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 Trade Balance January 2019: Start of a Positive year

Swiss foreign trade started the year 2019 in a positive way. Seasonally adjusted exports rose by 1.1% to 18.9 billion francs and imports by 3.4% to 17.5 billion. The trade balance closed with a surplus of 1.4 billion francs.

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Euro area : What if car tariffs lie ahead ?

New US auto tariffs may impact the economy significantly more than the previous tariffs on steel and aluminium.Among the key risks for our euro area outlook, the threat of US auto tariffs is of major importance.The US Commerce Department’s investigation on national security threats posed by auto imports is due to be concluded on 17 February.

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Swiss Labour Force Survey in 4th quarter 2018: 0.8percent increase in number of employed persons; unemployment rate based on ILO definition at 4.6percent

14.02.2019 - The number of employed persons in Switzerland rose by 0.8% between the 4th quarter 2017 and the 4th quarter 2018. During the same period, the unemployment rate as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) increased slightly by 0.1 percentage points to 4.6%. The EU's unemployment rate decreased from 7.3% to 6.6%.

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Swiss Producer and Import Price Index in January 2019: -0.5 percent YoY, -0.7 percent MoM

14.02.2019 - The Producer and Import Price Index fell in January 2019 by 0.7% compared with the previous month, reaching 101.7 points (December 2015 = 100). This decline is due in particular to lower prices for petroleum products. Compared with January 2018, the price level of the whole range of domestic and imported products fell by 0.5%.

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Swiss Consumer Price Index in January 2019: +0.6 percent YoY, -0.3 percent MoM

The consumer price index (CPI) fell by 0.3% in January 2019 compared with the previous month, reach-ing 101.3 points (December 2015 = 100). Inflation was 0.6% compared with the same month of the pre-vious year. These are the results of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

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Swiss Retail Sales, December 2018: -0.1 percent Nominal and -0.3 percent Real

01.02.2019 - Turnover in the retail sector fell by 0.1% in nominal terms in December 2018 compared with the previous year. Seasonally adjusted, nominal turnover fell by 0.3% compared with the previous month. Real turnover in the retail sector also adjusted for sales days and holidays fell by 0.3% in December 2018 compared with the previous year. Real growth takes inflation into consideration.

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Exports save the day for French GDP growth

Prospects for French economic growth are looking up, but disruptions to consumption are possible.French GDP rose by 0.3% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) in Q4, the same pace as in Q3. The details reveal that Q4 exports surged significantly, while household consumption and investment slowed. This left growth for the year at +1.5%, following +2.3% in 2017.

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Swiss Watchmakers Celebrate a Vintage Year

Swiss watch exports grew by 6.3% in 2018, breaking the CHF21 billion ($21.2 billion) mark. This increase, largely due to Asian markets, is set to continue this year despite uncertainty surrounding the Chinese economy.

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Update on euro area economic activity

The balance of risks to growth in the region is still tilted to the downside.The big question about the euro area economy is when the bottom of the slowdown will be reached. A rebound was already expected in Q4 2018, but at the start of this year there are still few signs of recovery. Flash composite PMI numbers for the region declined by 0.4 points to 50.7 in January, the weakest level since July 2013.

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European Central Bank likely to stick to script

The ECB is comfortable with current market expectations for rate hikes.At its latest meeting in December, the ECB turned more cautious, lowering its growth forecasts but showing no sign of panic regarding the loss in euro area economic momentum. Risks were considered as “broadly balanced”, but moving to the downside.

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Swiss Producer and Import Price Index in December 2018: +0.6 percent YoY, -0.6 percent MoM

18.01.2019 - The Producer and Import Price Index fell in December 2018 by 0.6% compared with the previous month, reaching 102.5 points (December 2015 = 100). Compared with December 2017, the price level of the whole range of domestic and imported products rose by 0.6%. The average annualised inflation rate in 2018 was 2.4%.

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Outlook for euro periphery bonds

Economic fundamentals should come back into focus, but politics still a factor.After a year when peripheral countries’ old demons made a reappearance, with, in particular, Italy’s public debt back in the spotlight, the focus should shift to economic fundamentals in 2019. Both the Spanish and Italian economies are set to slow down, although the situation is more serious in Italy.

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Concerns about Italy have not gone away

Rome and Brussels reached a compromise on the Italian government’s budget plans last month. But there are plenty of reasons for thinking this will be a challenging year for Italy.After battling for more than two months over a 2019 budget plan defiantly non-compliant with the EU fiscal rules, Rome and Brussels struck a last-minute agreement in December that avoided opening an Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP).

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UK Politicians remain stuck in the mire

Next week’s vote on the divorce deal is likely to be defeated, and there is precious little time for an alternative before the Brexit deadline in March.The British parliamentary vote on Theresa May’s EU divorce deal will be on 15 January. The deal is likely to be rejected, as there has been little progress since December, when a first vote was called off for lack of support.

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Germany is Stagnating

Sagging industrial production and confidence figures point to weak Q4 GDP. German industrial production (including construction) fell by 1.9% month-on-month in November, extending the sector’s decline to five out the six last prints. Year on year, industrial production was down by 4.6%, the worst performance since November 2009.

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…And Get Bigger

Just as there is gradation for positive numbers, there is color to negative ones, too. On the plus side, consistently small increments marked by the infrequent jump is never to be associated with a healthy economy let alone one that is booming. A truly booming economy is one in which the small positive numbers are rare. The recovery phase preceding the boom takes that to an extreme.

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Euro Credit: 2019 Outlook

Last year was a difficult one for euro credit, with both the ICE Bank of America Merrill Lynch (ICE BofAML) investment grade (IG) and high yield (HY) indices posting negative total returns. This was entirely due to wider credit spreads, as medium-term German government bonds yields fell slightly.

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Swiss Consumer Price Index in December 2018: +0.7 percent YoY, -0.3 percent MoM

09.01.2019 - The consumer price index (CPI) fell by 0.3% in December 2018 compared with the previous month, reaching 101.5 points (December 2015 = 100). Inflation was 0.7% compared with the same month of the previous year. The average annual inflation reached 0.9% in 2018.

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Swiss Retail Sales, November 2018: -0.2 percent Nominal and -0.5 percent Real

Turnover in the retail sector fell by 0.2% in nominal terms in November 2018 compared with the previous year. Seasonally adjusted, nominal turnover rose by 0.2% compared with the previous month.

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Core Euro Sovereign Bonds 2019 Outlook

In our central scenario, we expect the 10-year Bund yield to rise gradually to 0.8% by the end of next year from 0.26% on 17 December. Underpinning this upward movement is our expectation of a cumulative deposit rate hike of 40 basis points (bps) by the ECB, against current market expectations of only 10 bps.

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