All eyes were on the possibility yesterday that the European Central Bank (ECB) could make changes in the forward guidance on rate and on a potential announcement of new liquidity measures. And Mario Draghi didn’t disappoint: he answered both questions. He announced that the ECB will keep interest rates on hold until at least the end of this year and another series of auctions of long-term liquidity. BBVA Research has just released an ECB Watch report covering and assessing the measures announced by Draghi.
06 Feb 2019
BBVA Research maintains its forecasts of 2.4% growth in Spain in 2019 and 2% in 2020, according to the latest report, Spain Economic Outlook. The report was presented today by BBVA Research Director and BBVA Group Chief Economist Jorge Sicilia, and Rafael Doménech, the Head of Economic Analysis at BBVA Research. BBVA Research indicates that the recovery will continue, although the trend toward moderated growth is expected to consolidate over the coming quarters. Should this forecast be confirmed, the economy could add around 800,000 jobs over the next two years. This would represent a decrease in the job creation rate, but lower unemployment to 12.6% in 2020.
11 Jan 2019
The slowdown taking place in some economies, protectionism, uncertainty over economic policy, an abrupt adjustment in China and rising debt are some of the issues that threaten to provoke another global economic crisis, one that would impact some regions more than others. “The general perception is that we are now past the peak in the cycle of growth of recent years,” says Rafael Doménech, the Head of Economic Analysis at BBVA Research.
10 Jan 2019
The 49th World Economic Forum, known as the Davos Forum, is set to begin on January 22 in the Swiss district of Davos-Klosters. For four days politicians, businessmen, and representatives from social and cultural organizations will gather to discuss global problems and identify solutions. This year, the forum will place special emphasis on international collaboration, giving the world a voice.
13 Dec 2018
The world has recently taken a turn toward trade protectionism. Given this situation, at a forum in Madrid, BBVA Executive Board Member José Manuel González-Páramo proposed committing to multilateralism through the World Trade Organization. He expects “Europe to play a relevant role” in this movement. These efforts are essential, he maintained, because protectionism threatens global growth.
16 Oct 2018
BBVA Research lowered growth expectations for Spain’s GDP to 2.6 percent in 2018 and 2.4 percent in 2019 (representing a drop of 0.3 and 0.1 percentage points, respectively, from the forecast of three months ago). The downward revision is primarily due to a more modest performance in the first half of the year. Lower growth of both exports and private consumption are two important factors contributing to the revised projections. This was the view detailed in the most recent report on the Spanish Economic Outlook, presented today by Jorge Sicilia, chief economist at BBVA Group and director of BBVA Research; Rafael Doménech, head of Macroeconomic analysis at BBVA Research; and Miguel Cardoso, BBVA Research’s chief economist for Spain and Portugal.
06 Aug 2018
The European Central Bank in 2018 began the turnover process in a number of key posts on its Executive Board. The crux will be the end of Mario Draghi’s term in office in October 2019 amid doubts about whether his departure will coincide with a hike in interest rates expected between the summer and the fall of next year.
27 Jul 2018
The European Central Bank on Thursday announced it is maintaining its monetary policy unchanged. Interest rates will remain at current levels until the summer of 2019 or “as long as necessary”, as announced in its June meeting. In doing so, ECB President Mario Draghi gave no further clarification on the next steps in the bank’s roadmap and intoned the mantra of prudence and patience.
06 Jul 2018
The European Council meeting held on June 28 and 29 took some steps toward euro reform; conclusion of agreements will likely occur at the next meeting in December. Although it was hoped that the summit would address key questions like the budget proposed by Germany and France, ultimately the European partners chose to adopt a minimum agreement. The agreement includes measures such as support for a banking resolution fund, but the reform of the euro was deferred.
03 Jul 2018
After the bare minimum agreement on the banking union achieved at the recently held European Council, the debate about the future of Europe continues unabated. With this agreement still fresh, the Bank of Finland invited scholars, representatives of the financial sector and regulators talk about the future of the Old Continent. The experts gathered in Helsinki called for advancing towards a greater banking and capital markets union. The next date in the calendar: The European Council meeting in December.
At its meeting on June 14, the European Central Bank (ECB) set an expiry date for the asset purchase program: December of this year. The program, which started in March 2015, is now approaching its end. It forms part of the non-standard measures that Mario Draghi’s institution implemented during the toughest years of the economic crisis. What do they consist of?
