Category Archive: 2) Swiss and European Macro

Main Author George Dorgan
George Dorgan
George Dorgan (penname) predicted the end of the EUR/CHF peg at the CFA Society and at many occasions on SeekingAlpha.com and on this blog. Several Swiss and international financial advisors support the site. These firms aim to deliver independent advice from the often misleading mainstream of banks and asset managers. George is FinTech entrepreneur, financial author and alternative economist. He speak seven languages fluently.

Swiss Producer and Import Price Index in December 2019: -1.7 percent YoY, +0.1 percent MoM

17.01.2020 - The Producer and Import Price Index rose in December 2019 by 0.1% compared with the previous month, reaching 100.7 points (December 2015 = 100). Compared with December 2018, the price level of the whole range of domestic and imported products fell by 1.7%. The average annualised inflation rate in 2019 was –1.4%.

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House View, January 2020

Our asset allocation is dominated by a wish to stay diversified in a fragile environment. Continued ‘noise’ around trade is likely to leave markets alternating between disappointment and hope. With this in mind, we have a neutral stance on government bonds and developed-market equities alike, although we still see select opportunities in equities and appreciate the protective function of safe-haven bonds.

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Pension funds have absorbed 2018 fall in stock market values

16.12.2019 - Overall, the pension funds have survived the sluggish stock markets of 2018. The negative net return on investments was largely offset by using 40% of the existing reserves for fluctuations in asset value. Underfunding rose by 20%. These are some of the final results from the Federal Statistical Office’s 2018 pension fund statistics.

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Swiss Retail Sales, November 2019: -0.7 percent Nominal and 0.0 percent Real

09.01.2020 - Turnover adjusted for sales days and holidays fell in the retail sector by 0.7% in nominal terms in November 2019 compared with the previous year. Seasonally adjusted, nominal turnover fell by 0.3% compared with the previous month. These are provisional findings from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

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Swiss Consumer Price Index in December 2019: +0.2 percent YoY, +0.4 percent MoM

07.01.2020 - The consumer price index (CPI) remained stable in December 2019 compared with the previous month, remaining at 101.7 points (December 2015 = 100). Inflation was +0.2% compared with the same month of the previous year. The average annual inflation reached +0.4% in 2019.These are the results of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

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Swiss Trade Balance November 2019: Foreign trade continues to contract

As in the previous month, cross-border flows of goods fell in both directions of traffic in November 2019. In seasonally adjusted terms, exports fell 1.7% on a month compared to 1.1% for imports. Swiss sales fell back to their level at the start of 2019, while admissions fell by almost a billion francs. The trade balance closed with a surplus of 2.2 billion francs.

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ECB: Preview of the review

We see the ECB remaining on hold throughout next year although we believe it could tweak some of the technical parameters of its toolkit. The first press conference of any new ECB President is an event in itself, and this time will be no different. Christine Lagarde's debut this week will understandably attract a lot of attention as the media and market participants scrutinise both form and substance.

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Swiss Producer and Import Price Index in November 2019: -2.5 percent YoY, -0.4 percent MoM

12.12.2019 - The Producer and Import Price Index fell in November 2019 by 0.4% compared with the previous month, reaching 100.5 points (December 2015 = 100). This decline was due in particular to lower prices for chemical and pharmaceutical products. Compared with November 2018, the price level of the whole range of domestic and imported products fell by 2.5%.

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Switzerland Unemployment in November 2019: Up to 2.3 percent, seasonally adjusted unchanged at 2.3 percent

Unemployment registered in November 2019 - According to surveys by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), at the end of November 2019, 106,330 unemployed were registered at the regional employment agencies (RAV), 4,646 more than in the previous month. The unemployment rate rose from 2.2% in October 2019 to 2.3% in the month under review.

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Upward pressure on equity volatility mitigated by fund flows

Whereas inflation is expected to be dormant next year, our expectation of real GDP growth of just 1.3% in the US in 2020 could put upward pressure on equity volatility. Since monetary policy tends to lead volatility by two and a half years, the Fed’s turn toward quantitative tightening in 2017 is also continuing to exert upward pressure on volatility levels for now.

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Core sovereign bonds 2020 Outlook

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Swiss Consumer Price Index in Novemeber 2019: -0.1 percent YoY, -0.1 percent MoM

03.12.2019 - The consumer price index (CPI) fell by 0.1% in November 2019 compared with the previous month, reaching 101.7 points (December 2015 = 100). Inflation was –0.1% compared with the same month of the previous year. These are the results of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

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Swiss Retail Sales, October 2019: +0.1 percent Nominal and +0.9 percent Real

02.12.2019 - Turnover adjusted for sales days and holidays rose in the retail sector by 0.1% in nominal terms in October 2019 compared with the previous year. Seasonally adjusted, nominal turnover rose by 0.9% compared with the previous month.

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Euro Area 2020 Macro Outlook

After an estimated 1.2% in 2019, we expect GDP growth of 1.0% in the euro area in 2020. Country wise, we expect more manufacturing-intense countries to underperform more domestically driven ones. Thus, we project weak growth of 0.7% in Germany and 0.4% in Italy in 2020, while we expect France and Spain to remain relatively resilient, growing by 1.2% and 1.7%, respectively.

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Switzerland GDP Q3 2019: +0.4 percent QoQ, +1.1 percent YoY

Switzerland’s GDP rose by 0.4% in the 3rd quarter of 2019, after increasing by 0.3% in the previous quarter. Exports of chemical and pharmaceutical products and energy were key contributing factors. In other areas, the impact of the subdued international environment was felt more strongly. The economic slowdown is being borne out on the whole.

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Swiss wage index 2019: Real and minimum wages increased by 1.1 percent and 0.8 percent respectively in 2019

26.11.2019 - The social partners signatory to Switzerland's main collective labour agreements (CLA) agreed a nominal rise in real wages of 1.1% and a nominal rise in minimum wages of 0.8% for 2019. Real wages increased by 0.5% at collective level and by 0.6% at individual level. These are the some of the results of the wage agreements survey carried out by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

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Employment Barometer in the Q3 2019: Employment higher than ever

26.11.2019 - Total employment rose in the third quarter by 1.3% compared with the same quarter a year earlier. At 5.137 million jobs it reached the highest level since the statistics began. In full-time equivalents, employment in the same period rose by 1.1%. The Swiss economy counted 6900 more vacancies than in the corresponding quarter of the previous year (+9.6%).

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Currencies: do it with style

Our scenario of ongoing global growth moderation and elevated political uncertainties should, we believe, support defensive currencies. We consider a currency ‘defensive’ if it is likely to remain resilient should global risk appetite falter.

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Swiss Trade Balance October 2019: exports fall but remain stable

In October 2019, Swiss foreign trade declined in both traffic directions. Exports fell sharply (-5.3%); however, they had jumped 8.8% the previous month, setting the bar very high. Imports fell 2.4%. Since the beginning of the year, foreign trade has thus revealed stagnation. The trade balance closes with a surplus of 2.4 billion francs.

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Swiss Labour Force Survey in 3rd quarter 2019: 0.3percent increase in number of employed persons; unemployment rate based on ILO definition rose to 4.6percent

14.11.2019 - The number of employed persons in Switzerland rose by 0.3% between the 3rd quarter 2018 and the 3rd quarter 2019. During the same period, the unemployment rate as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) increased from 4.4% to 4.6%. The EU's unemployment rate decreased from 6.5% to 6.2%. These are some of the results of the Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS).

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