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Kicking the tyres

US President Donald Trump has shown a particularly strong interest in the US car industry – which carries both significant symbolic and political weight – and therefore in trade flows of foreign cars into the US. The recently negotiated trade agreement with Mexico is mostly about car manufacturing, particularly aimed at halting the ongoing displacement […]

Business indicators present a contrasting picture of the euro area

Euro area flash composite PMI dipped slightly in September, coming in slightly below consensus expectations. Activity in services picked up and weakened further in manufacturing, which continued its decline since the start of the year, falling to 53.3 in September from 54.6 in August. New export orders failed to grow for the first time since […]

Italian material deprivation rates still the worst among large euro area economies

Severe material deprivation rates gauge the proportion of people whose living conditions are severely affected by a lack of resources. According to Eurostat, “it represents the proportion of people living in households that cannot afford at least four of the following nine items: mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, hire purchase instalments or other loan […]

Fed preview: raising the ceiling

The Fed is very likely to raise rates by 25bps on 26 September, dismissing the trade war risk and emphasising the strong domestic economy and healthy job market instead. With a rate rise widely anticipated, the focus will be on any signals about future rates. We expect Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference and the update […]

Cut to Swiss inflation forecast

At the end of its quarterly monetary assessment meeting, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) left its main policy rates unchanged. Also unchanged from the last quarterly meeting in June was the central bank’s assessment of the Swiss franc as “high valued” and its characterisation of the situation on foreign exchange as “fragile”. The SNB emphasized […]

Contrasting fortunes within the euro area

The four biggest euro area economies slowed in H1 2018 due to a number of factors, including weak exports. We expect a rebound in H2—except in Italy, where political uncertainty has been denting business confidence. Forward indicators show that Italy is the only of the four major euro area economies to face weaknesses both in […]

Fresh tariffs should have limited impact on US economy for now

The Trump administration has announced new tariffs on USD200 billion of Chinese imports, initially at a rate of 10%, rising to 25% in January. This new wave of tariffs comes on top of the USD50 billion taxed over the summer at a rate of 25%. Trump has also threatened to impose levies on all remaining […]

Chinese economic data points to some stabilisation

Latest data releases from China broadly point to stabilisation in activity in August after a notable deceleration in the previous months. Industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset investment all rebounded slightly last month. While the data releases seem to show some signs of stabilisation, we think growth momentum could remain soft in the near term […]

Weekly View – Ten Years On

September 15 marked the 10th anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Since Lehman’s collapse has come to symbolise a massive financial crisis whose consequences continue to be felt, it is natural for this anniversary to be the occasion for speculation on when and where the next large-scale crisis might occur. Emerging […]

European labour market remains in rude health

This week euro area employment data confirmed that labour market recovery remains on track. Employment grew at 0.4% q-o-q in Q2 2018, marking the 20th consecutive quarter of expansion. Employment is now 2.4% above its pre-crisis (2008) level. Since Q2 2013, 9.2 million jobs have been created in the euro area. One development of note […]

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