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Euro-zone - is the misery lifting?...

Ahead of the curve

May 2015

Home / Perspectives / Ahead of the curve: Euro-zone – is the misery lifting?…

Neil Williams, Group Chief Economist
05 May 2015
Ahead of the CurveEconomics
  • AC-0515While our base case is Greece remains in the euro, restructuring risk should stay on the radar. With Greece needing to finance € 10bn in official payments by September, some form of debt rescheduling looks likely, even if Greece does leave the euro.
  • Avoiding the pitfalls of a ‘Grexit’ needs reform & restructuring, & risks further ripple-effects on activity. To test whether the macro strains are still spreading from periphery to core, we update our ‘Misery Indices’ (MIs), which adjust for defl ation.
  • It’s not surprising to again see as the ‘most miserable’ those members having to run austerity to cut defi cits & debt. But, their positions are improving, & this should be sustained in 2016.
  • Most revealing is what our MIs say about convergence. Economic hardship is still higher than before the euro, as converging on low inflation Germany came at the expense of lost growth & jobs.
  • Yet, the divergence since 2008 is starting to correct, offering a counter-weight to the instability from Greece. In this way, though far from fi xed, the zone’s worst macro strains may be over...

 

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Neil Williams Group Chief Economist Neil joined Hermes in August 2009 and is responsible for Hermes’ economic research. He has a forward-looking approach to generate investment strategy ideas. Neil adopts top-down methods – macro and market analysis to identify interest rate and credit value, and sovereign default risk. Neil began his career in 1987 at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), becoming its youngest ever Head of Economic Policy. He went on to hold a number of senior positions in investment banks - including Director of Bond Research at UBS, Head of Research at Sumitomo International, Global Head of Emerging Markets Research at PaineWebber International, and, before coming to Hermes, Head of Sovereign Research and Strategy at Mizuho International. Neil has 29 years’ industry experience and earned an MA in Economics in 1986 from Manchester University, having the previous year completed his BSc (Hons), also in Economics, from University College Swansea.
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