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.

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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Euro area: a slight rebound

The final reading for the euro area composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose from 54.1 in May to 54.9 in June, slightly higher than the initial estimate of 54.8. However, the manufacturing PMI fell further, to an 18-month low of 54.9, due to weakness in France and Germany.

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Credit Suisse: “Our Risk Appetite Index Is Near Panic”

Sure, it's been a bad year for investors, with the S&P posting the smallest of gains in the first half (all of which thanks to tech stocks) after several hair-raising, monthly incidents including February's vol-spike, April's real yield scare, May's Emerging Market massacre and June's trade war fears as shown in the following Citi chart...

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Swiss Consumer Price Index in June 2018: +1.1 percent YoY, Stable MoM

The consumer price index (CPI) remained stable in June 2018 compared with the previous month, reaching 102.1 points (December 2015=100). Inflation was 1.1% 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, May: +0.2 percent Nominal and -1.2 percent Real

Turnover in the retail sector rose by 0.2% in nominal terms in May 2018 compared with the previous year. Seasonally adjusted, nominal turnover fell by 1.2% compared with the previous month. These are provisional findings from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

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KOF Economic Barometer, June: Economic Outlook Improves Slightly

The KOF Economic Barometer rose again in June for the first time in three months. It increased by 1.7 points to 101.7 points, stopping its downward tendency in spring. The current Barometer value is now slightly above the long-term average of 100.0. Thus, the KOF Economic Barometer indicates a slightly above-average economic development in Switzerland. The tailwind for the Swiss economy is no longer as strong as during winter.

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Tourism Balance of Payments Slightly Negative in 2017

For the second consecutive year, the tourism balance of payments was negative in 2017. This means that expenditure by Swiss residents during visits abroad exceeded the expenditure of non-residents during their stay in Switzerland. In an economic climate still marked by a strong franc, the tourism balance of payments was CHF -122 million, according to initial estimates from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

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London House Prices Fall 1.9 percent In Quarter – Bubble Bursting?

London house prices down 1.9 per cent in Q2 (yoy). London house prices still 50% above 2007 bubble peak (see chart). Brexit and weak consumer confidence to blame say experts. Little sign that U.K. property “weakness” is likely to change. London property bubble appears to be bursting.

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Rise in Bund yield will be limited

With the faltering in euro area business sentiment since February, the Italy-led sell-off of risk assets at the end of May and the European Central Bank’s (ECB) dovish meeting in June, we are revising our year-end forecast for the German 10-year Bund yield from 0.9% to 0.6%, as we hinted we might do in a previous note.

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Swiss Trade Balance May 2018: Foreign trade overcomes stagnation

After stagnating in previous months, exports rose in May 2018. Seasonally adjusted exports rose 0.9% in one month. Imports were more dynamic, at + 3.8%. Chemistry-pharma and the vehicle sector generated 90% of growth in both traffic directions. The trade balance closed with a surplus of 2.3 billion francs.

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