28 Jun 2018
The Council of Europe will hold its June summit at a complex time with significant challenges on economic, political, and social issues. As BBVA Research points out, it also represents an opportunity to further strengthen the EU’s Economic and Monetary Union. As such, the reform of the euro will be one of the decisive elements, although also one of the most controversial.
19 Jun 2018
As the European Central Bank celebrates its 20th anniversary, we take a look back at some of its defining milestones. Not in vain, the ECB has been the guarantor of the euro’s survival and, since 2014, the central axis of the euro area’s financial system. Since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, the ECB took on a role that was pivotal for a huge part of the recovery. However, “it cannot act alone”: “further strengthening of Europe´s institutional and legal framework is necessary to construct a more united and resilient Europe to face future challenges.”
13 Jun 2018
Every time Mario Draghi speaks at the news conference after the European Central Bank’s (ECB) monthly monetary policy meeting, the markets hold their breath. And after he finishes, they react. In the wake of the 2008 crisis, the expectations created by the bank’s message have taken on added relevance. BBVA Research is aware of the importance of being able to gauge if the ECB’s message adequately reflects its policy and has used big data techniques to this end.
04 Jun 2018
The European Commission has presented its proposal on developing a new class of low-risk assets in the form of sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBS). The new security, whose goal is to enhance diversification and reduce sovereign bond risk in the euro zone, was included in the European Commission’s roadmap. The plan unveiled in December 2017 aims to deepen European Economic and Monetary Union.
16 May 2018
Of the tax revenue paid by Europeans, only one euro per taxpayer is used to finance the EU’s budget. In total, the EU manages a budget of about 1% of the gross national income of its member states. Nonetheless, how this money is invested directly impacts Europeans’ lives; it is therefore of interest to understand the EU budget as of 2021, the first spending plan after the UK’s exit from the EU.
27 Apr 2018
As expected, the European Central Bank left interest rates and its asset-purchasing program, or quantitative easing (QE), unchanged. After its policy meeting, Mario Draghi instead stressed concerns about the global risks posed by protectionism as well as the need to focus on inflation.
20 Apr 2018
The Eurosystem is the monetary authority of the euro area. It comprises the European Central Bank (ECB) and the national central banks of the Member States whose currency is the euro. Its primary objective is the maintenance of price stability, and specifically, keeping inflation in the euro area (calculated based on internal stats of the ECB) “close to but under 2 per cent.”
18 Apr 2018
The creation of a Single European Market without borders or customs duties is considered one of the greatest achievements of the European Union. The common market is now 25 years old and finds itself at a moment of crucial change in which digital disruption requires new products and services to be regulated.
12 Apr 2018
Fears of a trade war between the U.S. and China are escalating by the day. Trump announced extra duties on 10% of Chinese imports and the two world powers have entered into a “tit-for-tat” trade retaliation that has unnerved investors and shaken financial markets. Nevertheless, the likelihood that these skirmishes will turn into a full-blown trade war are still low, as explained in a BBVA Research report.
10 Apr 2018
Although the uncertainty surrounding Catalonia’s economic policy hasn’t had the expected negative impact, the favorable global environment seems to have offset the its negative effect on production and employment. Consequently, BBVA Research has upgraded its 2018 and 2019 GDP growth forecasts for Spain to 2.9% and 2.5% from 2.5% and 2.3% respectively. The report was presented today by Jorge Sicilia, Chief Economist of BBVA Group and Head of BBVA Research, Rafael Doménech, Head of Macroeconomic Analysis of BBVA Research and Miguel Cardoso, Chief Economist Spain and Portugal. Under this scenario, the country is expected to generate about 940,000 jobs over the two year period, causing the country’s unemployment rate to drop below 14%.
21 Feb 2018
On January 31st, the European Banking Authority (EBA) announced the formal launch of this year’s EU-wide stress test exercise of the euro area. It also unveiled the macroeconomic scenarios under which the exercise will be carried out. The adverse scenario implies a deviation of EU GDP from its baseline level by 8.3% in 2020, resulting in the most severe scenario to date. The EBA expects to publish the results of the exercise by 2 November 2018
15 Feb 2018
José Manuel González-Páramo, BBVA’s Executive Director Responsible for Global Economics, Regulation & Public Affairs, will chair the recently created Spain-Peru Council Foundation, a non-profit body set up with the aim of fostering relations between the two countries.
