Posted by hkarner - 31. Juli 2014
Source: The Wall Street Journal
EU Jobless Rate Falls to its Lowest Level Since September 2012
LONDON—The annual rate of inflation in the euro zone fell further below the European Central Bank’s target in July, and to its lowest level since October 2009.
The decline is a setback to the ECB, which in June launched a series of measures designed to boost growth and start to move the inflation rate back toward its goal of just below 2.0%. It is too soon for those measures to have had an impact, but the further drop in the rate at which consumer prices are increasing underlines the severity of the threat confronting policy makers.
Eurostat said consumer prices were just 0.4% higher than in July 2013, as the inflation rate slowed from 0.5% in June. The inflation rate has now been below 1.0% for 10 straight months.
Figures released by the European Union’s statistics agency also showed that the jobless rate fell to 11.5% in June from 11.6% in May, reaching its lowest level since September 2012.
The number of people without work fell by 152,000 during June, leaving 18.4 million unemployed.
That was the largest month-to-month decline in the number of jobless since December 2013.
The decline in the inflation rate is unlikely to prompt an immediate response from the ECB, which has said it may take as much as a year for the measures announced June 5 to take full effect.
The central bank had expected the inflation rate to remain around its June level of 0.5% for some months to come.
Those measures included a cut in the central bank’s main interest rates, as well as a new program of cheap, medium-term loans to banks that are intended to boost their funding of businesses. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Getaggt mit: Euro, Inflation, Unemployment, WSJ | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 27. Juli 2014
It seems to me that this failure of the economists to guide policy more successfully is closely connected with their propensity to imitate as closely as possible the procedures of the brilliantly successful physical sciences – an attempt which in our field may lead to outright error. It is an approach which has come to be described as the “scientistic” attitude – an attitude which, as I defined it some thirty years ago, “is decidedly unscientific in the true sense of the word, since it involves a mechanical and uncritical application of habits of thought to fields different from those in which they have been formed.
– Friedrich Hayek, from the introduction to his Nobel Prize acceptance speech in 1974 Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Getaggt mit: Economist, Ferguson, GDP, Gross Output, Growth, Hanke, Hayek, Inflation, Krugman, Mauldin | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 22. Juli 2014
Posted on July 22, 2014 by iMFdirect
By John Bluedorn and Shengzu Wang
Since the financial crisis, the euro area current account, made up mostly of the trade balances of the individual countries, has moved from rough balance into a clear surplus. But the underlying rebalancing across economies within the euro area has been highly asymmetric, with some debtors, like Greece, Ireland, and Spain, seeing large current account improvements (sometimes into surplus), while creditors, like Germany and the Netherlands, have basically maintained their surpluses (Chart 1). A set of new staff papers look at the drivers of the improvements in debtor current accounts and the persistence of creditor current accounts, and whether these developments are a cause for concern.
A turning point in competitiveness?
Many debtor economies have seen their unit labor costs decline, improving competitiveness and boosting their current accounts. We looked in detail at recent competitiveness gains in euro area debtor economies, finding them to be largely driven by declining unit labor costs (Tressel and others, 2014 and Tressel and Wang, 2014). But Greece and Ireland’s labor cost declines have been due to a roughly equal mix of declining wages and employment, while Spain’s has been due to declining employment (Chart 2). In other words, the bulk of competitiveness improvements in debtor economies has been accompanied by declining domestic demand and rising unemployment. This raises questions about the durability of the current account improvements in these economies: when domestic demand recovers in these economies, will current account deficits re-emerge? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Getaggt mit: current account balance, Euro, IMF, Inflation | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 14. Juli 2014
A very smart analysis. Presents the alternative of Overt Money Financing, which has been brought by us into the discussion since 4 years. (hfk)
Richard Wood, (Australian macroeconomist) 13 July 2014, voxeu.
Richard Wood is a private consultant working on macroeconomics
The Global Crisis triggered a series of medium-term policy changes. This column reviews the effectiveness of some of these monetary, fiscal policies, and internal devaluation policies. Policymakers anchored their strategic thinking in paradigms that became inapplicable to the new problems. An alternative set of macroeconomic policies is suggested.
Interrelated economic problems
Current high public debt burdens are due to three main forces:
- Bond-financed fiscal stimulus measures applied in response to the Global Crisis (and the earlier crisis in Japan);
- Lower revenues and higher welfare payments due to sluggish growth and higher unemployment, particularly in countries that adopted strong austerity measures;
- Measures adopted to bail out banks.
