PwC/AGEFI Monthly Barometer - September 2017

Two contrasting trends contributed to the decrease in our barometer, which dropped two points to settle at +26 this month. One the one hand, we have the positive manufacturing outlook for Luxembourg, but this could not make up for, on the other hand, the significant decline in the Eurozone's ZEW index.

Locally, Luxembourg's economy continues to strengthen: overall GDP growth estimated to be 4.8% for this year, inflation rose to 1.9% in July, and Insurance sector premiums grew by 27.2% in the first six months of the year. Excluding SICAVs, net assets held by undertakings for collective investment domiciled in Luxembourg grew by 12.7% year-on-year, to settle at just over 3.9 trillion euros. Finally, the CSSF gave authorisation for China Everbright Bank to begin operations in the country, making it the seventh Chinese bank to do so, strengthening Luxembourg's status as an offshore Renminbi hub.

Regionally, the Eurozone's economic outlook is somewhat bittersweet. The PMI accelerated faster than expected in both Germany and France, and the European Commission's business and consumer survey reached 119.9 points, the highest in 10 years. But, these could not offset the ZEW investment sentiment index falling by 6.3 points to settle at 29.3, much lower than the originally anticipated 34.2. Investors should, therefore, exercise caution when navigating the financial markets, due both to this and the changing macro landscape. Especially as the ECB is expected to slowly rein in the loose monetary policy, and as the Euro's two year high may impact exports.

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