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Bank Research Consensus Weekly 03.08.10

Bank Research Consensus Weekly 03.08.10

2010-03-08 07:42:00
Michael Wright, Currency Analyst
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Bank Research

Debating Debtflation

Spyros Andreopoulos, Joachim Fels & Major Pradhan, Global Economics Team, Morgan Stanley

The Greek crisis has brought sovereign debt to the forefront, capturing markets' attention. We think another dimension of the sovereign issue, the inflation risks inherent in high levels of public debt for economies that can print their own currency, is being overlooked by the markets. High levels of public debt in many advanced economies raise the spectre of inflation, in our view: if high debt is deemed undesirable, but the political will for higher taxes and lower spending is lacking, then ‘soft default' through inflation becomes a possibility.

Full Story



FX:  Sterling in Trouble

Arne Lohmann Rasmussen, Chief Analyst, Danske Bank


Sterling has been heavily sold off in the past two weeks. GBP had at one time this week lost more than 5% against the euro in just two weeks. One reason is that the UK political situation is very blurred ahead of the general election that is widely expected in May. The latest poll points to a so-called ‘hung parliament’ with no majority party. The market fears that such a parliament will be unable to get the surging budget deficit under control, which is expected to be a record-high 12.8% of GDP this year.

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On the Road to Singapore

John E. Silvia, Ph.D. Chief Economist, Wachovia

In their most famous “road picture,” Bing Crosby and Bob Hope vow never again to repeat past mistakes and head off to Singapore. Of course, they do repeat their past mistakes and never do get to Singapore. For the U.S. economy the pace of improvement appears maddeningly slow and yet there is improvement.

Employment losses have steadily declined over the past six months. In fact, private sector jobs (ex-construction) have risen over the past two months. There is a cyclical recovery in private sector jobs while the structural problems in real estate limit the recovery. Job gains have also appeared in manufacturing sectors such as machinery, primary metals and electrical equipment. Meanwhile the index of hours worked has risen over the last three months, consistent with sustained economic growth. Combining hours worked and average hourly earnings, our income proxy has broken into positive growth territory. This suggests positive income and therefore spending gains in the months ahead.

Full Story


United States - Employment Market Dodges Severe Snowstorms

Dina Cover, Economist, TD Bank Financial Group

With all the chatter about how the winter wonderland that hit the U.S. in February would impact the employment numbers, the market was anxiously awaiting this morning’s nonfarm payrolls report. Contrary to expectations for massive job losses, the U.S. economy shed only 36,000 positions during the month. And combined with a net upward revision of 35,000 jobs to prior months, the report was a welcome surprise. While the report did not explicitly quantify how the labor market was directly impacted by the snowstorms, sectors that are typically more vulnerable to adverse weather seemed to hold up fairly well. Construction was down 64,000 jobs compared to a loss of 77,000 in January, retail employment was flat, and temporary help added 48,000 positions. All this suggests that the U.S. labor market managed to escape from under a blanket of snow relatively unscathed.

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Can UK Exports Boost the Recovery in 2010?

Trevor Williams, Chief Economist at Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets
 
Figures for December showed a widening in the UK’s trade deficit in goods with the rest of the world to £7.3bn from £6.8bn in November. This represented the worst monthly outcome since January 2009 and called into question the expectation that UK growth in 2010 will be boosted by ‘net trade’, as exports exceed imports. In December, UK imports of goods rose by 5.2% while exports rose by 4.5%. Figures in the second release of UK gdp for Q4 2009 highlight how difficult the path to a strong economic recovery will be in 2010. Although Q4 growth was revised up from 0.1% in the first release to 0.3% in the second, all of the growth came from stocks and government spending. A slower pace of destocking added 0.5 of a percentage point to Q4 growth, while government spending contributed a further 0.3 of a point. UK net trade (total exports minus total imports) deteriorated, however, depressing Q4 growth by 0.2 of a percentage point, despite signs of a pick-up in global demand and the competitive boost afforded by the sharp fall in the pound.

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J-Chart

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Compiled By: Michael Wright, Daily FX Research
Questions? Comments? Send them to instructor@dailyfx.com


 

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