Matt Quigley

Eurozone crisis: Where things stand

On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma’s office announced that South Africa will contribute $2-billion (R16.3-billion) to an international fund created to bail out Europe’s debt-stricken nations. The government’s pledge is part of a $75-billion commitment from the Brics nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – to help bolster a $456-billion rescue fund administered…

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Euro crisis: What are they on about?

Europe’s debt crisis is looming large over the global economy. Reports are everywhere you turn, but they are often confusing. They tend to be heavy with jargon and light on background. The following quote from a story published by Reuters recently is fairly typical. “German debt prices rose and Spanish bond yields briefly jumped on…

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The economic week in review: More troubling signs

Europe’s woes continued to weigh heavily on global markets this week. A summit of European leaders on Wednesday failed to reassure economists and investors that politicians can contain the growing risks of Greek exit from the euro and continental banking crisis. Here at home, data showed that the rate of price rises facing consumers rose…

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The economic week in review: Timeo Danaos

Fear of the Greeks was the dominant economic theme of the week. Greece’s failure to form a new government after inconclusive parliamentary elections last week drove markets broadly lower as concerns mounted that Europe’s debt crisis may soon get a lot worse. Elsewhere, America’s central bank hinted that the world’s largest economy may require further…

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The economic week in review: Unsettling

The week began with elections in France and Greece that cast fresh doubts on Europe’s ability to contain its ongoing debt and economic crises. The week drew to a close with a slew of disappointing data in China. In between, the United States sent out mixed signals and South Africa reported a rise in unemployment….

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The economic week in review: Fairly awful, actually

Aside from some unexpectedly upbeat news from manufacturers in the US and – to a lesser extent – China, this week saw the release of some truly awful economic data. Here’s the rundown. United States On Tuesday, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing index – an indicator of future activity – defied consensus expectations…

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Vehicle sales speak volumes

Last week’s post looked at the most expensive asset most of us will ever buy: property. This week we’ll take a look at vehicle sales and what they tell us about the economy as a whole. Cars, bakkies and trucks are expensive. For most of us consumers, after our houses, vehicles are the most costly…

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Property: buy, sell or hold?

This week we’ll take a look at the property market and what it can tell us about the broader economy. Certain measures of the property market are leading indicators because they signal the future direction of economic activity. The issuance of building permits and new home sales, for example, telegraph future construction. An uptick in…

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The purchasing managers’ index: way more interesting than the Oscars

Last week’s post looked at a measurement of fear in the financial market. This week we’ll turn our attention to a broader measure of future economic prospects, the purchasing managers’ index (PMI). During its heydays in the 1960s, manufacturing accounted for a quarter of South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP). The sector has since declined,…

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Measuring fear

Last week’s post looked at consumer confidence. This week, we’ll look at a confidence measure of a much more specialised nature. But first, here’s a little background. In October 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, stock markets around the world tumbled as nervous investors ran towards the exits. But not everyone ran. Legendary…

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