Category Archive: 2.) Pictet Macro Analysis

Spain Snap Elections in Sight

Political instability in Spain has added to turmoil in other peripheral countries. The situation is not comparable with the one that Italy is experiencing at the moment, but since it comes at the same time it is increasing market volatility. Last Friday, Spain’s main oppositionparty, the Socialist party (PSOE) filed a no confidence vote against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The debate will start on May 31 with a vote probably on June 1.

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Italy heads towards new elections

Fragmented politics and the risk of a financial crisis continue to hang over the country.This weekend, the Five Star Movement and the League decided to pull the plug on their attempt to form a coalition government after the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella vetoed the appointment of anti-euro professor Paolo Savona as minister of finance. Mattarella has granted ex-International Monetary Fund official, Carlo Cottarelli, a mandate to form a...

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Pictet – Multi-Generational Wealth, Nassau

THE ROLE OF REAL ASSETS IN A VIRTUAL WORLD? The fifth edition of the Latam Family Office Master Class took place in Nassau in April 2018, with more than 60 guests attending. This year the focus was around geopolitics, digital revolution, alternative investments and family governance. Among the speakers, we had the pleasure of welcoming …

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ECB: contingency plans

A look at different scenarios for the ECB’s exit from quantitative easing and its expected rate hiking cycle.Our baseline scenario for ECB normalisation still holds. We expect QE to end in December 2018 and a first rate hike in September 2019. The ECB is likely to wait until its 26 July meeting to make its decisions on QE and forward guidance.Still, downside risks have risen to the point where another open-ended QE extension can no longer be ruled...

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Pictet – The Entrepreneurs – Mountain retreat (Abridged version)

The 4th edition of the Pictet Mountain Retreat was held in St Moritz in March 2018 at the heart of the Swiss Alps. It brought together an exclusive group of 50 entrepreneurs and investors in an intimate setting to network, unwind and have fun. This event combines sport, competition, Pictet expertise as well as relaxed …

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Pictet – The Entrepreneurs – Mountain retreat (Full Version)

The 4th edition of the Pictet Mountain Retreat was held in St Moritz in March 2018 at the heart of the Swiss Alps. It brought together an exclusive group of 50 entrepreneurs and investors in an intimate setting to network, unwind and have fun. This event combines sport, competition, Pictet expertise as well as relaxed …

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PMIs point to downside risk to near term euro area growth

Euro area flash PMI indices failed to stabilise in May. Details were somewhat less worrying than headline numbers and overall still consistent with a broad-based economic expansion, if only at a slower pace than last year. Our forecast of 2.3% GDP growth in 2018 still holds, but the balance of risks is now clearly tilted to the downside in sharp contrast with the situation prevailing a few months ago.

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Eurosceptic Italian government faces a reality check

With the putative M5S-League government publishing its final common programme, we take a look at the road ahead for the Italian economy and for Italian government debt.We expect negative noise surrounding the Italian budget to intensify initially, but believe that negotiations with Brussels will result in compromises eventually, including dilution of the incoming Italian government’s fiscal easing measures. The biggest risks lie with the proposed...

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Europe chart of the week – Italy’s fiscal buffers

The incoming government’s fiscal plans could result in a sharp deterioration of Italy’s public finances. However, broader fiscal metrics are better than they were during the euro sovereign crisis.The M5S-League coalition has committed to a significant degree of fiscal easing and to the reversal of some structural reforms. Such policies will put Italy on course for confrontation with Brussels over deficit reduction targets, although at this stage we...

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Europe chart of the week – Corporate Sector Soft Patch

Next week’s detailed breakdown of ECB QE monthly data will reveal a marked slowdown in the pace of corporate bonds purchases in April (Corporate Sector Purchase Programme, or CSPP). Indeed, weekly holdings data have been consistent with gross purchases of around EUR3bn in April, down from EUR5.8bn on average in Q1. There are several possible explanations for the drop in gross purchases, but redemptions are not one of them, as they amounted to just...

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Europe has a lot to lose from trade wars

Any estimate of the economic costs of protectionist measures, let alone trade wars, is subject to uncertainty given the complexity of global supply chains. A common assumption is that new tariffs on exports will produce small direct effects on GDP growth but more significant indirect effects in the event of escalating trade conflicts, including on domestic investment.

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Larger-than-expected reduction in French public deficit

France’s public deficit fell to 2.6% of GDP in 2017 according to INSEE’s preliminary assessment, down from 3.4% in 2016 and below the 3% threshold for the first time since 2007. The outcome was better than the government’s estimate of a 2.9% deficit. If confirmed, France will exit the Excessive Deficit Procedure that the European Commission opened in 2009.

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Impact of recent tariffs on US and China’s GDP should be limited for now

The Trump Administration last week announced tariffs of 25% on USD 60bn worth of imports from China (out of USD506bn of total Chinese merchandise imports). The list of products targeted, still has to be thrashed out. The official aim is to sanction China for alleged theft of US firms’ intellectual property; the US Trade Representative (USTR) estimates the damage amounts to USD 50bn.

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British pound – Smoother transition, stronger sterling

Recent positive developments in the United Kingdom (UK), namely the transitional deal reached between the UK and the European Union (EU) on 20 March and the strong job market report on 21 March, call for a more positive short-term outlook for the sterling than previously thought. We therefore revise our projections upward for the sterling on the entire time horizon.

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Europe chart of the week – monetary policy

Much of recent ECB dovish rhetoric has been building around the (not-sonew) idea that potential growth might be higher than previously thought, implying a larger output gap and lower inflationary pressure, all else equal. The argument is both market-friendly and politically welcome – what we are seeing is the early effects of those painful structural reforms implemented during the crisis. Inflation would be low for good reasons.

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Pictet Perspectives – What happens when rates rise?

After years of low interest rates, investors need to prepare for a rise in the cost of credit. Since the financial crisis, investors have benefitted from rising bond price, while companies have seen their funding costs decline to the lowest point in decades. But with central banks scaling back their support in response to good economic growth, the years ahead will be very different. Investors need to prepare for a rise in the cost of debt, says...

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Pictet Perspectives – What happens when rates rise?

After years of low interest rates, investors need to prepare for a rise in the cost of credit. Since the financial crisis, investors have benefitted from rising bond price, while companies have seen their funding costs decline to the lowest point in decades. But with central banks scaling back their support in response to good …

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Europe chart of the week – Employment

Euro area employment grew for the 18th consecutive quarter in Q4 2017 (+0.3% q-o-q), and is now 1.5% above its pre-crisis (2008) level. By contrast, hours worked per person employed decreased during the same period, remaining 4% below their pre-crisis level. The two data series have followed divergent trends since the start of the economic recovery. Between Q1 2008 and Q2 2013, the total amount of labour input used by firms decreased massively.

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ECB begins to rotate forward guidance

The ECB made one small change to its communication in March consistent with a normalisation process that is likely to remain very gradual. In line with our expectations, today the Governing Council (unanimously) decided to drop its commitment to increase asset purchases “in terms of size and/or duration” if needed, which had steadily become more difficult to justify and less credible anyway.

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