In some countries, the deflation tendency is most probably due to inadequate final demand and falling wages. If demand was adequate, but supply was deficient, rising inflation would by now be the major problem.
Liquidity traps ̶ situations where lenders cannot find borrowers to lend available surplus money to ̶ should have provided a flashing red light. Policymakers should have given greater attention to resolving, or by-passing, the liquidity traps with new economic policies.
The loss of trade competitiveness is evident and most sustaining in Eurozone periphery countries, reflecting the combination of a common currency and widely different cost and price trajectories across Eurozone countries.
Another pertinent problem is the high unemployment, which is not due to excessive growth in real unit wage costs, as profitability has risen to record levels in many countries, and real wages are generally falling and not rising in afflicted countries. This suggests that the unemployment problem is not of the ‘classical’ variety (excessive real wage costs), but predominantly of the ‘Keynesian demand deficiency’ variety.
We will focus on four likely policy mistakes. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Getaggt mit: austerity, Deflation, Finanzkrise, Inflation, Overt Money Financing, QE, Regulieren, Stimulus, voxeu, Wood | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 11. Juli 2014
By Charles Gave
July 8, 2014
Inflation is a much misunderstood phenomenon. Most people assume that a CPI rate of 10% means that most prices are rising by a similar amount. In reality, some prices may be falling even while others soar. This matters because price variations affect socio-economic groups in very different ways. The rich tend not to be impacted unduly by price hikes for “necessities” such as food, rent and fuel, while the impact on the poor is to slash that portion of their income left over for discretionary spending.
A sharp rise in the price of staples imposes an effective tax on low earners, resulting in recession conditions for firms that sell to them. The broad picture in the US may be of low interest rates and rising real average incomes, but the poor have seen their real incomes slashed since 2008 and with scant subsequent improvement. The poor also own few assets. Aside from the inequity of such a situation, the macro concern is that the erosion of real incomes creeps up the earning scale so that middle earners eventually see an erosion of living standards. At some point, the decline in activity created by a fall in average incomes will lead to a recession.
I have tested this postulate by building a US inflation index comprised of price variations for oil, food and rent. This can be seen in the chart below where rent is weighted at 50%, food at 30% and energy at 20%. I term this price measure the Walmart Index since it is where most low earners tend to shop. The chart shows the relationship since 1934 between the US CPI and my adapted measure of the price index most relevant to the lives of the least well-off in America. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in weitere Artikel | Getaggt mit: capitalism, Gave, GaveKal, Inflation, Mauldin, Poverty | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 27. Juni 2014
Source: The Economist
FEW pieces of economic data matter more at the moment than inflation. Markets follow the statistics obsessively, looking for clues to how economies are doing and how central banks will respond. Rich-world inflation figures are diverging. In May the euro-zone inflation rate sank to just 0.5%, leading to speculation that the European Central Bank might begin printing money to buy up government bonds, lest prices begin falling. In Britain, inflation tumbled to 1.5% in May, down from 1.8% in April, even as house prices soared to new heights. In America, by contrast, inflation jumped to 2.1% in May by one measure, leading to fears that the Federal Reserve was waiting too long to raise its interest rates (though by another measure it held lower, at just 1.6%). What exactly is inflation and how is it measured?
The notion of inflation is clear enough: it is the rate of change in the level of prices in an economy. More specifically, it is a change in the value of money. When there is more money about—more of it coursing through an economy as giddy consumers hit the shops—bulging supply pushes down the value of each unit of money (each dollar or pound) and more of them are needed to buy things. When consumers hold their money more tightly, however, each unit of money is more valuable and prices fall, a phenomenon called deflation. This relationship between the flow of money and changes in prices is why central banks focus so intently on inflation. Reliable inflation figures are critical for other reasons as well: to compare American incomes in 1970 with those in 2010, for example, one must know how the value of a dollar changed over that time. And contracts or pensions often need to be adjusted to take account of inflation, to ensure that the sums involved do not shrink over time in real terms. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Getaggt mit: Economist, Inflation | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 23. Juni 2014
22.06.2014, 12:26 Uhr, handelsblatt.com
Daniel Hupfer sieht im Stresstest der europäischen Banken den Knackpunkt für die geringe Inflation. Denn solange Stabilität der Geldhäuser getestet wird, werden diese sich hüten durch Kredite in Bedrängnis zu geraten.
An dem umfangreichen geldpolitischen Maßnahmenpaket, das die EZB vor 14 Tagen beschlossen hat, wird insbesondere in Deutschland heftige Kritik geübt. Im Kern geht es dabei um zwei Dinge: Zum einen sei die Geldpolitik der EZB unangemessen, da sich die wirtschaftliche Lage bereits verbessere und die Gefahr einer Deflation gering sei beziehungsweise gar nicht existiere.
