So far the ECB has not responded to the disinflationary risks building in the euro area. Some Governing Council members dismissed the calls for action from numerous economists, referring to the analysts’ reports as the “Anglo-Saxon” irrational fea…
Today Credit Suisse confirmed our earlier assessment that the ECB will be shifting toward a looser monetary stance in the near future
It may be something symbolic such as a small rate cut or possibly a more substantial move such as a new LTRO program (discussed here), but the European Central Bank will be forced to loosen monetary policy in the near future. Here are the reasons…
By William K. Black On January 19, 2014 I posted a column entitled “Deflation: The Failed Macroeconomic Paradigm Plumbs New Depths of Self-Parody” that discussed the insanity of the Eurozone’s approach to “the threat of deflation.” The EU’s troika cannot … Continue reading →
The Euro area inflation indicators are pushing into dangerous territory. The core CPI measure in particular is trending sharply lower. The ECB has so far been taking a “wait and see” attitude, though some on the Governing Council are apparently getting concerned.
In spite of a number of positive economic indicators out of the Eurozone (see example), credit growth remains the area’s Achilles’ heel. The latest private sector loan growth aggregate from the ECB shows an annual decline of 1.8% (adjusted for sales and securitization – see press release). Here is what it looks like for the area’s households and corporations.
As discussed back in September (see post), the ECB may be forced to take further action in an attempt to reignite the area’s recovery. The central bank’s consolidated balance sheet is continuing to decline and many are blaming this reduced liquidity fo…
The euro area may be facing renewed deflationary pressures. Inflation measures are now near multi-year lows and falling.Source: Investing.comThe area’s already uneven economic recovery has stalled in a number of countries. We’ve seen the French GDP gro…
Germany’s trade figures continue to surprise to the upside. The latest merchandise trade number came in at €18.9bn, while according to Econoday, economists were expecting €15.5bn.
The question of course is how does Germany do this given that it is competing directly with Japan in global markets. And Japan has had one key advantage – a weakening currency, which makes its product cheaper. The chart below shows the value of the euro in terms of yen (EUR/JPY), with the euro now at recent high against the yen.
Is there a different product mix between Germany and Japan? Certainly. But according to CIBC the product overlap with Japan is the highest for Germany vs. other Eurozone nations. Machinery, electronics and cars represent a substantial component of both nations’ exports.
So how does Germany compete so successfully in spite of this currency disadvantage? The answer seems to be that Germany can compete on brand strength even at higher prices.
CIBC: – The [euro] strength against the yen will persist, a challenge largely for German exporters as they compete closely in areas such as autos and electronics. However, with many consumers prepared to pay a premium for German engineering, its exports are often less sensitive to price changes.
Indeed when compared with its Eurozone peers, German exporters boast the least price-sensitive merchandise. For example, a 10-20% higher price on a high-end German car is less likely to motivate someone to switch to a Japanese car – particularly in markets like China.
Going forward, German firms will be getting some tailwinds from Mario Draghi’s accommodative monetary policy. The ECB overnight rate is now at record low. That should limit the euro’s appreciation and provide some price stability for German exporters.
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