Econintersect: There was a lot of good economic news in Europe last week. There were improvements in one GDP number (UK) and several less bad PMI (Purchasing Manage Index) reports with the Eurozone composite PMI actually nosing back above the 50 level. Some of the news stories we have tracked reflect these glimmers of optimism.
The European Commission says it has reached “an amicable solution” with Beijing in a row over imports of Chinese solar panels. Both sides have agreed a minimum price for the panels, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said.
The driver of the train that crashed near the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela, killing 79 people, has been provisionally charged with multiple cases of reckless homicide. A court statement said Francisco Jose Garzon Amo had been released but has surrendered his passport to a judge.
ROME (Reuters) – Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he would not flee Italy and was ready to go to jail rather than face house arrest or community service if a court upholds his conviction for tax fraud next week. Italy’s highest appeals court will on Tuesday hear Berlusconi’s final appeal against a four-year prison sentence and a ban from public office for tax fraud in connection with the purchase of broadcasting rights by his television network Mediaset …
The UK economic recovery gained momentum in the second quarter. Initial estimates from the Office for National Statistics showed the economy grew 0.6%, twice the rate seen in the first three months of the year. The rise was in line with expectations following increasingly buoyant business surveys in recent months.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble pledged €100 million to help small and medium-sized business in Greece during his visit to Athens on Thursday. But he didn’t bring what the country really wants: a new debt haircut.
Axel Springer is poised for radical change. The German media company, one of the largest in Europe, announced Thursday it is selling a slew of newspapers and magazines in order to focus on its digital business. The move marks a move away from journalism.
The Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index rose above the 50.0 no-change level in July for the first time since January 2012, according to the flash estimate. The PMI rose for the fourth successive month, up from 48.7 in June to 50.4. Manufacturers reported the largest monthly increase in output since June 2011, registering an expansion for the first time since February of last year…
The royal baby is great news for William and Kate, but is it also good news for British tourism?
A bumper week of economic releases includes worldwide manufacturing PMIs, US, eurozone and UK central bank decisions, plus US GDP and non-farm payroll numbers.
India’s largest steelmaker, Tata Steel, has set its sights on the Indian iron ore assets of one of Britain’s largest independent steel trading companies – Stemcor, according to a media report.
In our article on Spanish energy last week (“Cost del sol”) we should have said that subsidies for solar energy (not for all renewable energy) rose from 193m Euro in 2007 to 3.5 billion Euro in 2012. Apologies.
Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is to face trial on pimping charges, French prosecutors say. Investigating magistrates have decided he should be tried in connection with an alleged prostitution ring at a hotel in Lille. The former presidential hopeful has admitted attending sex parties there, but says he did not know that some of the women were paid prostitutes.
NOBODY can accuse the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China’s central bank, of being gun-shy. A few weeks ago its clumsy attempt to restrain dodgier forms of bank lending led to a bout of market panic. Many said the episode would chill enthusiasm for further experimentation.But on July 20th the PBOC experimented again…
BERLIN (Reuters) – The European Central Bank (ECB) could soon publish the minutes of its Governing Council meetings, which until now have been kept secret, two of the central bank’s executive board members said, according to a German newspaper. ECB President Mario Draghi gives a press conference after decisions on interest rates are made but the euro zone’s central bank could soon follow the example of the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England in publishing minutes from the meetings, two ECB policymakers said in an interview with Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung…
Prices of homes and apartments in Ireland are increasing, especially in the Dublin region.
By Alan Wheatley, Global Economics Correspondent LONDON (Reuters) – Three of the world’s leading central banks are likely to reaffirm their determination this week to keep a lid on interest rates for a long time to come, despite signs that their economies are slowly on the mend. The Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England are all expected to repeat or refine their “forward guidance” that borrowing costs will remain extraordinarily low as long as growth is sub-par and inflation is not a threat…
BEWARE the Ides of August. For a month associated (in Europe, especially) with holidays and long weekends, August has seen an awful lot of financial crises. Europe’s exchange-rate mechanism disintegrated in August 1993; Russia devalued the rouble and defaulted on its debt in August 1998; the credit crunch first made the headlines in August 2007; and stockmarkets wobbled again in August 2011, when America lost its AAA credit rating and the euro crisis raged…
LONDON (Reuters) – A clutch of European banks are primed to lift dividends to put them back on the radar of yield-hungry investors after years spent using cash to repair balance sheets.
Survey data collected by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Markit suggest that just over half of all households expect the Bank of England to raise interest rates within the next two years. Just over one-in-three expect rates to start rising within the next 12 months and one-in-five expect to see an increase by the end of 2013.
India’s struggling economy is crying out for interest rate cuts to spur growth but with the rupee on the ropes monetary easing is out of the question at next week’s central bank meeting, analysts say.
Afghanistan hopes an agreement with Iran to use one of its ports will help boost exports to Europe and India and reduce its dependence on neighbouring Pakistan’s ports for trade.
It was the most spectacular bank data leak of recent years: In 2008, former HSBC employee Hervé Falciani disappeared with the information of some 130,000 customers. He tells SPIEGEL he wants to help Europe hunt down its tax dodgers and expose a broken system.