Light at the end of the Greek tunnel

Eight years after it first requested financial assistance from its European and international partners in April 2010, Greece has never been so close to a ‘clean exit’ from its bailout programme(s). The economy has shown more convincing signs of improvement, with real GDP recovering since mid-2016 and fall in unemployment accelerating in 2017. Macro imbalances […]

ECB meeting preview: guide me if you can!

We expect no policy decision and no major change in the ECB’s communication at its 25 January meeting. There is no incentive for the ECB to fuel further hawkish market re-pricing at this stage, especially after core inflation disappointed again and the EUR has strengthened once more. The only small change we see as possible […]

The US economy was not firing on all cylinders in 2017

This is a good time to take stock of how well the US economy did in 2017. Assuming Q4 GDP is in line with the current estimate from the Atlanta Fed (which is close to our own), 2017 growth will be 2.3%. This would mark a step-up from annual growth of 1.5% in 2016 – […]

Italy back in the spotlight

The Italian government confirmed 4 March as the date for the next parliamentary elections. The lower and upper houses will be elected under a new electoral law, but a hung parliament is the likely initial outcome of the elections given the fragmented political landscape in Italy. However, we do not think that, as things stand, […]

Academic debates aside, Fed officials’ optimism is rising

A number of Fed officials have given speeches since the beginning of the year, sending mixed messages to markets in the process. Complicating matters, the discussion about the short-term cyclical outlook has become mixed up with an open debate about whether the Fed’s current flexible inflation targeting strategy is still the most appropriate, or whether […]

Upside risks to wages from IG Metall negotiations

German wage negotiations are in full swing amid growing calls for strikes. This comes at a crucial time for the ECB as strong growth and falling unemployment are expected to feed into higher inflation. IG Metall is by far the most important union to watch, representing almost 4 million German workers and being seen as […]

House View, January 2018

Asset Allocation Economic and earnings growth continue to offer good momentum and the possibility of upside surprises for 2018, so we remain overweight developed market (DM) equities. However, uncertainties over other key aspects of the outlook mean that investors may be unwise to lower their defences. We are keeping tail risk mitigation in portfolios. Emerging […]

A crucial start to the year for Catalonia

Following the December regional elections, in which pro-independence parties won a majority of parliamentary seats, the main challenge in Catalonia will be the formation of a new coalition government. Catalan parties have until end March/early April to reach an agreement on the next regional president, failing which repeat elections may need to be called. This […]

China: FX reserves rise again

According to the Chinese State Administration of Foreign Exchange, China’s FX reserves amounted to USD3.14 trillion at end-December 2017, up USD20.7 billion from the previous month. This marks the 11th consecutive monthly increase in Chinese FX reserves since February 2017. In full-year 2017, Chinese FX reserves increased by USD129.4 billion, in contrast with a drop […]

Switzerland: Inflation at a seven-year high

According to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO), consumer prices in Switzerland remained broadly stable at 0.8% year on year (y-o-y) in December, in line with consensus expectations. Core inflation (headline CPI excluding food, beverages, tobacco, seasonal products, energy and fuels) increased slightly to 0.7% y-o-y in December. In all, average annual inflation reached 0.5% […]

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