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3 August 2017 China's Reform Scorecard Part 3: Building Government Debt Markets (Publication Centre)

China will have to issue a lot of government debt in the next few years. The government will need to continue migrating to its balance sheet, all the debt that should have been registered there in the first place. This will mean a rapid expansion of liabilities, but if handled correctly, the government will also gain valuable assets in the process.

29 June 2017 China's Debt is not too High, but it Grew too Fast - Reckoning will Come (Publication Centre)

China's total debt stock is high for a country at its stage of development, relative to GDP, but it is sustainable for country with excess savings. China was never going to be a typical EM, where external debtors can trigger a crisis by demanding payment.

25 Jan. 2016 Will Housing Debt Concerns Resurface at the Bank? (Publication Centre)

Data this week look set to emphasise that heat is returning to the housing market, again. The Financial Policy Committee--FPC--still has additional tools it could deploy to cool housing demand. But the root cause of surging house prices remains very cheap debt. Alongside the inflation risk posed by the labour market, the case for the MPC to begin to raise interest rates to prevent a widespread debt problem is becoming compelling.

30 September 2016 Britain is Turning to Debt to Maintain an Illusion of Prosperity (Publication Centre)

Today's balance of payments figures for the second quarter likely will underline that the U.K. has financed strong growth in domestic consumption by amassing debts with the rest of the world at a breakneck pace.

31 October 2017 China's Developers Increase Risky Debt Issuance as Property Cools (Publication Centre)

In yesterday's Monitor we suggested that China's profits surge has been party dependent on developers' risky debt issuance practices.

01 Mar. 2016 Rising Consumer Debt Puts Pressure on the Bank to Act (Publication Centre)

British households are back to their old ways and are piling on debt again. With borrowing costs still falling, consumer confidence high and banks willing to lend, indebtedness will only increase unless the Bank of England acts.

6 October 2017 China's Debt Ratio Stabilised in 2016, but only Cyclically (Publication Centre)

We've written in previous Monitors about the stabilisation of China's debt ratio. In this Monitor we look at whether this stabilisation is cyclical or a sign that China really has managed to change the structure of its economy to be less reliant on debt.

21 March 2017 The Debt Ceiling is Back, but no Crisis Likely Until the Fall (Publication Centre)

The federal debt ceiling was re-imposed last week, with no fanfare, and no reaction in the markets. All eyes were focussed instead on the Fed's rate hike and Chair Yellen's press conference.

4 August 2017 China's Reform Scorecard Part 4: Effective Bad Debt Screening (Publication Centre)

In yesterday's Monitor we set out how government will have to prepare for an increase in debt issuance both to bring debts on-balance sheet and also to issue new debt as government is obliged to run deficits while the corporate sector deleverages.

22 May 2017 Have Eurozone Investors Lost Their Appetite for Foreign Debt? (Publication Centre)

The Eurozone's current account surplus remained close to record highs at the end of Q1, despite dipping slightly to €34.1B in March, from a revised €37.8B in February. A further increase in the services surplus was the key story.

13 June 2017 Debt-Fuelled Korean Consumption is at Risk as Rates Rise (Publication Centre)

When Park Geun-hye came to power in Korea 2013, it was to cheers of "economic democratisation". At the time, I wrote a report with a list of reforms that would be needed for Korea to "economically democratise".

13 April 2018 The BoK's Pending Rate Hikes are About Debt, not Inflation (Publication Centre)

The Bank kept interest rates unchanged at 1.50% yesterday, but downgraded its inflation forecast for 2018 to 1.6% from 1.7%

1 December. 2016 Banks are in Better Health, But Debt Levels Still Pose Risks (Publication Centre)

The Bank of England's stress tests highlighted that banks have made further progress in strengthening their balance sheets over the last year. But while banks have retreated from taking risk onto their balance sheets, others have stepped in to fill the void.

26 May 2017 The ECB is in a Trap of its Own Making in EZ Private Debt Markets (Publication Centre)

We have warned that the ECB' decision to add corporate bonds to QE would lead to unprecedented market distortions. Evidence of this is now abundantly clear. The central bank has bought €82B-worth of corporate bonds in the past 11 months, and now holds more than 6% of the market. Assuming the central bank continues its purchases until the middle of next year, it will end up owning 13%-to-14% of the whole Eurozone corporate bond market.

15 June. 2015 A Dangerous Impasse in Debt Negotiations with Greece (Publication Centre)

The danse macabre between Greece and its creditors continued last week, increasing the risk of default and capital controls. Greek citizens don't want to leave the euro and Germany does not want a Grexit, two positions which should eventually form the basis for an agreement.

12 June 2017 China's Policy Choices are all Difficult, can Disaster be Averted? (Publication Centre)

China faces three possible macro outcomes over the next few years. First, the economy could pull off an active transition to consumer-led growth. Second, it could gradually slide into Japan-style growth and inflation, with government debt spiralling up. Third, it could face a full blown debt crisis, where the authorities lose control and China drags the global economy down too

29 May 2018 A Peek into the Abyss of an Italian Parallel Currency and Euro Exit (Publication Centre)

We have to hand it to Italy's politicians. In an economy with a current account surplus of 3% of GDP, a nearly balanced net foreign asset position and with the majority of government debt held by domestic investors, the leading parties have managed to prompt markets to flatten the yield curve via a jump in shortterm interest rates.

28 Oct. 2015 Budget Deal Means Fiscal Policy Will Ease Slightly Next Year (Publication Centre)

The two-year budget deal agreed between the administration and the Republican leadership in Congress will avert a federal debt default and appears to constitute a modest near-term easing of fiscal policy. The debt ceiling will not be raised, but the law imposing the limit will be suspended through March 2017, leaving the Treasury free to borrow as much as necessary to cover the deficit. As a result, the presidential election next year will not be fought against a backdrop of fiscal crisis.

18 Feb. 2016 Has the Chancellor's Room for Manoeuvre Disappeared? (Publication Centre)

The stubbornly slow rate of decline of public borrowing casts doubt on whether the Chancellor will run a budget surplus before the end of this parliament, as his fiscal rule stipulates. But downward revisions to debt interest forecasts by the Office for Budget Responsibility are likely to absolve him again from intensifying the impending fiscal squeeze in the Budget on March 16.

20 May. 2016 Let the Good Times Roll in EZ Corporate Bond Markets (Publication Centre)

Markets have responded strongly to the ECB's announcement that it will be buying corporate bonds as part of QE. Net corporate debt issuance of non-financial firms jumped €16B in March, the biggest monthly increase since January 2014. The 12-month average, however, was stable at €3.6B, and a sustained increase in net debt supply partly depends on firms' appetite for financial engineering

27 July 2017 Greece is Back in the Market, but the Timing is Not the Best (Publication Centre)

The strengthening EZ economy increasingly looks like the tide that lifts all boats. The Greek economy is still a laggard, but recent news hints at a brightening outlook. Last week, S&P affirmed the country's debt rating, but revised the outlook to "positive" from "stable."

15 July. 2016 The EU and Italy Edge Closer to a Deal on the Country's Ailing Banks (Publication Centre)

This weeks' IMF's staff report on the Italian economy has increased the urgency for a compromise between the EU and Italy over the country's suffering banks. The report highlighted that financial sector reform is "critical" to the economy, and that the treatment of the significant portion of retail investors in banks' debt structure should be dealt with "appropriately."

3 August. 2016 Fundamentals Don't Matter For The EZ's Mighty Corporate Bonds (Publication Centre)

Debt issuance by Eurozone non-financial firms is soaring, consistent with the ECB's hope that adding private debt to QE would boost supply. Our first chart shows that the three-month sum of net debt sold in the euro area jumped to a new record of €60.3B in May. A short-term decline in issuance is a good bet after the initial euphoria in firms' treasury departments.

12 December 2017 Will the ECB Live to Regret Buying Corporate Bonds as Part of QE?EZ 12 December 2017 (Publication Centre)

Investors in euro-denominated corporate debt will be listening closely to Mr. Draghi this week for hints on how the ECB intends to balance QE between public and private debt next year.

7 June 2017 The Slowing in Consumer Credit Demand is Good News (Publication Centre)

Today's consumer credit report for April likely will show that the stock of debt rose by about $15B, a bit below the recent trend. The monthly numbers are volatile, but the underlying trend rate of increase has eased over the past year-and-a-half, as our first chart shows. The slowdown has been concentrated in the non-revolving component, though the rate of growth of the stock of revolving credit--mostly credit cards--has dipped recently, perhaps because of weather effects and the late Easter.

7 June 2018 Should the ECB Teach Shorts in Italian Two-year BTPs a Lesson? (Publication Centre)

This week's uproar over the ECB's purchases of Italian debt in May--or lack thereof--shows that monetary policy in the euro is never far removed from the political sphere.

30 June 2017 China's Government Still has Room to Clean up, but what if they Balk? (Publication Centre)

In the yesterday's Monitor, we presented an exagerated upper-bound for China's bad debt problem, at 61% of GDP. The limitations of the data meant that we double-counted a significant portion of non-financial corporate--NFC--debt with financial corporations and government.

