Has Brazil’s central bank blinked?

January 19, 2016

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde (L) shakes hands with Brazilian Central bank president Alexandre Tombini during a seminar on inflation targets in Rio de Janeiro May 22, 2015. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes  - RTX1E44R

IMF forecasts rarely tell us something we don’t already know about the world economy. The dramatic revision of the Fund’s estimates for Brazil’s economic growth in 2016 and 2017, however brutal, only reflected the sheer pessimism rooted for months among private economists captured in the latest Reuters poll about prospects for the next Olympic host.

MORNING BID EUROPE-BoE’s Carney: a change of tone?

January 19, 2016

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s speech at the University of London at midday GMT will be closely watched for how — and indeed whether — he seeks to give more clues on the timing of any interest rate hike. A bold advocate of so-called “forward guidance” aimed at giving market players and investors insight into the central bank’s thinking, Carney’s best efforts have been repeatedly thwarted by the twists and turns of the UK economy. As recently as July, Carney was predicting that a decision on when to raise interest rates would probably become clearer around now, something it has patently not. A new tone of caution may well be discernible.

Hawkish holdout UniCredit joins the rush to push back BoE hike calls

January 15, 2016

Commuters brave the rush hour on the northern line on the London underground in London, Britain August 5, 2015. Londoners face major transport disruption from Wednesday evening as train drivers and staff on the underground rail network walk out for the second time in less than a month. Unions are angry over plans to introduce a new night service from September and weeks of talks with transport bosses have failed to clinch a deal over pay and conditions.   REUTERS/Dylan Martinez  TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX1N70F

After Bank of England policymakers once again voted 8-1 in favour of keeping British interest rates on hold at a record low, UniCredit just got on board with a carriage full of other major banks and pushed back its call for when the initial rate rise would come.

Argentina’s smooth peso devaluation a rare bright spot in emerging markets

January 13, 2016
A man walks past a currency exchange rates board at a money exchange in Buenos Aires' financial district, Argentina, December 16, 2015. Argentina will announce a much anticipated relaxation of currency controls on Wednesday, the government said, setting the stage for a weakening of the local peso and an increase of soybean shipments from the world's No. 3 exporter.  REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci - RTX1YZQ2

A man walks past a currency exchange rates board at a money exchange in Buenos Aires’ financial district, Argentina, December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci – RTX1YZQ2

What to do with Poland

January 13, 2016

Since sweeping to power in October elections, Poland’s Eurosceptic and authoritarian new government has packed the constitutional court with its appointees, skewed the court’s voting system and passed a law tightening its control on top media posts — all in the country supposed to be one of the bulwarks of democracy in east Europe. Today the European Commission will debate what to do with Poland: it is likely for now to hold back from triggering possible sanctions against Warsaw but will discuss ways of subtly increasing the pressure.

A tale of two inflation rates worlds apart: Mexico and Brazil

January 8, 2016
Fans of Mexico ride a big bike as they arrive at the Castelao stadium before Mexico's 2014 World Cup soccer match against Brazil in Fortaleza, Brazil  June 17, 2014.   REUTERS/Sergio Moraes (BRAZIL - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)

Fans of Mexico ride a big bike as they arrive at the Castelao stadium before Mexico’s 2014 World Cup soccer match against Brazil in Fortaleza, Brazil June 17, 2014. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

EU vote casts shadow over Britain as 2016 kicks off

January 8, 2016

At this stage, it is hard to quantify how a planned referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union is impacting investor sentiment and the outlook for business investment. But there is little doubt it will influence the timing of the Bank of England’s first interest rate hike in nearly a decade and how sterling trades this year.

No sign of economy rebalancing in latest China PMIs

January 6, 2016

China's Huang Qiushuang performs on the balance beam during the women's gymnastics team final in the North Greenwich Arena at the London 2012 Olympic Games July 31, 2012.   REUTERS/Mark Blinch (BRITAIN  - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS SPORT GYMNASTICS)   - RTR35RC6

Chinese manufacturing has been in the dumps for a long while. But that was supposed to be offset by a government-induced shift in the economy toward domestic consumption, which underpins Beijing’s optimistic outlook for growth this year.

Fear of unemployment peaks in Brazil

January 5, 2016

A man looks at lists of job openings posted on a pole in downtown Sao Paulo March 19, 2015. Mounting job losses are pushing more and more Brazilians into the informal economy as self-employed workers, leaving them vulnerable to what could be the country's worst recession in 25 years. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Inflation over 10 percent, a record-low exchange rate, job losses all around. Can it get any worse for Brazil in 2016?

Molto bene! Stand-out performance for Italian manufacturing vs rest of Europe

January 4, 2016

European stock markets may have had a rough start to 2016, but the first major European data releases of the year, covering momentum in manufacturing at the end of 2015, have been particularly good by recent standards.