To people (like me) who have gotten used to hearing the same catch-phrases from Angela Merkel in speech after speech, her appearance on Monday was a surprise — perhaps one of the biggest since she became chancellor 11 years ago. Leaders don’t like to admit mistakes. But Merkel not only took responsibility for the poor performance of her CDU in an election in the city-state of Berlin, she also conceded that she would have handled the refugee challenge differently if she could go back in time. She was not apologizing for opening German borders a year ago. That would have been a step too far. But she was admitting that she failed to heed warning signs that a wave of refugees was building and to act early enough to counter or control it. She told her audience that she was ditching her signature phrase “wir schaffen das” (we can do this) because some people viewed it as a provocation. Her body language was different. She read from a prepared speech for nearly 12 minutes. This was a carefully orchestrated mea culpa.
Contrary to now widely-held belief, the rather poor outlook for the UK economy since the country’s vote to leave the European Union on June 23 has barely changed.
Lurking beneath the surprisingly strong rebound in manufacturing shown by the latest Markit/CIPS PMI, there were clear signs that inflation is about to shoot higher –and perhaps in a big way.
As central bankers gather at Jackson Hole and every investor waits on the edge of their seat for a clearer signal on the direction and future of Federal Reserve monetary policy, one thing has remained fairly constant.
…could one day become Tencent.
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The Chinese internet giant is at the cusp of becoming the country’s most valuable firm. Its mighty rise has taken its valuation to $250 billion, second only to China Mobile, and well ahead of the large state-owned banks and oil companies that have dominated China’s capital markets for the better part of the past decade. The rise of a Shenzhen-based, private company at the crossroads of internet technology, social media and gaming reflects several changes under way in China.
British retail sales figures for July could pleasantly surprise economists after data on Wednesday showed the country’s labour market performed much better than expected in the month after the Brexit vote.
Since Britain’s historic vote on June 23 to leave the European Union, the economic impact has been limited to private-sector surveys that suggest the UK is either already in a sharp downturn or just headed into a mild recession. Nothing suggest things are the same or better.