02 Feb. 2016 EZ Public Spending will Support GDP Growth in 2016 (Publication Centre)

Economic theory tells us that government spending should be counter-cyclical, but recent experience in the Eurozone tells a slightly different story. The contribution to GDP growth from government spending rose during the boom from 2004 to 2007, and remained expansionary as the economy fell off the cliff in 2008. As the economy slowed again following the initial recovery, the sovereign debt crisis hit, driving a severe pro-cyclical fiscal hit to the economy.

27 April 2017 How Much Further Can Mortgage Rates Fall? (Publication Centre)

Growth in households' disposable incomes has been supported in recent years by falling debt servicing costs. The proportion of households' incomes absorbed by interest payments fell to a record low of 4.5% in Q4 last year, down from 4.7% a year ago and a peak of 10% in 2008.

26 January 2017 GDP Growth Remained Brisk in Q4, but Headwinds are Building (Publication Centre)

Today's preliminary estimate of Q4 GDP likely will show that the Brexit vote has not caused the economy to slow yet. But growth at the end of last year appears to have relied excessively on household spending, which has been increasingly financed by debt. GDP growth likely will slow decisively in Q1 as the squeeze on households' real incomes intensifies.

24 August. 2016 The Impetus to Spending From Falling Mortgage Rates Will Wane (Publication Centre)

The proportion of households' annual incomes absorbed by servicing debt has declined steadily this decade, providing a powerful boost to spending. Indeed, the proportion of annual incomes accounted for by interest payments--mainly on mortgages--edged down a record low of 4.6% in Q1, less than half the share in 2008.

20 Jan. 2016 Venezuela Is Collapsing - LatAm's Star--Colombia--Is Merely Slowing (Publication Centre)

Commodity prices have started the year under further downward pressure. This is yet more negative news for LatAm, as most of the countries have failed to diversify, instead relying on oil or copper for a large share of exports and, critically, tax revenue. Venezuela is the biggest loser in the region from the oil hit, and, together with the worsening political and economic crisis, it has pushed the country even closer to the verge of collapse, threatening its debt payments. Venezuela's central bank last week released economic data for the first time since 2014, showing that inflation spiralled to 141% and that the economy shrank 4.5% in the first nine months of last year.

14 Sept. 2015 Italy's Structural Problems Persist, but Cyclical Upturn is Firming (Publication Centre)

Italy's long-term challenges--chiefly, structurally high government debt and deteriorating demographics--remain daunting, but the cyclical picture is improving steadily. Final GDP data last week revealed that growth in the first half of the year was 0.2% better than initially estimated, taking the annualised growth rate to 1.4%, the highest in five years. This is the first sign of a durable business cycle upturn since the sovereign debt crisis crashed the economy in 2012.

13 June 2018 Want to Know What is Happening in EZ Equities? Ask the Foreigners (Publication Centre)

It is by now a familiar story that the Eurozone has become a supplier of liquidity to the global economy in the wake of the sovereign debt crisis.

21 Apr. 2016 Argentina Returns to the Bond Market After 15 Years of Isolation (Publication Centre)

After a 15 year hiatus, Argentina returned to the global credit markets yesterday with the sale of a USD16.5B sovereign bonds, the largest ever dollar offering by a developing country. Argentina boosted the size of its offering to USD16.5B from USD15B after attracting orders worth USD70B. The country sold four tranches: 10-year debt at 7.5%, three- and five year yielding 6.25% and 6.875%, respectively, and 30-year paper at 8.0%.

7 July 2017 China's Authorities Losing the Regulatory Arbitrage Game (Publication Centre)

All regulators face the challenge that when you regulate one part of the economy, problems appear somewhere else. For China, the game is particularly intense because liquidity created by previous debt binges continues to slosh around the financial system, with no outlet to the real economy.

13 Jan. 2016 Even Senior Creditors are Not Safe in the Eurozone Banking Industry (Publication Centre)

Investors in Eurozone banks continue to face uncertain times, despite the ECB's best efforts to prop up the economy and financial markets via QE. The latest hit to confidence comes from the bail-in of selected senior debt in Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo. When the troubled lender was restructured in mid-2014, the equity and junior debt were left in a "bad" bank--and were virtually wiped out--while the deposits and senior debt went into the "good" bank Novo Banco. Senior debt holders expecting to recoup their money, however, were startled earlier this month by the decision to "re-assign" five selected bonds with total face value of €2B from Novo Banco to the bad bank, in effect wiping out the investors.

25 June 2018 The EU and Greek have a Deal, but They'll Meet Again... in 2030 (Publication Centre)

Last week's debt-relief agreement between Greece and its European creditors goes somewhat further than previous instances when the EU has kicked the can down the road.

25 September 2017 China Downgraded but Risk of a Default is Slim, China is a Saver (Publication Centre)

S&P downgraded Chinese government debt last week to A+ from AA- yesterday, following a Moody's downgrade last May.

4 May 2018 Is China Leaking Financial Fragility, a Financial Crisis in the Making? (Publication Centre)

We've argued for some time that China faces a massive legacy of bad debt that will either have to be dealt with, or will result in the Japanning of its economy.

22 Sept. 2015 Moody's Fires a Shot Across the Bow on French Sovereign Debt (Publication Centre)

Mr. Draghi's pledge in 2012 to do "whatever it takes to preserve the euro," and QE have stymied sovereign debt risk in the euro area. At the same time, the EU's relaxed position over debt sustainability was highlighted earlier this year by the Commission's decision to give France two more years to get its deficit below 3% of GDP. But Moody's downgrade of the French government bond rating last week to Aa2 from Aa1 serves as a gentle reminder to investors of the underlying fundamentals.

6 June. 2016 A New Portuguese Debt Crisis is Unlikely in the Shor t Run (Publication Centre)

The recent deal between Greece and the EU shows that the appetite for a repeat of last year's chaos is low. But investors' attention has turned to whether Portugal is waiting in the wings to reignite the sovereign debt crisis. Complacency is dangerous, but economic data suggest that a Portuguese shock to the Eurozone economy and financial markets is unlikely this year.

25 Nov. 2015 Privatisations Conceal Underlying Health of Public Finances (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor is likely to announce plans for additional public sector asset sales in today's Autumn Statement, to help arrest the unanticipated rise in the debt-to-GDP ratio this year. But privatisations rarely improve the underlying health of the public finances, partly because assets seldom are sold for their full value. And the Chancellor is running out of viable assets to privatise; the low-hanging, juiciest fruits have already been plucked.

26 Jan. 2016 Housing Wealth About to Breach the Pre-Crash Peak (Publication Centre)

Sometime very soon, likely in the second quarter of this year, the stock of net housing wealth will exceed the $13.1T peak recorded before the crash, in the fourth quarter of 2005. At the post-crash low, in the first quarter of 2009, net housing equity had fallen by 53%, to just $6.2T. The recovery began in earnest in 2012, and over the past year net housing wealth has been rising at a steady pace just north of 10%. With housing demand rising, credit conditions easing and inventory still very tight, we have to expect home prices to keep rising at a rapid pace.

24 January 2018 Government Bonds Can Cope With an End to QE. Can C orporates? (Publication Centre)

Bond markets didn't panic when the ECB announced its intention further to reduce the pace of QE this year, to €30B per month from €60B in 2017.

24 October 2017 EZ Consumers' Spending Slowed in Q3, but Should Rebound in Q4 (Publication Centre)

Eurozone consumers' spending jumped in Q2, but we are pretty certain that a slowdown in retail sales constrained growth in Q3.

24 October. 2016 The Eurozone needs better PR (Publication Centre)

The EZ doom-and-gloom crew has come crawling out of the woodwork again this year. Earlier this month, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz told a German newspaper that Italy and other euro area countries likely will leave the currency union soon.

25 April 2017 Are Further Tax Rises After the Election Inevitable? (Publication Centre)

The Prime Minister's refusal last week to reaffirm her party's 2015 election pledge not to raise income tax, National Insurance or VAT has fuelled speculation that taxes will rise if the Conservatives are re-elected on June 8. Admittedly, Mrs. May asserted that her party "believes in lower taxes", and the tax pledge s till might appear in the Conservatives' manifesto, which won't be published for a few weeks.

25 May 2018 Germany Slowed in Q1, but what Happened to Private Demand? (Publication Centre)

The headline in yesterday's detailed Q1 German GDP data was old news, confirming that growth in the euro area's largest economy slowed at the start of the year.

27 February 2018 The Trend in Mortgage Lending is Downward, Despite January's Jump (Publication Centre)

House purchase mortgage approvals by the main street banks jumped to 40.1K in January, from 36.1K in December, fully reversing the 4K fall of the previous two months, according to trade body U.K. Finance.

27 May. 2016 Mr. Temer Starts to Deliver - Fiscal Measures are Positive, Overall (Publication Centre)

Recent political and economic developments in Brazil make us more confidence in our forecast of a gradual recovery. On Wednesday, interim President Michel Temer scored his first victory in Congress, winning approval for his request to raise this year's budget target to a more realistic level. Under the new target, Brazil's government plans to run a budget gap, before interest, of about 2.7% of GDP this year.

27 June. 2016 A Post-Brexit EU is Weakened, But Not Destined for a Collapse (Publication Centre)

The ECB's statement following the panic on Friday was brief and offered few details. The central bank said that it is closely monitoring markets, and that it is ready to provide additional liquidity in both euros and foreign currency, if needed. It also said that it is in close coordination with other central banks.

