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Variant Perception shortlisted for Wolfson Prize

We are pleased to announce that Variant Perception has been elected as a top 5 entrant for the Wolfson Economics Prize for our piece A Primer on the Euro.  More details can be found at the Policy Exchange website as well as on the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Wall...

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CNBC – Guest Host Appearance

Variant Perception will have two guest host appearances tomorrow (Wednesday 4th April) on CNBC. Chief Editor Jonathan Tepper will be appearing at 9 am GMT while Head of Research Claus Vistesen will be appearing 12.30 pm GMT.

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Twin Deficits Suggest Turkey and New Zealand at Risk

One of the simplest ways to measure macroeconomic risk is to look at the twin deficit, defined as the sum of current account and budget deficit as a percentage of GDP. Recent blow-ups like Iceland and Greece both scored highest on these fronts. Looking at twin deficits gives a reliable indicator of the individual risk profile for a country in the context of a sudden spike in international funding costs or deleveraging. On the latest reading, New Zealand and Turkey stand out (apart from the usual suspects, ie eurozone periphery and South Africa), with twin deficits well in excess of 10% for both economies.

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Australian mining is both cyclically and structurally exposed to a slowdown in China

One of the world’s biggest commodity producers, BHP Billiton, recently got a lot of attention by suggesting that the so far insatiable Chinese demand for commodities may have come to an end. The argument is simple enough: the rate of growth in China is slowing. However, the implications for commodity exporters, such as Australia, who have invested dizzying sums of money in expanding capacity to reflect an ever higher increase in Chinese commodity hunger, may be very big indeed.

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US Labour Market Fundamentals Still Poor

Looking beyond cyclical variations, a lingering concern is the structural undercurrents of a continuing falling labour force participation rate and a high long-term unemployment rate. Both paint a rather bleakpicture of the US labour market.

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UK Inflation Set to Start Rising Again

UK inflation has been falling, driven mainly by a fall in consumer demand, and last year’s VAT increase falling out of the year-on-year comparisons. Looking under the bonnet, however, reveals a disconnect between inflation of ‘necessary’ and ‘discretionary’ goods.

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