Huge miss on Japan GDP suggests more forecasting complacency

November 17, 2014

BWhile few people have had serious hopes for a prolonged Japanese economic boom for a long time, the range of forecasts provided for Japan’s recent economic performance gives you an idea of just how wildly unexpected the news was today that it is back in recession.

Another month, another downside surprise on euro zone inflation

July 31, 2014

sale signsNobody except a born pessimist ever expects a bad situation to get incrementally worse.

Euro zone inflation to fall further?

By Mike Peacock
July 31, 2014

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Euro zone inflation is the big figure of the day. The consensus forecast is it for hold at a paltry 0.5 percent. Germany’s rate came in as predicted at 0.8 percent on Wednesday but Spain’s was well short at -0.3 percent. So there is clearly a risk that inflation for the currency bloc as a whole falls even further.

Clock ticking

By Mike Peacock
June 30, 2014

Amid all the furore over David Cameron’s failure to block Jean-Claude Juncker for the top EU job at a summit last week, the bloc’s leaders signed a free-trade pact with Ukraine and said they could impose more sanctions on Russia unless rebels de-escalate in the east of the country by Monday.

EU’s top two — oh to be a fly on the wall

By Mike Peacock
June 11, 2014

Who are the two most important people in the EU? It’s hard to argue against Angela Merkel and Mario Draghi and they meet today in Berlin.

Euro zone inflation data to set seal on ECB action

By Mike Peacock
June 3, 2014

Euro zone inflation – due at 0900 GMT – is forecast to hold at a paltry 0.7 percent in May, in what European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has labelled the danger zone below 1.0 percent for the eighth successive month.

Gas talks resume

By Mike Peacock
May 30, 2014

Fresh talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission in Berlin will aim to resolve a gas price dispute that Moscow has warned could make it cut off supplies next week.

Prepare for a razor-thin rate cut from the ECB in June. But what will it achieve?

May 9, 2014

RTR3OBCB.jpgA consensus appears to be slowly building for a carpaccio-slice interest rate cut from the European Central Bank next month.

Will sanctions bite?

By Mike Peacock
April 30, 2014

Financial markets may view the latest sanctions against Russia as feeble, but the reaction from Moscow – Vladimir Putin threatened to reconsider Western participation in energy deals and his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said they were the work of weak politicians – suggests otherwise.