27 June 2017 Higher Interest Rates won't be Needed to Rein in Consumer Credit (Publication Centre)

Speculation has grown that the Bank of England will announce measures today to calm the recent strong growth in consumer credit, when it publishes its bi-annual Financial Stability Report.

27 October 2017 The ECB Announces Reduced QE Next Year, and Markets Like It (Publication Centre)

The ECB broadly conformed to markets' expectations today. The central bank maintained its key refinancing and deposit rates at 0.00% and -0.4% respectively, and delivered the consensus package on QE.

27 September 2017 Venezuela's Economic Woes Continue, and the Clock is Ticking (Publication Centre)

Venezuelan bond markets have been on a rollercoaster ride this year, with yields rising significantly in response to heightened political uncertainty and then declining when the government pays its obligations or when protests ease.

28 February 2018 The BoK is in Wait-And-See Mode, Consumer Confidence Dented (Publication Centre)

Data and events have gone against the idea of further BoK policy normalisation since the November hike.

28 February 2017 Colombia's Economy is Struggling, but Further Easing is Coming (Publication Centre)

The Colombian economy was relatively resilient at the end of last year, but economic reports released during the last few weeks indicate that growth is still fragile, and that downside risks have increased. Real GDP rose 1.0% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 1.6% from 1.2% in Q3.

27 July 2017 China's Reform Scorecard Part 2: Tax Revenues (Publication Centre)

In yesterday's Monitor, we outlined how the government's plans to allow more migrants to register in cities could help counterbalance the effects of aging and put a floor under medium-term property prices.

27 Jan. 2015 Don't Panic over Greece, a solution between the Troika and Syriza will be found (Publication Centre)

The landslide victory by anti-austerity party Syriza in Greece this weekend will increase uncertainty in coming months. The coalition between Syriza and the Independent Greeks will prove a tough negotiating partner for the EU as both parties are strongly in favor of pushing the Troika to significant concessions on any future bailout terms this year.

26 June 2018 RRR Cut is More Evidence the PBoC Switching to an Easing Bias (Publication Centre)

The PBoC cut the reserve requirement ratio by 0.5pp for almost all banks on Sunday, effective from July 5th.

26 July 2017 China's Reform Scorecard Part 1: Labour Market and Demographics (Publication Centre)

Over the next 18 months we expect to see interest rates break out further on the upside. Initially, we expect developed market growth to be resilient to that.

26 Oct. 2015 MPC Can't Wait too Long After the U.S. Fed Raises Rates (Publication Centre)

Markets currently judge that U.K. interest rates will rise about six months after the first Fed hike. But the Bank of England seldom lagged this far behind in the past. Admittedly, the slowdown in the domestic economy that we expect will require the Monetary Policy Committee to be cautious. But wage and exchange rate pressures are likely to mean six months is the maximum period the MPC can wait before following the Fed's lead.

27 February 2018 Indefinite Xi-ism will mean Spikes in Volatility, as big Decisions Roll Out (Publication Centre)

The Chinese Communist Party looks set to repeal Presidential term limits, meaning that Xi Jinping likely intends to stay on beyond 2023.

23 October 2017 The Fiscal Squeeze won't be Eased, Despite this Year's Low Borrowing (Publication Centre)

At the halfway mark of the fiscal year, public borrowing has been significantly lower than the OBR forecast in the March Budget.

27 February 2018 Is Shorting Italian Government Bonds the New Widowmaker? (Publication Centre)

Eurozone bond traders of a bearish persuasion are finding it difficult to make their mark ahead of Italy's parliamentary elections next weekend.

26 January 2018 Korean Exports hit a Perfect Storm in Q4 but Should Rebound in H1 (Publication Centre)

Korean GDP unexpectedly declined in Q4, for the first time since the financial crisis, falling 0.2% quarter-on-quarter after a 1.5% jump in Q3.

23 June 2017 Brazil and Argentina Under Renewed But Temporary Pressure (Publication Centre)

Financial markets in Brazil and Argentina have been under pressure this week, following negative news, both domestic and external. In Brazil, the Ibovespa index tumbled nearly 1.8% on Tuesday after a Senate Committee rejected the Government's labour reform bill.

22 Apr. 2016 The ECB is Worried About Elevated Financial Market Volatility (Publication Centre)

The ECB held fire yesterday and kept its main refinancing and deposit rates unchanged at 0.0% and -0.4%, respectively. The central bank also left the pace of monthly asset purchases unchanged at €80B. The introductory statement overall confirmed the central bank's dovish stance.

22 Feb. 2016 Can Extremely Low Gilt Yields Be Sustained? (Publication Centre)

Gilt yields slid to record lows at many maturities in mid-February, and while equity prices have since rebounded, gilt yields have remained anchored at rock-bottom levels. But with political risks rising and deficit reduction still very slow, gilt yields look primed to spring back soon.

22 January 2018 December's Dive in Retail Sales Points to Poor Q4 GDP Prospects (Publication Centre)

The intensity of the pressure on households' finances was highlighted last week by December's retail sales report, which showed that volumes fell by 1.5% month-to-month, the most since June 2016.

21 June 2017 German PPI Likely has Peaked in 2017, Will Equity Markets Care? (Publication Centre)

German producer price inflation fell last month, following uninterrupted gains since the beginning of this year. Headline PPI inflation fell to 2.8% year-over- year in May, from 3.4% in April, constrained by lower energy inflation, which slipped to 3.0%, from 4.6% in April. Meanwhile, non-energy inflation declined marginally to 2.7%, from 2.8%.

22 Apr. 2016 Good News for the BCB as Brazil's Inflation Slowdown is Confirmed (Publication Centre)

Brazil's mid-April inflation report delivered more evidence that inflation is decelerating; it fell to 9.3% from 10.0% in March, reaching the slowest pace since July 2015. The unadjusted month-to-month increase surprised marginally to the upside, but the key story is of a declining year-over-year trend. Core inflation, which is a lagging indicator of the business cycle, slowed again, in line with the decline in services and market prices inflation.

21 October. 2016 The ECB Treads Water, but Hints at December QE Extension (Publication Centre)

The ECB held fire yesterday. The central bank kept its main refinancing rate unchanged at 0.0%, and also maintained the deposit and marginal lending facility rates at -0.4% and 0.25% respectively.

21 June 2018 What Does Enhanced Forward Guidance Mean for Bond Yields (Publication Centre)

Last week's ECB meeting--see here--made it clear that the central bank does not intend to jump the gun on rate hikes next year, even as QE is scheduled to end in Q4 2018.

21 May 2018 China's $200B Offer is Long-run Unviable, Short-run Problematic (Publication Centre)

China reportedly has offered President Trump a $200B reduction in its annual trade surplus with the U.S., engineered by increasing imports of American products, among other steps.

21 May 2018 How do you Price the Risk of a Political Wildcard in Italy? (Publication Centre)

In our Monitor May 15 we described the initial government program in Italy, drafted by the leadership of the Five-Star Movement and the League parties, as a "macroeconomic fairytale."

21 November. 2016 How Vulnerable are the Public Finances to Rising Gilt Yields? (Publication Centre)

Gilt yields have shot up over the last couple of months, despite ongoing bond purchases authorised by the MPC in August. Ten-year yields closed last week at 1.47%, in line with the average in the first half of 2016.

22 March 2018 China's State Capital to Nourish Tech but Neglect Households (Publication Centre)

So much has changed in China over the last six months that we are taking the opportunity in this Monitor to step back and gain an overview of where the economy is going in the long term.

22 May 2017 What Does the Path to the Recession of 2019 Look Like? (Publication Centre)

In recent years only one event has made a material difference to the growth path of the U.S. economy, namely, the plunge in oil prices which began in the summer of 2014. The ensuing collapse in capital spending in the mining sector and everything connected to it, pulled GDP growth down from 2½% in both 2014 and 2015 to just 1.6% in 2016.

23 June 2017 PBoC is to the Chinese Yield Curve as Dr Frankenstein is to the Monster (Publication Centre)

China has undoubtedly been through a credit tightening, commonly explained as the PBoC attempting to engineer a squeeze, to spur on corporate deleveraging.

23 June. 2015 More Waiting For Investors, But a Deal With Greece is Coming (Publication Centre)

We sympathize greatly with investors' frustration over endless postponements and new "deadlines" in the negotiations between Greece and its creditors. Syriza delivered a proposal for reforms to the EU and the IMF on Monday morning, welcome d as a "positive step in the right direction" by Eurogroup president Dijsselbloem and Economic and Financial Affairs commissioner Moscovici.

23 Mar. 2015 Savings Rate Jump is Temporary - It Will Reverse in Spring (Publication Centre)

If we are right in our view that the lag between shifts in gasoline prices and the response from consumers is about six months--longer than markets seem to think--then the next few months should see spending surge.

23 November 2017 Is EZ Consumption on Track for Grand Finish to 2017? (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's advance consumer sentiment index in the Eurozone confirmed the upside risks for consumers' spending in Q4. The headline index rose to a 17- year high of +0.1 in November, from -1.0 in October.

21 Dec. 2015 Corporations Still Over-leveraged, but Little Near-Term Danger? (Publication Centre)

The markets' favorite story of the moment, aside from the Fed, seems to be the idea that overstretched corporate finances are an accident waiting to happen. When the crunch comes, the unavoidable hit to the stock market and the corporate bond market will have dire consequences, limiting the Fed's scope to raise rates, regardless of what might be happening in the labor market. We don't buy this. At least, we don't buy the second part of the narrative; we have no problem with the idea the finances of the corporate sector are shaky.

