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Focus on Asia

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Equities bubble? Or not?

As markets reached new highs in June, many wonder if we are heading for a serious market correction. In this video, Yves Bonzon, Chief Investment Officer at Pictet Wealth Management gives his views on that topic.
The June 2014 edition of Perspectives is out

Much debate over the direction of the world economy and financial markets

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Focus on Asia

Napoleon is reported to have said that when China awoke, the world would shake. This has proved prophetic: since turning outwards 35 years ago, the Chinese economy has grown at an unprecedented rate and is expected to become the world’s largest economy within the next two decades. Other emerging markets in Asia have also grown […]

European Central Bank: Mario Draghi in synch with Janet Yellen

Thursday’s press conference focused around three main themes. First, technical information regarding the TLTROs (Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing Operations). Second, the change in the schedule for monetary policy meetings and the news that their minutes will be published. Third, reaction to the conclusions of the BIS annual report. TLTROs: not a silver bullet but potentially helpful […]

United States: sharp fall in consumption in Q1, improvement soft so far in Q2

First-quarter consumption was revised sharply down, and monthly data for May were on the soft side of expectations. However, similar to GDP data, it appears that consumer spending data suffered some distortions of late. We nevertheless remain optimistic on consumption and overall GDP growth in Q2 and H2.   Q1 growth in healthcare spending revised from […]

United States: recent pick-up in inflation is more than statistical “noise”

Inflation has picked up somewhat over the past 2-3 months. Janet Yellen described the move as “noise”. However, the uptick is widespread and with labour market slack diminishing rapidly, inflation is likely to gradually inch higher, a scenario that seems far from being completely priced in by financial markets. Core PCE inflation moved up to […]

United States: the housing market bounces back noticeably

We are optimistic that things will continue to improve progressively in the housing market. Modest rebound in existing home sales Yesterday’s data on existing home sales confirmed that following a weather-induced slump in Q1, sales rebounded in April and May. Last month, sales reached an annualised pace of 4.89 million units, 6.5% higher than in […]

Wavering optimism in the euro area

June’s PMI surveys disappointed, with the exception of German manufacturing, as sentiment deteriorated compared with May. On average, in Q2, the composite PMI is only marginally above the Q1 level. This would tend to suggest that the scenario of a rebound in Q2 GDP after disappointing Q1 GDP growth is losing steam. In terms of countries, […]

Japan: state of the economy and equity markets

Helped by frontloaded demand ahead of the consumption tax hike on 1 April, Japanese real GDP grew by a very high 6.7% q-o-q annualised in Q1. A substantial payback is happening in Q2 and GDP is likely to fall heavily q-o-q. With most economic indicators sharply up in Q1 and sharply down in April, it […]

Much debate over the direction of the world economy and financial markets

Reversion to the mean: a matter of when, not if The new record high of America's S&P 500 index in nominal terms has revived the debate on the possible overvaluation of stock markets. Equities are seen as totally disconnected from the real economy due to the intended consequences of unconventional monetary policy, specifically the inflation […]

United States: household net worth significantly up in the first quarter

With house prices and equities climbing further last quarter, it wasn’t a surprise that the Fed last week published estimates of household asset values that were once again up significantly q-o-q in Q1 2014. Total assets rose by 1.7% ($1,509bn) to 92,426bn between end-2013 and end-March 2014. Slightly more than half of the quarterly increase […]

United States: Job creation robust once again in May

Today’s employment figures gave further credence to the scenario that following a weather-related weak first quarter, economic growth will bounce back markedly in Q2. Non-farm payroll employment rose by a solid 217,000 m-o-m in May, in line with consensus expectations. April’s figure was revised marginally down (from +288,000 to +282,000) and the number for March […]

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