02 Feb 2018
Over the past three years, the asset allocation team of BBVA Asset Management has overhauled its investment process to bring as much objectivity as possible to decision-making when building a portfolio. Based on the principles of behavioral economics, the new process aims to determine how the power of the mind affects financial decisions.
31 Jan 2018
BBVA Compass assembled a worldly-wise panel in Houston last week to help its Global Markets clients, all of whom maintain assets outside the U.S., sort through the barrage of global economic news to better understand the risks.
26 Jan 2018
As had been expected, following its monthly meeting the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged. At the same time, ECB President Mario Draghi introduced the exchange rate as an element of uncertainty, stressing that he will monitor the fluctuations in the euro and their possible consequences. Likewise, he reiterated the possibility of broadening the bond purchase program, continuing his accommodative policy, which will be accompanied by interest rates at minimum levels for a long period of time.
25 Jan 2018
Economic activity in Latin America has been invigorated in recent months, in line with the recovery of confidence among families and businesses and a more favorable external context. In its Latin America Economic Outlook for first quarter 2018, BBVA Research forecasts that the region’s growth will increase from 1.1% in 2017 to 1.7% in 2018 and 2.5% in 2019.
16 Jan 2018
BBVA Research maintains its forecasts for Spain’s GDP growth in 2017 and 2018 at 3.1% and 2.5%, respectively. In addition, it expects that the economic recovery will continue in 2019 (with a 2.3% increase in GDP) and that the improvement in the economy will translate into wage growth. BBVA Research’s latest Spain Economic Outlook was presented today by Jorge Sicilia, Chief Economist of the BBVA Group and Director of BBVA Research; Rafael Doménech, Head of Macroeconomic Analysis at BBVA Research; and Miguel Cardoso, Chief Economist for Spain and Portugal. If these forecasts prove to be correct, Spain´s unemployment rate could drop to 13.4% by end of 2019, which would imply the creation of 860,000 jobs over the next two years.
10 Jan 2018
Today marks the second anniversary of death of David Bowie, a pop icon who needs no introduction. Hundreds of lines have been written about his life, career and concerts. But what many are not aware of is that Bowie was also a pioneer in the financial world: he was the first artist ever to issue a “celebrity bond.”
04 Jan 2018
Ignacio Echevarría, BBVA’s Head of Wholesale Funding and Capital Management, explained in the El Catalejo (“The Spyglass”) the factors that, in his view, will determine the evolution of capital markets in 2018.
13 Dec 2017
Agriculture has become the driver of the Argentine economy. Heavy investment in infrastructure (roads, trains, hydraulic construction) will help to improve costs, opening the road to a growth which seems infinite, thanks to a persistent and solid demand.
Once again, the Argentine economy faces critical decisions to avoid a new downturn and take the path to more sustainable growth. Markets are keeping a close eye on the post-electoral roadmap outlined by the administration of President Mauricio Macri.
The outlook for Argentina’s economy in 2018 remains optimistic, with GDP expected to expand by nearly 3% for the second consecutive year. However, achieving sustained growth and attracting international investment will depend, not just on stable macro indicators, but on long-lasting structural reforms. While the initial signs of economic recovery became apparent in the second half of 2016, it wasn’t until mid-2017 that growth rates began to pick up across most industries.
23 Nov 2017
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has just published the list of Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBs) for 2017. The number of institutions remains the same, but with three significant changes. Systemic banks have a major impact on the economy, but what makes them different from the rest?
13 Nov 2017
The European Commission (EC) and the European Banking Authority (EBA) have published their work plans for 2018. The documents describe the specific activities and tasks the organizations plan to carry out next year. Both proposals place increasing importance on the fintech sector, since it could bring about a radical change the financial industry.
07 Nov 2017
According to BBVA Research’s latest Spain Outlook report, 2017 will cap off Spain’s three-year run of GDP growth at rates above three percent. Recovery will continue in 2018, but at a slower pace, in an environment marked by rising uncertainties. The report was presented today by Jorge Sicilia, Chief Economist of BBVA Group and Head of BBVA Research, Rafael Doménech, Head of Macroeconomic Analysis of BBVA Research and Miguel Cardoso, Chief Economist Spain and Portugal. Considering this scenario, BBVA Research has downgraded its GDP growth forecasts for 2017 and 2018 to 3.1 and 2.5%, from 3.3% and 2.8% in July.