23 July 2018 The Eurozone's Current Account Surplus likely Plunged in Q2 (Publication Centre)

The Eurozone's current account surplus extended its decline in May, falling to a nine-month low of €22.4B, from €29.6B in April.

21 July 2017 Venezuela's Economic and Political Crisis Deteriorates, Risks is Soaring (Publication Centre)

The risk of political change in Venezuela is coming to a boil, following President Maduro's plans for a new constituent assembly that has the power to rewrite the constitution and scrap the existing National Assembly.

28 June 2017 A Difficult Balancing Act for Mr. Draghi on Growth and Inflation (Publication Centre)

Mr. Draghi's speech yesterday in Portugal, at the ECB forum on Central Banking, pushed the euro and EZ government bond yields higher. The markets' hawkish interpretation was linked to the president's comment that "The threat of deflation is gone and reflationary forces are at play."

22 November 2017 What's the Case for Increased Fiscal Stimulus in the Eurozone? (Publication Centre)

The euro area's record-high external surplus has prompted commentators to suggest that the zone has room to loosen fiscal policy to support growth, or at least relax the deficit reduction rules.

23 October 2017 The EZ's Current Account Surplus Rose in Q3, but the Trend is Falling (Publication Centre)

The Eurozone's external surplus rebounded further over the summer.

4 June 2018 All the Bogeymen are Back in the Eurozone Economy (Publication Centre)

At the start of the year, #euroboom was the moniker used in financial media to describe the EZ economy.

6 July 2018 Finally, a Bit of Good News in German Manufacturing (Publication Centre)

Demand in German manufacturing rebounded strongly midway through the second quarter.

6 July. 2015 Greece Votes No, and Takes a Step Closer to Exiting the Euro (Publication Centre)

The Greek polls released Sunday evening indicate a comfortable victory for "no," rejecting the latest EU proposal. This is not a good outcome for the market, and volatility will likely increase substantially today. The result--not confirmed as we go to press but very clearly indicated by the count so far--gives an air of legitimacy to Syriza's brinkmanship, but the creditors' reaction to a "no" vote, which they likely did not expect, is uncertain.

6 June 2017 The Spanish Economy is Punching Above its Weight. Can it Last? (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's final May PMI data in the Eurozone confirmed the strength of the cyclical upturn. The composite PMI was unchanged at 56.8, in line with the initial estimate.

6 June 2018. The Caixin PMI Belies the Struggle in Finance and Real Estate (Publication Centre)

On the face of it, the Caixin services PMI was unremarkable in May, unchanged at 52.9.

6 April 2017 Firms in the EZ are Investing Again, but What About Wages? (Publication Centre)

Readers have asked us about the availability of flow-of-funds data in the Eurozone similar to the detailed U.S. reports. The ECB's sector accounts come close and cover a lot of ground, but are also released with a lag. We can't cover all sectors in one Monitor, but the investment data for non-financial firms, excluding construction, suggest that investment growth slowed last year.

5 June 2018 Eurozone Investors Haven't Been this Gloomy Since 2012 (Publication Centre)

If you were looking just at investor sentiment in the Eurozone, you would conclude that the economy is in recession.

5 August. 2016 The MPC Exceeds Expectations, but Inflation Will Constrain it Next Year (Publication Centre)

The MPC's package of stimulus measures, which exceeded markets' expectations, demonstrates that it is currently placing little weight on the inflation outlook. Even so, if inflation matches our expectations and overshoots the 2% target by a bigger margin next year than the MPC currently thinks is acceptable, it will have to consider its zeal for more stimulus.

5 December 2017 The ECB Wants a Steeper Curve in 2018. Will Markets Oblige? (Publication Centre)

This week's detailed Q3 GDP data will confirm that the euro area economy is going from strength to strength.

5 Jan. 2015 Political Risks Return, but M1 Signals Faster Growth Ahead (Publication Centre)

The prospect of a Greek parliamentary election on January 25th, following Prime Minister Samaras' failure to secure support for his presidential candidate, weighed on Eurozone assets over the holidays. The looming political chaos in Greece will increase market volatility in the first quarter, but it is too early to panic.

5 January 2018 Time to Talk Chinese New Year Already, Ignore the PMI Jumps (Publication Centre)

The Caixin services PMI jumped sharply to 53.9 in December from 51.9 in November. All the PMIs picked up significantly, but we find this hard to believe and suspect seasonality is to blame, though the adjustment is tricky.

6 March 2017 Can Gilt Yields Remain Low While the World Reflates? (Publication Centre)

If 2017 really is the year of "reflation", somebody forgot to tell the gilt market. Among the G7 group, 10-year yields have fallen only in the U.K. during the last three months, as our first chart shows.

6 March 2018 Why China will Miss its GDP Growth, Fiscal Deficit and RMB targets (Publication Centre)

China's National People's Congress yesterday laid out its main goals for this year, on the first day of its annual meeting.

8 September 2017 Jobless Claims will be Elevated for Some Time, Payroll hit Uncertain (Publication Centre)

The 62K jump in jobless claims for the week ended September 2 is a hint of what's to come. Claims usually don't surge until the second week after major hurricanes, because people have better things to do in the immediate aftermath, so we are braced for a further big increase next week.

8 September 2017 The ECB is worried about a strong euro (Publication Centre)

The ECB made no changes to its policy stance yesterday. The central bank left its refinancing and deposit rates at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively, and maintained the pace of QE at €60B per month. The program will run until December "or beyond, if necessary."

9 April 2018 Will China use the RMB Nuclear Option as Tariff Pain Rises? (Publication Centre)

China has a nuclear option in the face of pressure from U.S. tariffs, namely, to devalue the currency.

9 February 2017 Markets finally wake up to political risks in France (Publication Centre)

The twists and turns of the French presidential election campaign continue. François Fillon was tipped as favourite after he won the Republican primaries. But Mr. Fillon now is struggling to keep his campaign on track after allegations that he gave high paying "pro-forma" jobs to his wife as an assistant last year. The socialist candidate, Benoit Hamon, has been hampered by the unpopularity of his party's incumbent, François Hollande, and has lost ground to the far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

8 March 2018 The Spring Statement Really Will Be a Non-Event (Publication Centre)

The Treasury has tried to dampen expectations for Tuesday's Spring Statement, which has replaced the Autumn Statement since the Budget was moved last year to November.

8 March 2017 Rising Interest Payments may Slash the Chancellor's Rainy Day Fund (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor's Budget today looks set to prioritise retaining scope to loosen policy if the economy struggles in future, rather than reducing the near-term fiscal tightening. In November, the OBR predicted that cyclically-adjusted borrowing would fall to 0.8% of GDP in 2019/20, comfortably below the 2% limit stipulated by the Chancellor's new fiscal rules.

6 May. 2016 Will the Periphery's Resilience to Political Risks Persist? (Publication Centre)

Political risks in the periphery have simmered constantly during this cyclical recovery, but they have increased recently. In Italy, the government is scrambling to find a solution to rid its ailing banking sector of bad loans. But recapitalisation via a bad bank is not possible under new EU rules.

7 February 2018 Global Liquidity has been Damaged Recently, but 2008 this is not (Publication Centre)

In terms of one-day moves, the drop in U.S. equities yesterday and Asian equities in the past two days has been pretty bad.

7 February 2018 The EZ Economy Should be Resilient to Rising Market Volatility (Publication Centre)

As we go to press, equities in the Eurozone are having a bad day following the collapse in U.S. and Asian equities earlier.

8 December 2017 Investment is Now the Key Driver of GDP Growth. Will it Continue? (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's detailed Q3 GDP data in the Eurozone confirmed that the economy has gone from strength to strength this year.

5 Apr. Has Corporate Profitability Peaked? (Publication Centre)

Companies' profit margins have fared relatively well during this recovery, and on many measures, they are back to pre-crisis levels. But looking ahead, corporate profitability is set to be squeezed as labour takes a larger share of national income and the Government gets to grips with the budget deficit by increasing corporate taxation.

4 Nov. 2015 Why Has the Supply of Homes For Sale Fallen so Much? (Publication Centre)

The current momentum in house prices partly reflects a dearth of homes offered for sale by existing homeowners. This scarcity reflects a series of constraints, which we think will ease only gradually. Further punchy gains in house prices therefore look sustainable and we expect average prices to rise by about 8% next year.

29 September 2017 China's Pending Targeted RRR cut Implies SMEs are Struggling (Publication Centre)

China is set to ease reserve requirements for banks lending to small businesses. In a statement after the State Council meeting yesterday, Premier Li Keqiang said that commercial banks would receive a cut in their RRR , from 17% currently, based on how much they lend to businesses run by individuals.

3 July 2017 China's Industrial Complex still Strong in Q2, H2 in Draghi's Hands (Publication Centre)

We expect China's quarterly real GDP growth in the second quarter to edge down from Q1, but only because Q1 growth was unsustainable. The official data shows real GDP growth at 1.3% quarter-onquarter in Q1.

