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The petrol crisis is over and the Prime Minister has avowed to take strict action against those responsible. The venue of the commitment: a meeting that he chaired on petroleum matters with the Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi conspicuously absent, reportedly on a visit to Qatar to clinch the LNG import deal. The other ministers present mentioned in the report filed by the stat- owned news agency were Ministers for Finance Ishaq Dar and Water and Power Khawaja Asif - their presence an acknowledgement by the Prime Minister of the obvious: that their portfolios' must routinely interface for smooth supply of petroleum products to consumers.

Venezuela's deepening economic troubles, and in particular the weakness of the bolivar and restrictive currency controls, have hurt US corporate profits for the fourth quarter of 2014 and are set to inflict further pain this year.
Vo Van Duong's bamboo and coconut leaf house looks much like others deep in Vietnam's Mekong Delta. But unlike them, his seemingly simple abode is designed to withstand typhoons, flooding and earthquakes - and at a cost of less than $4,000 could herald a new wave of cheap, sustainable housing.
The rate cut has brought a sigh of relief for an otherwise disgruntled business community. The decision is better than the expectations as most of the analysts and economists were anticipating 50bps cut which was supposedly in line with IMF's directive. BR Research was also in favour of a 50bps cut. Inflation is down and is expected to remain low in the second half as well - SBP's projection of full year inflation was revised down to 4.5- 5.5 percent (annual target: 8%) while BR Research's estimates are even less than that.
The key macroeconomic indicators have improved further since the last monetary policy decision of November 2014. CPI inflation and its expectations continue to follow a downward trajectory. In the last two months of November and December 2014 trade deficit has declined, though it has increased in H1-FY15 when compared to H1-FY14. Moreover, considerable foreign exchange inflows have contributed in maintaining an upward trajectory in foreign exchange reserves. Containment of fiscal deficit thus far is also encouraging and bodes well for the credibility of consistent and coherent policies of the government and for the continuation of official and private capital inflows. With these positive developments, first half of the current fiscal year ended on a better macroeconomic outlook for the remaining months of FY15.
Long-standing ties between the United States, the world's oldest democracy, and Saudi Arabia, an ultra-conservative Islamic absolute monarchy, have strained at times, but the unlikely allies remain bound by mutual interests in regional stability and oil. The depth of the complex relationship was highlighted late Thursday as President Barack Obama mourned the loss of king Abdullah, saying he had "appreciated our genuine and warm friendship" praising the late monarch as both "candid" and "bold."
The International Monetary Fund is far from being done with Ukraine, its latest mega-bailout client. A new aid plan for Kiev - larger and longer - is under discussion and raises the risk for the global crisis lender as Ukraine sinks deeper into war against pro-Moscow separatists. Less than a year ago, the IMF agreed to a $17 billion, two-year loan to help the country rebuild its finances and economy. But already that is proving not nearly enough.


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 22, 2015
Reserves $10.331 bln