Zum anderen seien die beschlossenen Maßnahmen wirkungslos und sogar schädlich, weil die deutschen Sparer „enteignet“ und nur die Bildung von spekulativen Blasen gefördert würden. Wir halten die erneute geldpolitische Lockerung durch die EZB dagegen durchaus für gerechtfertigt, denn einerseits weicht die derzeitige Inflationsrate für den Euroraum mit 0,5 Prozent für Mai 2014 von der EZB-Zielgröße „unter aber nahe bei zwei Prozent“ deutlich ab und das vergleichsweise moderate Wachstum des realen Bruttoinlandsprodukts in diesem Jahr wird in nächster Zeit kaum reichen, um einen stärkeren Preisanstieg auszulösen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Getaggt mit: Banken, ECB, Handelsblatt, Hupfer, Inflation, Stresstest | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 20. Juni 2014
Danke an H.G.
Wie hoch sollten Zinsen in einer gesunden Wirtschaft sein? Im Idealfall vier Prozent. Eine Reihe von Notenbankern will sich von Nullzinsen nicht verabschieden und gleich noch an der Inflation drehen. Von Jon Hilsenrath (WSJ.de) und Holger Zschäpitz
Posted in Artikel | Getaggt mit: Fed, Inflation, Interest, USA, Welt, WSJ | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 17. Juni 2014
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Other Central Banks Likely to Follow ECB’s Lead by Providing Fresh Stimulus
The annual rate of inflation in the 28-member European Union fell to levels seen in the wake of the 2009 global recession, raising expectations other central banks in the bloc will follow the European Central Bank in providing fresh stimulus to their economies.
The EU’s statistics agency Eurostat said Monday that the annual rate of inflation in the broader EU—which includes 10 countries that don’t use the euro—fell to 0.6% in May from 0.8% in April, its lowest level since October 2009, with the exception of March of this year.
In the 18-member euro zone alone, consumer prices were 0.1% lower than in April, and 0.5% higher than in May 2013, Eurostat said. The figure confirmed the preliminary estimate for the annual rate of inflation released earlier this month and was the lowest annual rate of inflation since November 2009, except for March of this year. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Getaggt mit: ECB, Inflation, Stimulus, WSJ | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hkarner - 5. Juni 2014
von Lukas Bay, handelsblatt.com
05.06.2014, 16:06 Uhr
Die Leitzinsen in der EU sinken auf Rekordtief, der Dax springt über die 10.000 Punkte. Im Interview spricht Professor Olaf Stotz von der Frankfurt School of Finance & Management über die Folgen der Zinsentscheidung.
Olaf Stotz ist seit September 2008 Professor für Asset Management an der Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. Quelle: PR
Handelsblatt: Die EZB senkt den Leitzins auf Rekordtief und erhebt Strafzinsen auf Einlagen. Ein erfolgreiches Rezept, um die Kreditvergabe anzukurbeln?
Olaf Stotz: Die EZB erhofft sich für die Realwirtschaft zwar, dass in der Kreditwirtschaft die Vergabe angekurbelt wird. Das wird durch diesen kleinen Schritt und auch durch die Strafzinsen auf Einlagen aber meiner Einschätzung nach nicht erreicht. Denn letztendlich hängt die Kreditvergabe davon ab, wie gut oder schlecht der Kredit ist. Da muss es in der Realwirtschaft Objekte geben, die sich auch finanzieren lassen Ob die Einlagen bei der EZB nun mit null oder negativ verzinst werden, spielt da keine große Rolle.
In einer ersten Reaktion hat der Euro deutlich an Wert verloren, der Dax hat erstmals die 10.000 Punkte geknackt. Welche Folgen hat der Entscheid für die Finanzwirtschaft?
Auf die Finanzwirtschaft hat die Entscheidung doch deutliche Auswirkungen, weil die Banken ihr Geld tendenziell eher bei der EZB anlegen. Sie werden es allerdings überwiegend nicht in der Realwirtschaft, also in Kredite, sondern an den Kapitalmärkten anlegen. Letztendlich werden die Kurse an den Kapitalmärkten weiter nach oben gedrückt. Dadurch entsteht eine Inflation, wie von der EZB beabsichtigt, aber das ist eine Asset-Inflation, keine reale Inflation. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Posted in Artikel | Getaggt mit: Banken, ECB, Euro, Germany, Inflation, Stotz | Leave a Comment »