3 June. Brexit Would Hit All Sterling Asset Values, Gilts Included (Publication Centre)

On the face of it, the outperformance of gilts compared to government bonds in other developed countries this year suggests that Brexit would be a boon for the gilt market. In the event of an exit, however, we think that the detrimental impact of higher gilt issuance, rising risk premia and weaker overseas demand would overwhelm the beneficial influence of stronger domestic demand for safe-haven assets, pushing gilt yields higher.

30 January 2017 Mexico's Trade Gap is Shrinking, but Medium-Term Outlook is Cloudy (Publication Centre)

Mexico's trade balance shrank slightly last year, to USD13B, from USD14.6B in 2015. An improvement in the non-energy deficit was the main driver, while the energy gap worsened.

29 November 2017 Signs Mount that the BoJ is Concerned About the Curve (Publication Centre)

BoJ Governor Kuroda has piqued interest with his recent comments on the "reversal rate", the rate at which easy monetary policy becomes counterproductive, due to the negative impact on financial intermediation.

29 May 2018 EM Markets Remain Under Stress, but will LatAm Resist the Pressure? (Publication Centre)

A long period of extremely accommodative U.S. monetary policy generated sizable capital inflows and asset price appreciation in EM countries.

28 May. 2015 Italy Finally Exits Recession, But Will Remain an Underperformer (Publication Centre)

We will be paying special attention today to the EC sentiment survey for Italy, where the headline index has climbed steadily so far this year. It was unchanged at an eight-year high of 106.1 in April, and even if it fell slightly in May--we expect a dip to 105.0--it still points to an upturn in economic growth.

29 June 2018 Mexico's Presidential Race Nears the Finish AMLO has a Strong Lead (Publication Centre)

We are going to print two days before the July 1 presidential election in Mexico.

29 June 2018 Trade Tensions Unveil Chinese Financial Fragility (Publication Centre)

In previous Monitors, we have outlined our base case that the direct impact of tariffs on Chinese GDP will be minimal this year.

29 March 2018 Korean GDP Should Bounce Back in Q1, but Faces Headwinds Thereafter (Publication Centre)

The picture for Korean quarterly real GDP growth in Q4 was unchanged in the final reading, published yesterday, showing a contraction of 0.2%, after the 1.4% jump in Q3.

30 June. 2015 Greece and the Eurozone in Limbo Until the Referendum in Greece (Publication Centre)

Eurozone politicians are likely scrambling for a last gasp return to negotiations before the Greek bailout program ends at the end of today. But progress will likely be limited until we have the result of the planned Greek referendum on Sunday. Voters will be asked essentially on whether they agree with the proposal presented by the institutions. The government will campaign for a "no," but a "yes" looks more likely, based on polls that Greeks want to stay in the Eurozone.

30 June. 2016 Will the New Government Sweeten the Fiscal Pill? (Publication Centre)

Fiscal policy is in limbo until a new leader of the Conservative party has been elected on September 9. Shortly after, however, a new Budget--or a Budget disguised as an Autumn Statement--will be held.

31 May. 2016 Can we Still be Confident that the Saving Rate Will Fall? (Publication Centre)

Europeans, who usually save more of their income than Americans, have spent all the windfall from falling gas prices. Americans have not. It is tempting, therefore, to argue that perhaps Americans have come to see the error of their low-saving ways, and are now seeking to emulate the behavior of high-saving Europeans. Undeniably, the plunge in gas prices has given Americans the opportunity to save more without making hard choices.

4 Apr. Britain is Living Beyond its Means, Once Again (Publication Centre)

The clear message from the fourth quarter's national accounts, released last week, is that the economic recovery rests on unsustainable foundations. The U.K. has returned to bad habits and is financing expenditure today by borrowing. As this undermines future spending, it is only a matter of time before the U.K.'s recovery loses steam.

21 August 2017 Growth Momentum and Slow Hikes Means no Recession Until 2019 (Publication Centre)

We have had something of a rethink about the likely timing of the coming cyclical downturn. Previously, we thought the economy would start to slow markedly in the middle of next year, with a mild recession--two quarters of modest declines in GDP-- beginning in the fourth quarter.

4 Nov. 2015 Today's PMIs Will Send a Signal o f a Continuing Cyclical Recovery (Publication Centre)

Final October PMI data today will confirm the Eurozone's recovery remains on track. We think the composite PMI rose to 54.0 from 53.6 in September, in line with the consensus and initial estimate. Data on Monday showed that manufacturing performed better than expected in October, and the composite index likely will enjoy a further boost from solid services. The PMIs currently point to a trend in GDP growth of 0.4%-to-0.5% quarter-on-quarter, the strongest performance since the last recession.

31 May 2018 Will Chinese Authorities Allow Developer Defaults? Probably (Publication Centre)

Defaults by Chinese companies have been on the rise lately. Most recently, China Energy, an oil and gas producer with $1.8B of offshore notes outstanding, missed a bond payment earlier this week. We've highlighted the likelihood of a rise in defaults this year, for three main reasons.

31 May 2017 Manifestos Point to Very Different Public Borrowing Paths (Publication Centre)

The recent narrowing of the Conservatives' opinion poll lead suggests that investors, particularly in the gilt market, now must consider other parties' fiscal proposals.

30 March 2017 How will French Consumers React to Lower Real Wage Growth? (Publication Centre)

Leading indicators for consumers' spending in France are sending conflicting signals. Survey data suggest that households are in a spendthrift mood. Data yesterday showed that the headline consumer sentiment index was unchanged in March at 100, the cycle high.

30 May 2018 New Elections Loom in Italy as Bond Markets Panic (Publication Centre)

Price action in Italian bonds went from hairy to scary yesterday as two-year yields jumped to just under 3.0%.

30 October 2017 Is China's Profits Surge Driving up Developers' Short-term Borrowing? (Publication Centre)

Chinese industrial profits continue to surge, rising 27.7% year-over-year in September, up from 24.0% in August.

31 January 2018 Growth in Households' Spending ending (Publication Centre)

December's money and credit figures suggest that households are in no fit state to step up and drive the economy forwards this year.

28 March 2018 Recent Data Confirm Argentina's Turnaround but Challenges Remain (Publication Centre)

Data released last week confirm that the Argentinian economy ended 2017 strongly.

18 Dec. 2015 Should We be Worried by the Rise in the Saving Rate? (Publication Centre)

We have argued consistently since oil prices first began to fall that U.S. consumers would spend most of their windfall, so real spending would accelerate even as nominal retail sales growth was dragged down by the drop in the price of gas and other imported goods. At the same time, we argued that capital spending in the oil business would collapse, and that exports would struggle in the face of the stronger dollar.

13 July 2017 The Eurozone Economy Maintained Momentum in Q2 (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's data showed that industrial production in the Eurozone accelerated at the end of spring. Output, ex-construction, jumped 1.3% month-to-month in May, much better than the downwardly-revised 0.3% rise in April; the rise pushed the year-over-year rate up to a six-year high of 4.0%.

13 May. 2015 Eurozone Q1 GDP Should Beat Consensus - Best since 2011 (Publication Centre)

Monthly manufacturing and retail sales data point to upside risk to the consensus expectation of 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in Q1 Eurozone real GDP growth. Advance country data indicate that industrial production was unchanged month-to-month in March, equivalent to a 0.9% increase quarter-on-quarter.

13 September 2017 Brazilian Consumers' Spending set to Keep Rising Steadily (Publication Centre)

Data released yesterday in Brazil are consistent with our view that private consumption will continue to drive the recovery over the second half, offsetting the ongoing weakness in private investment.

20 September 2017 Is China set to Open Further its Financial Sector to Foreigners? (Publication Centre)

Bloomberg reported on Monday that the PBoC is drafting a package of reforms to give foreign investors greater access to the China's financial services sector. This could involve allowing foreign institutions to control their local joint ventures and raising the 25% ceiling on foreign ownership of Chinese banks.

13 February 2018 Are the Good Times over For EZ Bond and Equity Investors? (Publication Centre)

Storm clouds gathered over Eurozone financial markets last week. The sell-off in equities accelerated, pushing the MSCI EU ex-UK to an 11-month low.

12 July 2017 Financial Conditions in the Eurozone are Tightening, Slowly (Publication Centre)

The debate about the ECB's policy trajectory is bifurcated at the moment. Markets are increasingly convinced that a rapidly strengthening economy will force the central bank to make a hawkish adjustment in its stance.

12 July 2018 Does Operation Twist in the Eurozone Make Sense (Publication Centre)

It would take nothing short of a catastrophe in coming months for the ECB to alter its plan to end QE via a three-month taper between September and December.

12 October 2017 The Catalan Government is on the Brink. Early Regional Elections? (Publication Centre)

We struggle to see how the pro-separatist movement in Catalonia can move forward from here.

13 September 2017 Korean Borrowing Begins to Recover, but the Fed isn't Done yet (Publication Centre)

Korean credit markets have begun tentatively to recover after the rise in global interest rates at the end of last year.

14 December 2016 Brazil Consumption Under Strain in Early Q4, but it Will Improve, Soon (Publication Centre)

Brazil's consumer recession seems never-ending. Retail sales fell 0.8% month-to-month in October, pushing the headline year-over-year rate down to -8.2% in October, from -5.7% in September. Recent financial market volatility, credit restrictions and the ongoing deterioration of the labour market continue to hurt consumers.

