Macroview

United States: Retail sales slowed in December

Today’s nominal retail sales figures for December and the revised statistics for the two prior months show that for the whole of Q4, retail sales increased by a strong 7.9% q-o-q annualised, following a 4.7% rise in Q3. For December only however, nominal retail sales rose by a disappointing 0.1% m-o-m, below consensus expectations (+0.3%). […]

United States: The labour market improves further

Non-farm payroll employment increased by a strong 200,000 m-o-m in December, above consensus expectations of an increase of 155,000. Net revisions for October and November cumulated to an only marginally negative -8,000. Non-Farm Employment: Month-on-Month Change (in thousands) As this monthly statistic is often very volatile (see chart above) and 100,000 jobs represent less than […]

United States: The ISM manufacturing index bounces back further

The Institute of Supply Management (ISM), which tracks the amount of manufacturing activity, published an encouraging survey today, suggesting that the recent pick up in economic growth continued toward the end of last year. The ISM manufacturing index bounced back further to 53.9 in December, up from 52.7 in November and 50.8 in October (see […]

Insight: biggest private bank in Europe

Pictet was portrayed recently in NZZ am Sonntag (Neue Zurcher Zeitung) as part of a series on the Swiss business dynasties. This article presents the history of the bank, an interview with Jacques de Saussure (our senior partner) and highlights Pictet’s unique set of values and client focused culture. > English version > French version […]

Euro area: still likely to contract in 2012

Eurozone statistics are likely to continue to deteriorate probably until mid-Q1 due to the traditional lag between surveys and activity, even if the recent stabilisation in surveys is confirmed in the following months. As a result, we maintain our forecast of a contraction of 0.1% on average for 2012 for the whole euro area. Nevertheless, […]

Insight: A greater role for social entrepreneurs

As the holiday season is starting, we are happy to present the views from Filipe Santos on Social Entrepreneurship, a trend gaining importance in times of fiscal austerity. Filipe Santos is Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at INSEAD. He is the director for the Maag International Centre for Entrepreneurship and the academic director of the INSEAD Social […]

US inflation to ease in 2012

We continue to believe year-on-year core inflation will peak in December or January at a slightly higher rate than in November, stabilise in Q1 2012 and then decline progressively, reaching some 1.5% by end-2012. Today’s US inflation statistics show that year-on-year core inflation inched up further to 2.2% in November. After falling to 0.6% in […]

The Swiss National Bank keeps its target floor of CHF 1.20 per euro

As widely expected, the SNB kept its target three-month LIBOR rate on hold at 0.0% at its quarterly monetary policy meeting today. Regarding its exchange rate policy, the central bank didn’t raise the floor set at CHF 1.20 per euro. Expectations that this floor would be raised to 1.25 or 1.30 at today’s SNB quarterly meeting were […]

European Union Summit: The jigsaw pieces are slowly coming together

After an 11-hour marathon of negotiations in Brussels, the euro area’s heads of state sealed an agreement in response to the crisis at 5 o’clock in the morning on Friday. While a euro break-up is still not completely unthinkable, an exit to the crisis now appears to be feasible. Decisions were taken on two fronts. […]

European monetary policy: Mr Draghi puts on his German suit

The European Central Bank, under the helm of its new President Mario Draghi, lowered interest rates by 25bp yesterday. By acting for the second month in a row, the Governing Council confirmed that the deterioration of the economic conditions are sufficiently serious to justify bringing back the refinancing rate to 1%. The refi rate has […]

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