William De Vijlder

Group Chief Economist BNP Paribas

Articles written by William De Vijlder (1,038 articles)

What happens after the peak?

The euro area Economic Sentiment Index is at its highest level since January 2001 and the growth outlook is robust. However, the historical experience of the ESI once the peak had been passed is quite diverse: weaker data not only reflect but also contribute to an increase in uncertainty.

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ECB: dovishly confident

The decisions of the Governing Council were in line with expectations but markets nevertheless reacted positively. In the spring of 2018, ECB watchers will increasingly focus on what comes after QE. On that matter, important questions were left unanswered during the press conference.

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The dots drive the dollar

The dots drive the dollar

The behaviour of Wall Street hasn’t exactly been exciting in recent weeks. The big move came on Wednesday 20th. It was all about the dots, the indications given by the FOMC members about the expected path for the federal funds rate.

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at low tide

Metaphoric market musings

Two friends sit on a beach somewhere on the French Atlantic coast… With this fictitious story the reader is invited to spot the metaphors often used in economic and market comments.

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The right timing of structural reforms

The importance of structural policy is unquestionable. This was clearly explained by Mario Draghi at the ECB Conference in Sintra. However, their impact not only depends on the timing but also on the types of measures, the credibility and the interaction with other policy measures.

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Eurozone: Blinded by the light?

Eurozone economic growth is robust. This dynamism is shared amongst its members. However, important structural differences remain. The favourable cyclical environment calls for an economic policy to boost potential GDP growth and strengthen the resilience.

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ECB: Sintra’s syntax

The market reaction to the introductory speech of Mario Draghi at the ECB conference in Sintra was strong
This reflects a high degree of unease about the prospect of a policy normalisation.

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Monetary tightening: Doomed if you do, doomed if you don’t ?

Monetary policy normalisation is a balancing act: tighten too early could trigger a recession, hike too late could mean an inflation overshoot and a need to raise rates more aggressively. The reaction of financial markets adds to the complexity of the balancing act. Different factors have made the job of central banks more difficult in recent years.

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Endogenous risks loom on the economic horizon

Replace ‘blue sky’ with ‘robust growth’ and ‘umbrellas’ with ‘economic policy instruments’ and you have a description of the global economic environment: robust growth but, if a downturn would come, very little manoeuvring room for fiscal and monetary policies to stimulate growth. All the more reason to keep a watchful eye on the horizon, and to prepare for clouds to appear.

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