A healthy dose of fear has re-entered financial markets in the final three months of the year. The Chicago Board Options Exchange VIX, a widely tracked measure of market volatility, rose to a two-month high on Wednesday.
From the U.S., we’ve had lots of talk of tapering. In Europe, the latest fad phrase in the financial world is “austerity fatigue”.
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.
Another month, another rise in the number of jobless in the euro zone.
As expected, the unemployment rate hit a new record 12.2 percent in April, according to Eurostat on Friday, meaning some 19,375,000 euro zone citizens are out of work.
A sudden turn for the worse across German companies should clinch an interest rate cut from the European Central Bank next week, or in June at the latest.
Optimism in Germany is roaring and consumers across the euro zone are starting to become less gloomy. But the latest hard economic data are a reminder of the difference between confidence that things are going to get better, and the hope that they will.
Folklore and modern horror are replete with tales of people summoning ghosts by recanting their name or chanting a particular phrase. Centuries ago there was Bloody Mary. The 1980s brought us the Evil Dead trilogy and Beetlejuice, while Candyman appeared in the 90s.
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.