William De Vijlder

Group Chief Economist BNP Paribas

EcoTV - 04/11/2018 - The flattening US yield curve, not a source of concern yet

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Eurozone: all together now?

In 2017 the growth acceleration has been pretty much shared across eurozone members. The cross-country dispersion of cyclical performance indicators has narrowed compared to the cyclical peak but has increased in 2017. A favourable cyclical environment is a good opportunity to undertake policies aimed at narrowing structural dispersion.

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EcoTV – 2018: vigilantly confident

Real interest rates are still low, creating a virtuous circle that is creating jobs. Higher household revenues is fuelling consumption and encouraging companies to invest. World trade is also picking up, and we have finally reached a configuration in which all countries are experiencing mutually beneficial, self-sustaining recoveries.

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Eurozone growth: flat out

The Markit PMI for the manufacturing sector as well as the composite indicator saw another increase in December, with the former reaching a record high. This and the expected evolution of the drivers of final demand point to ongoing robust growth.

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Growth: 2018, the comfort and challenge of further normalisation

Growth in 2017 has surprised to the upside. The global, self-sustained upswing and a still accommodative monetary environment should lead to even faster growth in 2018. The prospect of further monetary policy normalisation should be welcomed, but it also poses a challenge for markets that have become accustomed to very low policy rates

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ECB forward guidance: well-intended vagueness

The ECB is upbeat on the growth outlook but considers that inflation remains subdued. Nevertheless, it still expects inflation to rise to 1.7% in 2020. The refusal to label this as being sufficiently close to its objective reflects a cautious attitude as well as an effort of being vague for a good reason.

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QE, Dr. Pangloss, Dr. Jekyll, Mr Hyde

The ECB’s Financial Stability Review expresses concern about increased risk-taking behaviour in financial markets. Such behaviour increases the sensitivity of markets to unexpected developments in the economy. Accommodative monetary policy is a balancing act when growth is robust, inflation low and asset valuations rich.

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Internalising climate change externalities: leading by example

Climate change and climate-related events can have profound consequences for society, the economy and business. Coping with these externalities does not depend solely on government initiative. The decision of the private sector to take them into account when buying or producing—internalising them—can make a big difference.

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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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William De Vijlder

About William De Vijlder

Group Chief Economist BNP Paribas
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