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China’s May Macro Data

May trade figures came as a surprise to the market since it shows domestic demand is not declining, contrary to the consensus’ belief of a hard landing as a consequence of tightening measures introduced to tame inflation. Imports grew much stronger than market expectations, suggesting a firm demand. Inflation grew a bit but is heading […]

Greek crisis: an update

Greece’s cabinet yesterday approved the Medium Term Fiscal Strategy (MTFS) after days of acrimonious debate within the PASOK (Prime Minister’s party). It is worth recalling that the adoption of this plan is pivotal for Greece to obtain a new EU-IMF rescue package designed to fulfil its 2012 financing gap. Without this aid extension, the IMF […]

ECB Press conference

As expected the ECB’s Governing Council decided yesterday to leave its official interest rate unchanged at 1.25%, but Jean-Claude Trichet used the code words “strong vigilance” several times suggesting that the main policy rate will probably be raised by 25bp to 1.5% at July’s meeting. The hint was reinforced by other hawkish sentences like: “we […]

United States: Trade figures

Today’s figures show that net exports are likely to bring a welcome support to Q2 GDP growth. The US trade deficit (trade of goods and services) narrowed substantially to $43.7bn in April from 46.8bn in March (revised from 48.2bn), and was below consensus expectations ($48.8bn). The decrease was exclusively linked to a contraction in the […]

Euro area: Q1 GDP growth

The second release of euro area Q1 GDP was unchanged from its preliminary estimate of 0.8% q-o-q (3.4% q-o-q annualised), consistent with a 2.5% y-o-y growth. The most recent past has not been revised (0.3% q-o-q in Q4 and 0.4% in Q3), so the sharp rebound in Q1 is confirmed. The most vivid growth was […]

Entrepreneur Series: Paul Philipp Hug

We continue our Entrepreneur Series with Paul Philipp Hug, a fifth generation entrepreneur. He and his family run their Swiss bakery company in Lucerne since 1877. Combining tradition with modernisation is Paul’s recipe for success. Bäckerei Hug has been baking bread the traditional way for more than 130 years. Much has changed over that period but not the commitment […]

China: May Manufacturing PMI

The May manufacturing PMI in China declined to 52.0 from 52.9 in April and 53.4 in March, above market expectations (51.6). This decline underlines once more that the tightening process that began in early 2010 and accelerated during the autumn is having more effect on the real economy. The new orders component of the manufacturing […]

Two years on: opportunities and risk in a post crisis world

This Pictet Report, based on our conference in The Hague, concentrates on investment opportunities in a post-crisis world. The sub-prime crisis blew up in mid-2008, but it was only when it exploded that—rather like nuclear power— some investors discovered exactly what they had bought. When Greece ran into trouble in February 2010, we no longer […]

Prudent hedging for times of crisis

There are essentially two approaches to allocating assets in portfolios. One depends on a thorough macroeconomic and financial analysis to identify preferences for certain asset classes over others. Any such analysis can take quite varied forms technically and fundamentally, but it ultimately comes down to making decisions on the basis of forecasts. The second approach […]

Switzerland: GDP growth

Swiss GDP grew by a meagre 0.3% q-o-q in Q1 2011 (+1.0% annualised), well below consensus expectations (+0.7%). Moreover, the Q4 growth rate – while still strong – was revised down from +0.9% to +0.8% (+3.0% annualised). As a result, y-o-y GDP growth edged down from 3.1% in Q4 10 to 2.4% in Q1 11. […]

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