Yemen slides into civil war

By Mike Peacock
March 26, 2015

A Houthi fighter walks on a vehicle damaged by an air strike at a residential area near Sanaa Airport

Dramatic escalation in Yemen overnight with Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies launching military operations including air strikes in Yemen to counter Iran-allied forces besieging the southern city of Aden where the U.S.-backed president is holed up.

Euro zone private lending set to take a small, but crucial, step up

March 23, 2015

RTR4MHNF.jpgThe recent green shoots emerging out of the euro zone economy could look a little more leafy on Thursday when data is likely to show a long-awaited recovery in private bank lending is starting to pick up pace.

Whisper it, is the euro zone perking up?

By Mike Peacock
February 26, 2015

People walk into the the Mall of Berlin shopping centre in Berlin

The drama of Ukraine and Greece has left old-fashioned economic data in the shade so far this year but, quietly, there are some signs of improvement for the moribund euro zone economy.

EU ponders another round of Russia sanctions

By Mike Peacock
January 29, 2015

Ukrainian servicemen sit atop an armored personnel carrier as they patrol Orekhovo village in Luhansk

EU foreign ministers hold an extraordinary meeting today after their leaders have asked them to consider possible new sanctions on Russia. A final decision to impose them is likely to be left to their bosses who meet in next month and again in March.

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.