Like in previous years, the year now reaching its end has been an obstacle course. However, Spain has not only made the grade but is set to end the year with a “score” that is considered to be impressive by its European partners (GDP growth forecast at 3.2%). Like all other countries in Europe, the Spanish economy has been exposed and remains exposed to various risks.
China’s slowdown is already taking its toll on Latin American economies, which are struggling to cope with the drop in the Asian giant’s commodity voracity.
Those countries with a high level of foreign investment and doubts over the effectiveness of their monetary policy, will be most sensitive to the change in U.S. Federal Reserve policy.
World trade has cooled down in an economic climate of moderate growth and uncertainty in emerging countries, precisely the drivers of dynamism before the 2007-2009 crisis. But what have also been slowing down over the past decade are the pre-crisis liberalization movements. Instead of falling, some tariff and non-tariff commercial barrier have been bolstered in some key economies, resulting from initiatives that are detrimental to society’s wellbeing, to corporate earnings, to the availability of goods and in terms of both quantity and prices for consumers.
Up until now, many things have been written about the possible consequences – positive and not so positive – of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the US for the European Union. What has not been discussed so widely are the agreement’s geopolitical repercussions on both sides of the Atlantic.
Lower interest rates on deposits, extension of the quantitative easing policy until March 2017… the measures announced in the ECB’s last meeting did not seem enough. This Thursday, ECB President Mario Draghi will chair the first meeting of a 2016 riddled with challenges, with the confidence of someone who has succeeded in dizzying situations and prevented the collapse of the single currency. His pledge in 2012 to “do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough” still resounds in the collective mind of the EU. We will review now some of his most relevant decisions, and what’s yet to come.
El Niño is the warm phase of the ENSO (“El Niño Southern Oscillation”), a meteorological event defined by prolonged warming in the Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures. This year’s event is currently affecting the countries of the Latin American Pacific basin, and could be the worst since 1950, due to the impact of the climate change.
The Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the US seeks, in broad terms, to foster the trade of goods and services and investment between both blocks. The partnership will boost growth and create new jobs, becoming a frame of reference for other economies.