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22 Apr. 2016 The ECB is Worried About Elevated Financial Market Volatility (My Publications)

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.

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

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.

10 May 2017 Mexico's Confidence Indicators are Improving, but Headwinds Remain (My Publications)

Market participants and analysts have gradually softened their cautious stance towards Mexico, as concerns about the new U.S. administration's trade and immigration policies have eased, and risks of a credit rating downgrade have lessened.

12 April 2017 Mexico's Industrial Sector Resilient in Q1, Despite External Threats (My Publications)

Yesterday's industrial production report in Mexico added weight to the idea that the sector improved marginally in the first quarter, despite many external threats. Industrial output rose 0.1% month-to-month in February, following a similar gain in January. The calendar-adjusted year-over-year rate rose to -0.1%, after a modest 0.3% contraction in January.

08 Mar. 2016 Is the Economy Better Placed to Withstand the Fiscal Squeeze? (My Publications)

The consensus view that the recovery won't lose more momentum this year seems to assume that the U.K. economy is better placed to deal with the intensification of the fiscal squeeze than earlier this decade. We do not share this optimism.

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

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.

17 August 2017 Strong and Broad-based Growth in the Eurozone (My Publications)

The cyclical upturn in the euro area's economy is going from strength to strength. Yesterday's second Q2 GDP estimate confirmed growth at 0.6% quarter- on-quarter, marginally stronger than the 0.5% rise in the first quarter.

11 Mar. 2015 Fed Rate Hike Fears Now the Key Worry For LatAm Central Banks (My Publications)

Inflation appears no longer to be an issue for Mexican policymakers. The annual headline rate slowed to 3.0% year-over-year in February from 3.1% in January, in the middle of the central bank's target range, for the first time since May 2006.

30 June 2017 Temer's Fate Carries Risks, but a Currency Meltdown Isn't One (My Publications)

Brazil's unadjusted current account surplus soared to USD2.9B in May, its highest level since 2006, from USD1.1B in May 2016.

20 September 2017 The MXN Remains Strong, but Further Upside Potential is Modest (My Publications)

Banxico's tightening cycle has totalled 400 basis points, lifting rates to 7.0%. Since late 2015, Banxico has followed the Fed closely, but other external factors also have guided many of its decisions.

9 January 2017 Mexico Trembles Before Trump Tweets, Expect More Volatility Soon (My Publications)

For the MXN, last year was especially harsh. The currency endured extreme volatility, plunging 17% against the USD. So far, this year is off to a rocky start too. The MXN fell close to 2.5% during the first week of 2017.

24 February 2017 The BCB Remains on Track to Deliver More Easing this Year (My Publications)

Brazil's central bank conformed to expectations on Wednesday, cutting the Selic rate by 75 basis points to 12.25%, without bias. Overall, the BCB recognises that the economic signals have been mixed in recent weeks, but the Copom echoed our view that the data are pointing to a gradual stabilisation and, ultimately, a recovery in GDP growth later this year.

8 September 2017 Brazil's Central Bank Eases Boldly, but Hints at Slower Cuts Ahead (My Publications)

Brazil's improving economic and political situation allowed the BCB to cut the Selic rate by 100bp to 8.25% at its Wednesday meeting, matching expectations.

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

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

22 February 2017 The MXN Probably is Undervalued, but it Could Move Even Lower in Q2 (My Publications)

With the MXN up more than 7% since the low of 21.9 against the dollar in January, investors are pondering just how high the Mexican currency can go. We believe that the MXN will continue to hover around its recent range, 20.1-to-20.5, in the near term, but will come under pressure again as protectionist policies in the U.S. take real shape in the spring or summer.

28 August. 2015 Fed Delay Until December Will Be Positive For LatAm Markets - Just (My Publications)

Multiple factors have shaken LatAm financial markets this week. China's market turmoil, commodity price oscillations, currency volatility, and political mayhem in every corner of the region, have all conspired against markets. But market chaos has also driven some central banks to rethink their monetary policy plans. For EM, in particular for LatAm, the stance of the Federal Reserve is key, given the region's close ties to the U.S., and the dollar.

29 March 2017 The Alternative Interpretation of Political Uncertainty in the EZ (My Publications)

The presumption in markets is that the French presidential election is the last hurdle to be overcome in the EZ economy. As long as Marine Le Pen is kept out of l'Élysée, animal spirits will be released in the economy and financial markets. We concede that a Le Pen victory would result in chaos, at least in the short run. Bond spreads would widen, equities would crash and the euro would plummet. But we also suspect that such volatility would be short-lived, similar to the convulsions after Brexit.

