Franco-German Divide Nears Record High
Yesterday we mentioned the chasm between European union nations' minimum wages from the core to the periphery, but when even the so-called 'core' nations are diverging aggressively in their macro-conditions, we ask - rhetorically once again - how can they expect to hold this together with a single monetary policy. The difference is exhibited in many ways: manufacturing (yesterday's PMIs) differentials are the highest since Feb 2011, and as Bloomberg notes, the third highest on record; France's weakness relative to its German neighbor is also evident in GDP where Germany has recovered its post-2008 losses but France remains lower; Unemployment levels are stunningly wide with Germany at a mere 5.3% relative to France's 10.6%. All of this is summed up perfectly in the 'Taylor Rule' suggesting main policy rates that are 4 percentage points apart - a record since the Euro began - stoking inflationary concerns in Germany (relative to France). The market, as repressed as it ever was, is starting to wake up to this divergence with France 10Y yields at their widest relative to Germany in 2013 today.
The divergence was just as wide in 2005 - but the other way - though it seems policy is set around the French market (green) and not the German (red)
400bps differential in policy rate now is a record...
So Draghi will cut and hike; ease and tighten; jawbone and make it all ok...
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