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European Data Doesn't Clearly Reflect Economic Future

European Data Doesn't Clearly Reflect Economic Future

(Dollar Photo Club)

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Monday, 05 September 2016 11:42 AM Current | Bio | Archive


When we look back at Friday’s U.S. labor market data, it appears the numbers have been subject to seasonal distortions, which is of course nothing abnormal.

Nevertheless, taking the trend data into consideration, which is what any sensible monetary policy maker should do, the pace of job creation in the United States does seem to have accelerated as this year has progressed.

So far, the trend of third quarter job creation was notable higher than it was during the first half of the year, although be it on the basis of current data, which will be revised several times in the months ahead.

In the meantime, we will have to digest the mass of initiatives and new policies that have come from the great gathering of G-20 leaders in China. It should take all of three seconds as the sum total of initiatives and new policies was nil. There was a lot of rhetoric and a few diplomatic issues but substantive multilateral international cooperation was notable by its absence.

To put it simple: “The first G-20 leaders meeting on Chinese soil may be remembered for just that: the first meeting on Chinese soil.”

That said, German Chancellor Merkel was probably glad being at the weekend mini-break as her home State’s (Mecklenburg-West Pomerania) local elections saw the right-wing populist, the anti-migrant, anti-Islam and Eurosceptic political party Alternative for Germany (German: Alternative für Deutschland, AfD) outperform her own Christian Democratic party.

This was the very first time that this has happened while the economic implications of a German local election result are limited of themselves.

Nevertheless there are also those in the investment community searching for a popular uprising against the European Union (EU) as an entity who may seek to extrapolate from this into a wider set of concerns.

In the aftermath of the British vote and with the prospect of a re-run of the presidential vote in Austria on October 2 and various upcoming very important polls in Italy, France and Germany over the next 12 months or so, this is an issue that probably may add some risk premium to European markets, which investors who have euro-related investments in their portfolios could do well not to overlook.

Besides that, we got a rather disapointing Markit Eurozone Composite PMI survey, which data came in at a 19-month low as German economic growth slowed.

We’ll have to wait until Thursday to know if that will have any impact on the ECB’s monetary policy decision that will be taken that day.

Anyway, ECB President Mario Draghi’s press conference could become an interesting one.

We’ll see.

The UK service sector sentiment survey showed a nice rebound in August, which is worth paying attention to given the manufacturing’s sector recovery from its initial shock reaction to the UK referendum result.

Of course, there is always the tendency of sentiment data to overreact to economic fundamentals. Investors should not overlook the fact this is supposed to be a relative measure comparing the current to the previous month and the fact that the economic consequences that the UK EU exit are median term rather than short term.

The adjustments mean that these data do not, perhaps, tell us very much about the realities of the UK economic situation. 

As John Ortberg said: “Prudence is foresight and farsightedness. It’s the ability to make immediate decisions on the basis of their longer-range effects.” 

Maybe not such a bad idea to keep that in mind, especially over the coming months.

Etienne "Hans" Parisis is a bank economist who has advised global billionaires and governments on the financial markets and international investments. To read more of his articles, GO HERE NOW.

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Of course, there is always the tendency of sentiment data to overreact to economic fundamentals.
eu, uk, investors, data
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2016-42-05
Monday, 05 September 2016 11:42 AM
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