What happens when rates rise?

After years of low interest rates, investors need to prepare for a rise in the cost of credit

Volatility presents opportunities

The technical correction in markets corrects the anomaly of a long drawn-out calm. The upsurge in volatility contains opportunities as well as threats.
Perspectives, Special Edition 2018

After an exceptional year…

Europe’s renaissance

Senior Economist Frederik Ducrozet discusses the 2018 outlook for the euro area, including the potential risks for long-term investors.

Multi-Generational Wealth, Singapore

The fourth edition of the Asian Family Office Master Class took place in Singapore in November 2017, with about 70 guests attending.

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Fed preview: all eyes on the ‘dot plot’

The Federal Reserve meets on 20–21 March and is widely expected to hike rates by a quarter point (moving the interest rate on excess reserves up to 1.75%). This decision is ‘priced in’ at 100% according to Bloomberg data. The focus will be on signals for further tightening in the rest of the year, especially […]

Latest data point to moderate deceleration in Chinese growth

The first batch of 2018 Chinese data on investment and industrial production came in stronger than expected. However, details of the data suggest that actual growth momentum may not be as strong as the numbers indicate. Property investment rebounded to 9.9% y-o-y in the first two months of 2018 from 7.0% in 2017, while investment […]

Japan: Land-sale scandal comes back to haunt prime minister

A land-sale scandal that first emerged last year involving Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife is back in the spotlight. Although it is still premature to tell if the scandal will end Abe’s tenure, the probability has risen notably. If more evidence emerges in this scandal, it’s not inconceivable that Abe will be […]

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 […]

Limited upside potential for oil

Strong global growth, a substantial US fiscal stimulus, signs that reflation is taking hold in the US and a relatively weak US dollar should all present a favourable environment for commodities, and for oil in particular, for the rest of this year. However, our analysis suggests that oil is now close to its long-term equilibrium […]

Too early for Switzerland’s central bank to change policy…

At its latest  quarterly monetary policy assessment unveiled today, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) maintained its accommodative monetary policy. The target range for the 3-month Libor was kept between -1.25% and -0.25%, the interest rate on sight deposits with the SNB was maintained at a record low of -0.75%, and the central bank reiterated its […]

US consumption update – Getting stingy

The US consumer has shown surprising stinginess lately. Soft February retail sales data continue the uneven pattern of consumption data since the beginning of the year. On a y-o-y basis (and nominal terms) they were up only 4.0% in February, below the 1-year average of 4.4%. This soft consumption data is even more surprising as […]

A surprising turn of events in North Korea

The South Korean national security director announced that the US President Donald Trump had accepted an offer of a meeting from Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, before May. While it has long been our view that a military conflict between the US and North Korea is relatively improbable, the announcement still came […]

US chart of the week – Corporate euphoria

US businesses are feeling good – in fact, they are borderline euphoric. The latest evidence comes from the quarterly Business Roundtable CEO economic outlook index, a survey of 137 CEOs, conducted in February, which rose to its highest level since the survey began 15 years ago. All three sub-indices (capex, employment, sales) rose to fresh […]

US employment—Goldilocks again

There are two main conclusions to be drawn from the February US employment report. First, the US economy’s underlying momentum is particularly robust, consistent with our view that GDP growth will pick up to 3.0% this year, from 2.3% in 2017. Second, while the labour market is tight, there is still some slack left; in […]

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