3 May. 2016 Will GDP Growth in the Eurozone Accelerate This Year? (My Publications)

Last week's advance EZ GDP data for the first quarter suggest the economy shrugged off the volatility in financial markets. Eurostat's first estimate indicates that real GDP in the euro area rose 0.6% quarter-on-quarter in Q1, up from 0.3% in Q4, and above the consensus, 0.4%.

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

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 Apr. Preliminary GDP Data to Confirm Q1 Slowdown (My Publications)

The preliminary estimate of first quarter GDP likely will confirm that the economic recovery lost considerable pace in early 2016. Bedlam in financial markets in January and business fears over the E.U. referendum are partly responsible for the slowdown. The deceleration, however, also reflects tighter fiscal policy, uncompetitive exports, and the economy running into supply-side constraints.

7 Sept. 2015 Mexico's Recovery In Place But Constrained By External Headwinds (My Publications)

Growth momentum in Mexico has improved marginally over the last few months after the soft patch during the first quarter, with business and households gaining confidence in the economic recovery. But the upswing has been rather modest, due to the volatility in global financial markets and the challenging external environment. The outlook for the global economy has deteriorated over recent months due to China's problems, and commodity prices remain under pressure. All these factors are now weighing on investors' confidence and hurting EM across asset classes.

4 May. 2016 The Recent Recovery of LatAm's Currencies Poses No Threat, Yet (My Publications)

The recovery of some key commodity prices, policy action in China, and stronger expectations that the U.S. Fed will start hiking rates later during the year, have helped reduce volatility in LatAm financial markets. Oil prices have rise by around 20% year-to-date, iron ore prices are up about 60% and copper has risen by 7%.

25 Apr. 2016 Brazil is Still Struggling, But Recent Data Are Encouraging (My Publications)

Financial market performance and economic survey data on the Brazilian economy have been better than many investors and commentators feared this year. The composite PMI has improved gradually since November last year, consumer sentiment has stabilized, and national business surveys have been less bleak.

10 Mar. 2016 Another Month, Another Round of Monetary Easing from the ECB (My Publications)

The stakes are raised ahead of today's ECB meeting after the central bank's pledge in January to "review and reassess" its policy stance. Since then, survey data have weakened, inflation has fallen and volatility in financial markets has increased. The ECB likely will act accordingly and deliver a boost to monetary stimulus today.

12 Feb. 2016 Collapse in Equity Prices Still Not a Convincing Signal of Recession (My Publications)

The downturn in equity prices deepened yesterday, with the FTSE 100 index closing at 5,537, 22% below its April 2015 peak. We remain unconvinced, however, that financial market turmoil is set to push the U.K. economy into a recession. We continue to take comfort from the weakness of the past relationship between equity prices and economic activity.

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

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.

10 June. 2015 ECB policies are partly to blame for low bond market liquidity (My Publications)

The last few weeks' action in Eurozone financial markets has shown investors that the QE trade is not a one-way street. Higher short-rates could force the ECB to take preventive measures, but we don't think the central bank will be worried about rising long rates unless they shoot much higher.

05 Feb. 2016 Inflation Report Indicates Rate Hike Not as Distant as Markets Think (My Publications)

The "Super Thursday" releases from the Monetary Policy Committee--MPC--indicate that financial market turbulence and the approaching E.U. referendum have kiboshed the chances of an interest rate rise in the first half of this year. Nonetheless, the MPC's forecasts clearly imply that it expects to raise rates much sooner than markets currently anticipate, and the Governor signalled that a rate cut isn't under active consideration.

01 Feb. 2016 Inflation Report Likely to Nudge Markets to Expect an Earlier Hike (My Publications)

With financial markets still turbulent and the Governor stating only two weeks ago that economic conditions do not yet justify a rate hike, the Inflation Report on Thursday will not signal imminent action. Nonetheless, higher medium-term forecasts for inflation are likely to imply that the Committee still envisions raising interest rates this year.

05 Feb. 2016 Bonds Signal an Imminent EZ Recession, but Don't Take the Bait (My Publications)

Strong real M1 growth suggests the cyclical recovery is in good shape. But recent economic data indicate GDP growth slowed in Q4, and survey evidence deteriorated in January. This slightly downbeat message, however, is a far cry from the horror story told by financial markets. The recent collapse in stock-to-bond returns extends the decline which began in Q2 last year, signalling the Eurozone is on the brink of recession.

