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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.

Germany’s domestic demand might be taking the helm

BERLIN | By Alberto Lozano | At the end of the week, good news are coming from Germany’s trade data. After calendar and seasonal adjustment, German imports rose by 4.5% on the month, rebounding from a sharp fall in May (-3.4%) with the highest month-on-month increase since November 2010. In addition, German exports increased by 0.9%, narrowing the criticised surplus to 16.2 billion euros from 18.8 billion the previous month.

Ibex: -5.8% in the first 5 sessions of August

MADRID | By J. J. Fdez-Figares (LINK) | European stocks closed yesterday again with notable declines -with the exception of the Swiss- pressured by a complicated geopolitical scenario, while the macroeconomic figures in the region continue to disappoint. Thus, European stock markets began the day in negative tone after economic sanctions agreed by Russia against the European countries and with the speculation that the country will send troops to Ukraine. The Spanish index Ibex 35 goes through the worst beginning of August since 2011.

Russian sanctions start to impact on Europe’s export powerhouse

BERLIN | By Alberto Lozano | While yesterday downs on Wall Street were marked by rising tensions in Ukraine, negative data from German manufacturing orders also seem to to be influenced by the geopolitical risks and the Russian sanctions’ impact on the eurozone’s economic recovery.

Is Germany’s growth losing momentum?

BERLIN | By Alberto Lozano | After Q1’s strong growth, numbers show that the German economy has slowed down during 2Q’s first two months, as Bundesbank reported this week. Both the industrial sector and the construction have fallen compared with the 1Q.  However, it seems that Europe’s economic powerhouse will recover its strength in the coming months.

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Germany: Austerity actually works

FRANKFURT | By Lidia Conde | Is austerity at all costs killing us? Germany answers with a resounding “no.” Even though the North-South axis in the European policy is more present than ever, for Berlin “austerity does not punish.” On the contrary: it even purifies. Furthermore, the Stability Pact offers enough flexibility so as to boost growth. There is no room for revision or debate.

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Germany’s monthly decline is the biggest in two years

MADRID | The Corner | European and US markets fell on Monday while waiting for the Wall Street’s quarterly results season to begin. The session began without a clear trend, but the European markets went downwards when Germany published disappointing industrial production data in May. This monthly decline is the biggest in two years and might be the result of the 1st May long weekend and the geopolitical tensions deriving from the crisis in Ukraine.

German budget consolidation under threat by its own Länder

BERLIN | Alberto Lozano | While German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble preaches public budget consolidation all around the Eurozone, some Länder don’t seem to be taking his prescriptions seriously. Their deficits continue to grow in 2014 and moving away from the zero deficit goal in 2020 as required by the country’s constitution. 

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Asked for wider liberalization, many Germans don’t see more room for it

BERLIN | By Alberto Lozano | Although when speaking of reforms nobody is pointing to Germany, international organizations are pushing for it in the country, especially in the services sector. The goals are boosting consumption and rebalancing the euro monetary union, and higher productivity in services sector becomes a challenge with large potential gains for both Germany and the whole Eurozone. But some voices insist this won’t easily happen. 


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Germany is already being paid for borrowing

MADRID | By Bankinter analysts | Bundesbank’s monthly bulletin points that the German economy might slow down in the 2Q14, but that it would be reactivated in the 3Q14 thanks to the construction industry and the improvement of the confidence amongst households. Thus, the central bank raised its forecast for 2014 from 1.7% to 1.9%. In this context, Germany sold €1,511 million in 6-month bills with a negative interest rate: -0.0015%. Last May, the same bills were sold at +0.1089%, so we may conclude that the ECB’s negative deposit rate also helps the German debt.