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After an exceptional year…

2017 was an exceptional vintage for risk assets that will be hard to repeat this year. But the environment could become increasingly favourable for active management as challenges rise and volatility increases. This is one of the main messages from Pictet Wealth Management (PWM) analysts and strategists featured in the 2018 special edition of Perspectives. […]

Europe chart of the week – The beginning of the ‘re-anchoring’

The ECB will be pleased by its latest Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF). The headlines are unambiguously positive, fuelled by the uninterrupted improvement in economic data, with expectations of GDP growth and HICP inflation revised higher for the next couple of years, sometimes substantially. Euro area GDP is now expected to expand by 2.3% in […]

China: 2018 GDP forecast revised up

The Chinese economy ended 2017 on a strong note, rising 1.6% over the previous quarter and, growing by 6.9% in real terms over 2017 as a whole, thus beating the consensus forecast as well as our own estimate (both at 6.8%).  The strong 2017 growth number marks the first full-year acceleration in the Chinese economy […]

US chart of the week – Texas rebounds

One of the major rivalries in the US is that between California and Texas, the country’s biggest and second-biggest states respectively in GDP terms. They have different growth drivers (most notably Silicon Valley in California and the energy industry in Texas), and they also have different political landscapes – and local taxation regimes. But which […]

Euro area business activity expanding at its fastest pace in nearly 12 years

The flash composite Purchasing Managers’ index for the euro area increased to 58.6 in January from 58.1 in December, above consensus expectations (57.9).  The services sector index rose, offsetting the decline in the manufacturing index. Companies also expressed growing optimism about this year’s outlook, with business expectations up to an eight-month high. The modest drop […]

Light at the end of the Greek tunnel

Eight years after it first requested financial assistance from its European and international partners in April 2010, Greece has never been so close to a ‘clean exit’ from its bailout programme(s). The economy has shown more convincing signs of improvement, with real GDP recovering since mid-2016 and fall in unemployment accelerating in 2017. Macro imbalances […]

ECB meeting preview: guide me if you can!

We expect no policy decision and no major change in the ECB’s communication at its 25 January meeting. There is no incentive for the ECB to fuel further hawkish market re-pricing at this stage, especially after core inflation disappointed again and the EUR has strengthened once more. The only small change we see as possible […]

The US economy was not firing on all cylinders in 2017

This is a good time to take stock of how well the US economy did in 2017. Assuming Q4 GDP is in line with the current estimate from the Atlanta Fed (which is close to our own), 2017 growth will be 2.3%. This would mark a step-up from annual growth of 1.5% in 2016 – […]

Italy back in the spotlight

The Italian government confirmed 4 March as the date for the next parliamentary elections. The lower and upper houses will be elected under a new electoral law, but a hung parliament is the likely initial outcome of the elections given the fragmented political landscape in Italy. However, we do not think that, as things stand, […]

Academic debates aside, Fed officials’ optimism is rising

A number of Fed officials have given speeches since the beginning of the year, sending mixed messages to markets in the process. Complicating matters, the discussion about the short-term cyclical outlook has become mixed up with an open debate about whether the Fed’s current flexible inflation targeting strategy is still the most appropriate, or whether […]

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