ECONOMY

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Draghi’s speech marks a turning point in ECB rhetoric

MADRID | The Corner | Although it is not part of ECB’s mandate, last Friday in Jackson Hole, President Mario Draghi spoke about what needs to be done in the euro area to address the problem of high unemployment and weak economic growth. As Barclays analysts believe, the speech “represented a significant breakthrough in the ECB rhetoric and will probably have significant implications regarding the debate just about to start between European government on policies that need to be deployed to avoid a ‘triple-dip recession’ and a fall in outright deflation.”


China's economy slows

China as Responsible Stakeholder or Just ‘Guest’?

Via Caixin | By Miriam L. Campanella | Media outlets have published news that based on a World Bank report China’s economy will be the world’s largest in terms of purchasing parity power (PPP) by the end of 2014. Yet, China itself did not welcome the news. The World Bank included a note in its report that the country’s National Bureau of Statistics contested the methodology and rebuffed the report. The Financial Times even reported how China tried to convince World Bank analysts not to use the data. “China wanted to throw this out,” one source said.


ECB might wait to take further action

Madrid | The Corner | Despite last bad figures of the Eurozone economy, European stock markets are rising on expectations of ECB further action. However, it seems that ECB will wait to see if the actions taken until now and the TLTROs of September and December will take effect. Meanwhile, both Barclays and UBS analysts trust in these measures to support European recovery.


UBS: Brazil’s GDP growth loses momentum

MADRID | The Corner | 2014 is not being a good year for LatAm. All countries in the region with the exception of Colombia have experienced much softer than anticipated growth. In Brazil, the political noise and uncertainty have impacted on the confidence and private activity in 1H201, with investments and private consumption leading the way down. UBS analysts see now Brazil’s real GDP growth at 0.6% in 2014 and 1.5% in 2015.


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US residential construction recovers in July

MADRID | The Corner | After two months of decline, US construction rebounds in July at the fastest pace in eight months. As the Commerce Department reported yesterday, the number of housing starts rose 15.7% in July compared to June, reaching an annualized figure of 1.09 million units, the highest in eight months. Meanwhile, applications for building permits in the same month also advanced  8.1% to an annual rate of 1.05 million, after drops of 3.1 percent in June and 5.1 percent in May. Notably the permits to build single-family homes, a segment that accounts for three quarters of the U.S. housing market, increased in July by 0.9% to an annualized figure of 640,000, the highest since December 2013. In addition, permits for units in buildings with five units or more rose 23.6% in July to an annual rate of 382,000, representing its highest growth rate since January 2006.


Greece's return

The challenge in Greece: Funding an emerging economic recovery

ATHENS | By Jens Bastian via Macropolis | A fragile, uneven and weak recovery is gradually manifesting itself in the real economy of Greece. The recent data published by ELSTAT for the first two quarters of GDP performance in 2014 suggests that Greece is on course to register its first quarterly GDP level in positive territory in the third quarter this year.

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Bundesbank: the economy has not changed direction

BERLIN | Alberto Lozano | After the strong performance of the German stock market yesterday, one of the hardest hit in recent weeks by the greater exposure of its companies to the Russian market, Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann expressed his confidence in the growth of the German economy and the euro area during the second half of the year after the paralysis of the second quarter. In fact, Bundesbank considers that the “accumulation of bad news” is responsible of the decline in the 2Q, what could change the spring forecasts, although the basic trend suggests a strengthening in the second half of the year. Moreover, the Bundesbank wanted to make clear that although “the sentiment has deteriorated from a high level, the fact that the trend for domestic demand continues basically high suggests the economy has not changed direction.”



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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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.