UK inflation: core is not yet more

August 18, 2015

The surprise rise in British inflation from zero to 0.1 percent and core inflation by 0.4 percentage point to 1.2 percent in July supports the view rates soon must go up – and also it doesn’t.

Breakout for U.S. services economy?

August 6, 2015

It’s not very often you come across a chart like this. Usually this kind of thing happens once every 10 years or so.

More signs of ‘Britain the Unbalanced’

August 5, 2015

PMI chart

While still signaling a solid rate of economic expansion in Britain, the latest batch of business surveys from Markit/CIPS will do little to quell unease about the lopsidedness of the recovery.

U.S. Fed interest rate “crawl-off” not yet fixed for September

July 28, 2015

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????A U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike in September is almost certain according to many forecasters and investors, but the decision to tighten policy for the first time in nearly a decade is not as clear-cut as it may appear.

Does the Bank of England really follow the Fed?

July 21, 2015

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“Daft” is how outgoing Bank of England policymaker David Miles described the idea that Britain’s central bank would have to wait for the U.S. Federal Reserve before hiking interest rates.

Interest rates hikes are not done and dusted

July 20, 2015

U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chair Yellen talks with Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, during the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Istanbul

The U.S. and British central banks are scrambling to be the first of the majors to raise interest rates after a long period of unprecedented monetary generosity. It won’t happen immediately but both Janet Yellen, who chairs the U.S. Federal Reserve, and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney say there will be a hike this year (Yellen) or around the end of the year (Carney). Might this be a bit of a rush? Not everything in the world economy is as sanguine as the U.S. and British economies purport to be.

Britain’s job miracle starting to look slightly less miraculous

July 16, 2015

After years of defying gravity and outperforming the rest of Europe, Britain’s job market looks like it might be slowing down.

Fed: behind the curve, or too trigger happy? Neither

July 15, 2015

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????As the U.S. Federal Reserve edges closer to its first interest hike in nearly a decade, its critics are lining up into one of two camps: either the Fed is hopelessly behind the curve, and will have to grapple with runaway inflation very soon; or the Fed seems overzealous in wanting to get interest rates back to what it would call a normal level and instead should wait until late this year or next before hiking.

Are banks really lending again to euro zone businesses?

July 14, 2015

Slightly more than a year ago, the European Central Bank launched, with as much fanfare as can be expected from a central bank, a new incentive programme for commercial banks to lend to euro zone businesses, which they had been doing less and less of over the previous few years.

Commodity sell-off adds pressure on unpopular Latin American leaders

July 8, 2015

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff (C) and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto (2nd R) surrounded by security arrive for the family photo of the VII Summit of the Americas in Panama City

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff is fighting for political survival less than a year after being re-elected. Several reasons have been pointed exhaustively to explain how things got so bad in such a short period of time: chief among them are the burgeoning corruption scandal at state-run Petrobras and stubbornly high inflation, out of sync with the rest of the world.