FocusEconomics Insights - Latest Posts
July 22, 2015
Central bankers do not have an easy job at the best of times. They must work in a world of constant yet random shocks, imperfect models and political pressures, while trying to hit a moving inflationary target six months to a year down the line. All of this while working with a rather limited arsenal. Since 2008, central banks (CB) have used the interest rate as the primary tool to influence economic policy. Interest rates have approached, or in some cases even exceeded, the zero lower bound, with no sign of definite recovery. Drastic times call for drastic measures and central bankers have resorted to so-called unconventional monetary policy in order to provide additional monetary accommodation as a last resort. One such unconventional method termed “forward guidance” has been employed in one form or another by CBs around the world.
July 14, 2015
More than a year and a half has passed since the Chinese Communist Party's leaders last published a detailed blue print for overhauling the country’s economic model. Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang emphasized that China had to transition from an economic system, mostly based on investment, manufacturing and exports, to a model centered on consumption and services. The ultimate goal of the Xi-Li administration was to rebalance the economy toward a more sustainable long-term growth trajectory.
July 13, 2015
FocusEconomics Economist Teresa Kersting was recently interviewed by online Swiss financial television channel Dukascopy TV, focusing on Germany and its economic outlook in the near future.
The interview began with a discussion on the fall in German factory orders, which were slightly below what was forecast for the month of May. When asked what the significance of the contraction was for German manufacturing Teresa responded that the Factory Order Index is typically volatile and that the modest contraction of 0.2% was not cause for alarm. Strong growth numbers from April coupled with the increase in demand for orders from outside the EU made up for the shrinking numbers from within the EU and actually “painted a rather positive picture for German Manufacturing.”
July 7, 2015
The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is the goal of regional economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Set to launch by 31 December 2015, the AEC will endeavor to move the region toward a more globally-competitive single market and production base with free flows of goods, services, skilled labor, investments and capital across its 10 member states.
[INFOGRAPHIC] Is Sub-Saharan Africa headed for the worst economic performance since the 2009 financial crisis?
June 3, 2015
Our panel of economic analysts cut their projections for the Sub-Saharan Africa region for the 6th consecutive month as external headwinds weigh on growth. Meanwhile, inflation reached an 8-month high and our panel projects that it will average 7.5% in 2015.
May 25, 2015
2014 was a tough year for Brazil politically and economically -- the country just managed to cross the finish line at the end of the year with positive growth. However, six months on Latin America’s largest economy appears to be stagnating. In March of this year, industrial production continued its downward spiral from the previous month and shortly thereafter in April manufacturing PMI followed suit plunging to a four-year low. To combat the effects of their floundering economy, Brazil’s government has focused on fiscal austerity and boosting business confidence.
May 13, 2015
We are pleased to announce the launch of our new Sub-Saharan Africa report. This report on 13 economies in Sub-Saharan Africa is the most comprehensive in-depth collection of macroeconomic data and analysis for the region available on the market. In fact, until now finding data on many economies in SSA had been a difficult if not nearly impossible task for many of our clients. The inagural edition of the Sub-Saharan Africa Consensus Forecast is available to download now.
“At FocusEconomics, we have seen the rising importance of Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy and more clients than ever are seeking reliable data and analysis on this region, which had previously been rather difficult to come by. We are pleased to announce that we are meeting the rising demand for economic intelligence for one of the world’s most dynamic regions,” said Arne Pohlman, Chief Economist at FocusEconomics.
May 7, 2015
The European Commission just released its spring 2015 European Economic Forecast. We compared the Commission’s forecasts for the key economies to our own Consensus Forecasts from a panel of 30+ economic institutions. See how the forecasts stack up in our interactive infographic:
May 6, 2015
Dukascopy TV recently produced a piece covering economic developments in South Africa as labor strikes and power outages, which have plagued the country over the last year, have had a significant negative impact on its economy. Low oil prices thus far in 2015 that should have positively affected the economy under normal circumstances were offset by the aforementioned power supply shortages, which have hurt manufacturing production. Business confidence is also down, hitting a three month low in the month of March. On top of it all, the recent xenophobic violence that was captured on camera and shared across the globe has not helped matters. Economist Dirina Mançellari spoke with Dukascopy to provide analysis on the situation.
April 9, 2015
It has been said, that aside from hockey, real estate is Canada’s national sport. But it is not all fun and games. A number of sources have claimed that the Canadian housing market, particularly in large Canadian cities, is overvalued, and has been for several years. An overvaluation implies an imbalance with a market correction down the line. Such an imbalance could have serious destabilizing effects on the Canadian economy and potentially the global economy depending upon the severity of the overvaluation and abruptness of the revaluation. While most analysts agree that an overvaluation does exist, no one seems able to agree on by how much. Estimates are varied; recent estimates from January have ranged from a modest 7% by the IMF to a whopping 60% by Deutsche Bank.
Get a sample report showing our regional, country and commodities data and analysis.
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