14 May 2018 China's M1 Points to a Substantial GDP Growth Downtrend (Publication Centre)

China's monetary conditions remain tight, pointing to a substantial downtrend in GDP growth this year and next.

15 December 2017 The PBoC's Meagre Hike Implies the RMB is set to Depreciate (Publication Centre)

Following this week's 25bp Fed hike, the PBoC hiked the main interest rates in its corridor by... 5bp. The move was unexpected so the RMB strengthened modestly; commentary is full of how this means the deleveraging drive is serious.

15 January 2018 Volatility in the Eurozone's Bond Markets is on the Rise (Publication Centre)

Markets' reaction last week to the ECB's October meeting accounts--see here--shows that investors are beginning to take seriously the idea of an inflection point in Eurozone monetary policy.

14 March 2018 The Chancellor Remains Boxed-in by Deficit Pledges and a Downbeat OBR (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor kept his word and made only trivial policy changes in the Spring Statement, but he hinted at higher spending plans in the Autumn Budget.

14 June 2017 Korean Growth Probably Peaked in Q1. Construction to Slow (Publication Centre)

Construction accounted for the entire 1.1% quarter-to- quarter expansion of the Korean economy in Q1, but the sector is now set to slow.

14 July 2017 Core Inflation Pressures in the Eurozone Will Rise in Q3 and Q4 (Publication Centre)

Bond investors in the Eurozone are licking their wounds following a 40 basis point backup in 10-year yields since the end of last month. Nothing goes up in a straight line, but we doubt that inflation data will provide much comfort for bond markets in the short term.

14 July 2017 Ignore the Headline Trade Numbers, Chinese Growth is Slowing (Publication Centre)

China's headline trade numbers appear to paint a picture of an economy in rude health but scratch the surface and the story is quite different. The trade surplus rose to$42.8B in June from $40.8B in May, hitting consensus.

12 Feb. 2015 Still waiting for growth in Italy (Publication Centre)

In yesterday's Monitor, we lamented the lack of growth in the French economy. The outlook is not much brighter in Italy. We think Italian GDP was unchanged quarter-on-quarter in Q4, slightly better than the -0.1% consensus but still very soft.

12 December 2017 After Micro-loans Crackdown, China's Offshore Borrowing is Next (Publication Centre)

Chinese monetary conditions show signs of a temporary stabilisation. M2 growth picked up to 9.1% year-over-year in November from 8.8% in October, though largely as a correction for understated growth in recent months.

1 March 2018 China PMIs Trend Down but the February Dip is an Overshoot (Publication Centre)

China's PMIs surprised the consensus forecasts to the downside for February. The manufacturing PMI dropped to 50.3 in February from 51.3 in January, while the non-manufacturing PMI fell to 54.4 from 55.3 in January.

1 May 2018 China's Manufacturing PMI Points to Reflation Revival Temporarily (Publication Centre)

China's official manufacturing PMI implies a modest gain in momentum in Q2, at 51.4, compared with 51.0 on average in Q1.

1 September 2017 EZ Energy Inflation will Fall Soon, but the Core Rate will Edge Higher (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's aggregate economic data for the euro area showed that inflation rose slightly in August. The headline rate rose to a four-month high of 1.5% in August from 1.3% in July. The rate was lifted mainly by energy inflation, rising to 4.6% from 2.2% in July, but we think the rebound will be short-lived.

05 August. 2015 Corporate Bonds are Struggling, But QE and ZIRP offer Support (Publication Centre)

A looming rate lift-off at the Fed, chaos in Greece, and a renewed rout in commodities have given credit markets plenty to worry about this year. The Bloomberg global high yield index is just about holding on to a 0.7% gain year-to-date, but down 2.5% since the middle of May. The picture carries over to the euro area where the sell-off is worse than during the taper tantrum in 2013.

04 Jan. 2016 Uncertainty in Brazil Contrasts With Mexico's Benign Outlook (Publication Centre)

While we were out, Brazil's economic, fiscal and political position continued to deteriorate further. The recession deepened in the fourth quarter, with Brazil's economic activity index surprising yet again to the downside in October, falling for the eight consecutive month. The index fell 0.6% month-to-month and 6.4% year-over-year, the biggest contraction since the index began in 2004. And the prospects for first quarter consumption and industrial output have deteriorated substantially. Unemployment increased further in November, and inflation continues to rise, with the mid-month CPI--the IPCA-15 index-- increasing 1.2% month-to-month in November, after a 0.9% increase in October.

03 October. 2016 The Economy's Near-Term Resilience Has Brittle Foundations (Publication Centre)

Last week's official data unequivocally indicated that the Brexit vote has not had a detrimental impact on the economy yet.

03 October. 2016 First Signs of Recovery in Brazilian Private Consumption? (Publication Centre)

Brazil's recession has been severe, triggered by the downturn in the commodity cycle, which revealed the underlying structural weaknesses in the economy. This set off an acute shock in domestic demand, but it has bottomed in recent months and we now expect a gradual recovery to emerge.

1 September 2017 Interest Rate Changes Act Faster than the MPC's Hawks Argue (Publication Centre)

MPC member Michael Saunders, who has voted to raise interest rates at the last two MPC meetings, argued in a speech yesterday that tighter monetary policy is required now partly because it affects the economy with a long lag.

10 Apr. 2015 Bond duration in the Eurozone is being crushed by sovereign QE (Publication Centre)

The distortions in European fixed income markets have intensified following the initiation of the ECB's sovereign QE program. In the market for sovereigns, German eight-year bond yields are within a touching distance of falling below zero, and this week Switzerland became the first country ever to issue a 10-year bond with negative yields.

11 Feb. 2016 More Equity-Raising Ahead in the Eurozone Banking Sector (Publication Centre)

Fears over a Eurozone banking crisis have compounded market volatility recently, and sent bank equities into a tailspin. Deutsche Bank has been the focus of the attention, probably due to its systemic importance and opaque balance sheet. DB's stock price is down a staggering 38% year-to-date, and earlier this week, the German finance minister had to assure markets that he has no worries about the bank's position.

11 October 2017 Japan's Current Account Surplus to Remain Stable in 2018 (Publication Centre)

Japan's official seasonally adjusted current account surplus rose to ¥2.27T in August from ¥2.03T in July. But we don't trust the seasonals, and our adjustment model shows the surplus fell slightly, to ¥1.91T in August. A further small decline likely is coming in Q4.

11 Sept. 2015 Brazil's Cut to Junk Deepens Its Economic And Financial Woes (Publication Centre)

This year, Brazil has been the perfect example of all the problems faced by EM countries over the last few decades. A long and deep recession, high inflation, fiscal crisis, political chaos, a commodity price crunch, sharp currency depreciation and lack of confidence have all worked together to hammer the economy and investor confidence. These factors all contributed to S&P downgrading Brazil to junk status on Wednesday.

11 April 2018 President Xi Jinping Says the Grand Bargain is There for the Taking (Publication Centre)

President Xi Jinping yesterday reiterated China's commitment to reform and the opening of its economy at a highly-anticipated speech at the Boao forum.

10 October 2017 German Manufacturing Continued to Boost the Economy in Q3 (Publication Centre)

German manufacturing snapped back at the end of summer. Industrial production jumped 2.6% month-to-month in August, pushing the year-over- year rate up to 4.7% from a revised 4.2% in July.

10 Dec. 2014 Venezuela's Default Risk Increases as Oil Prices Continue Falling (Publication Centre)

2015 is set to be another grim year for Venezuela, and we have no hope things will improve further down the road, barring huge changes in policy.

10 Feb. 2015 Small Firms are Back in Business, But They Can't Find Staff (Publication Centre)

The headline index in today's NFIB small business survey probably won't quite converge with the ISM manufacturing index, but it will come v ery close. To close the gap completely, for the first time since the crash, the NFIB needs to rise to just over 102, from 100.4.

15 June 2017 China's Q2 Growth to Remain Sturdy but Expect a Slower H2 (Publication Centre)

China's industrial production grew at an annualised 7.2% rate by volume in Q1, according to our estimates, up from an average 5.9% rate in the six quar ters through mid-2016.

13 Jan. 2015 Ageing and Export Dependency go Hand-in Hand in the Eurozone (Publication Centre)

Population ageing is, arguably, the most important long-term socioeconomic trend in the Eurozone. The demographic transition did not end in the 1970s as fertility hit replacement levels, contrary to the prediction by the stylised models of population change.

19 January 2018 Are Eurozone Equities Pegged Back by a Stronger Euro? (Publication Centre)

Investors in the euro area demand to know whether their equities can climb--in local currency terms-- even as the euro appreciates.

19 July 2017 China's Rolling Ball of Money: Out of Top-Tier Cities and into Tier three (Publication Centre)

China is a collection of hugely disparate provinces and cities. Managing all these cities with one interest rate is always difficult but in this cycle it is proving to be nearly impossible.

19 July. 2016 EZ July Survey Data Will be Tainted by the U.K. Referendum Result (Publication Centre)

Today's ZEW investor sentiment report in Germany will kick off a busy week for Eurozone economic survey data, which likely will be tainted by the U.K. referendum result. We think the headline ZEW expectations index fell to about five in July, from 19.2 in June, below the consensus forecast, 9.2. Our forecastis based on the experience from recent "unexpected" shocks to investors' sentiment.

