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Eco Focus

Eco Focus is an aperiodic publication providing up-to-the-minute analysis of a current topic.

US- Prepping the markets for a hike

  • Edition February 16, 2017

    US economic performance is likely to warrant further gradual increases in the federal funds rate. Chair Yellen reiterated her view that "waiting too long to remove accommodation would be unwise, potentially requiring the FOMC to eventually raise rates rapidly, which could risk disrupting financial markets and pushing the economy into recession."

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FOMC: Policy unchanged. No hints on timing of next hike

  • Edition 2 February, 2017

    As widely expected, the FOMC left its monetary policy unchanged with the Fed funds rate target range maintained at 0.5% to 0.75% at its February meeting. The Fed's balance sheet reinvestment policies were also unchanged.

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United kingdom – So ambitious it could prove unrealistic

  • Edition 20 January, 2017

    On 17 January, UK PM Theresa May clarified the broad objectives of her government's plan for the Brexit. The UK will leave the Single Market and the customs union. It will seek a comprehensive free trade agreement with the European Union and ambitious trade deals with third countries. May also promised a parliamentary vote on the final terms of the Brexit.

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ECB: clearly dovish, but how and until when?

  • Edition January 19, 2017

    As expected the ECB maintained a dovish stance, downplaying the relatively high inflation numbers of December, and focussed the speech instead on the low and stalling core inflation rate, and on the downside risks. It restated its asymmetrical forward guidance: on rates – they can go lower but not higher over the medium term; on QE – it can be increased in size and in duration but not reduced.

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Political issues – Where the anger is coming from

  • Edition January 18, 2016

    The issue of populist movements does not stop at elections. In the longer term, it poses the problem of the legitimacy of elites and solutions for reconciling democracy and globalisation. In fact, we have now entered into a political cycle, ie, a point in history where politics has taken over from the economy and is imposing its own rationality. There is no going back: we are seing a transition of both internal and external political equilibrium.

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ECB: from 'work, work, work' to 'words, words, words'

  • Edition January 18, 2017

    The ECB has been in full Barbadian-pop-star mode between September and December 2016: "work, work, work, work, work, Draghi said they have to work…". Now, after the announcement, the explanation and the publication of the legal acts, the relevant committees, the ECB and NCB staff and the Governing Council members can take a break.

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ECB: December's inflation is so overrated

  • Edition January 5, 2017

    Inflation rates in the Eurozone surprised to the upside in December 2016, and we forecast that inflation will continue to rise over the next few months, coming close to 2% before receding below 1.5% during the summer. There have been voices calling for monetary tightening following these inflation figures. Calling for ECB tightening today is to misunderstand the inflation trend, the macroeconomic outlook in the Eurozone, the ECB's mandate and the way the ECB understands its mandate.

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ECB 2017 outlook: take a break Mr Draghi

  • Edition December 21, 2016

    After two and a half years of active and changing monetary policy – ABSPP, CBPP 3, TLTRO I, PSPP, PSPP extension, PSPP expansion, TLTRO II, PSPP reduction, PSPP extension and change in modalities – the ECB has set the conditions for a period of unchanged monetary policy.

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The ECB and the Italian Referendum: within its mandate

  • Edition November 30, 2016
    Since July 2012, the ECB has been seen as the potential saviour of the Eurozone – and especially the weakest part of it – and consequently it has been seen as somewhat of a powerful demiurge creating financial stability and confidence in the currency. As the Italian constitutional referendum approaches there is renewed speculation about what the ECB can, should and will do.

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UK and GBP in times of 'hard Brexit'

  • Edition 4 November 2016

    Fears about 'hard Brexit' have escalated in recent days and that has pushed GBP to fresh multi-year lows. We expect the concerns to linger and lower our GBP forecasts. We expect GBP/USD to finish the year at 1.23 and EUR/GBP at 0.90. Further out, we expect a cautious recovery because we believe that 'hard Brexit' will be avoided and that the UK will able to secure an enhanced free trade agreem ent with the EU in the coming years.

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