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  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Fiat announced a sharp fall in May car sales in Italy on June 5 and its debt is under review for a possible ratings downgrade. The world's sixth-largest car maker is one of many manufacturers facing difficult profitability conditions. Global sales volumes in the industry have remained high, but profits have not followed suit. Mergers, the most rational panacea, are confounded by bitter experience.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece is on the international implications of a weaker US dollar. Seventeen weeks of dollar weakness raise the questions of whether the dollar is on a sustained path of decline, and what the implications are internationally. The 6% nominal effective decline in the dollar since January 31 might be sustained due to US financial and macroeconomic factors. Overall, the effect would be positive for Europe and the United States, and might encourage domestic demand growth in export-oriented Asian economies.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: A textbook approach to economic growth suggests the world is in for a difficult period. However, there are reasons to believe that the global economy will defy convention. The global economy will continue to support US external imbalances for the medium term, barring marked deterioration in certain areas of US weakness. However, European integration and Asian development could provide alternative sources of global demand, relieving the current imbalance of global dependence on the US economy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece examines the outlook for euro-area economic performance. Despite some indications of improvements in the global and euro-area economies, it is too early to assume that these signify a lasting recovery.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: US trade officials said last week that EU estimates of damages arising from US export subsidies were exaggerated. EU trade officials have asked the WTO to approve 4 billion dollars worth of trade sanctions against the United States, after the latter lost an appeal before the WTO on the tax treatment of foreign-source income — judged to be illegal export subsidies. Washington must amend its tax laws or face the prospect of retaliatory trade restrictions.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Washington
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece examines the ECB's monetary and communication policy. The Governing Council of the ECB has appeared fairly unmoved either by widespread criticism of its communication policy or by growing pressure for lower interest rates. The ECB has no choice but to remain committed to its price stability mandate, despite the change in economic climate. However, in doing so, it remains vulnerable to the dilemmas posed by the combination of strong independence and a narrow mandate.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The outlook for trade ties between the EU and Mercosur. EU-Mercosur trade negotiations earlier this month gave a vigorous push to commercial negotiations between the two regions. The EU presented a detailed proposal for liberalising EU-Mercosur trade during the next ten years. Trade talks between the EU and Mercosur have now reached a more advanced stage than the talks on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The current bubble in 'technology stocks' has led to official concern about over-enthusiasm by investors and the banking consequences of a sudden price collapse. The first signs of the long awaited shift emerged last week, as investors shifted from fashionable technology, media and telecoms (TMT) stock back into traditional 'old economy' blue chips. Capital flooding in from Europe and Japan to the United States has been attracted to booming markets led mostly by these stocks. The rest of the market (misleadingly known as the 'old economy') has risen comparatively little.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The quarter-point increase in the fed funds rate announced at the November 16 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting was accompanied by the adoption of a neutral directive for the inter-meeting period, in place of the bias towards tightening in force since early October. The directive indicates that the Fed intends the rise to be the last of this year. However, the OECD, in its recent Economic Outlook, predicted that another one percentage point increase in the fed funds rate will be needed to restore demand and supply to equilibrium. While the economy will probably not slow sufficiently of its own accord, the incentives to defer action into 2000 mean that rates are likely to remain as they are during 1999, though probably associated with an announced bias towards tightening.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The attractions of the single european currency are likely to draw the Scandinavian countries into the euro-area by around 2003. However, the outlook for United Kingdom accession is complicated by differences in its economic profile compared with the rest of the euro-area, combined with its enduringly euro-sceptical public opinion. These factors are likely to postpone its accession until later in the decade.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: In recent weeks, economic data has produced conflicting signals about the strength of domestic demand within the US economy. A majority within the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) believes that growth will decelerate and that only a small tightening of monetary policy will be necessary in the short term. However, the Federal Reserve has consistently underestimated domestic demand, and there are signs that the economy is still buoyant. Moreover, with improving economic prospects in Europe and Asia, the external forces encouraging lower US interest rates are likely to be reversed. The combination of these factors could put pressure on the Fed to tighten further.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Asia