19 February 2018 EZ Construction Slowed in H2 2017, but Will Pick Up Soon (Publication Centre)

Data today will show that the EZ construction sector finished 2017 on a decent note.

19 August. 2016 The Consumer Bubble Will Pop Around the Year-End (Publication Centre)

It would be a serious mistake to conclude from July's retail sales figures that consumers' spending will be immune to the fallout of the Brexit vote. Households have yet to endure the hiring freeze and pay squeeze indicated by surveys of employers, or the price surge signalled by sterling's sharp depreciation. The real test for consumers' spending lies ahead.

18 October 2017 Venezuela's Woes Will Increase Even A er Maduro's "Win" (Publication Centre)

Venezuela's fundamentals continue to deteriorate, economic chaos is increasing and the social/political situation remains fragile.

18 September 2017 How Severely Would a Rate Hike Slow the Economy? (Publication Centre)

The MPC took an unprecedented step last week to pave the way for an interest rate rise.

19 June 2017 Don't be Deceived by Jumping EZ Car Sales, Momentum is Slowing (Publication Centre)

Demand for new cars in the Eurozone rebounded last month. New car registrations jumped 10.3% year-over-year in May, reversing the 5.1% decline in April. The headline was boosted by solid growth in all the major economies.

19 Nov. 2015 Is Another Unsecured Credit Bubble Developing? (Publication Centre)

A sharp increase in unsecured borrowing has played a big role in supporting consumers' spending over the past year. The stock of unsecured credit, excluding student loans, increased by 8.2% year-over-year in September--the fastest growth since February 2006--boosting the funds available for households to spend by around 1%.

20 April 2018 The EZ current account surplus is rising (Publication Centre)

The EZ's current account surplus is solid as ever, despite falling slightly in February to €35.1B, from an upwardly-revised €39.0B in January.

20 February 2018 Everyone is Talking About Current Accounts Again (Publication Centre)

The euro area's current account surplus stumbled at the end of 2017, falling to €29.9B in December from an upwardly-revised €35.0B in November.

20 Nov. 2015 EZ Current Account Surplus Goes from Strength to Strength (Publication Centre)

The current account surplus in the Eurozone is well on its way to stabilising above 3% of GDP this year. The seasonally adjusted surplus rose to €29.4B in September from a revised €18.7B in August, lifted by a higher trade surplus, thanks to rebounding German exports. The services balance was unchanged at €4.5B in September, while the primary income balance edged higher to €4.8B from €4.0B. The improving external balance has been driven mostly by a surging trade surplus with the U.S. and the U.K., as our first chart shows.

2 March 2018 Brazil GDP Ended 2017 Softly, but the Recovery Will Accelerate in Q1 (Publication Centre)

Brazil's GDP growth slowed to just 0.1% quarter- on-quarter in Q4, from an upwardly-revised 0.2% in Q3. This pushed the year-over-year rate up to 2.1%, from 1.4%, but this was weaker than market expectations.

15 Mar. Will gilts treat higher borrowing forecasts nonchalantly again? (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor has prepared the public and the markets for a ratcheting-up of the already severe austerity plans in the Budget on Wednesday. George Osborne warned on Sunday that he would announce "...additional savings, equivalent to 50p in every £100 the government spends by the end of the decade", raising an extra £4B a year.

19 October 2017 Q3's Slowdown in EZ Construction is no Threat, the Trend is Firm (Publication Centre)

The upturn in the Eurozone construction sector likely paused in Q3. Yesterday's August report showed that output fell 0.2% month-to-month, pushing the year-over-year rate down to +1.6%, from a revised +2.8% in July.

2 Dec. 2014 - Eurozone Manufacturing Sector Unlikely to Recover in Q4 (Publication Centre)

The PMI survey continues to send a downbeat message on growth in the euro area despite signs of improvement in other sentiment data: The final manufacturing PMI in the Eurozone fell to 50.1 in November from 50.6 in October.

18 May. 2015 A Dovish Mr. Draghi Confirms Pledge to Implement QE in Full (Publication Centre)

Comments by Mr. Draghi in Washington last week point to a high bar for an adjustment to the QE program. The ECB president noted that while asset purchases and negative interest rates have driven a notable improvement in confidence and asset prices, the real key to the central bank's policies' success is a lasting boost to investment, consumption and inflation.

2 January 2018 Bank Lending in the Eurozone Will Strengthen Further in 2018 (Publication Centre)

The economic calendar in the euro area was relatively quiet over Christmas, and broadly conformed to our expectations.

16 Dec. 2014 Political Gamble in Greece Raises Market Risks over the Holidays (Publication Centre)

Political risks have returned to the Eurozone with the decision by Greek Prime Minister Samaras to initiate the election of a president, raising the risk of a Greek parliamentary election early next year.

16 Feb. 2016 E.U. Referendum Carries Risks, But A Current Account Crisis Isn't One (Publication Centre)

The starting gun for the "Brexit" referendum will be fired this week if E.U. leaders, who meet for a two-day summit starting Thursday, agree to the draft reform package assembled by Prime Minister and E.U. President Donald Tusk.

16 June 2017 Chinese Growth to Slump Under the Burden of Deleveraging (Publication Centre)

Wednesday's money data confirmed that Chinese households have continued to borrow into Q2 but at a slower rate than in 2016. The slowdown will really set in during the second half, and into 2018. Households have done a sterling job of taking over the borrowing baton from corporates, but they can't do everything.

16 August 2018 China's Phoenix Property Market Heats... Will it Help GDP Growth (Publication Centre)

It has been clear for some months now that China's housing market is refusing to quit, and July's data showed the phoenix rising strongly from the ashes.

15 March 2018 Focus on Rising German Core Inflation, Forget the Headline Dip (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's final CPI estimate in Germany confirmed that inflation fell to a 15-month low of 1.4% year-over-year in February, down from 1.6% in January.

18 July 2018 Why are Chinese Property Prices Staging a Comeback (Publication Centre)

Chinese residential property prices appear to be staging a comeback, with new home prices rising 1.1% month-on-month in June, faster than the 0.8% increase in May.

15 March 2017 Low Mortgage Arrears Hide Rising Risks as the Economy Slows (Publication Centre)

The slowdown in households' income growth since the referendum has not pushed up mortgage default rates, so far. Employment grew by just 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in Q3 and 0.1% in Q4, well below the 0.5% average rate seen in the three years before the referendum.

16 Mar. Beware the Contradiction at the Heart of the Fiscal Forecasts (Publication Centre)

The new fiscal projections in the Budget today likely will be based on implausible economic projections, which assume that wage growth will accelerate soon, lifting inflation, but that interest rates won't rise for three more years. You can coherently forecast one or the other, but not both.

15 May 2018 Debunking Popular Theories on 2018 Yen Flows (Publication Centre)

At the end of last year, we highlighted a tail risk that strain in currency basis swaps markets signalled looming yen appreciation.

18 August 2017 Japan's Trade Surplus Bounced. Exports to U.S. Strengthen (Publication Centre)

Japan's July adjusted trade surplus rebounded to ¥337.4B from ¥87.3B in June, far above consensus. On our seasonal adjustment, the rebound is slightly smaller but only because we saw less of a drop in June.

17 July 2017 Eurozone Consumers' Demand for New Cars is Slowing (Publication Centre)

Consumers' demand for cars slowed in the Eurozone at the end of the second quarter. New car registrations in the euro area rose 3.0% year-over-year in June, slowing dramatically from a 10.3% rise in May.

18 April 2018 Mortgage Applications Wilting Under the Weight of Higher Rates (Publication Centre)

Mortgage applications appear to have recovered from their reported February drop, which was due mostly to a very long-standing seasonal adjustment problem

16 May 2017 Eurozone Reforms Likely are Coming, but Patience is Needed (Publication Centre)

Mr. Macron will be in Berlin today with the message that France wants a strong Eurozone and a tight relationship with Germany. Friendly overtures between Paris and Berlin are good news for investors; they reduce political uncertainty while increasing the chance that the economic recovery will continue. But it is too early to get excited about closer fiscal coordination, let alone a common EZ fiscal policy and bond issuance.

17 January 2018 Depressed Supply Still Favours Relatively Low Bund Yields (Publication Centre)

Reporting on German CPI data has been like watching paint dry in recent months, but that will change in the first half of the year.

16 Sept. 2015 Brazil's Austerity Measures Sound Good, But Probably Won't All Happen (Publication Centre)

Brazil's government announced on Monday spending cuts and new tax increases, aiming to generate a 0.7% of GDP primary surplus, and so restore market confidence and avoid further credit rating downgrades. The plan is to reduce expenditure by BRL26B next year--or 0.4% of GDP--mainly through freezing public sector salaries and slashing social projects. These measures, especially the latter, will likely meet strong resistance in Congress. The salary freeze has more of a chance of passing, but reducing or closing some Ministries is a cost-cutting exercise with an extremely high political price.

17 April 2018 Can the ECB exit private QE without a hiccup? (Publication Centre)

We are fairly sanguine that government bond markets in the Eurozone will take the end of QE in their stride.

17 April 2018 China will Loosen the Macropru by Year-end, for now, it's Intense (Publication Centre)

China's March money and credit data, published last Friday, showed that conditions continue to tighten, posing a threat to GDP growth this year.

