Small rays of hope brightened Canada’s economic outlook last week

May 6, 2013

 All data released last week point to a far better first quarter growth in Canada than previously expected, prompting economists to revise up their predictions.

Scotland catches up with the UK economy – and maybe more?

May 3, 2013


Updated to show Scotland’s composite PMI has bettered the UK equivalent for seven straight months now, after Monday’s data.

Not again, please! Brazil and India more vulnerable now to another crisis

April 25, 2013

After bad economic news from Germany, China and the United States over the past few weeks, here are two more. Brazil and India, two of the world’s largest emerging economies, are increasingly vulnerable to another crisis or to the eventual end of the ultra-loose monetary policies in developed economies after five years of a severe global slowdown.

Baby it’s cold outside: monetary policy as outer wear

April 19, 2013

Discussions about central banking are often belabored by analogies to moving vehicles, which make some sense given that interest rate policy can act both as accelerator and brake on economic activity. Perhaps tired of being in the driver’s seat, Minnesota Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota decide to switch gears and talk about clothing instead.

From one central banking era to another: beware the consequences

April 8, 2013

Paul Volcker’s inflation-fighting era as chairman of the Federal Reserve is quite the opposite of today’s U.S. central bank, which is battling to kick start growth and even stave off deflation with trillions in bond purchases. And it is polar opposite of where the Bank of Japan finds itself today, doubling down on easing to lift inflation expectations after two decades of Japanese stagnation. After all, Volcker ratcheted up interest rates in 1979 and the early 1980s to tame the inflation that had been choking the United States.

France’s downturn is more significant than you think

April 5, 2013

The huge downturn in French businesses was by far the most disappointing aspect of this week’s euro zone PMIs, which again painted a dismal picture of the euro zone economy.

Goal line on jobs still a long way off: former Fed economist Stockton

April 1, 2013

The Great Recession set the U.S. labor market so far back that there is still a long way to go before policymakers can claim victory and point to a true return to healthy conditions, a top former Fed economist said. The U.S. economy remains around 3 million jobs short of its pre-recession levels, and that’s without accounting for population growth.

Investors call for interest rate hike in Brazil

March 21, 2013

Two analyses published this week highlight how alarmed investors are about inflation in Brazil.

Is Slovenia the next shoe to drop?

March 21, 2013

The Cypriot saga has thrown the spotlight on Slovenia, which is also a small euro zone country struggling with an over-burdened banking sector.

Rip-off Britain on the line

March 13, 2013

For all the talk about imported inflation in the UK as policymakers talk down the pound and financial markets merrily give it a good beating, here’s a stark reminder that a lot of British inflation remains home-grown.