REPORT
Frankfurt Letter, week beginning June 20

-The European Central Bank (ECB)

The European Central Bank (ECB) and the national central banks of the euro area – the Eurosystem – will unveil the new Europa series €50 banknote to the public on July 5, 2016. The new note is planned to be brought into circulation in spring 2017.

The €50 banknote is the most widely used of all euro banknote denominations. More than 8 billion banknotes in circulation, or 45 percent, are €50 banknotes.

- The critical week for Europe has started

The German court verdict on the ECB's Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) program on June 21, the Brexit referendum on June 23 and the Spanish repeat elections on June 26 could hit confidence in Europe.

If the U.K. votes to stay in the EU, markets may not react significantly to other risks.  However, a vote for a Brexit could increase financial and economic risks.

-Economic data

Euro area annual inflation was -0.1 percent in May 2016, up from -0.2 percent in April. European Union annual inflation was also -0.1 percent in May 2016, up from -0.2 percent in April, according Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

The first estimate for the euro area exports of goods to the rest of the world in April 2016 was €172.3 billion, a decrease of 1 percent compared with April 2015 with €173.9 billion. Imports from the rest of the world stood at €144.8 billion, a fall of 5 percent compared with April 2015 at €153.0 billion. As a result, the euro area recorded a €27.5 billion surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in April 2016, compared with €20.9 billion in April 2015.

-News from Germany

The Munich-based Institute for Economic Research (Ifo), has revised up the growth forecasts for the German economy.

Ifo said it expected German gross domestic product (GDP) to increase by 1.8 percent this year, up from a previous forecast of 1.6 percent and by 1.6 percent next year up from the previous estimate of 1.5 percent.

On the other hand, the potential of a Brexit vote has generated concerns in Germany, Europe's largest economy. According to a Ifo study, the majority of German economists and the business community are opposed to a possible Brexit.

-The week ahead

This week there is a scarcity of data for Europe.  However, the German court verdict on the ECB's Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) and speeches of ECB's Governing Council Members are expected to be closely watched by the markets.

21 Jun,2016

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