Simply Economics



A weekly economic recap of U.S. market activity and events.


  • UP 224: Election quandary ups US stimulus doubts; RBA cut raises negative-rate talk

    10/11/2020 Duration: 24min

    The unknown outcome of the US election may be increasing the risk that new fiscal stimulus will either be limited or delayed. Our panel also discusses the Reserve Bank of Australia's move this week to cut interest rates and whether it may be anticipating increasing stimulus, perhaps negative rates, from other central banks including the European Central Bank and Bank of England both of which are facing a rising tide of Covid infections.

  • UP 225: Vaccine game changer; when to withdraw stimulus

    10/11/2020 Duration: 23min

    Monday's announcement of a breakthrough vaccine promises perhaps a timely turnaround for the global economy, in turn raising questions whether central banks will begin the delicate policy shift to stimulus withdrawal. Jeremy Hawkins and Mark Pender also discuss the latest implications of the US election as well as the immediate economic outlook which, given new restrictions underway in Europe, may not be positive at all.

  • UP 223: Global stimulus posing future risks; markets stable, growth struggling

    20/10/2020 Duration: 30min

    Financial markets, including currencies, are showing no dislocations despite surging global debt and aggressively stimulative monetary policy. And even more aggressive policy may in store amid the possibility that the general weakness of the economic recovery will force yet more central banks to adopt negative policy rates.

  • UP 222: Market risk and the EU summit

    13/10/2020 Duration: 31min

    What to expect or not to expect from the EU leaders' summit is this week's feature, one that poses possible and immediate risks to UK assets. Jeremy Hawkins and Mark Pender also discuss worldwide debt, worldwide disinflation, Greek bonds and global growth forecasts.

  • UP 221: Asia doing best, US next, Europe last; Cries for fiscal help

    08/10/2020 Duration: 29min

    Relaxation of Covid restrictions is giving much of Asia an economic lift, while lack of new restrictions is a plus for the US. Yet in Europe infections are on the rise at the same time that inflation is moving in the wrong direction, both pressuring the European Central Bank to perhaps increase QE. For all regions, new fiscal stimulus, delayed or not, is the universal cry.

  • UP 220: Central-bank policy cohesion showing cracks; fiscal outlooks updated

    06/10/2020 Duration: 27min

    Reflecting the strains of Covid in Europe, splits may be showing at both the European Central Bank, where calls are appearing for greater QE, as well as the Bank of England where talk of negative rates has re-emerged. Jeremy Hawkins and Mark Pender also update the outlook for fiscal stimulus both in Europe and the US, and also discuss the possible market impact of US politics and the first presidential debate.

  • UP 219: Europe facing second wave; September PMIs prove mixed

    29/09/2020 Duration: 33min

    How to control the pandemic while not limiting the economic recovery is the question for policy makers in Europe where talk of a second wave is building. Jeremy Hawkins and Mark Pender discuss the general outlook for fiscal stimulus as well as September's run of PMIs and what to expect from the coming Swiss National Bank assessment.

  • UP 218: Inflation versus Employment: Differences in Policy Approach

    15/09/2020 Duration: 35min

    Inflation is the first topic of discussion among many European central-bank policy makers, in distinct contrast to the US where the labor market is top on the agenda. The relative role that currency plays in policy making is also discussed, as are the latest developments over Brexit (specifically the UK’s Internal Market Bill).

  • UP 217: European Stimulus in Focus; Brexit Heats Up

    08/09/2020 Duration: 28min

    New stimulus from the European Central Bank on Thursday isn't likely but, given economic slowing and rising Covid rates, is possible. Uncertainty over passage of July's European recovery package is another risk our panelists discuss as well as new uncertainty over Brexit as the UK toughens its stance.

  • UP 216: Global Recovery Slowing; New Policy Tool Unveiled

    08/09/2020 Duration: 35min

    Our panelists update economic activity in Asia, North America, and Europe with the general assessment that the recovery may, on net, be unfolding somewhat slower than expected. Also addressed is the Federal Reserve's move to embrace inflation averaging, what it means and whether other major central banks might go down the same route.

