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.
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.
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.
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.”
MADRID | Alex García
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%.
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.
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.
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.