Are real estate prices too expensive in France ?

Real estate prices for the first quarter of 2013 have just been published. It’s interesting to compare them on a long time period with other prices or income. That’s what I’ve done in this post. I have taken households’ disposable income, the CAC 40 stock index (ex-dividends) and the consumption price index. I took attention to avoid taking a peak or a through as starting date. That’s why I’ve started in 1990. But the comparison really starts in 1996 as real estate price index published by INSEE begin in 1996.

France-en-2013-Q1-realestateprice-income

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China, Euro Area, Bernanke: Elements from the last 24 hours

Growth is not on an upside trend, that’s the conclusion we can have after surveys publications today in China and in the Euro Area. In both regions, activity was shrinking in May.

In China the manufacturing sector synthetic index was down at 49.6 below the threshold of 50 that separates improvement (above 50) and deterioration (below 50). This is the first time since last October that the index is below 50. Continue reading

Just published last week – Three charts to characterize the Euro Area and allow to answer the question: Is Euro crisis over?

Three statistics that have been published in the week between May 12 and May 19 characterize the economic situation in the Euro Area. First it is the GDP growth number for the first quarter of 2013 then it is the external trade balance for March and then the detailed publication of the inflation rate for April.
With these three perceptions we can have an almost complete picture of the short term dynamic of the economy    . Continue reading

GDP profile for France and Germany at the end of the first quarter 2013

Even if GDP growth number is positive in Germany and negative in France, GDP profile lacks of momentum in both countries. A detailed analysis will come later during the day but it’s important to have the two profiles in mind

France
GDP dropped by -0.2% in the first quarter of 2013 . It was the same number during the last quarter of 2012 (numbers are -0.65% and -0.8% at  annual rate respectively). Compared to the first quarter of 2010 economic activity is -0.4% lower. Carry Over growth for 2013 was -0.3% at the end of the first quarter.
The most problematic issue on France is the GDP profile. On the chart we see that since the first quarter of 2011 its level is almost unchanged. The main challenge for the government economic policy will to change this profile on the upside as such a trajectory  is consistent with a reduction of employment.
Only companies’ investment can change this profile rapidly, but a stable financial and fiscal framework is needed to reduce uncertainty.

France-en-2013-Q1-gdptrend

Germany
GDP was up by 0.1% during the first quarter after a deep drop of -0.7% in the last quarter of 2012 (+0.25 and -2.7% at annual rate respectively). Compared to the first quarter of 2012 GDP level is lower by -0.25% and carry over growth for 2013 is negative at -0.3% at the end of the first quarter.
German GDP profile does not show a strong momentum. It’s weaker than, expected.

Germany-2013-Q1-GDPtrend

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Climate Change indicators change dramatically – Time to wake up

The chart on trend in atmospheric CO2 has been seen in every newspaper. In early May, concentration of CO2 was above 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in 4.5 million years. This could allow some alarmist articles. But once they are read every one of us goes back to its usual business. The main challenge of the planet does not change our everyday life, expecting that someone else will take care of it and will be able to change the future. Continue reading

France: the disturbing path of the Industrial Production Index

The chart below presents the French Industrial Production index on a very long period. We clearly see 3 different episodes. During the 60’s growth was really strong, the slope was steep. After the first oil shock growth was slower, the slope was milder than before. The third episode started in 2008. It represents a deep break in industrial activity.

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