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Daily Macro Digest

martedì 20 marzo
Inflation in UK on a lower trend; declining sentiment in Germany (ZEW index) with rising tensions on trade
  • Switzerland: Trade balance (Feb.): 3.14 Bn CHF (prior: 2.07Bn)
  • Trade surplus has increased thanks to a rebound in exports (2.3% m/m), while imports have decreased (-9.5 % m/m).


  • UK: CPI (Feb.): 0.4% m/m vs 0.5% expected (prior: -0.5%)
  • Prices of clothes, household products and transport have rebounded over the prior month.
  • Trend in inflation has moderated from 3% prior month to 2.7% y/y. Further moderation is expected in the coming months.
  • Despite this slower trend, the prospect of a BoE's rate hike in May remains high.


  • UK: PPI Input prices (Feb.): -1.1% m/m vs -0.9% expected (prior: 0.4% revised from 0.7%)
  • Prices of materials purchased have fallen by 1.3% m/m over the month; yearly trend has also moderated from 4.5% y/y to 3.4% y/y, due to base effects and the rebound in GBP.
  • Output prices have followed the same pattern, declining from 2.8% y/y to 2.6% y/y.


  • Germany: Zew (March): 90.7 vs 90 expected (prior: 92.3)
  • Sentiment on current situation and the expectations have both decreased from past month.
  • Sentiment has deteriorated in autos, steel and also in chemical industries reflecting tensions on trade.


  • Germany: PPI (Feb.): -0.1% m/m vs 0.1% expected (prior: 0.5%)
  • PPIs have moderated from 2.1% y/y past month to 1.8% y/y.


  • Eurozone: Consumer confidence (March): 0.1 vs 0 expected (prior: 0.1)
  • Flash sentiment remained stable after the fall seen in past month.
  • Index remains at a multi-year high level.


  • Turkey: Consumer confidence (March): 71.3 (prior: 72.3)
  • Sentiment on future economic environment has eroded further.
venerdì 16 marzo
Rising US consumer confidence and industrial production

US: Consumer confidence (Michigan) (March Prel.): 102.0 vs 99.3 expected (prior: 99.7)

  • Reflecting a very strong jobs markets, this consumer confidence index rose to a new 14-year high, which suggests that consumption growth should pick up soon after a weak start to the year.

US: Industrial production (Feb.): 1.1% m/m vs 0.4% expected (prior: -0.3% revised from -0.1%)

  • Capacity utilisation: 78.1% vs 77.7% expected (prior: 77.4%)
  • The composition of the report was encouraging: production rose in all major sectors except utilities: motor vehicle (+3.9% m/m), manufacturing ex. motor vehicle (+1%) and mining (+4.3%). The decline in utilities production (-4.7%) was the result of warmer-than-normal temperatures in February.
  • Importantly, production of business equipment increased 1% m/m to its highest level this cycle and, together with the solid rise in capacity utilisation, bode well for capital spending on fixed investment in coming months.
  • This adds to evidence that the softer start to the year was only temporary.

US: Housing starts (Feb.): 1236k vs 1326k expected (prior: 1329k)

  • Building permits: 1298k vs 1320k expected (prior: 1377k revised from 1396k)
  • Regarding housing starts, the volatile multi-family category decreased 26.1%, fully reversing a 25.6% gain in January, but single-family starts rose 2.9%.
  • The decline in building permits was largely driven by a 35.2% drop in multi-family units in the South (following a surge in the previous month).


Eurozone: CPI (Feb. F.): 0.2% m/m as expected (prior: -0.9%)

  • CPI y/y: 1.1% vs 1.2% expected (prior: 1.3%)
  • Core CPI y/y: 1.0% as expected (prior: 1.0%)
  • Headline inflation was revised down by 0.1pp to 1.1%.
  • Headline inflation has probably troughed and should accelerate from March onwards, while core inflation should remain on a very gradual upward trend.


Turkey: Industrial production (Jan.): -0.8% m/m vs 1.2% expected (prior: 0.9%)

  • IP y/y: 12.0% vs 6.7% expected (prior: 8.7%)
  • The upside surprise on the yearly rate is mainly due to a change in methodology.
giovedì 15 marzo
US business surveys remain solid; no surprise from the SNB

US: Empire manufacturing (March): 22.5 vs 15.0 expected (prior: 13.1)

  • Strong rebound and the composition of the report was favorable overall, with improvements in the new orders and shipments components, but a slight decline in the employment component.


US: Philadelphia Fed. (March): 22.3 vs 23.0 expected (prior: 25.8)

  • Despite the headline miss, the underlying composition strengthened, with increases in the new orders, shipments and employment components. The prices paid sub-index edged slightly lower after jumping to a six-year high last month.


