The April 2015 edition of Perspectives is now available

World’s major economic blocs out of sync with each other

Negative interest rates and equities record highs

Two alternatives to obtain positive returns while keeping risks and diversification under control in a negative interest rate environment.

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Euro area: inflation and interest rates

A slightly stronger German inflation report and a weak 5-year Bund auction seem to have succeeded in radically reshaping the financial world: from one where a lack of sovereign bonds might have forced the ECB to taper its QE towards an environment where European governments could run into difficulties trying to allocate their bonds. Does […]

Euro area’s economic activity supported by QE, but impacted by the Greek crisis

M3 growth has finally normalised after six years of sub-par advances, while the dynamics in bank lending are continuing on their way to normalising. In addition, the April EC survey echoed recent business surveys (PMIs) suggesting that the Greek crisis might have started to dent confidence among industrialists and consumers. Credit back into positive territory […]

United States: another weather-induced sharp slowdown in Q1 2015

Impacted by temporary factors, GDP almost stagnated q-o-q in Q1 2015. Although data available for March and April have been somewhat disappointing so far, we continue to expect a marked pick-up in growth in Q2 and expect growth to remain solid in H2 2015. In Q1 2015, US real GDP grew by a meagre 0.2% […]

United States: reasonably upbeat prospects for the housing market

Residential construction and home sales were negatively impacted by the particularly inclement winter weather. However, most housing sector data available for March and April are pointing to a distinct revival in Q2. We remain optimistic and believe things will continue to improve progressively in the US housing market. Marked recovery in existing home sales in […]

Euro area: April PMI surveys disappoint

Economic sentiment in the euro area as measured by the flash PMI survey deteriorated in April, bringing to an end four straight months of uninterrupted improvement. All components fells in April: manufacturing and services, in both Germany and France, dragging the composite and euro area aggregates to levels below consensus expectations of a small rise. […]

United States: core inflation unlikely to pick up further in 2015

Core inflation inched up from 1.7% y-o-y in February to 1.8% in March. The slack in the labour market is diminishing rapidly and deflation is not really a risk in the US. However, with a much higher dollar and the indirect impact of lower oil prices, we believe core inflation will ease back slightly during […]

European Central Bank: “QE is a marathon that has just started”

No particular announcement or event was expected at Wednesday’s press conference and especially not the disruption of Mario Draghi’s speech by an anti-ECB activist. Beyond this interruption, two themes dominated the event: Draghi started the press conference by reaffirming that the QE is “intended to run until the end of September 2016”. His intention was […]

World’s major economic blocs out of sync with each other

Should investors cross the Atlantic? With an increase of up to 20% in certain indices, equity markets in the eurozone began 2015 with a bang, leading many investors to wonder if it might be sensible to reduce their US equity allocation in favour of European stocks. Quite a few have already taken the plunge, as […]

United States: growth in consumption disappointing so far in the first quarter

Real disposable income surged in January-February but, impacted by particularly inclement weather, growth in consumption was much less upbeat. It probably slowed from 4.4% in Q4 to around 2.0% in Q1. However, with solid fundamentals and a likely decline in the saving rate, we remain quite optimistic on US consumption. Surge in real disposable income, […]

Greece: Time for crucial decisions

More than five weeks have passed since the Greek government and the Eurogroup reached an interim agreement on 20 February. This agreement was supposed to break the deadlock that ensued after the Greek election. According to the agreement, the Greek government has to present a detailed list of reforms by the end of April. If […]

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