World economy

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Tuesday’s euro chart: quasi-improving consumer sentiment

The euro zone index of consumer sentiment in May confirmed a relative improvement this month, drawing a less negative private consumption this quarter. This would indicate a rate of contraction in both the first and the second quarter of about -0.5% (-0.7% in the fourth quarter). Retail sales data, to be published today, are expected to slowdown its worsening. They would also point to a contraction rate of about -0.5%….


Little dynamism in the French economy

By CaixaBank research team, in Barcelona | In spite of an improvement in the economic climate in February and March, available indicators point to stagnation in the first quarter of 2012, representing a slowdown compared with the 0.2% quarter-on-quarter expansion in GDP posted in the last quarter of 2011. We have kept to our forecast of very modest growth for the whole of 2012 due to the situation of some…


U.S. graduates: victims of the next bubble?

NEW YORK | At 27 years old, Andrew Legrand doesn’t own a house nor a luxurious car. And yet he has over $100,000 in student debt. He graduated from law school in Florida last June but he still hasn’t started to pay off his bills. As he explains to The Corner, he feels anxious that the clock is running. “I didn’t have any debt prior to school. Now I owe $100k…

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Monday’s UK chart: poor manufacturing index, but the euro isn’t an excuse

LONDON | Those who were in need of arguments to claim the British-mainly nature of the economic troubles of the island are in awkward luck. The manufacturing industry saw a sharp decline in activity in May, according to the latest purchase manufacturing index release. The headline index fell back to 45.9 from the 49.7 consensus figure and from 50.2 in April, the second-largest drop in the 20-year history of the…


Sabadell bank’s Jaume Guardiola: “This is the first euro crisis, we’re learning”

MADRID | In a interview published by El País this weekend, Jaume Guardiola, Banco Sabadell’s CEO (which is the fifth Spanish bank in terms of assets) said he was very optimistic about the country’s financial system and its economy as a whole. Despite the crisis that besieges Spain’s banking sector, he noted the industry will become smaller and more professional. He also thinks that the Spanish economy is showing “unequivocal”…


Engine failure in China

BEIJING | There’s a huge debate on what’s more appropriate for China: stimulus plans, sound investment or consumption incentives, to avoid the feared hard landing of its economy now that the Chinese model of development seems to be exhausted. The recipe was first applied in coastal areas. Due to its success it was later reapplied in the West to encourage a massive urbanization across the country. Unfortunately, the economic crises…

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Brazil’s economy to accelerate after summer

LONDON | Is there in these recent Brazil’s data a lesson for those in the Old Continent whose only talk is internal devaluation via salary cuts to regain competitiveness, while keeping the common currency too high for irrational fear of the inflation ghost? March brought a negative surprise with consumer credit non-performance rates in Brazil, which ticked up to 7.6% after having fallen to 7.4% in February. But that shouldn’t be…


Rising U.S. home prices signs for a housing rebound

NEW YORK | American homebuilders feel they are sort of turning the corner. On Tuesday the home price sector reported its most-improved selling season in a long time: according to the widely watched S&P/Case-Shiller index, home prices rose in March from February in most major U.S. cities for the first time in seven months. Lower borrowing costs and an improving job market also gave business a boost. Economists believe that…

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UK family graph: living with your parents

LONDON | Speaking of deterioration of the real economy: in 2011, nearly 3 million adults aged between 20 and 34 were living with a parent or parents, an increase of almost half a million, or 20 per cent, since 1997. The Office for National Statistics pointed out that this is despite the number of people in the population aged 20 to 34 being largely the same in 1997 and 2011….


The underwater America

NEW YORK | One of the current most visited exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art in New York is not dedicated to pop-art nor surrealistic sculpture but to mortgages. Foreclosed calls the home ownership American dream into question and shows how the suburban development has been not only environmentally aggressive in some states but financially unsound. “Many of the low-income people who bought at the height of the bubble…