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.

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.

Humdrum summit

By Mike Peacock
October 24, 2013

A two-day EU summit kicks off in Brussels hamstrung by the lack of a German government.

A jobless guide to interest rates

By Mike Peacock
October 16, 2013

The Bank of England’s decision to peg any move in interest rates to the downward progress of unemployment has invested the monthly figures, due today, with huge importance.

UK unemployment — the monthly monetary policy guide

By Mike Peacock
September 11, 2013

Of the week’s economic data, today’s UK unemployment stands out since the Bank of England has pegged any move up in interest rates to a fall in the unemployment rate from 7.8 percent to below 7.0. The rate is forecast to have held at 7.8 percent in July.

Say it with confidence: Consumer surveys as a leading indicator of jobs

September 5, 2013

It turns out people are better employment forecasters than economists. A report from New York Fed economists finds that confidence measures gleaned from consumer surveys are very tightly correlated with the path of U.S. employment.

An Italian bullet dodged, but more in the chamber

By Mike Peacock
August 29, 2013

Italy will sell up to six billion euros of five- and 10-year bonds at a somewhat inauspicious time.

Why the mediocre U.S. July jobs report was worse than it looked

By MacroScope
August 9, 2013

U.S. economists were generally disappointed with the net gain of 162,000 jobs last month, well below forecasts around 180,000 and market talk of a possible reading above 200,000. The jobless rate did fall to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent, but labor force participation also resumed its recent descent.

Obama’s second chance to reshape the Fed

August 7, 2013

Lost in the bizarre Yellen vs. Summers tug-of-war into which the debate over the next Federal Reserve Chairman has devolved, is the notion that President Barack Obama is getting a second shot at revamping the U.S. central bank.