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Tag Archives: Europe

“Worst December in 10 Years”: Brick-and-Mortar Retail in the UK Faces Overindebted Consumers

But online sales are hot, now at 20% of total retail.  By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. It’s a confusing picture. A monthly survey of retailers published by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) indicated that just 4% of retailers reported good sales volumes for January, whereas 41% said they were poor, giving a balance of -37%, the lowest since November 2011 (-39%). Sales volumes fell in the majority of retail sub-sectors with clothing (-43%),...

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Big Exporters are Losing It: US Manufacturing Gains. Germany, Japan, China not so Lucky

Central-Bank Stimulus Fail: The longer it drags on, the worse it gets? Manufacturing in the powerhouses Germany, Japan, and China took a hit – all of them complaining about exports. But US manufacturing continues to expand, according to a slew purchasing managers indices (PMI) released by IHS Markit. US Manufacturing Clings to Gains: In the US, “manufacturing remained a bright spot as production volumes expanded at the fastest pace for eight months,” IHS Markit reported today. Domestic...

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Uber, Cabify “Evicted” from Barcelona as Turf War with Taxi Drivers Gets Ugly

Will Madrid be next? By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. Less than a year has passed since Uber returned to Barcelona, after a three-year leave of absence. But it’s already planning to leave the city again in the wake of renewed conflict with the city’s highly mobilized taxi drivers as well as the passage of unfriendly regulation. Late last week the Catalan regional government unveiled legislation that would force customers to request the services of...

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What an Investment Fund, in Disclosing a Big Loss, Said about the Housing Bust in Prime Central London

“Probably now enduring its most protracted period of price suppression since records began.” Here is an interesting and colorful tidbit on the housing market in Prime Central London, one of London’s most expensive areas and once the hotbed of London’s breath-taking property bubble, and now a deep morass. A closed-end fund — London Central Portfolio Property Fund – focused on small apartments worth less than £1 million, sent a letter to its investors on January 21 in which it disclosed...

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Brexit’s Ironic Twists Hit Spain’s Biggest Industry

“Peak Tourism” has already set in. Brits account for 22% of tourists in Spain. Now add Brexit. By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. In a delectable irony, two of the biggest corporate victims of a disorderly Brexit could turn out to be Spain’s flagship carrier Iberia and low-cost airline Vueling. Both companies are majority owned by British Airways’ parent company International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), which is UK-based. And current EU rules...

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4 Months of Carmageddon in the EU Wipe Out Gains for 2018

Ford is big loser, Hyundai-Kia big winner, and Opel is someone else’s problem. Sales in the EU of passenger vehicles dropped 8.4% in December compared to a year earlier. It was the fourth month in a row of sharp year-over-year declines that wiped out the growth of the first eight months of 2018: Sep: -23.5% Oct: -7.3% Nov: -8.0% Dec: -8.4% The ACEA (French acronym for European Automobile Manufacturers Association), which reports the EU registration data, blamed this debacle on the...

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Automakers Prepare for “No-Deal” Brexit

They’re already under pressure from the deteriorating market. By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. Honda, the fourth largest car producer in the UK, has unveiled plans to halt its UK production for the first six days of April in order to stockpile parts in the immediate aftermath of Britain’s exit from the EU. The announcement came on Thursday, the same day that UK Premier Theresa May met her Japanese counterpart Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss...

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Italy’s New Government Eats Its Words, Joins Bank Bailout Club

Well, that didn’t take long. And whatever happened to the Eurozone’s new bail-in rule? By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. Italy’s government, in its eighth month in power, has already bailed out a bankrupt bank, mid-sized Banca Carige, with public funds. If approved by European Commission and the ECB, it will be the fourth Italian bank rescue in just over two years. As Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore points out, Italy’s populist government has adopted...

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Brexit Moment in 80 Days, No One Knows What’ll Happen, London’s Finance Industry on Tenterhooks

The stakes are enormous. By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. With just 80 days remaining until Brexit Day, March 29, nerves are fraying on both sides of the English Channel. Nowhere is this more true than in the City of London where the Square Mile’s dominance of the global financial industry faces its biggest threat in decades. In the City’s worst-case scenario — a crash-out Brexit on March 29 — London-based firms that have not prepped properly for this...

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Germany Heads for a Technical Recession

This economic slowdown is not unique to Germany but has been spreading across the EU. OK, this is embarrassing in the land of super-stimulus via the ECB’s negative-interest-rate policy and years of QE that were supposed to perform miracles: Production in Germany’s industry, which includes construction, dropped 1.9% in November from the prior month (seasonally adjusted), the German statistical agency Destatis reported this morning. This drop is also embarrassing because economists...

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