27 Oct 2017
- Operating income: Recurring revenues continued their upward trend, growing 4.2% between January and September. This, together with cost containment efforts (expenses dropped 1.7% in the year to September), drove operating income to a record €9.52 billion
- Risks: The NPL ratio continued to improve, reaching 4.5% in September (vs. 4.8% in June), the lowest level in the past five years. Coverage increased to 72%
- Capital: The fully-loaded CET1 ratio rose to 11.2% in September, reflecting a capital generation of 30 basis points in the first nine months of the year
- Transformation: The digital customer base grew 24% y-o-y to 21.1 million in September. Of these, the number of customers banking with their smartphones surged 43% to 15.8 million
19 Oct 2017
BBVA Research has upgraded its Latin America 2017 growth forecast by 30 basic points, citing improvement in domestic demand in Mexico and Peru. The BBVA Group study service expects the region to grow 1.1% in 2017 and 1.6% in 2018.
17 Oct 2017
The European Commission has published a legislative proposal to create a sort of European Securities and Exchange Commission – that is, a European agency that would centralize some of the stock exchange supervision competencies of the national authorities. Once it is approved, part of the activity that takes place on the European exchanges would come under control of the new European authority.
11 Oct 2017
A group of BBVA representatives, led by the Executive Chairman Francisco González, will travel this week to participate in the most important economic event of the year: The annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB). This week is surely marked red on Christine Lagarde (Managing Director of the IMF) and Jim Yong Kim’s (president of the World Bank) calendars. Representatives of the world’s top financial institutions will meet in Washington from October 9 to 15 to discuss topics such as the future of work in the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution or the impact of ‘fintech’ on the financial sector. Concurrently on the same dates and city, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) will be holding its annual meeting, focusing on the future of finance.
10 Oct 2017
The country risk premium is the return that investors demand from a country to buy its sovereign bonds in comparison with that demanded from other countries. It is calculated as the difference between the interest rate of a country’s bonds compared to bonds issued by a benchmark country, considered “riskless.”
29 Sep 2017
After seven years of negotiations, the Canada-Europe Trade Agreement, CETA, has entered into force provisionally. Under this bilateral agreement, the most ambitious signed to date by Brussels, most custom duties levied on trade flows between both countries will be scrapped.
08 Sep 2017
For months, European authorities have been mulling over a crucial issue for the health of the financial sector: reducing the stock of non-performing assets that have been piling up in banks’ balance sheets during the years of financial crisis. The creation of a bad European bank is one of the alternatives that are being considered to solve the problem.
29 Aug 2017
BBVA has participated in a public hearing in the European Parliament, organized by the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI). The aim of the hearing was to allow stakeholders to share their insights into the directive’s insolvency proposal with the MEPs. BBVA was the only representative of the financial sector, a fact that attests to the bank’s relevance for EU institutions on these matters.
28 Aug 2017
Once more this year, the symposium of the most important central bankers in the world was held in Jackson Hole from August 24 to 26. Under scrutiny were Janet Yellen, the Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve and Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank. Their words gave no indications of any changes with respect to the future of monetary policy.
27 Jul 2017
If you ask scientists in the field of artificial intelligence when they expect fiction to become reality and robots’ intelligence to exceed that of humans, they would likely say it’s right around the corner, sometime between 2030 and 2050.
21 Jul 2017
Mario Draghi did not surprise anyone yesterday. As expected, the European Central Bank (ECB) unanimously decided to leave interest rates unchanged. He also did not announce any immediate changes to the asset purchase program. However, he did offer some clues as to the direction the ECB will follow after the summer. As BBVA Research notes in its ECB Watch report, the discussion on gradually tapering QE (Quantitative Easing, the ECB´s asset purchase program) will take place in the fall – most likely in September.
20 Jul 2017
The Pacific Alliance, made up of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, is a regional economic and comercial powerhouse. This area grows more than the average in Latin America. BBVA Research expects GDP growth of 1.6% and 2.3% in 2017 and 2018, respectively. “The Pacific Alliance is a success story in integration. And not by chance. It shares an ambition and a set of values behind this policy, on how prosperity should be reached,” said Jose Manuel González-Páramo, executive director of BBVA in Santander.
Argentina and Brazil are finally pulling out of recession and driving the economic growth in Latin America as a whole this year, despite the slowdown in other countries in the region. According to BBVA Resarch’s ‘Latin America Economic Outlook’ Q3 report, the region will grow 0.8% in 2017 and 1.7% in 2018.