Week in Review & Week Ahead

WEEK IN REVIEW

The ECB has boosted its monetary easing programme through further cutting interest rates (the refinancing rate was lowered by 10 bps to 0.05%, the deposit rate fell to -0.2% and the lending rate to 0.3%) and two quantitative easing programmes. Mario Draghi also stated that the Governing Council is unanimous in its commitment to use additional unconventional instruments within its mandate. The ECB has shown again its strong commitment to boost euro area GDP growth and to avoid deflation, though monetary policy, however easy, will not be able to do it alone. Read more on the ECB policy here. Markets reaction was by now relatively calm, with interest rates on Government bonds falling further in the majority of the EA countries.

This week the World Economic Forum published the Global Competitiveness Index 2014-2015. The world ranking continues to be leaded by Switzerland, followed by Singapure. USA, which rose two places, Finland and Germany, each one down one position, were ranked #3, #4 and #5, respectively.

Portugal surprised passing from position 51 out of 148 countries to 36 out of 144. This represents a fairly good progress since the country’s position in the last years was all above 40th. The “pillars” (out of the 11 included in the Index) contributing the most for this improvement were macroeconomic environment (though still lagging well behind advanced economies) and goods’ market efficiency. There are several sub-indicators within each of the 11 pillars,  the top 10 (best and worst) for Portugal reported below according to the ranking position.

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WEEK AHEAD

8th September

  • Portuguese Quarterly National Accounts Q2 (details), National Statistics: We expect the flash estimate of Q2 GDP growth to be confirmed at 0.6%qoq and 0.8%yoy. Demand details will allow to see the contribution of net exports and investment quantified, which are currently the most critical demand components to foster.  The release may be eventually delayed until 30th September due to work in progress in the National and European Statistical System. The base of the National Accounts will be changed to 2011.

10 September

  • Portuguese CPI August 2014, National Statistics: Prices are expected to fall again in August, reinforcing the scenario of deflation.

12 September

  • Euro Area July’s Industrial Production, Eurostat: After zero growth of GDP in Q2, July’s IP may provide a fist indication on the direction of real activity in Q3. In Portugal, IP rose 3.5%yoy in July.