18 October. 2016 Is Portugal on the Brink of a Debt Downgrade and a New Bailout? (Publication Centre)

The Portuguese economy has faltered recently. In the year to Q2, real GDP rose only 0.8%, down from a 1.5% increase in the preceding year. Slowing growth in investment has been the key driver, but consumers' spending has weakened too.

26 Jan. 2015 Greece needs debt relief regardless of new government (Publication Centre)

The first exit poll published at 18.00 CET on Sunday evening points to a landslide victory for Syriza, and the real possibility that the party could form a majority government. Counter-intuitively, the prospects for Syriza here depend upon how the smaller parties do.

27 June 2018 China Turns to the RRR to Sustain the Debt Clean-up Amid Fed Hikes (Publication Centre)

In yesterday's Monitor, we laid out the prime causes of China's weekend announcement, cutting the reserve requirement ratio.

23 Jan. 2015 Can Treasuries Focus on the U.S. Economy as Euro Risk Recedes? (Publication Centre)

The ECB's decision to go all-in and buy sovereign debt has three key consequences for U.S. markets. First, Treasuries will no longer benefit from safe-haven flows, because shorting Eurozone government debt has just become a fantastically risky proposition.

23 May 2017 How to Lift French GDP Growth to Above 1.5% Year-over-year (Publication Centre)

The recovery in the French economy since the sovereign debt crisis has been lukewarm. Growth in domestic demand, excluding inventories, has averaged 0.4% quarter-on-quarter since 2012. This comp ares with 0.8%-to-1.1% in the two major business cycle upturns in the 1990s and from 2000s before the crisis.

24 October. 2016 Why are Households Running Such Large Bank Balances? (Publication Centre)

The U.S. household sector carries substantial gross debts, even after the sustained deleveraging since the crash of 2008. The gross debt-to-income ratio stood at 105.3% in the second quarter of this year, down from the 135% peak in late 2007 but still well above the 88% average recorded in the 1990s, which was not a decade of restraint on the part of consumers.

20 July. 2015 Cyclical Recovery, but Structural Relapse in the Italian Economy (Publication Centre)

The cyclical recovery in Italy likely strengthened in the second quarter. Real GDP rose 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q1, and we think the e conomy repeated, or even slightly, beat this number in Q2. This would mark the strongest performance in four years, but it will take more than a business cycle upturn to solve the Italian economy's structural challenges. Government and non-financial corporate debt has risen to 220% of GDP since 2008, and non-performing loans--NPLs--have sky rocketed.

12 Jan. 2016 Stable Eurozone GDP Growth and Higher Inflation in 2016? (Publication Centre)

The recent cyclical upturn in the EZ began in the first quarter of 2013. GDP growth has accelerated almost uninterruptedly for the last two years to 1.5% year-over-year in Q3, despite the Greek debt crisis and slower growth in emerging markets. Overall we think the recovery will continue with full-year GDP growth of about 1.6%. But we also think the business cycle is maturing, characterised by stable GDP growth and higher inflation, and we see the economy slowing next year.

07 Mar. 2016 Will the Chancellor's Rules Compel Him to Announce More Austerity? (Publication Centre)

The Budget on March 16 is set to mark the end of Chancellor George Osborne's lucky streak. Without corrective action, his self-imposed debt rule-- one of the two specified in the 'legally-binding' Charter for Budget Responsibility--looks set to be breached.

25 May 2018 What Would Convince the BoK to Hike this Year? (Publication Centre)

The BoK kept rates unchanged at 1.50% yesterday. We thought a hike was open to consideration, as the authorities had professed to be on a mission to reduce dependency on exports and household debt. But we remain more bearish than the BoK on the outlook for the rest of the year.

10 March 2017 Don't Take the Public Borrowing Forecasts at Face Value (Publication Centre)

Investors in the gilt market would be wise not to take the new official projections for borrowing and debt issuance at face value. The forecast for the Government's gross financing requirement between 2017/18 and 2021/22 was lowered to £625B in the Budget, from £646B in the Autumn Statement.

2 May 2018 The BoK is on a Mission, and will Hike in May, it's not About Inflation (Publication Centre)

We expect the BoK to hike this month, believing that it's necessary to curtail household debt growth now, in order to prevent a sharper economic slowdown as the Fed hiking cycle continues, China slows, and trade risks unfold.

7 July. 2015 Cyclical Recovery is Resilient - Not Immune - To Greek Turmoil (Publication Centre)

The sell-off in bonds and equities continued yesterday, but the reaction bears no resemblance, so far, to the sovereign debt crises in 2012 and 2010. The first evidence from sentiment data in July also points to surprising stability. The headline Sentix index rose to 18.5, up slightly from 17.1 in June, but the expectations index fell marginally, to 22.3 from 22.5.

26 Feb. 2016 Growth in Narrow Money is Robust, but Slowing Noticeably (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's money supply data gave some respite after last month's disappointing slowdown. Broad money growth--M3--rose to 5.0% year-over-year, from 4.7% in December, but the details were less encouraging. The rebound was solely due slower declines in medium-term deposits, short-term debt issuance, and repurchase agreements.

5 January 2017 Will a Borrowing Binge Prevent a Consumer Spending Slowdown? (Publication Centre)

November's money and credit figures showed that households increasingly turned to unsecured debt last year in order to maintain rapid growth in consumption. Unsecured borrowing, excluding student loans, rose by £1.7B in November alone, the most since March 2005. This pushed up the year- over-year growth rate of unsecured borrowing to 10.8%--again, the highest rate since 2005--from 10.6% in October.

9 June. 2016 Eurozone Credit Markets Cheer as ECB Private QE Begins (Publication Centre)

The ECB's corporate bond purchase program began yesterday with purchases concentrated in utilities and telecoms, according to media sources. This is consistent with the structure of the market, and the fact that bond issues by firms in these sectors are the largest and most liquid. But debt issued by consumer staples firms likely also featured prominently.

4 Dec. 2015 A Bad Day for ECB Doves - New Policies Fall Short of Expectations (Publication Centre)

On all accounts, the ECB announced a significant addition to its stimulus program yesterday. The central bank cut the deposit rate by 0.1%, to -0.3%, and extended the duration of QE until March 2017. The ECB also increased the scope of eligible assets to include regional and local government debt; decided to re-invest principal bond payments; and affirmed its commitment to long-term refinancing operations in the financial sector for as long as necessary. The measures were not agreed upon unanimously, but the majority was, according to Mr. Draghi, "very large".

5 Apr. 2016 The Great Front-Running in EZ Corporate Bonds Has Begun (Publication Centre)

Corporate bonds will not be included in the ECB's monthly QE purchases until the end of Q2, but markets are already preparing. The sale of non-financial corporate debt jumped to €49.4B in March, from about €25B in February, within touching distance of the record set in Q1 last year.

30 Nov. 2015 Bullish Economic Data Will Not Deter the ECB this Week (Publication Centre)

Bullish money supply data last week added to the evidence that the Eurozone's business cycle is strengthening. Broad money growth--M3--rose to 5.3% year-over-year in October from 4.9% in September. Most of the increase came from a surge in short-term debt issuance, rising 8.4% year-over-year, following an inexplicable 1.4% fall in September.

27 Jan. 2016 Remortgaging Won't Be So Supportive of Growth This Year (Publication Centre)

The fall in the cost of new secured credit has played a key role in reinvigorating the economy over the last couple of years. Mortgage interest payments were 3.7% lower in Q3 than in the same quarter a year previously, even though the stock of secured debt was 2% larger. As a result, the percentage of household disposable incomes taken up by mortgage interest payments fell to 4.8% in the third quarter of 2015--the lowest proportion since records began in 1987--from 5.2% a year before.

28 Apr. 2016 Eurozone Real Narrow Money Growth Continues to Slow (Publication Centre)

Monetary dynamics in the Eurozone were virtually unchanged last month. M3 growth rose trivially to 5.0% year-over-year in March from a revised 4.9% in February. It was lifted by stronger growth in medium-term deposits and issuance of short-term debt.

3 July. 2015 Surprising But Not Sustainable Jump in Brazil's Industrial Output (Publication Centre)

The second quarter is over but it is too early to give a reliable forecast of the pace of Brazilian GDP growth. However, an array of leading and coincident indicators points to a steep contraction in Q2 and a bleak second half of the year. Unemployment is leaping higher, along with inflation and household debt, and the ongoing monetary and fiscal tightening will further hurt the real economy ahead.

CNBC - Ian Shepherdson talks Greece on CNBC Squawk box (Media Centre)

Discussing the dangers if Greece defaults on its debt, with Ian Shepherdson, Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Bloomberg - Monte Paschi Proceeds With Capital Plan (Media Centre)

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA will step up efforts to win investors for an expanded debt-to-equity swap over the coming days, pressing ahead with a 5 billion-euro ($5.3- billion) capital increase as its options to avoid a state rescue dwindle. Pantheon Macroeconomics Chief Euro Zone Economist Claus Vistesen weighs in on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas."

CNBC - There's one 'real success story' in the euro zone (Media Centre)

Chief Eurozone Economist Claus Vistesen on Eurozone GDP

FORBES - All Hail The Eurozone's Disaster-Prone Economy (Really) (Media Centre)

Provocative notes from Ian Shepherdson, the Chief Economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics

Question of the Week, WC 9th July (Media Centre)

Why is the EZ current account surplus rising and net exports falling at the same time? 

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