Articles by The Corner

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.
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Bien! Unemployment numbers in Spain reduced by 6,632 people

MADRID | The number of unemployment benefit claimants in Spain in April fell by 6,632, bringing the total down to 4,744,235 people according to data released Friday by the ministry of Employment and National Insurance. Although this is the first decline in eight months, analysts pointed out that the little improvement in unemployment figures was mainly due to temporary hiring during Easter and was lower than expected. On average, experts polled…


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Barclays Capital: Spain’s debt dynamics sustainable

MADRID | Barclays Capital made a realistic yet not Armageddon-like exercise in which the Spanish banking sector would need a recapitalisation equivalent to 6 percent of the country’s GDP, plus an additional 5.4 percent of GDP as an extra-safety calculation. Its analysts threw in 0.9 percent of GDP in Greek liabilities, and 3.5 percent of GDP in administrations’ accumulated debt payments. The scenario considered included yields on 10-year bonds of…


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China’s PMI: reading between the lines

BEIJING | The question on whether China’s economy is expanding or contracting is like answering whether the glass is half full or half empty. The positive official reading signals that there’s no need to worry. With its PMI index calculated after a sample of more than 800 big (and state-owned) companies, PMI is on the rise and above the 50% for the fifth consecutive month. Conversely, HSBC’s reading doesn’t seem to…


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Euro zone PMI in April at mid-2009 levels

The Purchasing Managers Index provides one of the most reliable hints about a country’s GDP behaviour, so isn’t difficult to agree with all observers that April’s relapse in PMI figures in the euro zone spell loss of momentum in industrial activity. The data are at the lowest level since mid-2009. With no signs of acceleration of the indicators of activity and with early sentiment indexes’ falling in the second quarter of 2012, the risk of the…


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Bolsas y Mercados’ equity trading up in April, but drop in corporate debt volume

MADRID | Bolsas y Mercados Españoles BME, the operator of all stock markets and financial systems in Spain, said Thursday that equity trading volume on the Spanish stock exchange in April had reached €65.75 billion. This is an increase of 7.25% from the previous month but 19% down on the same period in 2011. The trading volume for the first four months totaled €242.70 billion, down 26% from the same period…


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UK unemployment and government borrowing to exceed forecasts, CBI warns

LONDON | The Confederation of British Industry said Thursday that household spending will remain subdued, with weak wage growth and unemployment rising to a peak of 2.86 million in the first quarter of 2013. The CBI published its latest quarterly forecast in a somehow hopeful tone, though, voicing prospects of inflation improving next year with further falls, and disposable incomes beginning to recover. The business association pointed out that recent…


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Fitch: above-sovereign graded Spanish, Italian regions record stable performance

LONDON | Those regions in Spain and Italy awarded better risk qualifications than their countries as a whole have overcome the latest turmoil in the euro zone without difficulties. Fitch Ratings issued Wednesday a positive comment on the Italian and Spanish subnationals rated above the sovereign. The agency said that their debt and debt service coverage ratios with the operating balance have largely remained in line with those of similarly…


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Reagan? He loved his big deficit, too

By Luis Arroyo, in Madrid | Here’s one more example of how politics constantly enters the economics arena with the firm intention of interfering in some way or another. That was the time in which the US Republican conservatives tried to grill the then Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker when he wanted to cool the high inflation of those days down. Let me quote these few lines: “Secretary Regan mustered…


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European flows to bonds not a confidence vote in the euro, Morningstar warns

LONDON | Is that a global bond boom we have before our eyes? Morningstar research said the latest European asset flow data showed that long-term funds enjoyed a strong first quarter this year, receiving more than €50 billion of new investor assets. Of this, more than 70 per cent went to fixed-income funds, while equity funds, by contrast, had net redemptions for March and only slightly positive inflows between January and March….


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Inditex’ Uterqüe goes online in Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria

The Spanish Inditex Group reported that its newest retailer launched uterque.com, an online store to shoppers in Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria. These three markets add to six more online operations active in European countries. The new online shops went live in April and, as is customary, they offer the same range of merchandise as that found in high street stores, along with the same policy on returns and exchanges….