Spain’s early bath a surprise to economists

June 19, 2014

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Much the same as economists often struggle to accurately predict data releases, their initial thoughts on how the soccer World Cup will pan out also appear to have been misguided.
While Brazil, the clear favourite to win in a Reuters poll of over 120 football-loving market analysts, is clinging on after a nil-nil draw with Mexico on Tuesday it’s a different story for Spain.

Don’t stop fighting inflation, banks tell Brazil policymakers

May 14, 2014

Brazil's Central Bank President Tombini reacts during a ceremony to announce Measures of Consumer Protection at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia

A small piece of good news on Brazil’s inflation rate last week probably gave the central bank its best pretext yet to finally stop raising interest rates after more than one year of non-stop increases. But economists still think it’s too early to proclaim “mission accomplished”.

from Global Investing:

Which BRIC? Russia scores late goal for 2010

December 6, 2010

How quickly times change. Russia's stock market, unloved for months, last week overtook India to be the best-performing of
the four BRICs.  The Moscow stock index jumped 5 percent last week, posting its biggest weekly rise in seven months, bringing
year-to-date gains to 17.5 percent. Fund managers such as Goldman Sach's Jim O'Neill, creator of the BRICs term, are predicting it will lead the group next year too.

Did the World Cup stimulate German growth?

July 23, 2010

 Did the World Cup stimulate economic growth in Germany?
 SOCCER WORLD/
That’s the $3.6 trillion question on the minds of economists after the Ifo institute reported on Friday  that business sentiment in Europe’s largest economy surged by a record margin in July — a month of fun in the sun for tens of millions of enthralled Germans who cheered their team’s improbably strong run to the semi-finals of the World Cup in South Africa.
 
Can a soccer tournament half a world away really have a notable impact on Germany’s 2.5-trillion euro ($3.6 billion) economy? Can a few exciting wins in the international soccer tournament really turn notoriously tight-fisted Germans into free-spending consumers? When I posed those questions at the start of July — just after Germany had thrashed England 4-1 in the round of 16 — I ran into some  scepticism. 
 
But there were also a few contrarian economists out there who also thought the good mood spreading across the country thanks to the lopsided victories in South Africa — and especially the exciting way the young team filled with immigrants to Germany — might lead to slightly higher growth. I’ve lived in Germany for over 20 years and long watched the way so many of them so diligently squirrel away  such significant chunks of their money — as if the next world war or great depression were looming around the corner.

The octopus and the economists

July 12, 2010

What do an eight-legged creature in an aquarium in Germany and 74 economists have in common? The consensus view that Spain would claim the World Cup — until the economists, as they so often do, changed their minds.

Pass Jean-Claude Trichet a vuvuzela

July 8, 2010

Give European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet a vuvuzela.
Having previously confessed ignorance on all things soccer the ECB chief finally appears to have been bitten by the World Cup bug.
He did a Ronaldo-style double step-over when asked who he would cheer for in Sunday’s final between Spain and the Netherlands but admitted he enjoyed Spain’s slick defeat of Germany the previous evening.
“The last match was beautiful I have to say,” Trichet enthused at the bank’s news conference.
The comments were greeted with laughter by the clutch of international journalists in the audience. Realising that he may have sounded a little too happy about Germany’s loss he quickly backpedalled.
“I don’t have any judgment on the result of the match. I said that it was a beautiful match obviously. And the two teams were very beautiful on the field.”
Germans called for Paul the now infamous “the oracle” octopus to be thrown on the BBQ after he predicted the defeat. Mr Trichet could be next in line. Then again there are economists who would argue that Spain needs ECB support at the moment.

from Shop Talk:

World Cup is no March Madness in sapping productivity

June 8, 2010

cup1It may be the World Cup, but when it comes to sapping productivity in the United States the global soccer tournament still has a thing or two to learn from March Madness and the National Football League.