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No Inflation In Texas: A Lesson There?

Benjamin Cole via Historinhas | It is too bad in some regards that Richard “Inspector Clouseau” Fisher, the former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, in no longer ensconced in that position. For one, he was always great copy. For seconds, he was one of the most infallible reverse indicators of Post War Era, and economic soothsayers could bet against a Fisherian proclamation with a rare calm.




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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.


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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.


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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.


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Earnings season: Mixed feelings on both sides of the Atlantic

MADRID | The Corner | We’re in the middle of second-quarter earnings season and companies are showing their cards to investors. Note the difference on both sides of the Atlantic: in the US, 53% of S&P500 firms have posted their results and 78% have performed better than expected (average surprise of 6%, JP Morgan analysts pointed out). EPS growth is of 11% yoy, while sales went up by 5% with 67% of companies having better than expected numbers. Meanwhile in Europe, with 152 SXXP companies having posted their results, 56% have turned in an average +0.4% EPS. Year-on-year EPS has risen by 18% (8% if we exclude financial entities), although yoy sales decreased by -2%.


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The financial drawbacks of being an emerging economy

NEW YORK | By Markus Jaeger via Deutsche Bank Research | The US today, like Britain under the gold standard, acts as the world’s banker. It is the most important source of international liquidity, leading countries to hold USD-denominated assets. Not only does this allow the US and especially the US Treasury to tap into a large investor base ready to finance current account and fiscal deficits at a lower cost. To the extent that the demand for international liquidity and USD assets exceeds the US balance-of-payments deficit, it allows the US to recycle short-term foreign liabilities into long-term assets.


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Experts divided on US rate rise

MADRID | By Francisco López | Investors are closely looking economists’ forecasts about the next rate hike in the United States. Until recently, the vast majority opted for movements in the second part of 2015. Now, after the last job creation data, some analysts believe that the rise could come as early as 1Q15.