EconoMonitor

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  • The Italian Runaway Train

    There has been lot’s of debate in the press and in academic circles over the last week or so about whether Italy’s latest contraction constitutes a triple dip recession or simply a continuation of what’s been going on over many many years. This is an interesting theoretical nicety, but in fact what is happening in […]

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  • Abenomics – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    If this week’s economics news is positive then that is good.  But if it’s bad then that’s even better, since there is more potential for it to improve next week, and if it doesn’t, well that’s doubly better since there will be  even more reason for central banks to step in and push up asset […]

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  • Spain and the IMF: Round the Bend or Out of the Woods?

    “Spain has turned the corner”. With this stark statement the IMF opened it’s annual Article IV consultation report for 2014. Naturally the statement rankled, with this author among others, because at first sight it seems to be saying something which on closer reading of the report you find it isn’t. At best it’s misleading, possibly […]

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  • Japan Inflation At A 32 Year High?

    Just in case anyone was in any doubt last weeks newspaper  headlines blared it out for us loud and clear – Japanese inflation is back, and has even hit levels last seen in 1982. (Click on image below for better viewing). In fact consumer prices in Japan rose at an annual rate of 3.4% in […]

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  • Will Japan Re-enter Deflation in April 2015?

    Reading the most recent statements from Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda or Finance Minister Taro Aso you would get the impression that the days of deflation are now well and truly numbered in Japan. Martin Schulz, economist at Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo, goes even further. “Deflation is over in Japan,” he told Bloomberg […]

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  • Secular Stagnation Part II – On Bubble Business Bound

    “I now suspect that the kind of moderate economic policy regime…… that by and large lets markets work, but in which the government is ready both to rein in excesses and fight slumps – is inherently unstable.” Paul Krugman – The Instability of Moderation “Conventional macreconomic theory leaves us in a very serious problem, because […]

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  • The “Hot Labour” Phenomenon

    Strong growth. Rising real estate prices. Rapid job creation. Surging immigration. This list sums up the Switzerland of 2014 down to a tee. However, it also sounds like a description of what things were like in Spain in 2007 – shortly before the country’s economy fell off a cliff. What follows is a conversation between […]

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  • Secular Stagnation Part 1 – Paul Krugman’s Bicycling Problem

    “What’s really happening fast is the demographic transition, with Europe very quickly turning Japanese.” Paul Krugman – For Bonds, This Time is Different Ever since Larry Summers gave his game-changing speech at last autumn’s IMF research conference the back-and-forth flow of arguments about secular stagnation has been almost non-stop (indeed Larry himself now has a […]

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  • Spain: The Land Where Incipient Deflation Becomes Good News For Headline GDP (Updated 29/05/2014).

    The Spanish National Statistics Office (INE) today published the first detailed estimate of Spain’s Q1 GDP. Basically they confirm the gist of the original Bank of Spain numbers (see my report of 25 March below) although there are some important nuances. In my earlier report, I stressed that Spain’s Q1 surge was as much a […]

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  • Mario Draghi’s Ongoing Faustian Pact

    Word has it that Mario Draghi is busily working up a new version of his “whatever it takes” methodology. This time the objective is not saving the Eurozone, but maintaining the region’s inflation at or near the ECBs official 2% inflation objective. The first time round the President of the Euro Area’s central bank had […]

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