The founder of the World Economic Forum says that Switzerland has retained its top place in the Global Competitiveness Index for the fifth year running as a result of the excellence of its economic and business performance, its human capital and the strength of its public institutions.
After four months of consecutive rises, the euro area flash manufacturing PMI slipped by 1 point to 53.0 in February, below consensus expectations (54.0). In contrast, the euro area services PMI inched up marginally from 51.6 in January to 51.7 in February, below consensus expectations (51.9). As a result, the composite PMI which is the […]
Just as Ben Bernanke passes the baton to the new Chair of the Federal Reserve, increasing tensions in emerging markets have reminded us that the main structural risk remains deflation, not inflation as his detractors have always claimed.
The ISM manufacturing survey published on Tuesday was surprisingly weak. The headline index fell sharply from 56.5 in December to 51.3 in January, well below consensus estimates (56.0), and its lowest reading since May 2013. The deterioration was quite broad-based, with the fall in the ‘new orders’ sub-component particularly striking, as it plunged from a […]
In Q4 2013, US real GDP growth was quite strong for the second quarter in a row. Economic activity expanded by 3.2% q-o-q annualised, in line with consensus expectations. On a year-on-year basis, GDP growth accelerated from 2.0% in Q3 to 2.7% in Q4. Strong pick-up in private final demand growth Details of the report […]
Today’s data on existing US home sales revealed that sales rebounded marginally m-o-m in December. Nevertheless, the fall registered over the past few months was substantial. Sales fell by 7.8% q-o-q (not annualised) in Q4 2013 (see chart below). The sharp increase in mortgage rates witnessed last year and still relatively tight credit conditions are […]
At the end of the opening day of Pictet Wealth Management Strategy Committee’s annual seminar at Villars-sur-Ollon in October, our digital screens were all displaying the names of the winners of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Economics. On the one hand, Robert Schiller, a proponent of the theory of investors’ irrationality, was rewarded for his […]
Total industrial production in the US rose by 0.3% m-o-m in December, in line with consensus expectations. The sharp rise recorded in November was revised to a slightly less buoyant reading, but data for September and October were revised up. Manufacturing output growth quite strong in Q4 Following a sharp bounce in November, the production […]
As expected, nothing concrete was announced yesterday. Nevertheless, Mario Draghi hinted at some interesting points, but it required reading between the lines. During the press conference the ECB president emphasised the central bank’s forward guidance. On several occasions he referred to the current low level of inflation and the risk of seeing this situation last longer: […]
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