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 July 2018: +3.6 YoY, +0.1 MoM

The Producer and Import Price Index increased in July 2018 by 0.1% compared with the previous month, reaching 103.3 points (December 2015 = 100). The rise is due in particular to higher prices for watches, petroleum and natural gas. Compared with July 2017, the price level of the whole range of domestic and imported products rose by 3.6%.

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Switzerland Unemployment in July 2018: Unchanged at 2.4percent, seasonally adjusted unchanged at 2.6percent

Registered unemployment in July 2018 - According to SECO surveys, at the end of July 2018, 106,052 unemployed people were enrolled in the Regional Employment Centers (RAV), 527 less than in the previous month. The unemployment rate remained at 2.4% in the month under review. Compared to the same month of the previous year, unemployment fell by 27,874 (-20.8%).

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Overnight Stays Increased by 3.8 percent in the First Half of 2018

The hotel sector registered 18.4 million overnight stays in Switzerland in the first half of 2018, representing an increase of 3.8% (+670,000 overnight stays) compared with the same period a year earlier. With a total of 10.0 million overnight stays, foreign demand rose by 4.6% (+444,000). Domestic visitors registered 8.3 million overnight stays, i.e. an increase of 2.8% (+226,000).

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Swiss Consumer Price Index in July 2018: +1.2 percent YoY, -0.2 percent MoM

The consumer price index (CPI) fell by 0.2% in July 2018 compared with the previous month, reaching 101.8 points (December 2015=100). Inflation was 1.2% compared with the same month of the previous year. These are the results from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

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TARGET-2 Revisited

Capital Flight vs. The Effect of QE. Mish recently discussed the ever increasing imbalances of the euro zone’s TARGET-2 payment system again in response to a few articles which played down  their significance. He followed this up with a nice plug for us by posting a comment we made on the subject. Here is a chart of the most recent data on TARGET-2 available from the ECB; we included the four largest balances, namely those of  Germany, Italy, Spain...

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Swiss Consumer Sentiment Falls Almost back to its Average

Consumer sentiment in Switzerland has almost dropped back to its long-term average. While consumers still expect a positive economic development, they are less optimis-tic than in recent quarters. Consumers' expectations regarding their own budget also remain subdued, while they adjusted their assessment of inflation upwards. Corre-spondingly, the likelihood of consumers making major purchases remains low.

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Swiss Retail Sales, June: +1.1 percent Nominal and +0.3 percent Real

Turnover in the retail sector rose by 1.1% in nominal terms in June 2018 compared with the previous year. Seasonally adjusted, nominal turnover rose by 0.6% compared with the previous month. These are provisional findings from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

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Revising our euro area 2018 GDP growth forecast down

The cut to our growth forecast reflects slippage in euro area data.According to Eurostat’s preliminary flash estimate, euro area real GDP expanded by 0.3% q-o-q in Q2 2018, below consensus expectations. This was the weakest growth in two years and is down slightly from GDP growth of 0.4% q-o-q in Q1.Following today’s GDP growth data and recent economic indicators, we have revised down our GDP growth forecast for 2018.

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KOF Economic Barometer, July: Remains Practically Unchanged

The KOF Economic Barometer only slightly moved in July. Compared to its June value, it decreased by 0.2 to 101.1 points. The current Barometer value still stands slightly above the long-term average of 100 points; it thus indicates a slightly above-average economic development in Switzerland in the coming months.

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French Q2 GDP growth marks time

A number of one-off factors hurt growth dynamics, but there are many reasons to think that expansion will pick up in the rest of this year. France is the first country in the euro area to publish Q2 GDP figures. The economy expanded by 0.2% q-o-q in Q2, the same pace as the previous quarter and below consensus expectations of 0.3%.

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Ceasefire in US/EU tariff dispute

The two sides have agreed to discuss lowering barriers to transatlantic trade, helping to de-escalate tensions. While positive, the US’s dispute with China still needs watching.US President Trump and EU Commission President Juncker this week struck an unexpected deal to de-escalate the trade dispute between the EU and the US.

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Message from the ECB: Enjoy summer!

Today’s Governing Council meeting did little to break the seasonal torpor. We continue to expect its first rate hike to come in September 2019. There was no change in interest rates or forward guidance at today’s ECB Governing Council meeting.

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Euro Area Lending Dynamics in Good Shape

The ECB’s M3 and credit report for June just published confirms that lending dynamics continue to be in a good shape in the euro area, boding well for private investment. Bank credit flows to non-financial corporations (adjusted for seasonal effects and securitisations) amounted to €10bn in June, down from €25bn in May.

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Euro area PMIs on the soft side

Markit’s euro area flash PMI surveys for July came in on the soft side. The composite PMI for the euro area fell to 54.3 in July from 54.9 in June, below consensus expectations. At the sector level, the manufacturing PMI index rose marginally, putting a halt to six consecutive months of decline.

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Swiss Trade Balance June 2018: Fifth consecutive record of exports

The dynamism shown by exports since the beginning of 2017 continued in the second quarter of 2018. They are thus flying from record to record for the fifth quarter in a row. Imports, on the other hand, came to a standstill, at a high level, however, after posting strong growth in previous quarters. The trade balance closes on a surplus of 4.6 billion francs.

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What will the rest of the year bring?

Risk assets have disappointed this year and global equities were trendless, but as long as fundamentals can re-assert themselves, there could still be some life in risk markets.Global equities were trendless and the overall performance of risk assets lacklustre in the first half of 2018.

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Swiss Producer and Import Price Index in June 2018: +3.5 YoY, +0.2 MoM

The Producer and Import Price Index increased in June 2018 by 0.2% compared with the previous month, reaching 103.2 points (December 2015 = 100). The rise is due in particular to higher prices for petroleum products and timber products. Compared with June 2017, the price level of the whole range of domestic and imported products rose by 3.5%.

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Europe chart of the week – UK GDP growth

Short-term rebound in the UK, driven by services.The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published this week a new rolling monthly estimate of UK GDP. The release pointed to a rebound of growth in Q2 (quarterly data will be published on August 8). According to the ONS, the rolling three-month growth to end-May was 0.2%, compared to 0% in the three months to end-April (see chart below).Looking at the details, the services sector (79% of the...

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Research and Development: Federal Expenses and Staff in 2017

In 2017, the Confederation spent CHF 2.2 billion on research and experimental development (R&D). This represents a 7% increase compared with 2015, the year of the previous survey. This is a record amount, mainly paid in the form of contributions to support research activities. Over the same period, Confederation personnel employed in R&D activities declined by 4%, reaching 875 jobs in full-time equivalents.

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Switzerland Unemployment in June 2018: Up to 2.4percent from 2.3percent, seasonally adjusted up to 2.6percent from 2.5percent

Registered unemployment in June 2018 - According to SECO surveys, at the end of June 2018, 106,579 unemployed were registered at the regional employment agencies (RAV), 2,813 less than in the previous month. The unemployment rate remained at 2.4% in the month under review. Compared with the same month last year, unemployment fell by 27,024 people (-20.2%).

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