounting and Statistics, or DGBAS, showed Monday.

The jobless rate decreased marginally to 3.94 percent in August from 3.95 percent in July. Economists had forecast the jobless rate to fall to 3.93 percent.

Meanwhile, on an unadjusted basis, the jobless rate rose to 4.08 percent in August from 4.02 percent in July.

The number of unemployed persons fell to 473,000 during the month from 464,000 in the previous month.

The total number of employed people increased to 11.11 million from 11.09 million in July.

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Consumer confidence in New Zealand took a bit of a hit in the third quarter of 2014, the latest survey from Westpac Bank revealed on Monday, with an index score of 116.7.

That's down from 121.2 in the second quarter, although it remains comfortably above the line of 100 that separates optimism from pessimism.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand's decision to hike its benchmark Official Cash Rate is seen as the catalyst for lagging confidence, the survey suggested.

Among the individual components of the survey, the index for present conditions fell from 116.8 to 113.0, while the outlook dipped from 124.1 to 119.3.

by RTT Staff Writer

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Hong Kong will on Monday release August inflation data and Q2 current account figures, highlighting a light day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.

In July, the inflation rate was 4.0 percent, while the current account deficit in Q1 was 6.23 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Japan will announce August numbers for supermarket and convenience store sales; in July, sales were down 2.1 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

New Zealand will see Q3 results for the Westpac consumer confidence index; in the second quarter, the index had a score of 121.2.

by RTT Staff Writer

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While the Conference Board released a report on Friday showing a continued increase by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of August, the pace of growth showed a significant slowdown compared to the previous month.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index edged up by 0.2 percent in August after showing upwardly revised increases of 1.1 percent and 0.7 percent in July and June, respectively.

Economists had expected the index to climb by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.9 percent increase originally reported for July.

Ken Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board, said, "The leading indicators point to an economy that is continuing to gain traction, but most likely won't repeat its stellar second quarter performance in the second half."

The modest increase by the leading index reflected positive contributions from the interest rate spread, the ISM new orders index and the Leading Credit Index.

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While the Conference Board released a report on Friday showing a continued increase by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of August, the pace of growth showed a significant slowdown compared to the previous month.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index edged up by 0.2 percent in August after showing upwardly revised increases of 1.1 percent and 0.7 percent in July and June, respectively. Economists had expected the index to climb by 0.4 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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Economic News

Belgium's consumer confidence stabilized in September at the one-year low marked in August, survey data from the National Bank of Belgium revealed Friday.

Consumers' grew more pessimistic regarding the economic situation in Belgium and the relevant index fell to -6 from -5.

On the other hand, households' gave up the negative view regarding their own financial situation, but neither were they optimistic. The corresponding index rose to zero from -1.

Households' were also less pessimistic regarding their savings capacity and the index moved up to -4 from -6. However, the outlook for unemployment became more pessimistic with the index rising to 33 from 32.

by RTT Staff Writer

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Latvia's industrial producer prices rose at a slower annual rate in August than in the previous month, figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics showed Friday.

The producer price index rose 0.5 percent annually after a 0.7 percent gain in July. Prices increase for the third successive month.

Domestic market prices climbed 0.6 percent following 0.3 percent increase in the previous month.

Producer prices were flat in August on a monthly basis, after a 0.2 percent gain in July.

by RTT Staff Writer

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European Central Bank Executive Board Member Benoit Coeure and a Germany's Deputy Labor Minister Joerg Asmussen have urged Germany to cut taxes on wages and promote investment to revive the euro area economy.

In a jointly-authored opinion piece for the German daily Berliner Zeitung and the French financial newspaper Les Echos, Coeure and Asmussen said, "Germany can use some of its budgetary room of manoeuvre to support investment and reduce tax wedges, while preserving its sound fiscal position."

"In doing so, it would tackle some its own future economic challenges," they wrote in the article, also published on the ECB website on Friday.

Asmussen previously was a member of the ECB Executive Board and left the post late last year to join the German government's Labor Ministry. He co-authored the piece in personal capacity, the ECB said.

Germany should also boost competition and productivity in the domestic non-tradable sector, Coeure and Asmussen wrote. They pointed out that this have a positive impact on the country's growth prospects and make it less vulnerable to shocks affecting trade with non-euro area countries.

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Iceland's economy recovered in the second quarter, figures from Statistics Iceland showed Friday.

Gross domestic product, or GDP, rose 2.4 percent year-over-year in the second quarter. This follows a 1.3 percent drop in the first quarter.

On a sequential basis, GDP fell 1.2 percent, which was faster than the 1 percent drop in the first quarter. This marked the third consecutive quarter of decline in GDP.

A separate report from Statistics Iceland showed that GDP increased by a revised 3.5 percent in 2013.

"The economic growth in 2013 is mainly driven by a large surplus in the balance of trade while the domestic final expenditure decreased slightly or by 0.3%.", the report said.

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Slovenia's output prices declined at a stable rate in August, figures from the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia showed Friday.

Output prices fell 0.6 percent year-over-year in August, the same rate as in July. This marked the twelfth consecutive month of drop in prices.

Output prices in the domestic market went down 1.2 percent in August while export market prices remained flat year-over-year.

On a month-on-month basis, output prices increased 0.2 percent in August, after the 0.1 percent rise in July. Export market prices climbed 0.4 percent while domestic market prices remained unchanged.

by RTT Staff Writer

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Eurozone's current account surplus was largely unchanged from the previous month in July, data from the European Central Bank showed Friday.

The current account surplus slightly rose to EUR 18.7 billion from EUR 18.6 billion in June.

The goods trade account surplus fell to EUR 10.7 billion from EUR 16 billion, while the services trade surplus grew to EUR 12.8 billion from EUR 8.6 billion.

The surplus in the income account dropped to EUR 3.6 billion from EUR 4.8 billion and the deficit in the current transfers account narrowed to EUR 8.5 billion from EUR 10.8 billion.

In the financial account, combined direct and portfolio investment recorded net outflows of EUR 17 billion in July. The bank attributed this to net outflows for both portfolio investment at EUR 15 billion, and direct investment at EUR 3 billion.

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Dutch household spending increased in July, a report from the Central Bureau of Statistics showed Friday.

Spending on goods and services rose 0.5 percent year-over-year in July, after remaining unchanged in June and May.

Household spending on services delivered, accounting for more than 50 percent of total spending, contributed 0.6 percentage points to overall increase.

Spending on food, alcohol and tobacco advanced 1.1 percent and spending on durable goods rose 0.6 percent.

Meanwhile, spending on other goods fell 3.5 percent.

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