Deflation can be “good” or “bad”, it depends

SAO PAULO | By Marcus Nunes | I do not want to question the likely bad effects that come about owing to a large unexpected deflation (or inflation).  What I want to question is whether a period of prolonged moderate (and presumably expected) deflation is necessarily associated with periods of depressed economic activity. Most people certainly seem to think so. But why?

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What if we are in a 2% growth world?

MADRID | By The Corner | Experts at JPMorgan are less worried about near-term disturbances and flows and more about the medium-term outlook for economic growth. Over the past three years, the world economy has grown only at a 2.5% pace, below potential and thus not able to make up for what we lost in the recession. Each year, they keep forecasting that growth will rise to a 3% handle, but have been steadily disappointed.

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Effects of the deflation on debt

MADRID | By Luis Arroyo | The Spanish National Statistical Institute has recently published May’s CPI. The chart shows the 0.1% annual variation with respect to May 2013. Such variations determine a curious outcome on the price level, as the second chart exhibits.


Europe’s fight against deflation

COPENHAGUEN | By Peter Ludgreen via Caixin | Despite recent moves by the European Central Bank – one of them historic – it will continue to fight against very low inflation and growth. [Cartoon published by The Japan Times]

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BIS head: from ignoring the Spanish bubble risks to ignore deflation

MADRID | By Luis Arroyo | You probably know Jaime Caruana. He is an inept who ignored the warning signals of the Spanish bubble although as the central bank governor he was the main responsible for it. And now that he is the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) head and Spain’s housing prices have declined by 40% on average according to property valuer Tinsa, he disregards deflation risks.

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The withered EU recovery

BRUSSELS | By Jacobo de Regoyos | The euro zone’s GDP is to grow by 1.2% in 2014 and by 1.7% in 2015, the European Commission forecasts, while the whole of the EU will do by 1.6% and 2%, respectively. Even if Brussels rather thinks recovery is firmly rooted and it must protect it from gloomy predictions, the truth is that last data are showing an economy that is not really taking-off. 

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Credit lending: 2 ends of the financial string

MADRID | By Luis Arroyo | Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Does the credit decrease because the demand is weak or because banks don’t offer any? Requirements imposed by banks to lend money (excluding to the public administrations) are aggressive both in real and collateral interest rates. Meanwhile, the possibility that the ECB increased rates would further collapse bank credit.

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Deflation doesn’t benefit production

MADRID | By Luis Arroyo | There was a deflation period in Europe at the peak of the crisis in 2008-2010. Demand policies all around the world erased it and prices increased to 3% annual rate. Then, the resulting austerity policies brought us back to deflation.


Inflation: the “target” has become a “barrier”

SAO PAULO | By Marcus Nunes via Historinhas | The Fed’s (and central banks in general) preferred tactic is “wait-and-see”, usually expressed in the form of “we will monitor closely”! Instead of becoming a focal point for the coordination of expectations, inflation has become a barrier to getting the economy’s recovery back on track.