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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.

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.

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.

22 Jan. 2016 Mr. Draghi Won't Give Up On Low Inflation, Promising More Easing (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's ECB meeting provided no immediate relief to nervous investors. The central bank kept its main interest rates unchanged, and maintained the pace of QE purchases at €60B per month. Mr. Draghi compensated for the lack of action, however, by hinting heavily at further easing at its next meeting. The president emphasized that the ECB's policies will be "reviewed and reconsidered" in light of the March update to the staff projections. Mr. Draghi also admitted that inflation has been "weaker than expected" since the last meeting, and that downside risks have increased further. The central bank does not pre-commit, but we think it is a good bet that the ECB will do more in March.

21 Mar. 2016 The Periphery is Slowly Regaining Competitiveness in the Eurozone (Publication Centre)

Labour costs growth accelerated modestly last year in the Eurozone. Data on Friday showed that Q4 nominal labour costs in the Eurozone rose 1.3% year-over-year, slightly higher than the 1.1% increase in Q3. The modest acceleration was mainly due to a rise in "non-business" labour costs, which rose 1.6% year-over-year, up from a 0.9% increase in Q3.

20 September 2016 Will Weaker Sterling Ride to the Economy's Rescue? (Publication Centre)

Hopes that the economy will not slow over the next year are largely pinned on the idea that net trade will be boosted by the drop in sterling. The pound has tracked sideways over the last two months and is about 15% below its trade-weighted peak in November 2015.

20 February 2017 Is the Eurozone Construction Sector is Back in Business? (Publication Centre)

Construction in the euro area stumbled at the end of last year. Output fell 0.2% month-to-month in December, but the year-over-year rose to 2.4%, from a revised 1.6% in November.

20 July 2017 Today's ECB Meeting Ought to be Snoozer, But Expect Volatility (Publication Centre)

The ECB is unlikely to make any changes to its policy stance today. We think the central bank will keep its refinancing and deposit rates at 0.00% and -0.4%, respectively, and maintain the pace of QE at €60 per month until the end of the year. We also don't expect any substantial change in the language on forward guidance and QE.

22 November. 2016 Will November EZ Survey Data Take a Step Back this Week? (Publication Centre)

November data for most of the major EZ business and consumer surveys arrive this week. We doubt the reports will change our view that EZ GDP growth likely will remain steady at about 1.6% year-over-year in Q4. But appearances matter, and risks are tilted to the downside in some of the main surveys, after jumps in October.

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.

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.

8 June. 2016 EZ Domestic Demand Rose Solidly in Q1, but Will Slow in Q2 (Publication Centre)

The third estimate of euro area growth in the first quarter provides clear evidence that measuring GDP is not an exact science. Real GDP rose 0.6% quarter-on-quarter in Q1, accelerating from 0.4% in Q4. This latest estimate is higher than the previous estimate, 0.5%, but in line with the first calculation. Eurostat and all the large Eurozone economies now provide early estimates of GDP, before data for the full quarter is available.

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.

30 May 2018 Does Italy's Crisis Really Mean Slower U.K. Rate Hikes? (Publication Centre)

Investors have concluded that Italy's political crisis will compel the U.K. MPC to increase interest rates even more gradually than they thought previously.

19 Nov. 2015 A Rebound in Construction Could Lift Investment in the Eurozone (Publication Centre)

The construction sector in the Eurozone remains moribund. Output fell 0.4% month-to-month in September, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 1.8% from a revised 1.4% fall in August. Declines were recorded in France, Germany, and Italy, with a small increase in Spain. These data could, in theory, lead to revisions in the final Q3 Eurozone GDP data released December 8th, but we very much doubt they will move the needle. Our first chart shows the relationship between construction and GDP growth has broken down since the crisis.

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.

16 January 2018 The Eurozone's Trade Surplus Will Fall in the First Half of 2018 (Publication Centre)

The euro area's external surplus remained resilient toward the end of 2017, in the face of a stronger currency. The seasonally adjusted trade surplus rose to €22.5B in November, from €19.0B in October, lifted primarily by a jump in German exports.

17 July 2018 Powell Set to Re-affirm the "Gradual" Approach to Rates, for Now (Publication Centre)

Fed Chair Powell's semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony today will likely re-affirm that policymakers still think "gradual" rate hikes are appropriate and that the risks to the economy remain "roughly balanced".

12 Apr. 2016 Will Mr. Draghi Upgrade his Bazooka to a Helicopter this Year? (Publication Centre)

Two years ago markets believed that the institutional setup of the Eurozone would be a straitjacket on the ECB, preventing QE. Aggressive policy actions since then have proven this hypothesis wrong. But inflation remains low and sentiment data weakened ominously in the first quarter.

1 November 2017 2017 Eurozone Macroeconomic Data Don't get Much Better than this (Publication Centre)

Yesterday was a nearly perfect day for investors in the Eurozone. The Q3 GDP data were robust, unemployment fell, and core inflation dipped slightly, vindicating markets' dovish outlook for the ECB.

14 August 2017 A Great First Half of 2017 for the EZ Economy, But it Won't Last (Publication Centre)

While we were away, the advance Q2 GDP report in the Eurozone confirmed our expectations of a strong first half of the year for the economy. Real GDP rose 0.6% quarter-on-quarter, the same pace as in Q1, lifting the year-over-year rate to a cyclical high of 2.1%.

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.

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.

15 Feb. 2016 Upbeat Q4 GDP Headline, but Private Demand Likely Slowed (Publication Centre)

Eurozone GDP data last Friday suggest the cyclical recovery continued at the end of last year. Real GDP in euro area rose 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, the same as in Q3, lifted by growth in all the major economies. This was in line with the consensus forecast, but noticeably higher than implied by monthly industrial production and retail sales data.

17 August 2017 Strong and Broad-based Growth in the Eurozone (Publication Centre)

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.

15 August 2018 Germany Carried the Day for the Eurozone Economy in Q2 (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's second EZ Q2 GDP report was slightly more upbeat than the advance estimate.

14 June. 2016 Eurozone Investment is Improving, But Growth will Slow in Q2 (Publication Centre)

Data today likely will show that manufacturing in the Eurozone was off to a strong start to the second quarter. Advance country data suggest that industrial production jumped 1.1% month-to-month in April, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 1.9% from 0.1% in March. The rise in output was driven mainly by Germany and France, but decent month-to-month gains in Ireland, Portugal and Greece also helped.

15 Dec. 2015 Solid Industrial Production in the Eurozone Given Global Weakness (Publication Centre)

Industrial production in Eurozone had a decent start to the fourth quarter. Output ex-construction rose 0.6% month-to-month in October, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 1.9% from a revised 1.3% in September. Production was lifted by gains in the major economies, and surging output in the Netherlands, Portugal and Lithuania. Across sectors, increases in production of capital and consumer goods were the main drivers, but energy output also helped, due to a cold spell lifting demand and production in France.

19 Oct. 2015 No Slowdown Yet in EZ Car Sales, But Next Year Will be Different (Publication Centre)

Car sales continue to offer solid support for consumption spending in the Eurozone. Growth of new car registrations in the euro area fell trivially to 10.6% year-over-year in September, from 10.8% in August, consistent with a stable trend. Surging sales in the periphery are the key driver of the impressive performance, with new registrations rising 22.1% and 17.1% in Spain and Italy respectively, and surging 30% in Portugal. Favorable base effects mean that rapid growth rates will continue in Q4, supporting consumers' spending.

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."

Consistently Right

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