16 Mar. 2016 Central Banks Will Set the Tone for Markets In Coming Days (My Publications)

This week's Monetary Policy Committee meetings in Chile, Mexico and Colombia look set to dominate market events in LatAm. On Friday, we expect Mexico's Banxico to keep rates on hold at 3.75%, after its unexpected 50bp increase in mid-February. At that time, the board cited growing concerns about financial markets, Mexico's weakened currency, and the country's fiscal situation, as reasons for its move.

12 Oct. 2015 Fed Minutes Bring Temporary Relief to Besieged LatAm Markets (My Publications)

In recent weeks LatAm's currencies and stock markets, together with key commodity prices, have risen as financial markets' expectations for a rate increase by the Fed this year have faded. The COP has risen 8.5% over the last month, the MXN is up 2.5%, the CLP has climbed 1.4% and the PEN has been practically stable against the USD. The minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting added strength to this market's view, showing that policymakers postponed an interest rate hike as they worried about a global slowdown, particularly China, the strong USD and the impact of the drop in stock prices.

17 Dec. 2014 Sentiment Surges, but Russian Rout Forces a Reminder of 1998 (My Publications)

With Russia and some other emerging economies now in full panic mode, the financial market story is sharply divided between two narratives. Either the plunge in global energy prices acts as positive catalyst by boosting real incomes and allowing most central banks to run easier monetary policy or it is a sign that risk assets are about to hit a deflationary wall.

23 June 2017 Brazil and Argentina Under Renewed But Temporary Pressure (My Publications)

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.

24 March 2017 TLTROs Finish with a Bang, but it Probably does not Mean Much (My Publications)

Robust demand in the ECB's final TLTRO auction was the main story in EZ financial markets yesterday. Euro area banks--474 in total-- took up €233.5B in the March TLTRO, well above the consensus forecast €110B. To us, this strong demand is a sign that EZ banks are taking advantage of the TLTROs' incredibly generous conditions.

21 September 2016 A Reverse Twist by the BOJ would move EZ bond markets (My Publications)

Financial markets in the Eurozone will be pushed around by global events today. The Bank of Japan kicks off the party in the early hours CET, and the spectrum of investors' expectations is wide.

22 Mar. 2016 Will Economic Survey Data Step Back From the Brink this Week? (My Publications)

Financial markets and economic survey data have been sending a downbeat message on the Eurozone economy so far this year. The composite PMI has declined to a 12-month low, consumer sentiment has weakened, and national business surveys have also been poor.

21 Sept. 2015 Fed Delays Interest Rate Liftoff - LatAm Breathes a Sigh Of Relief (My Publications)

The Fed deferred, but did not cancel, the start of its rate normalization last week. As a consequence, December is now the most likely meeting for the first hike. The Fed's core view of the U.S. economy remains the same, but policymakers want a bit more time to see how global developments affect the U.S. Our Chief Economist, Ian Shepherdson, expects the strength of the employment data, better Chinese numbers and calm financial markets to prevent any further postponement beyond Q4.

21 Jan. 2016 The ECB is Under Pressure to Act, but Likely Will Hold Fire Today (My Publications)

Financial markets have put maximum pressure on the ECB going into today's meeting, but we doubt it will be enough to spur the governing council into action so soon after announcing additional stimulus in December. We think the central bank will keep its refi and deposit rate unchanged at 0.05% and -0.3% respectively, and maintain the pace of asset purchases at €60B a month.

2 Dec. 2015 Is An Interest Rate Cut Just as Likely as a Hike? (My Publications)

Financial markets are pricing in a 20% chance that the Monetary Policy Committee will cut official interest rates during the next six months, broadly the same odds they ascribe to a rate increase. We think the probability of further easing is much slimmer than the market believes.

About Us

Pantheon Macroeconomics' Chief Economist Dr. Ian Shepherdson provides unbiased, independent economic intelligence to financial market professionals.

Ian Shepherdson

Ian Shepherdson's mission is to present complex economic ideas in a clear, understandable and actionable manner to financial market professionals. He has worked in and around financial markets for more than 20 years, developing a strong sense for what is important to investors, traders, salespeople and risk managers.

WALL STREET JOURNAL - U.S. Home-Builder Confidence Climbs in September, Industry Group Says (News and Media)

Ian Shepherdson comments on US Home-builders data

GUARDIAN - UK service companies anxious about year ahead (News and Media)

Chief U.K.. economist Samuel Tombs comments on U.K. PMI

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