Articles written by William De Vijlder (1,010 articles)

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Good time ahead for corporate investment?

Good time ahead for corporate investment? Increase in consensus earnings growth forecasts for the next 12 months points in that direction.

 

The art of negotiating (monetary) curves

“After a long straight, the driver downshifts and brakes slightly before going into a curve. When the curve proves to be tighter than expected, and with the car still cruising at high speeds, the driver hits the brakes harder. The wheels lock and the car skids out of control.” This metaphor seems to fit the challenges currently facing the US Federal Reserve

 

Eurozone: how good can it get?

The eurozone is doing better. In fourth-quarter 2016, there was a real acceleration in both the manufacturing and services sectors. And according to European Commission data, both household confidence and business sentiment have improved strongly since mid-2016.

 
 
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