ECB poised to act … modestly

By Mike Peacock
May 2, 2013

It’s European Central Bank day and we have it on very good authority that a quarter-point interest rate cut is on the cards, which will take rates to a record low 0.5 percent. A plunge in euro zone inflation to 1.2 percent, way below the target of close to but below 2 percent, has cemented the case for action.

Austerity — the British test case

By Mike Peacock
April 25, 2013

First quarter UK GDP figures will show whether Britain has succumbed to an unprecedented “triple dip” recession. Economically, the difference between 0.2 percent growth or contraction doesn’t amount to much, and the first GDP reading is nearly always revised at a later date. But politically it’s huge.

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.

Don’t call it a target: The thing about nominal GDP

March 27, 2013

Ask top Federal Reserve officials about adopting a target for non-inflation adjusted growth, or nominal GDP, and they will generally wince. Proponents of the awkwardly-named NGDP-targeting approach say it would be a more powerful weapon than the central bank’s current approach in getting the U.S.economy out of a prolonged rut.

Hey brother, can you spare a coupon?

February 28, 2013

Remember those green shoots? Ever since Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke uttered those words in response to the first signs of recovery from the Great Recession in 2009, many forecasters – including Fed officials – have consistently overestimated the economy’s strength.

Still not thinking the very thinkable on Britain’s future

February 20, 2013

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.

100-years of solitude in the euro zone

February 14, 2013

The euro zone slipped deeper into recession than economists expected in the fourth quarter of 2012 as Germany and France– the region’s two largest economies – shrank 0.6 percent and 0.3 percent respectively on a quarterly basis.

The wider point about Britain’s “triple-dip” recession threat

January 25, 2013

Britain’s economy shrank an estimated 0.3 percent at the end of 2012 and every major media outlet says it points to a big risk of a triple-dip recession.

Ignore the noise around Britain’s GDP figures

January 24, 2013

One of two stories will probably emerge from Friday’s first reading on how the British economy fared at the end of last year.

Big government kept a “contained depression” from being a Great one: Levy

January 9, 2013

David Levy says he is bullish on the U.S. economy long term. But for now, the country is effectively stuck in a “contained depression,” the chairman of the Jerome Levy Forecasting Center told Reuters during a recent visit to our Washington bureau.