Prospects still slim for major global economic pickup

December 22, 2015


The world economy may be set for another year like 2015, with modest growth in developed economies offsetting persistent weakness elsewhere but generating very little inflation and keeping interest rates low.

Fed’s Williams preps new Tee-shirt after rate hike

December 18, 2015

San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams earlier this year got so sick of answering reporters’ questions about when the U.S. central bank would raise rates that he had his son design a Tee-shirt that he could just give out.

Unfazed by Fed liftoff

December 17, 2015

US interest rate liftoff, so far at least, has been the sort of damp squib markets-wise that the Fed had been praying for after trailing the move for more than a year. Volatility surrounding last night’s announcement has been modest, most stock markets on Wall St and around the world are 1-2 pct firmer, the US yield curve has flattened with 2-year rates nudging just above 1.00 pct while 10-year yields actually fell back a bit. And as doveish as the message on “gradual” rate rises from here was, the Fed’s own assumptions on where rates go over the next year (from between 0.25-0.50 today to 1.25-1.50 in a year’s time) is still almost twice what the market’s is pricing over that horizon.

Argentina: what to watch this week

December 14, 2015

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri ties his necktie at his home before going to his swearing-in ceremoy in Buenos Aires, December 10, 2015. Macri took office as Argentina's first non-Peronist president in more than a decade on Thursday, promising to end policies of leftist populism and revive the South American country's ailing economy. Macri began his 4-year term in a ceremony snubbed by his predecessor, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, following a rancorous argument over where the handover of power should take place. REUTERS/Argentine Presidency/Handout via ReutersATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. - RTX1Y619

Argentina’s newly-elected liberal government is working around the clock to overhaul the country’s foreign exchange system. The administration has little margin for error but a positive view about Argentina’s outlook still prevails.

Wayward guidance: More Britons than ever don’t know where rates are headed

December 11, 2015

So much for forward guidance. The largest proportion of Britons on record — almost a quarter — have “no idea” where interest rates are heading over the next 12 months, according to the Bank of England’s quarterly survey of the public’s views on the economy.

UK trade misses target again. It’s time to look at the targets.

December 10, 2015

Another month, another round of disappointing British trade data.

Given it happens with such regularity, economists might be forgiven for viewing Thursday’s news of a widening goods trade deficit as a routine addition to Britain’s murky trade outlook.

MORNING BID EUROPE-Slowing world economy takes toll

December 9, 2015

German imports fell sharply in October and exports also weakened, suggesting Europe’s largest economy is still struggling to shake off the impact of a slowdown in China and other emerging markets. Meanwhile Britain’s Chambers of Commerce is lowering its forecasts for UK economic growth over the next three years, with the slowing world economy again the root cause. That comes before the Bank of England’s latest rate-setting meeting on Thursday: no change seen for now, but BoE chief Mark Carney could use the publication of the meeting’s minutes to tweak expectations for when the hike could come (currently seen as much as a year or more away).

November U.S. jobs report could be a bright spot in fading outlook for hiring

December 4, 2015

Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on the "Federal Reserve's Supervision and Regulation of the Financial System" in Washington November 4, 2015.       REUTERS/Gary Cameron  - RTX1UQNK

The U.S. November jobs report is expected shortly, and in all likelihood it will be a solid one. But forecasts around future employment are not quite so optimistic.

We need to talk about Hong Kong’s property market. Again.

December 3, 2015

Fireworks with the word "Win" explode over Victoria Harbour to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year in Hong KongWill 2016 be the year when the seemingly bullet-proof Hong Kong real estate market finally cracks?

No longer the worst of times for euro zone unemployment, but still a long way down to go

December 1, 2015

French non-union self-employed workers attend a demonstration against the RSI (social security for independent workers) in Paris, France, September 21, 2015. The banner reads"Too many taxes equal unemployment".    REUTERS/Charles Platiau - RTX1RQM4

Finally there’s some good news on an economic statistic that really matters for the euro zone’s future – unemployment.