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532 (91-100)
January 23, 2018
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Economic policy uncertainty in Europe has risen to extraordinarily high levels. This stands in stark contrast to conventional measures of financial market uncertainty which are at historical lows. Uncertainty surrounding economic policies has negative spillover effects to the rest of the economy. It tends to be transmitted to capital markets and to result in higher financing costs for companies. Significant cross-country transmission of economic policy uncertainty is observable within the EU, with the UK being a net exporter. In addition, banks could turn out to be a central channel through which economic policy uncertainty is transmitted to the real economy, via subdued lending to non-financial corporations, in particular to SMEs. [more]
January 23, 2018
This edition reviews the global macro outlook, with 2018 likely marking the peak of the current cyclical expansion. Read on for our views on the US macro outlook and the Fed, the eurozone and the ECB, China’s macro outlook and risks. Find also a summary of our views on key themes as well as on the different asset classes and the main macro and markets forecasts [more]
January 15, 2018
Against expectations, economies and markets powered ahead in 2017. Many predict more records to be broken in 2018. Yet, in many sectors, things are more complicated and 2018 may be the year of tipping points that augur unexpected change – both positive and negative. In this issue, we probe these tipping points and analyse the effects on economies and industries that investors may have ignored. [more]
December 21, 2017
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House prices and rents have risen considerably during the current house price cycle. Rents are the component of the consumer price basket which has the biggest impact on overall inflation. While recent newspaper reports and market figures reflect the uptrend in rents, the official statistics are suspiciously free of it. This holds especially for Berlin. Consequently, official figures for the capital – and probably for Germany as a whole, if to a smaller extent – probably underestimate actual inflation. [more]
December 15, 2017
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With a growth rate of probably 2.3% in 2017, Germany delivered the main positive surprise in the industrial world. In 2018, German GDP looks set to expand by 2.3% again. If this forecast materialises, Germany will grow at an above-potential rate for the fifth year in a row. The upcoming wage round and resilient demand combined with the global decline in free capacities might, however, push up prices more strongly than currently expected. We already voiced concerns ahead of the Bundestag elections that the new government (just like its predecessor) might not pay sufficient attention to urgent challenges such as digitalisation, demographics and globalisation as the labour market situation is favourable. Now that forming a government has turned out to be unexpectedly difficult our concerns have increased. [more]
December 15, 2017
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The Basel Committee’s recent agreement on final capital rules for global banks is set to have only limited effect on overall capital requirements, but will impact EU banks more strongly than their peers. In recent quarters, European banks have already strengthened their capital ratios substantially and have become more profitable, thanks to moderately better revenues, lower costs and lower loan losses. Balance sheet size and risk-weighted assets have declined, underscoring the continuing lack of growth momentum in the industry. This might change somewhat next year, as European banks could benefit from the strong performance of the economy via a pickup in lending, which so far has remained sluggish. Further tailwinds from declining loss provisions and falling expense levels are less likely though. [more]
December 12, 2017
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Elections, referenda and politics have held quite a few surprises in the last 1 ½ years. While there is a general feeling among voters that things are moving in the wrong direction – although there are certainly differences of opinion about the direction itself – the outcomes of recent elections and polls have probably done very little to counter their disenchantment. One reason for this frustration is the increasing complexity of political issues. They just cannot be resolved using the simple answers offered by many populists. Voters crave such simple answers, however, as throughout evolution humans have been very successful in reducing complexity by applying heuristics, simple rules drawn from experience. [more]
December 11, 2017
Happy holidays. This is what market sentiment feels like at the moment, with risk assets at or close to multi-year highs. Faster progress on tax reform bills in the US and the EU-UK exit deal provided the last positive catalysts. They add to a favourable backdrop of strong economic growth, increasingly supportive fiscal and regulatory policy, and tightening but still easy monetary policy. [more]
December 8, 2017
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No real surprises hidden in the “Saint Nicholas” reform package from Brussels, a detailed set of reform proposals and communications that the European Commission published as a “roadmap” for deepening EMU. The proposals build on Commission President Juncker’s September State of the Union speech and, in essence, match closely with the French vision of more stabilization and risk-sharing in the EU, while they also try to meet German demands for better supervision of fiscal rules. The strong focus on anchoring any further integration of the Monetary Union - such as the reform of the ESM and the introduction of a Eurozone budget - in the institutional framework also illustrates the wariness in Brussels of being sidelined in its fiscal competencies and to allow the euro area to further develop on its own. [more]
December 5, 2017
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We have lifted our GDP forecasts for 2017 and 2018 about half a point to 2.3%, as capex is boosted by an improved export outlook, which in turn is driven by the global capex cycle. The difficult formation of a new government – while not encouraging with regard to Germany’s longer-term challenges – should have limited impact on the short-term outlook. [more]
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