The Euro crisis is not definitely solved. Greece unemployment rate in April 2013 was 26.9% compared to 23.1% in April 2012 and 26.8% in March 2013. The number of employed amounted to 3,636,042 persons. The number of unemployed amounted to 1,337,621 while the number of inactive to 3,337,051. It means that 3.6 million people in Greece are working to support 4.6 million of inactive people. And we had another problem in the country as well. Non-performing loans just surged to €66 billion, amounting to a whopping 29% at the end of March from a “manageable” 24.2% at end-December. That’s a ridiculous 20% increase in total NPLs in three months that was only exposed due to the Troika’s stress testing!
Portugal’s president threw country into disarray on Thursday calling for early elections next year. President Silva proposed a cross-party agreement between political parties to guarantee wide support for austerity measures needed for Portugal to exit its bailout next year, followed by elections. It was surprise for Prime Coelho who thought he had overcome a cabinet crisis. The 10 Y yields on governmental bonds were automatically almost 8 % which creates unsustainable environment to serve country´s debt.
“France is destroying 8,000 jobs a day.” It said Pierre Gattaz, the new leader of business federation in France. It is probably overblown but it illustrates the situation in the country. France is being suffocated by high taxes and an over-regulated system and rising unemployment is direct outcome. Christophe de Margerie, head of the energy giant Total, said it very clearly: “The real problem we have in France is the state. Some 55pc of GDP in the hands of the state, and it is not being very well run. We live in a nanny culture where people expect the state to take care of everything.”
The International Monetary Fund lowered its 2013 global GDP growth forecast to 3.1% from 3.3%. According to IMF US will be down to 1.7% from 1.9% and the euro area GDP to contract 0.6% in 2013, downgraded from the previous estimate of a 0.3% contraction. The revision was made for 2014 as well.
The Japanese government plans to adopt a different measure of inflation. The government plans to use so called “core-core” CPI which excludes volatile prices of fresh food and ass well as energy costs. The change could result in more pressure being put on the central bank to keep flooding the market with yen as the inflation target becomes harder to achieve. Ok. So it seems to me that inflate to infinity is the government official plan now.
As I mentioned above we had the FOMC minutes and Ben Bernanke appearance. The FOMC minutes have shown that it is very probable that the committee is divided about the present 85 billion bond buy policy and the final confusion came from the chairman who claimed that “Highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future is what’s needed” which is a little bit contrary to the FOMC minutes. We had a resignation of one member of the committee afterwards when Elizabeth A. Duke submitted her resignation following day which could be a logical response of what the “other half” of the Fed thinks about present time policy. But who knows.
Guess, do outnumber full-time employed workers in the US the number of Americans who receive food assistance and/or are on disability? Simple answer is not. But do not be so fast. There are 116 million Americans with full-time jobs, which include 21.9 million government workers. The number of Americans who receive some kind of social assistance is 112.5 million. So far so good there are only 3.5 million more Americans with full-time jobs than there are Americans who are reliant on the government. Not very good perspective.