Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Euro Area Crisis Hits Confidence in the Core

by Rebecca Wilder Euro Area Crisis Hits Confidence in the Core France’s INSEE business confidence, Germany’s Ifo business climate, and theNational Bank of Belgium’s business survey demonstrate ongoing infection as the Euro area debt crisis hits business expectations in the core. Through July, business confidence in Germany and France continued to slide while that in […]

Wages driven down, now relative to market you’re over paid!

Update: spelling corrected in title. I heard and then went to look see that Caterpillar is working hard to control it’s costs. “Despite earning a record $4.9 billion profit last year and projecting even better results for 2012, the company is insisting on a six-year wage freeze and a pension freeze for most of the […]

Euro Area Imbalances Are a Symptom of the Broader Global Imbalances

by Rebecca Wilder Euro Area Imbalances Are a Symptom of the Broader Global Imbalances Every year I travel to Germany to visit my in-laws, which is where I am now. Given the extra time on my hands, I’ve now mulled over a June 2012 NY Times opinion piece by Gunnar Beck. Beck displays an interesting […]

Confidence Indicators Deteriorated Significantly This Week

by Rebecca Wilder Confidence Indicators Deteriorated Significantly This Week This week national confidence surveys rolled in with just one story: the economic infection in Europe is spreading. Business confidence indicators in France and Germany declined 1.1% and 1.6%, respectively, in the month of June. In Italy consumer confidence hit another record low since 1996 of 85.3 after […]

Exchange rate pegs getting a new look?

This article at Voxeu reminded me that exchange rate pegs might come back in vogue. Voxeu has an article on the “trilemma” of ’emerging’ economies: Do sterilised interventions allow countries a way around the fundamental trilemma of international finance by providing them with a means of systematically affecting exchange rates independent of their monetary policies? […]

German Construction Is Looking a Bit ‘Bubbly’

by Rebecca Wilder German Construction Is Looking a Bit ‘Bubbly’ Eurostat released its volume-adjusted estimate of construction for April (release here, .pdf). Over the month, Euro area construction declined 2.75% following a large 11.41% monthly increase in March. Across the countries that make monthly data available (8 countries total), Slovenia and Portugal saw the largest […]

Euro Area Inflation: A Very Slow Burn

by Rebecca Wilder Euro Area Inflation: A Very Slow Burn Euro area consumer prices increased at a 2.4% annual pace in May, down 0.2 ppt from the 2.6% pace in April. Core inflation fell to 1.8% in May from 1.9% in April. Headline and core inflation peaked in the fourth quarter of 2011, and disinflation […]

Euro Area ‘Hard Data’ Catching Up with the ‘Soft Data’ – Industrial Production

by Rebecca Wilder Euro Area ‘Hard Data’ Catching Up with the ‘Soft Data’ – Industrial Production Euro area industrial production (ex construction) declined 0.8% in the month of April. Across the major sectors, the largest decline occurred in capital goods; however, the trend in consumer and intermediate goods is worse than that of capital goods. […]

The Italian Economy Is Sliding

by Rebecca Wilder The Italian Economy Is Sliding Today I.Stat released the breakdown of Q1 2012 real GDP for the Italian economy. Weak external demand plus a precipitous drop in private sector spending dragged the headline real gross domestic product (GDP) 0.8% over the quarter (3.2% at an annualized rate). The highlights are the following: […]

Tax cuts for jobs. NOT! Another tax cut that is not paying out

First a qualification. I am basing the following on info I found on the net. If the info is wrong, then I stand corrected as to who is or is not paying but not as to what happens when a large entity does not pay. The specific city and company are used purely for example […]