Editor, Reuters Polls and Economic Data, London
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Jul 28, 2015
via MacroScope

U.S. Fed interest rate “crawl-off” not yet fixed for September

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A U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike in September is almost certain according to many forecasters and investors, but the decision to tighten policy for the first time in nearly a decade is not as clear-cut as it may appear.

Leaving aside that just a few months ago most of the same people said the same thing about June, which came and went with no rate rise, any unanimity around such a key turning point for the global economy ought to be extremely rare.

Jul 23, 2015

No growth burst on the horizon yet for world economy

BENGALURU/LONDON (Reuters) – With little sign of accelerating growth or inflation, most central banks are still looking to ease monetary policy, in stark contrast to the U.S. Federal Reserve which is on the brink of its first rate hike in nearly a decade.

That bias towards easing, from China to Canada, comes at a time when the world economy, with a few exceptions like the United States, appears weak despite historically-low oil prices and bond yields along with soaring stock and property prices.

Jul 16, 2015
via MacroScope

Britain’s job miracle starting to look slightly less miraculous

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After years of defying gravity and outperforming the rest of Europe, Britain’s job market looks like it might be slowing down.

That means that renewed worries about an imminent rise in British rates, which have just resurfaced this week following hawkish remarks from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and outgoing rate-setter David Miles, might not be on such a solid footing.

Jul 15, 2015
via MacroScope

Fed: behind the curve, or too trigger happy? Neither

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As the U.S. Federal Reserve edges closer to its first interest hike in nearly a decade, its critics are lining up into one of two camps: either the Fed is hopelessly behind the curve, and will have to grapple with runaway inflation very soon; or the Fed seems overzealous in wanting to get interest rates back to what it would call a normal level and instead should wait until late this year or next before hiking.

The last thing it wants to do is to make a false start.

A simple chart measuring some of the most basic but crucial economic variables explains a lot. Weekly first-time claims for unemployment benefits have tumbled to the lows they last reached during the boom from the stock market bubble of the late 1990s. They are below where they were at the height of boom times during the peak of the real-estate bubble that preceded the worst global financial crisis and recession since the Great Depression.

Jul 14, 2015
via MacroScope

Are banks really lending again to euro zone businesses?

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Slightly more than a year ago, the European Central Bank launched, with as much fanfare as can be expected from a central bank, a new incentive programme for commercial banks to lend to euro zone businesses, which they had been doing less and less of over the previous few years.

An increase in lending was key, ECB President Mario Draghi argued at the time, to reviving growth in the euro area – and particularly to get inflation, which the central bank targets at just under 2 percent, to rise up from low digits. Euro zone inflation was last reported at 0.2 percent.

Jul 12, 2015

Global economy weekahead: Global inflation pressures still mild, China still the worry

LONDON (Reuters) – Global inflation appears tamer than many had thought it would be by now, still held back by a modest outlook for economic growth, meaning central banks look likely to leave rates lower for longer — or even ease policy further.

With a few exceptions such as Brazil, many major economies are still generating low or no consumer price inflation but instead higher asset prices, particularly stocks, and in many countries, a renewed pickup in house price inflation.

Jul 12, 2015

Global inflation pressures still mild, China still the worry

LONDON (Reuters) – Global inflation appears tamer than many had thought it would be by now, still held back by a modest outlook for economic growth, meaning central banks look likely to leave rates lower for longer — or even ease policy further.

With a few exceptions such as Brazil, many major economies are still generating low or no consumer price inflation but instead higher asset prices, particularly stocks, and in many countries, a renewed pickup in house price inflation.

Jun 30, 2015
via MacroScope

Grexit polled probability strikes danger zone for the first time

While Greece has been trapped in the clutches of an economic and sovereign debt crisis for half a decade, it has only been over the last month that the risk of leaving the euro has risen so dangerously high.

Market measures of risk, including sovereign bond yields, have been all over the map since the crisis began, a veritable Greek yo-yo. But the consensus view among economists polled by Reuters on the probability of Grexit has not risen above 35 percent until this week.

Jun 26, 2015
via MacroScope

Euro zone bank lending to businesses still in the doldrums

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About a year ago, the European Central Bank singled out a recovery in bank loans to private businesses as crucial to a lasting economic recovery – and even more crucially for the ECB, a rise in inflation which it targets at 2 percent.

A year on, following an injection of 384 billion euros of cheap money into the system by the central bank that is meant to be tied to an increase in bank lending, there has been no major improvement. (Keep in mind that is larger than the gross domestic product of Austria and slightly short of Belgium’s.)

Jun 17, 2015
via MacroScope

UK pay finally on the rise?

We’ve been told for years that a meaningful pickup in wages – usually the primary driver of domestic inflation – was required to set the stage for interest rate hikes both in the UK and the U.S.

Now pay is starting to get interesting.

After many months of very tame wage rises and literally a year’s worth of downgrades to official pay growth expectations by the Bank of England, both total pay including bonuses and ex-bonuses easily beat expectations in the latest Reuters poll of economists.

    • About Ross

      "Ross Finley, Global Editor, Reuters Polls & Economic Data, commissions consensus forecasts and edits related news stories on everything from foreign exchange rates to stock markets to expectations on monetary policy from major central banks. He is based in London."
      Joined Reuters:
      1999
      Languages:
      English, French
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