Category Archives: Adolfo Laurenti

Five Themes of the Week

The disappointing employment report in the U.S. came at the end of an eventful week in the global economy. Central bankers met and took action in Europe, but held their ground in Japan. Political risks heightened in the United Kingdom, while they appeared to abate in Ukraine

Global Economy: Five Themes of the Week

Europeans like myself traditionally spend the third week of August vacationing at the beach. Even here in Chicago, one week ahead of the reopening of schools, the atmosphere has been decidedly relaxed. For those of us on the economic desk, though, the past few days were not without interesting developments: •    Monetary policy became much [...]

Eurozone Growth Stalls in 2nd Quarter

The combined GDP for countries in the Eurozone flattened out during the second quarter. At the same time, inflation continued to slow. Growth in the two “pillars” of the euro currency area, Germany and France, declined. Today’s data show a much weaker core but offer some signs of relief

Five Themes of the Week

Central banks took the center stage, with policy setting meetings taking place at the European Central Bank (ECB), the Bank of England (BoE) and the Bank of Japan (BoJ). In each case, policy makers stayed the course, despite the mounting pressure to act: In the case of the BoE, toward a tightening of monetary conditions

ECB Decision: The Choice of the Glutton, with Nothing Left on the Table

Standing before a smorgasbord of policy options, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, made the choice of the glutton; he chose them all: lower interest rates, expansion of the balance sheet, short-term financing to banks and forward guidance. Short of purchasing sovereign bonds and throwing in the kitchen sink, practically every [...]

Construction Spending Partially Disappoints in April

Construction spending in April rose by 0.2%, a slightly disappointing figure that reflects a standstill in private spending and some modest progress in public construction expenditures. Expectations counted on seasonal improvements and a return to warmer temperatures for a more robust turnaround in activity, which in fact failed to materialize

Industrial Production: Big Picture after Small Revisions

The Federal Reserve’s annual revisions for the index of industrial production and related measures of capacity and capacity utilization are available now. These revisions are usually based on a more accurate reassessment of survey data, as well as refinements in methodology and data collection. Changes are usually small but not inconsequential; oftentimes, small revisions have [...]

Economic Consequences of Crisis in Ukraine

We are optimistic that there will be no further escalation, i.e., it is unlikely that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will move his forces further west into Ukraine beyond the Crimea. The reason is, neither country can afford the political and economic costs of escalation. Our baseline scenario is for a short-lived crisis, the de facto [...]

Russian Troops in Crimea Trigger “Flight To Safety”

A global “flight to safety” is taking place in financial markets since Russia took de facto military control over the Ukrainian southern peninsula of Crimea over the weekend. Equities were hit in Asia, Europe and emerging markets overnight, while Treasury bonds rallied. Financial markets in Russia were hit even harder. Oil prices have also risen, [...]

Argentina Falters; Emerging Markets under Pressure

Emerging market currencies are under pressure after a worsening in the financial situation in Argentina, where the peso suffered severe losses in the last couple of days. As of Friday morning, tensions have extended to other developing countries, with steep declines registered for the Turkish lira and the South African rand. The risk at the [...]