Articles by The Corner

ecb

ECB under pressure, markets demand QE policy

MADRID | The Corner | The European weak economic growth increases the pressure on the ECB to take additional measures or the long-awaited QE to boost growth, beyond those already announced in June and of which the effects probably will not be seen until 2015. At the moment the ECB in its monthly report reemphasized that there is “a continued moderate and uneven recovery of the euro area economy”, with low inflation rates and a weak monetary and credit evolution. At the same time, inflation expectations for the euro area in the medium and long term remain firmly anchored in line with the ECB’s target of keeping the inflation rates at levels below but close to 2%.


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Putin’s ‘moderate’ speech calm the investors

MADRID | By J. J. Fdez-Figares (LINK) | The main European and American stock markets closed yesterday up in a new session with low activity and reduced volatility, where the investors interpreted the words of the Russian President Putin, in his speech in Crimea, as an attempt to avoid the international isolation of his country as a result of their involvement in Ukraine. Yesterday again the macroeconomic figures published in the Eurozone surprised negatively because to the shrinking economic growth in Germany in the 2Q 2014, the first produced since 1Q 2012 during the euro crisis, the stagnation of the French economy and in the whole of the eurozone during the same period – the German and French economies account for about 50% of the Eurozone.


greece

The IMF crisis and how to solve it

ATHENS | By Gabriel Sterne via The Agora | The IMF is approaching its 70th birthday and the Greek programme has been a candidate for one of the most credibility-sapping in its history. Here I trace the IMF’s role in programme from its stormy launch; its misfiring implementation; the Fund’s half-hearted apology; and ongoing efforts to draw lessons and revise its sovereign debt restructuring framework, which appear destined to deliver insufficient meaningful change.  A transparency revolution is both necessary and feasible. It worked for central banks in the 1990s. Why not the Fund?

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Spain’s growth beats its EZ larger peers in the 2Q

MADRID | The Corner | Spain’s GDP expanded by 0.6% in the 2Q of 2014 over the previous quarter, the fastest pace in the Eurozone after Latvia’s growth (+1%). With Portugal (+0.6%) and Netherlands (+0.5%), Spain becomes one of the best economic performers in the eurozone during this quarter. Moreover, according to the figures published today by Eurostat, the Euro area has stalled in the 2Q, especially as a result of the contraction of Germany, the Italian fall into recession and France’s stagnation. Meanwhile, the Greek economy contracted by 0.2%, the lowest drop since 3Q 2008 and it could show that the country is meeting its full year growth target of 0.6% for 2014.

 


germany's flag

Germany: the sick market of Europe?

BERLIN | Alberto Lozano | Some figures were already announcing during the last weeks that Germany was losing momentum. Its equity market also was the 3rd worst performer since the European market peaked on June 10th, so the GDP fall of 0.2% in the largest economy of the Euro area is not a surprise. A negative effect from the balance of exports and imports and a fall in construction are the main causes for this slight GDP decrease. However, both households and government consumed slightly more than in the previous quarter. Therefore, growth in consumption and imports might be a positive signal for the Europe’s largest economy in the coming quarters of 2014.


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Stock markets go up despite poor global macroeconomic data

MADRID | By J. J. Fdez-Figares (LINK) | European and American stock markets closed yesterday up in a session of low activity and  volatility. The good performance of Western stock markets ​​occurred despite the set of macroeconomic figures published during the day in China, Europe and the USA, which pointed again to a global slowdown in economic growth. The only explanation we can find to the good performance of stock markets yesterday is precisely that investors have interpreted that as long as the growth of these economies remain weak, the central banks will be forced to maintain its current policy of monetary expansion, which provide liquidity to the system, something that equity markets consider positive.


Georgios Giannopoulos (Ggia)

Georgia judges his ex-president and lifts the economy

MADRID | By Ángel Maestro | August arrived with the positive outcome that the IMF Executive Board will support the economic reform program in Georgia with 154 million Stand-By dollars. Among the economic measures, paradoxically, to reduce the dollarization in favour of the home currency and the euro, in order to accelerate its economic and political stabilization process. Concerning the second is the macro-judicial processes that will begin this Saturday against its former President Mikheil Saakashvili in relation to abuse of power charges which have driven numerous concerns by several worldwide institutions and non-governmental organizations.


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UBS: Data support acceleration in US real GDP growth

MADRID | The Corner | From the macroeconomic side, US data are showing a clear improvement in the economy, with the labor market growing at similar rates to those seen prior to the financial crisis and consumer confidence surging in July to the highest level since October 2007. The business results also show a positive trend with growth in earnings by 12.0% (ex-financials) and +10.0% inc. financials.


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German investors lose their confidence in Europe’s growth engine

MADRID | By J. J. Fdez-Figares (LINK) | After the rises experienced by the European and American stocks on Monday, these markets showed yesterday certain weakness, leading to a mixed closing in the major indices in Europe and negative in US. Thus, and since the beginning of the day in Europe some profit taking by the short-term investors were observed, who profited from the rebound that many values experienced on the day before. As there was a lack of relevant developments in the three main geopolitical conflicts (Ukraine, Iraq and Gaza), the investors’ attention turned to macroeconomic data, particularly towards indices released yesterday by the German institute ZEW.