FRANKFURT | By Lidia Conde | Martin Gornig is deputy head of department of Firms and Markets at the prestigious German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin. The Institute conducts a working group that advises the Minister of Economy Sigmar Gabriel with the idea of increasing investments in Germany. Gornig and his team released a report last summer on the possibility of stimulating growth in Europe without changing the Stability Pact. The proposal of DIW is to immediately mobilize the necessary investments “to boost growth in countries in crisis and avoid a new recession in the eurozone.” As France and Italy are demanding, the Institute bets on growth but warns that it should not be at the expense of a debt increase
MADRID | The Corner | Historically, German housing prices have remained flat, but since 2011 they have increased by 30% (a low figure when compared with +150% growth of the last 15 years in UK, France and Spain). Morgan Stanley analysts already see signs of recovery in the German residential sector, so the stocks exposed to it may be attractive. Moreover, housing prices in the UK have fallen significantly more than expected: 40% in August from 48% in July, instead of the 47% expected fall. It’s the lowest level of the past 12 months. According to Bankinter, this is a good sign “because it dissipates the fear of a possible housing bubble and reduces the BoE arguments to raise its main interest rate in advance.”
FRANKFURT | By Lidia Conde | What a relief! France is reinventing itself as it is Angela Merkel’s hope. However much Mr Draghi warns that the ECB will do whatever it takes to save the euro, all the fresh money in the bank will be useless unless “some members of the Eurozone” change their economic policy. This is Germany’s analysis of the Eurozone state.
MADRID | By Francisco López | Are there reasons for such optimism after Draghi’s words in Jackson Hole? Yes, but only if Draghi dares to execute a program of sovereign debt purchases immediately. It happens that not all experts are clear that it will be the case. Especially, because the package of measures adopted by the ECB in June has still not been implemented: two TLTROs auctions and the Asset-Backed Securities (ABS) program. Would it not be better to wait to check the effects of these measures?
MADRID |The Corner | After a meeting between Mariano Rajoy and Angela Merkel in Santiago de Compostela, the German chancellor gave her support to the candidature of the Spanish Economy Minister, Luis de Guindos, to succeed Jeroen Dijsselbloem as President of the Eurogroup. As Barclays analysts comment, “with Italy’s and France’s leftwing governments and UK in or out of the EU, Spain is now a more attractive partner.” Regarding Germany, Angela Merkel recognised that the crisis in Ukraine is damaging the German economy. Nevertheless, Merkel affirmed that she forecasts a good annual growth if nothing dramatic happens.
BERLIN | By Alberto Lozano | German IFO index has shown today that business climate continues to worsen. The German Business Sentiment registered its fourth consecutive decline after falling 1.7 points from the previous month to 106.3 points, representing its worst reading since July 2013 decline. “The German economy continues to lose steam”, indicates Hans-Werner Sinn, president of the IFO Institute. “The outlook for the coming months also deteriorated noticeably.”
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 | 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.
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.