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United States: weak employment report in August

Non-farm payroll employment was unchanged m-o-m in August, below consensus expectations of an increase of 68,000. Moreover, July was revised down (from +117,000 to +85,000) as were the numbers for June (from 46,000 to 20,000). Net revisions thus cumulated to a negative 58,000.   The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.1% in August, in line […]

Switzerland: GDP growth

GDP growth for the second quarter of 2011 was published this morning, in line with expectations, at +0.4% q-o-q (+1.4% annualised). On a year-on-year basis, GDP growth edged down from 2.6% in Q1 to 2.3% in Q2. With the Swiss franc so strong, a slowdown in Swiss economic expansion was widely expected in Q2. However, […]

Protection and opportunity in alternative investments

This issue of the Pictet Report is based on our conference on Alternatives held in Zurich in late September. As in 2009 and 2010 we have brought together some of the leading experts and practitioners from the hedge fund and private equity industries. Their two days of debate took place against a backdrop of unprecedented […]

Deflation threatening once again

For some time now, we have been predicting a gold price of USD2,000 an ounce by the middle of this decade. Upheavals in financial markets this summer have already pushed the bullion price up towards that level: on 23 August gold hit a new all-time high of USD1,913. Should we now presume its bull run […]

United States: house prices

The S&P Case-Shiller index fell by 0.1% m-o-m in June, but was up marginally (+0.1%) q-o-q in Q2, following a significant fall in Q1 (-1.3%). This slight improvement shouldn’t be interpreted too positively. The renewed sharp weakness in house prices earlier this year was probably partly linked to particularly inclement weather in January and February […]

United States: NIPA corporate profits

According to the corporate profits statistics published by the National Accounts (NIPA), US corporate profits rose further in Q2, reaching 12.9% as a percentage of GDP, their highest proportion since 1950. Corporate profits rose by $57.3bn q-o-q in Q2 11 (+12.8% annualised). Due to the disappearance of a favourable base effect, corporate profits were up […]

Europe caught in its own net

The eurozone debt crisis is intensifying. It has been expanding to an ever higher number of countries: recently France has witnessed a first salvo of attacks from the markets. It is worsening in distressed countries. Wanting to solve the indebtedness problem through virtuous management of public finances, without massive intervention by the ECB, implies reducing […]

Another episode of the doctor breaking the thermometer

There are a few reasons up in the air as to why risk assets sold of so hard yesterday, such as the ECB having had to lend USD to a EU bank but I think this is more a symptom of the crisis than a cause. My colleagues at Pictet Asset Management (PAM) posted in […]

Gold continues to fulfil its insurance role

Gold is experiencing unprecedented success, but the high price casts doubt over further price gains. The sovereign crisis continues to rock financial markets and threaten the global economy. Many assets are looking cheap on various valuation measures. Higher yielding assets and attractive buying opportunities might divert investment away from gold. Though gold is very expensive […]

Europe: sharp slowdown confirmed

In accordance with bleak prospects, we are revising down our already cautious GDP forecast. Instead of 0.2% q-o-q growth in Q3 and Q4, we predict growth close to zero in the second half of the year. As a result, the 2011 growth forecast is revised down from 1.7% to 1.5%. As a consequence of a […]

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