Author Archive

Euro area: The sky is the limit

Flash purchasing managers’ indices (PMIs) for the euro area ended the year on a strong note. The composite PMI increased to 58.0 in December, from 57.5 in November, above consensus expectations (57.2). The robust momentum was led by a booming manufacturing sector, while services sentiment also improved. The breakdown by sub-indices was pretty strong, with […]

Increasingly optimistic on Swiss outlook

At its December meeting, the SNB left its accommodative monetary policy unchanged. The interest rate on sight deposits was maintained at a record low of -0.75% and the SNB reiterated its willingness to intervene in the foreign exchange market if needed. The SNB’s monetary policy assessment reflected an improvement in the outlook since its September […]

The Swiss economy is gaining momentum

Owing to weak GDP momentum in late 2016 and the first half of the year, the Swiss economy is likely to see relatively weak growth in 2017. Part of the weakness in GDP figures was due to specific factors. However, leading indicators, notably consumer confidence, manufacturing PMI and the KoF economic indicator, are running at […]

Further improvement in financial situation of euro area SMEs

Small and medium-sized entreprises (SMEs) are crucial for the euro area economy. They constitute about 99% of all euro area firms, employ around 70% of the workforce, and generate around 60% of value added. Their economic importance is above the euro area average in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. Unlike large firms, which have access […]

Switzerland: stronger and broader growth

According to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Swiss real GDP expanded by 0.6% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) in Q3 2017, in line with consensus expectations and our own forecasts. This comes after several quarters of poor performance. As we mentioned in our previous Flash Note, the downturn in previous GDP figures was exacerbated by special […]

The euro area recovery is continuing to broaden out

Euro area headline GDP growth was confirmed at 0.6% q-o-q in Q3. At the country level, Germany surprised to the upside, posting GDP growth of 0.8% q-o-q in Q3 and beating consensus expectations. The impressive performance was driven by exports and investment in equipment and machinery. Turning to Italy, economic activity strengthened in Q3. After […]

Limited market reaction to Catalan developments

On 27 October, the Catalan parliament voted for a unilateral declaration of independence. The same day, the Spanish senate approved the terms of application of Article 155 of the constitution, allowing Madrid to impose direct rule on Catalonia. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called a snap election in Catalonia for 21 December, earlier than any dates […]

A buoyant euro area labour market

Recent economic crises took a heavy toll on the employment level in the euro area, with almost five years of uninterrupted employment losses. Between its pre-crisis peak in the first quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2013, euro area employment levels fell by 3.6%, or more than 5.5 million. However, since hitting a […]

Swiss economy scores in international sports events

According to SECO’s estimates, the Swiss economy contracted in the final quarter of 2016, while Q3 2016 and Q1 2017 figures were revised down. The downturn in SECO’s GDP figures was exacerbated by special effects related to the inclusion of sports events in the “Art, entertainment, recreation and other services” sector. “Art, entertainment, recreation and […]

Little market reaction to escalating Catalan dispute

The response given by the Catalan President Carles Puigdemont to the Spanish government’s ultimatum last week did not provide the clarity the central government was seeking on whether or not the Catalan parliament would formally declare independence. As a result, the central government therefore has decided to invoke Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, for […]

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