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Focus on performance

The events of the last few years have provided a salutary reminder of the importance of performance in business and investment. As the global economy recovers from the financial crisis, it is clear that short-term performance in both fields is no longer enough. The challenge is to create sustainable performance in a world where the […]

Arab spring and Japanese winter

Two exogenous shock-waves have struck markets in the past few weeks: the first, social and political, stemming from the democratic uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East; the second, seismic and nuclear, with the devastating earthquake and tsunami, and the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. These events have unfolded against a still bright […]

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 […]

USA: continuing trend of robust recovery in profits

NIPA corporate profits rose by 9.7% q-o-q annualised in Q4 10, slightly higher than in Q3 (+6.6%) Profits from financial corporations bounced back further sharply q-o-q but non-financial profits actually declined modestly The third estimate of Q3 GDP data was accompanied by a set of economy wide statistics on corporate profits in a National Accounts […]

USA: manufacturing output growth picking up sharply

Total industrial production dropped by 0.1% m-o-m in February, due to a fall in the most volatile component (utilities) However, manufacturing production was up 0.4% and January’s number was revised sharply up As a result, growth in manufacturing output bounced back sharply over the past few months, consistent with what was suggested by recent ISM […]

USA: consumer price index

Core inflation moved further back up Core CPI rose by 0.2% m-o-m in January, above consensus expectations of +0.1% for the second month in a row Y-o-y core inflation accelerated further from 1.0% in January to 1.1% in February We believe that core inflation will pick up further modestly during the course of 2011. Our […]

Swiss National Bank surprinsingly silent regarding the strength of the Swiss franc

As expected, the SNB kept its target rate on hold and was more upbeat on the prospects for growth We still do not expect any rate hike before Q4 2011 at the earliest The SNB was surprisingly silent about problems posed by the surging Swiss franc Although anything looks possible in the short-run, we continue […]

Gold stabilises at higher levels

New record price reached in the last fortnight  The price of gold has risen by 1.3%, to $1,427 an ounce in a fortnight. The year-to-date performance is finally positive, with an increase of 1%. Commodity prices, as measured by the GSCI spot commodity index, have increased by 1.4% over the fortnight. COMEX non-commercial positions and […]

USA: retail sales

February data strong and January number revised substantially up Retail sales rose buoyantly in February and January’s data were revised substantially up As a result, the Q1 slowdown in consumption growth appears less marked than previously suggested As a result, our forecast for consumption growth in Q1 (+2.5% q-o-q annualised, following +4.1% in Q4) can […]

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