US: NAHB housing market index (March): 70 vs 72 expected (prior: 71 revised from 72)

  • Confidence among homebuilders declined to a 4-month low but remains well above historical averages.
  • According to the NAHB, builders' optimism "continues to be fueled by growing consumer demand for housing and confidence in the market". However, builders are reporting challenges in finding buildable lots.

US: Initial jobless claims (March 10): 226k vs 228k expected (prior: 230k revised from 231k)

  • The four-week moving average was unchanged at 222k.

US: Import price index (Feb.): 0.4% m/m vs 0.2% expected (prior: 0.8% revised from 1.0%)

  • Y/y: 3.5% as expected (prior: 3.4% revised from 3.6%)
  • In line with expectations after the revisions for January.
  • There is a significant gap between headline and core import prices (1.9% y/y ex food and fuel) because of the sharp increase in energy prices over the past year (petroleum imports are up 18.3% y/y).


Switzerland: SNB meeting

  • As widely expected, there was no change in the monetary policy while the Swiss franc "remains highly valued" and the SNB's willingness to intervene in the foreign market, if necessary, remains “essential”.
  • On the inflation front, the SNB has marginally reduced its inflation forecasts for 2018 and 2019, to 0.6% (from 0.7%) and to 0.9% (from 1.1%) as a result of the somewhat stronger Swiss franc. The inflation forecast for 2020 remained unchanged at 1.9%).
  • The paragraph on the real estate market was slightly more explicit about the risk of a price correction over the medium term in the residential segment.
mercoledì 14 marzo
US: lower retail sales than expected; moderate rise in PPI

US: Retail sales (Feb.): -0.1% m/m vs 0.3% expected (prior: -0.1% revised from -0.3%)

  • Sales ex food, building materials, autos and gas were up by 0.1% m/m vs 0.4% m/m expected (0% m/m prior month).
  • Sales were down over the month for several sectors, except for building materials, sport and internet sales.
  • Some volatility effects have probably weighted down on sales, but momentum has weakened since the peak in sales in past November. These data put some downward pressures to Q1 GDP estimates around or just below 2%.


US: PPI (Feb.): 0.2% m/m vs 0.1% expected (prior: 0.4%)

  • PPIs were up by 2.8% y/y after 2.7% y/y past month. PPI ex food, energy and trade were up by 0.4% m/m (2.7% y/y after 2.5% y/y).
  • Food and energy prices were down over the month, while services (transport sector) were up by 0.3% m/m.
  • Trend in PPIs (core and headline) is still rising, but pressures over the month were moderate and concentrated on few sectors.


US: Business inventories (Jan.): 0.6% m/m as expected (prior: 0.6% revised from 0.4%)

  • Inventories have rebounded in autos and trended slightly higher in building materials. Total sales were weak, down by 0.2% m/m.


Sweden: CPI (Feb.): 0.7% m/m as expected (prior: -0.8%)

  • Trend in headline prices was stable at 1.6% y/y; core inflation was up by 0.7% m/m, up by 1.7% y/y.


Eurozone: Industrial production (Jan.): -1% m/m vs -0.5% expected (prior: 0.4%)

  • Production in energy and intermediate goods contracted in Jan. (good weather conditions), while production of capital goods was up by 1.2% m/m.
  • Trend in total production remains positive, but it has moderated at 2.7% y/y from 5.3% y/y prior month.


Italy: Retail sales (Jan.): -0.5% m/m (prior: -0.9% revised from -0.3%)

  • Trend in sales has deteriorated ahead of elections (-0.8% y7y after -0.2% y/y).


Spain: Retail sales (real) (Jan.): 2.2% y/y vs 2.4% expected (prior: 0.6% revised from 1.2%)

  • Sales have rebounded, driven higher by purchases of household goods.


martedì 13 marzo
US: inflation in line with expectations; rising sentiment among small and medium firms
  • US: CPI (Feb.): 0.2% m/m as expected (prior: 0.5%)
  • Core inflation: 0.2% m/m as expected (0.3% m/m prior month), 1.8 % y/y.
  • As expected headline inflation is slightly rising from 2.1% y/y to 2.2% y/y.
  • Prices of energy and food have moderated, while prices of services were still sustained (0.3% m/m) but prices of services ex-energy were moderate (0.2% m/m).
  • Trend on headline and core inflation should continue to rebuild progressively in the coming months.


  • US: NFIB Small Business optimism (Feb.): 107.6 vs 107.1 expected (prior: 106.9)
  • Prospects of a better economic environment, rising selling prices and higher sales have driven business confidence higher among small firms.


  • Italy: Unemployment rate (Q4-17): 11% as expected (prior: 11.2%)
  • Unemployed has decreased by 54 k over the quarter.
  • Trend in labor is improving, but its pace remains slow.


  • Brazil: Retail sales (Jan.): 0.9% m/m vs 0.5% expected (prior: -0.5% revised from -1.5%)
  • Sales have rebounded after being depressed in Jan.; sales of personal goods have recovered.



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