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Tag Archives: Pictet Macro Analysis

Rising downside risks to euro area growth

While our forecasts remain unchanged for now, external drags on growth prospects for the euro area look set to persist for longer than we had previously expected. A potential improvement in euro area growth in H2 2019 on the back of a revival in the global economy is in jeopardy due to the intensifying trade dispute between the US and China. The euro area is not directly affected, but its indirect exposure to this...

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French tax cuts designed to reboot Macron’s presidency

The French government’s respond to the ‘yellow vest’ protests could provide a meaningful boost to consumer spending, mostly next year. Following a series of townhall meetings with French citizens up and down France, President Emmanuel Macron responded to social unrest with two doses of fiscal easing. The December package (worth EUR10bn) was incorporated in the stability plan sent to Brussels before Easter and is...

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Is Europe turning Japanese?

European investment opportunities remain, despite financial repression in the region. The European Central Bank (ECB) surprised market watchers with its dovish turn in January, wiping out any prospect of an interest-rate rise this year and revising its growth projections for the euro area downward for 2019. With Europeans set to live with interest rates at zero (or negative) for longer, many are wondering if Europe now...

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Peripheral bonds after the Spanish election

We remain underweight peripheral euro area bonds in general due to continued political uncertainty, which will feed volatility. On April 28, Spain held its third general election in less than four years. As was expected, the centre-left Socialists (PSOE) emerged the largest party, but it does not have an absolute majority, so negotiations with other parties will be needed. But the political fog in Spain is unlikely to...

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Switzerland: Lower growth, lower inflation

Growth and price rises should moderate in 2019. The Swiss economy posted impressive GDP growth in 2018, although there was significant divergence between strong growth in the first half and stagnation in the second. Overall, we expect Swiss GDP to expand by 1.3% in 2019, down substantially from 2.5% in 2018. Risks to our growth outlook for Switzerland are tilted to the downside. Looking ahead, we expect the Swiss...

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Limited room for Swiss franc depreciation

Even should global economic momentum stabilise in the coming months and political risks abate, the franc still has important structural underpinnings. The Swiss franc has been supported by a structural current account surplus and by reduced investment flows out of Switzerland since the 2008 financial crisis. In addition, the decline in global yields since the Fed’s dovish shift early this year has rendered interest...

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Getting ready for tiering

ECB officials have hinted at policy measures aimed at reducing the cost of negative rates for the banking sector, including a tiered system of bank reserves. Although back in 2016 the European Central Bank (ECB) ruled out tiering of bank reserves to mitigate the side effects of negative rates, the situation has since changed, and it could be implemented eventually if policy rates were to remain negative into 2020....

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China PMIs jump in March

Industrial gauges rebound on seansonality as well as policy easing. Chinese PMI readings moved back into expansion territory in March. The official Chinese manufacturing PMI rose to 50.5, up from 49.2 in February, and beating the Bloomberg consensus of 49.6, while the Caixin manufacturing PMI came in at 50.8, also up from 49.9 in February and beating the consensus expectation of 50.0. Details of the PMI survey report...

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Oil prices supported by OPEC+ cuts…before market risks being flooded again

Increased US export capacity would probably force OPEC+ to change its current tactics. After last year’s collapse, oil prices have found support since the beginning of this year for several reasons. At this stage, the main question is whether the recent surge in prices is sustainable or whether we will see renewed oil price volatility, with the possibility of a repeat of 2018. The recent release of the International...

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Q&A on European Parliament elections

European Parliament elections, to be held between 23 and 26 of May, will be a key political event in Europe. However, we expect limited short-term impact, given the European Parliament’s limited ability to set Brussels’ agenda. European Parliament (EP) elections will be a key political event in Europe, a form of ‘midterm election’ in which the electorates can state their approval or disapproval of their...

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