UK trade misses target again. It’s time to look at the targets.

December 10, 2015

Another month, another round of disappointing British trade data.

Given it happens with such regularity, economists might be forgiven for viewing Thursday’s news of a widening goods trade deficit as a routine addition to Britain’s murky trade outlook.

China’s falling imports an ominous sign for the global economy

September 8, 2015

A cargo ship waits to be loaded with shipping containers at a port in QingdaoIf the most populous country in the world, as well as the largest consumer of raw materials, starts shying away from imports, that means global demand and, by extension, the world economy is taking a real hit.

ECB sees inflation back by year-end

May 18, 2015

Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank presents an oversized newly unveiled 10 euro note at the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt

An interesting weekend intervention by ECB policymaker Yves Mersch who said there was no question of winding up QE early and that inflation, still skulking around zero, would stay there until autumn then rise sharply late in the year towards 1.5 percent.

Tsipras not for turning

February 9, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Tsipras delivers his first major speech in parliament in Athens

Alexis Tsipras is not for turning, not yet anyway.

Speaking in parliament on Sunday night the new Greek premier said he would not accept an extension to Greece’s current bailout, something the euro zone is urging him to do, and stuck with austerity-ending pledges such as giving free food and electricity to those who need it, reinstating civil servants who had been fired as part of bailout conditions and raising the minimum wage. Privatisations have already been halted.

Davos faces now customary global uncertainty

January 21, 2015

Swiss special police officers observe the surrounding area from atop the roof of Davos Congress Hotel in Davos

The great and good are in Davos facing a rather uncertain landscape yet again (‘twas ever thus for the last seven years).

EU talks investment, Germany balances budget

January 13, 2015


The European Commission will unveil legislative proposals for its 315 billion euro investment plan and the findings of a public consultation on the investment elements of a planned EU-U.S. free trade deal which could significantly boost growth.

Q3 rebound but at cost of price cutting?

August 1, 2014

A woman walks past a shop in Madrid

Manufacturing PMI surveys across the euro zone and for Britain are due. The emerging pattern is of an improving third quarter after a generally poor second three months of the year.

Euro zone inflation to fall further?

July 31, 2014


Euro zone inflation is the big figure of the day. The consensus forecast is it for hold at a paltry 0.5 percent. Germany’s rate came in as predicted at 0.8 percent on Wednesday but Spain’s was well short at -0.3 percent. So there is clearly a risk that inflation for the currency bloc as a whole falls even further.

Erdogan unfettered

March 31, 2014

Investors have spent months looking askance at Turkey’s corruption scandal and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s response to it – purging the police and judiciary of people he believes are acolytes of his enemy, U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. But it appears to have made little difference to his electorate.

A question of energy

March 26, 2014

After two days in The Hague, Barack Obama moves on to Brussels for an EU/U.S. summit with Ukraine still casting the longest shadow.