RaboResearch - Economic Research

Economic Comment

Een paraplu kopen als de zon schijnt (Dutch)

Vooral uit de eurozone kwam de afgelopen tijd het nodige goede economische nieuws. Dit leidt er echter toe dat Europese beleidsmakers te weinig doen aan de hervorming van instituties en economieën om de eurozone voor te bereiden op slechtere tijden.

Country Report

Country Report France

In the short-term at least, further fiscal austerity and weak employment growth will continue to constrain economic growth. Furthermore, the French economy faces many structural challenges, but still has robust fundamentals.

Country Report

Country Report Belgium

Despite the recovery of the economy, it has lost competitiveness due to higher labour cost and lower productivity growth than European countries. The government deficit decreased below 3% of GDP but the government debt level remains high.

Country Report

Country Report Spain

Despite the improvement of the short term economic outlook, several bottlenecks of the Spanish economy (rigid labour market, weak banking sector) desire policy urgency. Unfortunately, upcoming elections are clearly weighing on the political support to continue with necessary reforms.

Country Report

Country Report Greece

The outlook of the Greek economy outlook is improving, while progress under the bailout program remains broadly on track. That said, future political stability cannot be taken for granted and might weigh on the ability to push through with reforms.

Country Report

Country Report Portugal

The outlook for Portugal has improved in recent months, in terms of both economic recovery and future market access. However, this and next year’s election cycle are expected to weigh on support for further structural reforms.

Country Report

Country Report Denmark

The economic outlook is improving, public and external balance sheets are healthy, and institutions strong. Denmark’s banking system has become more stable, though large dependence on wholesale funding does pose risks. But, the main source of concern is the very high household debt.

Country Report

Country Report Italy

Italy’s recession has come to an end, but the crisis continues. Though, household financial wealth has remained high and the political situation seems to have improved a bit; yet words still have to be turned into action. Besides, weak institutions and large public debt remain a major issue.

Country Report

Country Report Slovakia

The Slovak economy is expected to grow modestly by roughly 2.5% in 2014. Unfortunately, this does not significantly aid the structurally weak labour market, since unemployment is expected to remain persistently high. Meanwhile, the election of a new president bodes well for the business environment and the checks and balances of the political system.

Country Report

Country Report Luxembourg

The economy of Luxembourg took a positive turn in 2013 and the already strong fiscal position improved. However, in the longer term, the country needs to deal with challenges such as legislative harmonisation at the EU level and rising ageing costs.

Country Report

Country Report Canada

After a rapid recovery following the Great Recession, Canada’s economic growth slowed down. The transition to more balanced growth, with stronger contributions from exports and investment has proved elusive. Economic activity remained modest in 2013.

Country Report

Country Report Paraguay

Economic growth is expected to remain robust at around 5% in 2014. Meanwhile, relations with the Mercosur countries are improving after tensions had increased in 2012. Similarly, the fiscal position is set to improve after deteriorating in recent years.

Country Report

Country Report India

India’s parliamentary elections in April-May are the focal point of the news at the moment. Even though these elections will likely put the opposition in power, significant policy changes are not expected.

Country Report

Country Report Ireland

Ireland exited the EU/IMF bailout package in December 2013, and has regained market confidence. Nonetheless, challenges remain as the country remains dependent on the external environment, and skeletons may yet come out of the closet.

Column

Ongelijkheid en groei (Dutch)

Ongelijkheid en economische groei hebben veel met elkaar te maken. Dat leert in ieder geval het nieuwe boek van de Franse econoom Thomas Piketty. De inkomensongelijkheid is in het Westen de afgelopen tientallen jaren aanzienlijk toegenomen. Hiervan ligt de oorzaak in een verschil tussen vermogensopbrengsten en economische groei. Dit is een zelfversterkend proces. Alle reden om weer heel goed na te denken over de gevolgen van ongelijkheid.