  • UP 215: The politics of economic recovery: Who does it favor?

    18/08/2020 Duration: 27min

    How is the sharp bounce back in economic data affecting politics, including the pending election in the US? Jeremy Hawkins and Mark Pender also tackle questions surrounding the general weakness in production versus strength in retail sales and home sales.

  • UP 214: Liquidity boosting markets, propping up consumer

    11/08/2020 Duration: 23min

    The great wave of central bank stimulus is finding a home in the equity markets as the great wave of fiscal stimulus is supporting consumers and driving up retail spending. Jeremy Hawkins and Mark Pender consider the outlook for stimulus, including the risk to financial markets of it winding down should Covid-19 cases begin to ebb.

  • UP 213: China alone in Asia recovery, US jobs key for fiscal stimulus, European growth doubts resurface

    06/08/2020 Duration: 28min

    Economic data in Asia, tied to infection levels, are diverging with China bouncing back but others still contracting. For the US, Friday's jobs report will update whether the US is also bouncing back, if not then pressure for fiscal stimulus would heat up even further. In Europe, rising infection levels are raising questions over the third-quarter outlook.

  • UP 212: Elevated Covid Infections Rattle the Outlook

    28/07/2020 Duration: 20min

    Heightened rates of infection, especially in the US, are pulling down consumer and business outlooks in results that do not support a 'V'-recovery. Jeremy Hawkins and Mark Pender also discuss upcoming indicators including US GDP, where massive contraction is expected, as well as Germany's CPI which is at risk of being skewed lower by a cut in value-added taxes.

  • UP 211: Europe's Recovery Deal Explained; Italy and Spain to Benefit

    21/07/2020 Duration: 33min

    The good news is that Europe's recovery agreement marks a positive step toward a harmonised fiscal policy and takes a little of the heat off the European Central Bank to further stimulate growth. However, securing the prospective transfer of wealth from the European Union’s northern members to its southern states has highlighted major differences over economic policy and done little to bolster the Eurozone’s political credibility.

  • UP 210: European Policy: How Much More Stimulus to Expect

    14/07/2020 Duration: 28min

    No new stimulus is expected from the ECB on Thursday though the outlook for the EU leaders summit at week's end, and details on an expected €750 billion bailout fund, is less certain. Jeremy Hawkins and Mark Pender also discuss the latest global data along with US fiscal policy as well as the UK's move to ban Hauwei and what it might mean for post-Brexit trade.

  • UP 209: Hong Kong's Status in Question

    08/07/2020 Duration: 21min

    How much of Hong Kong's distinctive character is permitted to survive will be key to how foreign businesses respond to China's security move. And what advantages Hong Kong loses as a financial center will likely pass to two rival financial centers, Singapore and Shanghai. Our panel also discusses high-flying stock prices in the US, economic resilience in Switzerland, and lack of progress in Eurozone recovery plans.

  • UP 208: Covid-19: Germany Gets Going Again

    01/07/2020 Duration: 24min

    Economic damage from the coronavirus appears to have been comparatively less severe in Europe, reflected in retail sales data, including from Germany, that have been rebounding sharply higher. German employment has also been favorable, showing only minimal damage and underscoring the success of the government's crisis efforts. Unemployment benefits, value added taxes and US employment data are also discussed.

  • UP 207: US, European Activity Levels Still At Virus Lows

    24/06/2020 Duration: 27min

    Flash PMIs for June are pointing not to increasing rates of growth but to stabilization near the deep lows when the virus first hit. Economic risks posed by rising infections in the US and clusters of infections in Europe are also discussed as are yield curve controls, Italian bonds, as well as social distancing rules for UK pubs.

  • UP 206: US Consumer on Comeback, But Will Europe Follow?

    16/06/2020 Duration: 29min

    Government stimulus together with pent-up demand drove US retail sales sharply higher in May, raising the question whether consumer spending in Europe may also rebound. Other topics include quantitative easing at the Bank of England, foreign exchange intervention at the Swiss National Bank, and Europe's stake in ongoing Brexit negotiations.

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