Macro Highlights January 12th 2015

Economic outlook - 1/12/2015

Our Investment Research Department publishes a weekly newsletter with a round-up on the main economic developments and news flow.

The dollar could weaken soon

Oil prices are falling relentlessly. After already plunging 50% in 2014, the value of crude petroleum has shed another 11% since the beginning of the year and now seems to be settling below the psychologically important level of $50 a barrel. The global economy will benefit from this decline, since lower energy costs will provide consumers with additional purchasing power and ultimately add about 0.5% to GDP worldwide 5 (...).

Lithuania has come aboard. will Greece disembark?

The Euro Zone continues to attract new members. After Estonia in 2011 and Latvia last year, Lithuania completes the Baltic region’s roster. European Monetary Union now includes 19 countries (see chart below). Even though it looks constantly embattled as it struggles to rein in debt levels, create jobs, kick-start the economy and generate inflation, this did not put off Lithuanians. For the record, the tiny country applied for membership several years ago and was only narrowly turned down in 2006, owing to what looked like a bout of inflation. In January 2010 it again hoped to join the euro, but this time its plans were thwarted by the debt crisis. Now Lithuania has finally added its population of 3 million to the 337 million who already use the euro as their common currency. After the rouble (from 1940 to 1991), the talon (from 1991 to 1993) and the litas (from 1993 to 2014), the euro will be its fourth currency in 25 years.