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Momentum remains strong in China, but headwinds ahead

The official PMI figures for manufacturing and nonmanufacturing rose again in March, extending a rebound that has been evident since early 2016. Sub-indices also remain on a solid upward trend, with the production and new order sub-indices reaching their highest levels since mid-2014 and the new export order index at its highest level since March 2012. […]

Drop in euro area inflation amplified by statistical distortions

Euro area headline inflation declined for the first time in almost a year, by a larger margin than expected by the consensus. Headline HICP eased to 1.5% in March, from 2.0% in February, while core HICP inflation (excluding energy, food, alcohol and tobacco) dropped to a two-year low of 0.67% y-o-y, from 0.86% in February. The […]

Time to deliver, ‘Perspectives’, March-April 2017

With President Trump’s plans to ‘reform and repeal’ Obamacare suffering a serious setback in Congress in March, attention is once again turning to the new administration’s plans for tax cuts and fiscal reform. The so-called ‘reflationary trade’, while in large part based on improving economic dynamics, also owes something to expectations that the new US […]

Euro bank credit still strong in spite of February weakness

The euro area M3 and credit report for February was slightly disappointing overall. Broad money growth (M3) eased from 4.8% to 4.7% y-o-y.  Bank loans to non-financial corporations fell back to 2.0% y-o-y in February, from 2.3% in January, as a result of weaker lending flows across the region. Notwithstanding this modest setback, the euro […]

Profit dynamics support further upside for equity markets

Our 2017 scenario, drawn up last December, called for a total annual return of 10% for global equities this year. We attributed the bulk of this performance to a double-digit rise in estimated corporate profits. As the Q4 2016 reporting season draws to a close, 2017 earnings expectations are proving resilient or are being revised […]

Another spectacular rise in euro area PMIs

The average composite PMI is now consistent with a GDP growth rate of about 0.6% q-o-q in Q1, above our forecast. At the same time, hard data came in slightly weaker than expected, suggesting that business surveys might be overstating the pace of growth to some extent. As a result, we are keeping our growth […]

Take-up of TLTRO loans is good news for euro bank credit

The fourth and final of the ECB’s Targeted Long-Term Refinancing Operations (TLTRO) today attracted EUR233bn in demand from 474 euro area banks, well above consensus (EUR110bn). Expectations of an ECB deposit rate hike may have boosted demand for this operation, as it provided a last opportunity for banks to secure four-year funding at a rate […]

Escaping from planet NIRP

The debate over the ECB’s exit strategy from its negative interest rate policy (NIRP) has started in earnest. Recent comments point to a possible reversal in the exit sequencing, with a deposit rate hike preceding the end of net asset purchases. A one-off adjustment in negative rates would have some merits, including for banks’ interest […]

A more neutral tactical stance on the EUR/USD rate

The monetary policy meetings of the European Central Bank (ECB) on 9 March and of the Federal Reserve on 15 March have put upward pressure on the euro versus the US dollar. Euro area real rates have risen on prospects for an early rate hike whereas US real rates have declined on the perceived dovishness […]

No hint of Swiss rate rise

At its latest policy meeting on 16 March, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) left the interest rate on sight deposits at a record low of -0.75% and the central bank reiterated its willingness to intervene in the foreign exchange market if needed, “taking the overall currency situation into consideration”, as it had mentioned in its […]

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