Economic and financial indicators

• The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 13,000 for the first time. Investors were buoyed by the news that orders for durable goods grew by 3.4% in March and by more than originally thought in February. New orders for non-defence capital goods, excluding aircraft, grew by 4.7%. This will ease worries, voiced by the Federal Reserve, that “sluggish” business investment might slow the economy. • German businessmen are in confident mood. The Ifo institute's business-climate index, based on a survey of about 7,000 companies, rose to 108.6 in April, almost regaining its December peak. The euro also neared its strongest rate against the dollar of over $1.366, set in December 2004.

• Sales of existing homes in America fell by 8.4% in March, the biggest decline since the 1980s. The National Association of Realtors blamed bad weather. Sales of new homes, on the other hand, rose by 2.6% last month. • Britain's economy maintained a steady pace in the first three months of 2007, growing by 0.7% for the second quarter in a row. In the year to the first quarter, GDP grew by 2.8%. • South Korea's GDP grew by 4% in the year to the first quarter. • New Zealand pioneered many of the liberal reforms the OECD prescribes for others. But despite the economy's flexibility and resilience, the OECD is worried by its external deficit and disappointed by its “lacklustre” productivity growth.

Gross domestic product(% change on year ago)
Latest Previous quarter china +11.1 na 2007 2008(late st 3 months) +9.7


Switzerland +2.2









Industrial production latest
Indonesia china Pakistan Singapore +23.1 +17.6 +6.8 -2.9

Consumer prices
latest Venezuela Israel Pakistan +18.5 -0.9 +7.7 Year ago +12.1 +3.6 +6.9 2007 +18.3 +1.4 +6.8

Unemployment rate(%)
South Africa Poland Singapore Pakistan 25.5 14.4 2.6 na

Index April 25 Egypt 64559.0 Hermes) China in 208.5 terms$) Pakistan 12166.0 One week -1.8 +3.7 -0.2 %change in local currency +5.3 +58.4 +21.2 In $ terms +5.8 +60.2 +21.6

Trade, exchange rate, budget balances and interest rates
Trade balance ($ bn) Germany United states Pakistan +213.0 -825.2 -13.4

Current account balance
Latest 12 months($ bn) japan United states pakistan +173.9 -856.7 -6.5 %GDP 2007 +4.1 -6.1 -5.4

Currency units per $
April 25th uk Indonesia Pakistan 0.50 9082 60.7 Year ago 0.56 8800 60.0

Budget balance % of GDP (forecast) 2007
Norway Saudi Arabia Egypt Pakistan 18.7 13.7 -7.6 -4.6

Interest rate%
3 month latest turkey japan pakistan 19.06 0.57 9.76 10 years gov’t bonds latest 18.29 1.65 6.66

Broadband subscribers
• The number of broadband subscriptions in OECD economies rose from 157m, or 13.5 per 100 people, in December 2005 to 197m, or 16.9 per 100 people, a year later. Denmark and the Netherlands top the chart, with more than 30 subscriptions per 100 people. In 2006 these two countries overtook South Korea, the leader for several years, and Iceland. Operators in some countries are upgrading connections to fibre, which now accounts for 7% of the OECD total. South Korea boasts seven fibre-using subscriptions per 100 people and Japan has 6.2. Both countries are seeing a decline in DSL, commonly the leading access technology elsewhere. Cable is the most common method in America and Canada.