US and Europe

Trump trade troubles

Wednesday September 19, 2018 Merewyn Groom
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On Tuesday morning (NZ time) the Trump administration announced further tariffs in the escalating trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. China has stated they intend to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods.

California fires

Tuesday August 14, 2018 Merewyn Groom

As a volunteer firefighter I keep an eye on wildfire related events around the world. In thinking about the Californian fires I’m struck by the similarities and differences to the Wellington bushfire situation. In some cases the similarities have led to opposite effects.

Is a trade war coming between the US and China?

Friday February 23, 2018 Hugh Dixon
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In January 2018 the US imposed a 30 percent tariff on imports of solar panels. Also, measures to restrict the import of steel and aluminium is being considered by the White House on the basis that the imports are a threat to US national security...

Bond market risks to global economic outlook

Monday February 12, 2018 Julian Williams
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“Brighter prospects, optimistic markets, challenges ahead” is the headline of the 22 January release of the World Economic Outlook by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Global growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019 have been revised upward from the previous quarter by 0.2 percentage points (pp) to 3.9 percent. Half of the 0.2 pp comes from expected economic stimulation from United States tax policy changes, raising United States real gross domestic product 1.2 percent by 2020, with increased imports and a widening current account deficit.

US Federal Reserve commences asset sale

Tuesday September 26, 2017 Hugh Dixon
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The US Federal Reserve announced in late September 2017 that it will begin one of the largest mass sales in its history. The US Federal Reserve is seeking to reduce the US$4.5 trillion in American security assets it currently holds

US GDP and Employment

Wednesday June 21, 2017 Hugh Dixon
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In the year to March 2017, the US economy grew by 1.9 percent.  As shown in the figure below this is down slightly on the 2 percent growth seen in December 2016, and below the average growth across the last five years of 2.1 percent. 

Brexit: Stock markets sanguine, but a rough ride is still likely

Monday July 04, 2016 Mark Cox

The immediate reaction of pundits in the financial world to the Brexit vote in the UK was one of shock, quickly followed by near-panic. Share prices had been buoyant just before the vote, in the belief that a Remain result was assured. But they fell sharply on the day the result was announced, and they fell further on the following trading day. The general view was that Brexit would lead to significant economic disruption and, in all probability, recession.

Greece in turmoil

Monday July 06, 2015 Masrur Alam Khan

On Sunday (05/07/2015) the people of Greece voted ‘No’ to a referendum seeking their support for a debt agreement proposed by their ‘troika’ of creditors that includes the European Union’s (EU’s) executive arm (the European Commission), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

US Economy – picking up steam?

Tuesday September 10, 2013 Hugh Dixon

The release of three major US economic indicators over the last two weeks, are all pointing to the fact the US economy has been picking up steam since March 2013. If the US economy can sustain this stronger growth over the coming year than the US economy will be in good shape to sustain strong growth over the coming years. A strong growing US economy will go a long way in helping the global economy; including New Zealand’s economy to grow at a higher level.

US Employment – Showing strong growth in June 2013

Thursday July 11, 2013 Hugh Dixon

In July 2013, the United States of America’s (US) Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) has released data on the US’s employment and unemployment for the June 2013 month. In the month of June 2013, America’s non-farm employment increased by 195,000 to 144 million, after a 195,000 increase in the May 2013 month.

US employment growing slowly in March 2013

Monday April 15, 2013 Hugh Dixon

While employment rose in March 2013, it was the smallest increase in monthly employment since June 2012, according to the released data on the US’s employment and unemployment for the March 2013 month by the United States of America’s (US) Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) The average monthly increase over the year to March 2013 was 159,000.

Cyprus Bailout – The Right Decision?

Tuesday March 26, 2013 Hugh Dixon

On Monday 25th March (NZ time), the Cypriot Government along with the heads of the European Union (EU), the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, came to an agreement about how Cyprus would raise the €5.8 billion from its banking sector.

US Federal Reserve announce stimulus targets

Friday December 14, 2012 Hugh Dixon

On 12th December 2012 the US Federal Reserve announced, for the first time, its explicit stimulus thresholds. The Federal Reserve announced that it will hold official rates at 0.25 percent for as long as the US unemployment rate was above 6.5 percent, and that inflation two years out is no more than 0.5 percent above the Federal Reserve 2 percent long-run goal.

US continues to struggle

Monday May 14, 2012

The news out of the United States continues to be bad on all fronts. Unemployment sits at 8.1 percent (2.6m job losses in the last four months, and 851,000 in February alone). Even the usual productivity gains are absent, down 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter. And for the first time (yes, the first time) in the current downturn, the United States is in a technical recession, having suffered two consecutive quarters of shrinkage. All of which tells us the irrelevance of such word games and technicalities. House sales continue to drop (-48 percent on last January), and with interest rates at 0-0.25 percent, other measures will have to work.

Nothing positive in the US

Monday May 14, 2012

Try as you might, it’s hard to find positive news out of the United States. We could try and put a positive spin on the numbers: the number of jobless increased in May, but by half the average number in the previous six months.

Eurozone - a mixed story

Monday May 14, 2012

The refinancing rate in the Eurozone was held steady at 4% in September, in line with decisions by monetary authorities in most major economies.  This was to counter the jitters caused by the subprime debacle.  This was in an environment, where, just weeks before the 6 September meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB), most economists had been predicting a 25 basis point rise.