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Is there really an ever-widening rural-urban divide in Europe?

In Europe the popular narrative of people in the countryside being left behind, while urban elites benefit from globalization and technological change, is used to explain everything from the Brexit vote to France’s Yellow Vest movement.

Big companies in emerging markets and SMEs in Europe tighten the noose on suppliers

At a global level, the Working Capital Requirement  (WCR) of large companies  - a measure of financial resources that companies consume to cover operating costs and expenses, and run their businesses efficiently – has deteriorated by +1 to 70 days in 2018, back to the highest (worst) level since 2012. 

Germany: H2 2018 déjà-vu fuels recession fears

Thanks to gains in the production of capital and consumer goods, seasonally adjusted industrial production in May rose by 0.9% compared with the previous month. 

Germany: Gloomy outlook

Bad news for German industry: New orders in the manufacturing sector contracted sharply in May, falling by a seasonally adjusted 2.2% compared to the previous month. 

In the footsteps of Sisyphus: The global economy in 2019-20

Just like Sisyphus rolling a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again upon reaching the top, the global economy seems to have gone back to the 2015-16 limbo after two years of strong growth. We expect +2.7% global growth in 2019 and 2020.

Inventories: Painful destocking in sight for European corporates

European companies have witnessed an unusual accumulation of stocks since mid-2018. In March 2019, the Eurozone’s inventories to new orders ratio, based on the Manufacturing PMI, hit a new peak, the highest level since the crisis of 2012 and higher than anywhere else in the world.

Germany: Lower sentiment for longer

German business sentiment registered a renewed albeit limited setback in June, falling to its lowest level since November 2014. 

Aging: A fountain of youth for productivity growth

Explanations abound for why almost all markets are plagued by declining productivity growth. But one often overlooked factor is the age structure of the workforce. Aging is usually associated with slower productivity growth but the U.S. experience shows that workers aged 40 to 49 are the most productive cohort. 

EMU: Slow descent from the debt mountain

The consolidation of Eurozone public finances has made good progress in recent years, with the average fiscal deficit falling to a record low in 2018. But the legacy of the European debt crisis still looms large.

Poland corporates to face headwinds

Over the past five years, Poland experienced rapid economic growth of an average annual rate of +4%, driven by strong foreign demand, an investment boom and a markedly strengthening labor market.