An unpleasant surprise may lurk in euro zone GDP numbers

September 24, 2012

The euro zone economy may be doing far worse than most economists want to believe. That’s not good news for a central bank trying to rescue the single currency through a hotly-contested bond purchasing programme that has yet to get started.

Emerging markets: Soft patch or recession?

August 18, 2011

Could the dreaded R word come back to haunt the developing world? A study by Goldman Sachs shows how differently financial markets and surveys are assessing the possibility of a recession in emerging markets.
One part of the Goldman study comprising survey-based leading indicators saw the probability of recession as very low across central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. These give a picture of where each economy currently stands in the cycle. This model found risks to be highest in Turkey and South Africa, with a 38-40 percent possibility of recession in these countries.
On the other hand, financial markets, which have sold off sharply over the past month, signalled a more pessimistic outcome. Goldman says these indicators forecast a 67 percent probability of recession in the Czech Republic and 58 percent in Israel, followed by Poland and Turkey. Unlike the survey, financial data were more positive on South Africa than the others, seeing a relatively low 32 percent recession risk.
Goldman analysts say the recession probabilities signalled by the survey-based indicator jell with its own forecasts of a soft patch followed by a broad sustained recovery for CEEMEA economies.
“The slowdown signalled by the financial indicators appears to go beyond the ‘soft patch’ that we are currently forecasting,” Goldman says, adding: “The key question now is whether or not the market has gone too far in pricing in a more serious economic downturn.”

Shoots and weeds in the economic garden

June 9, 2009

Nouriel Roubini is a bearish guy at the best of times, but he is currently worried that signs of those “green shoots” of economic recovery are covering up something altogether more stubborn in the garden.

Small credit for big depression

April 15, 2009

It took some time, and a lot of downward corrections to IMF GDP forecasts, before the current global economic downturn won the title of ‘worst since the Great Depression’.

ECB has to cut rates to stop jump in real borrowing costs

February 27, 2009

The European Central Bank has to cut official interest rates by at least another percentage point to stop the real cost of borrowing for households and firms jumping in the summer as inflation plummets.

Political poster child?

January 7, 2009

George Alogoskoufis is a hardly a household name outside Greece and EU financial circles. But the newly sacked Greek finance minister could yet become a poster child for politicans struggling to fight off economic decline and banking industry collapse. His demise was in large part due to a public perception that he was helping out the banks but ignoring rising joblessness.

We can’t all be Finns

November 18, 2008

How well is your finance minister doing as the global economy comes tumbling around your ears? Finns, at least, can hold their heads up with pride: Jyrki Katainen (pictured on ice) has topped The Financial Times’ annual rankings of European finance ministers.

Economic faceoff

October 15, 2008

Supporters of Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama and Republican nominee Senator Barack Obama gather near the site of the third and final presidential debate at Hofstra UniversityDemocratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and Republican nominee John McCain meet tonight at Hofstra University in New York, their final scheduled appearance together before election day.

Meet Macroscope …

October 10, 2008

The financial system is in the grips of its most violent
upheaval since the 1930s. A staggering amount of wealth has been
destroyed this year — $11 trillion wiped out from world stock
markets in the past nine months. The damage already is spilling
into the real economy, and fears are spreading among investors
of a deep and damaging downturn.