When the fourth quarter Euro forecast was written in late-September 2018, there were widespread reports that the Italian government had reached an agreement with the European Commission over its budget deficit targets. The forecast was finalized on September 26, shipped off and sent through the editorial and compliance processes in order to be disseminated…then on September 27, the Italian government reneged on its agreement. An archetype of why timing can matter more than being right: this was a material development; had the Italian government reneged just one day earlier, the previous Euro forecast would not have been as optimistic as it was.
Euro Outlook Ominous
Now, heading into first quarter of 2019, even as the Italian government appears to have actually reached an agreement this time around after months of tense negotiations, it’s difficult to feel that troubles will fade and storm clouds dissipate. If anything, there is evidence building to suggest that there was a missed window of opportunity at the end of 2018, setting 2019’s open as a potential ominous period for the Euro.
--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Currency Strategist