France, Italy compare notes

By Mike Peacock
November 20, 2013

French President Francois Hollande is in Rome for talk with Italy’s Enrico Letta. Both have a lot on their minds.

Italian shuffle

By Mike Peacock
November 18, 2013

The decision by one of Silvio Berlusconi’s key allies to break from his party and back Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s fragile coalition appears to have shored up the Italian government with a final vote on expelling the media magnate from public life looming large.

What is France to do?

By Mike Peacock
November 14, 2013

It’s euro zone third quarter GDP day and Germany and France are already out of the traps with the latter’s economy contracting by 0.1 percent, snuffing out a 0.5 percent rebound in the second quarter. Growth of 0.1 percent was forecast, not just by bank economists but by the Bank of France too.

Brussels looks warily at German surplus

By Mike Peacock
November 13, 2013

Barring a last minute change of heart, the European Commission will launch an investigation into whether Germany’s giant trade surplus is fuelling economic imbalances, a charge laid squarely by the U.S. Treasury but vehemently rejected by Berlin.

French travails

By Mike Peacock
November 12, 2013

The Bank of France’s monthly report forecasts growth of 0.4 percent in the last three months of the year, up from an anaemic 0.1 percent in the third quarter. That still makes for a fairly doleful 2013 as a whole.

Strongly vigilant?

By Mike Peacock
November 7, 2013

An alarming drop in euro zone inflation – to 0.7 percent from 1.1 percent – throws today’s European Central Bank policy meeting into very sharp relief. Not since the central bank cut interest rates in May has it been under such scrutiny.

Take-off has been delayed

By Mike Peacock
November 6, 2013

Euro zone services PMIs and German industry orders data will offer the latest snapshot of the currency bloc’s economy which the European Commission now forecasts will contract by 0.4 percent this year and grow just 1.1 percent in 2014 – hardly escape velocity, in fact barely taxiing along the runway.

What’s happened to euro inflation?

By Mike Peacock
November 5, 2013

New European Commission macro forecasts for the euro zone and the EU have been given added significance by an alarming drop in inflation to 0.7 percent which has heaped pressure on the European Central Bank to ward off any threat of deflation.

It’s all Greek

By Mike Peacock
November 4, 2013

The EU/IMF/ECB troika is due to return to Athens to resume a review of Greece’s bailout after some sparring over budget measures.

Italy versus Spain

By Mike Peacock
October 30, 2013

Italy will auction up to 6 billion euros of five- and 10-year bonds after two earlier sales this week saw two-year and six-month yields drop to the lowest level in six months. Don’t be lulled into thinking all is well.