Ask an economist a question about the euro zone, and the answer will as much depend on the location of their head office as any analysis of the data.
Reuters has just published a poll of economists that shows Federal Reserve Vice-Chair Janet Yellen is the overwhelming favorite pick for President Obama to replace Ben Bernanke as Fed Chairman next year.
Mark these words. Not only is Britain going to avoid a triple-dip recession, but the economy won’t shrink again as far as the eye can see.
An unusual thing happened on Wednesday amidst all the shouting over British finance minister George Osborne’s autumn budget update which, depending on who you asked, outlined an increasingly dire or healthy state of the UK economy.
Forecasts about the future for the euro zone economy are starting to resemble a multiple-choice novel. Are you an economist working for an Anglo-Saxon institution? Then turn to p.65 — “Recession for the euro zone”. A German bank? Go to p.80 — “Happy days are here again!”
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.
Some say the European Central Bank will cut rates. Some say they won’t.
The odds that either prediction could turn out to be true on Thursday are more even than since Reuters first began polling on ECB rates in 1999.