Euro zone data starting to surprise on the upside

By Mike Peacock
March 4, 2015

A truck passes through an electronic toll gate on the A10 highway south of Berlin

A day before the European Central Bank’s monthly meeting, service sector PMI surveys for euro zone countries will be scrutinized to see if they add to a developing trend of above-forecast economic data.

Negative inflation to herald QE launch

By Mike Peacock
March 2, 2015

US dollars and euros banknotes are seen in this illustration photo taken at a change bureau in Paris

The European Central Bank is about to start printing money. Euro zone data today will show why.

Restive Bundestag to approve Greek bailout extension

By Mike Peacock
February 27, 2015

German Chancellor Merkel, members of government and parliament observe a minute of silence during a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin

Germany’s parliament will vote today on the extension of Greece’s bailout by four months and will duly back it though we can expect some grumbling from a clutch of lawmakers.

Whisper it, is the euro zone perking up?

By Mike Peacock
February 26, 2015

People walk into the the Mall of Berlin shopping centre in Berlin

The drama of Ukraine and Greece has left old-fashioned economic data in the shade so far this year but, quietly, there are some signs of improvement for the moribund euro zone economy.

The Greek plan is in, breath bated

By Mike Peacock
February 24, 2015

Varoufakis arrives at a news conference after an extraordinary euro zone Finance Ministers meeting in Brussels

Greece sent an economic reform plan to its EU and IMF creditors overnight, according to an EU source, and euro zone finance ministers will this morning see the list which is a condition for extending the country’s bailout programme by four months.

Rampant inflation to keep Russian central bank tight

By Mike Peacock
January 30, 2015

Russian roubles are seen in this illustration picture taken in Moscow

Russia’s central bank meets having shoved interest rates up to an eye-watering 17 percent late last year.
The central bank has said rates can only come down if inflation was trending lower. It was running above 11 percent last month and the government expects it to peak at 17 percent.

Politics to trump law in QE decision

By Mike Peacock
January 15, 2015

Deutsche Bundesbank President Weidmann arrives for the annual news conference in Frankfurt

If the law was the ultimate arbiter, the European Central Bank would have the most verdant of green lights for an unlimited bond-buying programme with new money. In reality, politics and German concerns will dictate.

France grieves and questions

By Mike Peacock
January 8, 2015

Makeshift memorial is seen outside the Consulate General of France during a vigil for the victims of an attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, in San Francisc

The youngest of three French nationals hunted over the killing of 12 people at a satirical magazine turned himself in overnight. The police have named the trio, the two still at large are brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi.

2015 and all that

By Mike Peacock
December 31, 2014

People watch as confetti falls during the annual "air worthiness" test in preparation for New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square, New York

The last day of the year and all is quiet – but not for long.

Unless the price of oil bounces markedly or Vladimir Putin walks away from Ukraine thereby loosening western sanctions – both unlikely – Russia could be heading for a serious economic fall. Reserves are being burned defending the currency. They are sufficient for now but without hefty tax increases, public spending cuts and/or a higher pension age the outlook for 2016 and beyond is much gloomier.

Euro zone litmus tests

By Mike Peacock
November 27, 2014

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Two vital gauges of euro zone progress, or lack of it, today.

German inflation for November is forecast to slip to 0.6 percent and will cue up the euro zone figure on Friday, which is predicted to come in at just 0.3 percent. Spanish inflation, due earlier, is forecast to come in at -0.3 percent.