ECB Press conference

As expected the ECB’s Governing Council decided yesterday to leave its official interest rate unchanged. The wording appeared very dovish as Jean-Claude Trichet refrained from using “strong vigilance” – a key word to announce a rate increase at the next meeting. Moreover, referring to conditions, he said that they were “still accommodative” instead of a somewhat […]

United States: ISM manufacturing survey

After rebounding sharply between September 2010 and February 2011, the ISM manufacturing index stabilised at a high level in March and declined modestly in April. The global index eased from 61.2 points in March to 60.4 in April, but was above consensus expectations of 59.5.  The output sub-index, which skyrocketed to 69.0 in March, fell […]

Insight: Managing risk to achieve performance

Private investors have significant advantages over institutions when it comes to portfolio management, so long as they understand that mathematical modelling must be augmented by judgment and experience Finding the right balance between performance and risk requires judgment, experience and an understanding that today’s opportunities are often very different from those of yesterday. Yves Bonzon, Chief […]

Gold: to infinity and beyond?

Gold posted a new high, again, almost touching the $1,490 an ounce threshold. Last year, we expressed our view that gold would pass the $1500 an ounce mark if world growth declines as the effect of stimuli packages fades, monetisation continues and leads to hyper-inflation, risk aversion remains high, central banks invest massively in gold […]

USA: industrial production

Industrial production rose by a strong 0.8% m-o-m in March, above consensus estimates (+0.6%). Moreover, the February reading was revised from -0.1% to +0.1%. However, January’s figure was revised from +0.3% to +0.1%. The positive surprise in the headline figure was partly due to a strong rebound in production of utilities: +1.7% m-o-m, following a […]

USA: consumer price index

The overall CPI rose by 0.5% m-o-m in March, in line with consensus expectations. Food prices were up a strong 0.8% whilst energy prices jumped further up by 3.5% m-o-m (gasoline surged 5.6%). Core CPI was up by 0.1% m-o-m (0.135% to be precise), slightly below consensus estimates (+0.2%). Over the past three months however, […]

USA: modest export growth in January-Feburary

The US trade deficit narrowed marginally in February to $45.8bn. The small drop was mostly linked to the oil balance Between Q4 and January-February, real exports grew more modestly than expected, whilst real imports bounced back very strongly As a result, we are revising our forecast for Q1 GDP growth from 3¼% to 2¾%  The […]

The ECB calls time on quantitative easing

As expected the ECB has raised the refinancing rate by 25bp to 1.25% The ‘corridor’ is left unchanged as the deposit and the marginal lending facilities have also been raised by 25bp Monetary policy tightening will probably follow We expect the refinancing rate to reach 2% at the end of the year As expected, the […]

USA: employment report

Payrolls rose by a healthy 216,000 in March, above consensus estimates. Encouragingly as well, the unemployment rate fell further from 8.9% in February to 8.8% in March Other data were also upbeat, in particular due to an upward revision of February’s average workweek. As a result, aggregate weekly payrolls (a proxy for labour income) grew […]

China: between paper tiger and soaring dragon

Today we summarize the long-term trends of China’s economy and the transformations at  work. These highlights are more structural than cyclical, and portray the pattern of Chinese growth, its sustainability and the challenges for the coming years. The size of the Chinese economy put into perspective China may be the world’s second largest economy, but […]

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