Euro zone bank lending: not as bad isn’t good enough

November 27, 2014

More cheap loans to banks was the European Central Bank’s answer to boost bank lending to private businesses in the euro zone. But the latest data show credit growth is still contracting and the best some economists came up with is that at least it’s not as bad as it was a year ago when it was shrinking faster.

Euro zone litmus tests

By Mike Peacock
November 27, 2014

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Two vital gauges of euro zone progress, or lack of it, today.

German inflation for November is forecast to slip to 0.6 percent and will cue up the euro zone figure on Friday, which is predicted to come in at just 0.3 percent. Spanish inflation, due earlier, is forecast to come in at -0.3 percent.

Euro zone private loan data still looking more like groan data

November 24, 2014

It’s been more than two years since euro zone banks increased net lending to private businesses. And it’s been nearly half a year since the European Central Bank launched a new plan to turn that situation around.

Britain back on board for action in Iraq

By Mike Peacock
September 25, 2014

An Iraqi SWAT trooper covers his ears as he fires a mortar bomb during clashes with Islamic State militants, north of Muqdadiyah

U.S. air strikes in Syria continued overnight with a monitoring group saying at least 14 Islamic State fighters were killed.

TLTRO effect is the ECB’s Waiting for Godot

September 23, 2014

AWhen banks are offered hundreds of billions of euros worth of what is essentially free money and they don’t take everything they can get, something has gone seriously wrong.

The ECB keeps putting up the cash, but where’s the lending?

August 28, 2014

Draghi and TrichetFor the European Central Bank, a lot is riding on euro zone banks ramping up lending to the private sector. Unfortunately, after a very long time, lending still is not growing. It fell 1.6 percent on a year ago in July.

ECB’s fingers crossed for private loans growth

August 4, 2014

Mostly bereft of policy options except for outright quantitative easing, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hopes that hundreds of billions of euros more in cheap loans to banks will boost inflation.

Is Europe past the worst?

By Mike Peacock
July 24, 2013

The PMI surveys take top billing today. China’s report showed a further slowdown in manufacturing activity with the index following to an 11-month low and well into contractionary territory.

The numbers don’t lie

By Mike Peacock
May 31, 2013

Euro zone unemployment figures will emphasize just how far the currency bloc is from recovery while inflation data due at the same time could push the European Central Bank closer to new action. If price pressures drop further below the target of close to but below two percent we’re moving into territory where the ECB has a clear mandate to act, although the consensus forecast is for the rate to push up to 1.4 percent, from 1.2 in April.

Creaky credit markets

January 26, 2012

It’s not a snap or even a pop – but there’s definitely a crackle. Rumblings emerging from key credit markets bare a frightening resemblance to the early days of the 2008 credit crunch.