Tag Archive: Macroview

China: Q1 growth beats expectations

The Chinese economy grew at a faster rate than expected in the first quarter as policy stimulus effects kick in.The National Bureau of Statistics of China published Q1 GDP figures along with some key economic indicators for March. The data generally surprised on the upside. While we had previously flagged the upside risk to our earlier GDP forecast following the rebound in PMIs and strong credit numbers, the latest data releases still surprised to...

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Business cycle could define Trump’s re-election chances

President Trump’s focus on getting re-elected in November 2020 may have implications for his economic policy choices.As we move closer to the 2020 presidential election, Trump has been blatantly leaning on the Federal Reserve to be more accommodative and has been trying to appoint nominees who share his preference for loose monetary policy to the Fed board.

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Swiss Policy Mix Review

The Swiss federal budget is governed by a strict expenditure rule, which is enshrined in the Constitution. Since its introduction, the ratio of public debt-to-GDP has been significantly reduced, falling back to its early-90’s level. At the close of 2018, the Swiss federal budget registered a significant surplus of CHF 2.9 billion, compared with budget projections for a surplus of CHF 295 million.

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Switzerland: Lower growth, lower inflation

Growth and price rises should moderate in 2019.The Swiss economy posted impressive GDP growth in 2018, although there was significant divergence between strong growth in the first half and stagnation in the second. Overall, we expect Swiss GDP to expand by 1.3% in 2019, down substantially from 2.5% in 2018. Risks to our growth outlook for Switzerland are tilted to the downside.

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Limited room for Swiss franc depreciation

Even should global economic momentum stabilise in the coming months and political risks abate, the franc still has important structural underpinnings.The Swiss franc has been supported by a structural current account surplus and by reduced investment flows out of Switzerland since the 2008 financial crisis. In addition, the decline in global yields since the Fed’s dovish shift early this year has rendered interest rate differentials less...

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Getting ready for tiering

ECB officials have hinted at policy measures aimed at reducing the cost of negative rates for the banking sector, including a tiered system of bank reserves.Although back in 2016 the European Central Bank (ECB) ruled out tiering of bank reserves to mitigate the side effects of negative rates, the situation has since changed, and it could be implemented eventually if policy rates were to remain negative into 2020.

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China PMIs jump in March

Industrial gauges rebound on seansonality as well as policy easing.Chinese PMI readings moved back into expansion territory in March. The official Chinese manufacturing PMI rose to 50.5, up from 49.2 in February, and beating the Bloomberg consensus of 49.6, while the Caixin manufacturing PMI came in at 50.8, also up from 49.9 in February and beating the consensus expectation of 50.0.

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Oil prices supported by OPEC+ cuts…before market risks being flooded again

Increased US export capacity would probably force OPEC+ to change its current tactics.After last year’s collapse, oil prices have found support since the beginning of this year for several reasons. At this stage, the main question is whether the recent surge in prices is sustainable or whether we will see renewed oil price volatility, with the possibility of a repeat of 2018.

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Q&A on European Parliament elections

European Parliament elections, to be held between 23 and 26 of May, will be a key political event in Europe. However, we expect limited short-term impact, given the European Parliament's limited ability to set Brussels' agenda.European Parliament (EP) elections will be a key political event in Europe, a form of ‘midterm election’ in which the electorates can state their approval or disapproval of their respective national governments. 

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Germany: signs of rebound ?

German growth may remain subdued in H1 2019, before picking up somewhat in H2 2019 as some near-term risks dissipate.Germany’s leading indicator, the Ifo index, rose in March, driven by an increase in both sub-components: current assessment and expectations.

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Brexit update: UK parliament opts for an extension

After an eventful week in parliament, the Brexit ball is set to keep rolling as MPs move to extend the 29 March deadline.The British Parliament concluded a series of votes on Brexit this week with an intention to extend the 29 March Brexit deadline. What remains unclear at this point is whether the UK will seek a short (two months) or a longer extension (two years).

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Euro slides against the dollar on ECB dovishness

The euro has declined further against the dollar but should strengthen over next 12 monthsThe euro fell to a 20-month low against the US dollar following the European Central Bank’s (ECB) March policy meeting, given the revised forward guidance that suggests that the interest rate differential is unlikely to provide much upside to the euro in the next few months.

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ECB Forward Guidance: the Devil is in the Detail

Last week, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced a new long-term refinancing package for banks (called TLTRO-III) and made clear that interest rates would not be raised this year. While these measures were expected, they have come earlier than we thought.

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German Economy Set to Recover

Germany’s economy weakened significantly in the second half of 2018. External headwinds remain strong and, in an environment where monetary-policy ammunition remains limited, all eyes have shifted towards German fiscal policy, especially as the country has generated significant budget surpluses since 2011.

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ECB: to LTRO, or not LTRO, what is the question?

The ECB’s decision on (T)LTRO will matter most to the euro area periphery banks who have been the biggest consumers of current TLTROs. Considering the weakness in most economic indicators the ECB should maintain an adequate degree of monetary accommodation.

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GERMANY: ECONOMY & SOVEREIGN BOND

A host of factors weighed on German growth in H2 2018: a sharp slowdown in global demand on the external side and several transitory factors on the domestic side impacted industrial activity. At the same time, the 10-year German Bund yield has been trending downward. The steep fall in the oil price in late 2018, the economic slowdown and the Bund’s safe haven status are all factors behind the German bund’s yield fall.

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Gold to consolidate before further leg up

Some recent factors supporting gold are fading. However, while gold could sag in the short term, medium-term prospects look better.Last year ended on a very strong note for gold demand, with a significant increase in jewellery and investment demand in the fourth quarter (see chart), leading to strong price performance (7.7% in US dollar terms in Q4).

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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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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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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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