The end of milk quotas: New rules


April 1st 2015 marked the end of milk quotas in Europe, a regulatory tool imposed in 1984 in response to overproduction, leading to the so-called “butter mountain” and the “milk lake”. For the first time in 30 years, the market alone will determine the quantities of milk produced. Are French dairy farmers ready for this? Is the abolition of milk quotas going to make it possible for milk producers to supply the rapidly growing markets in Asia? Or to develop to meet the high level of demand for organic products?

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Is India’s economic revival thanks to the Modi government?


In May 2015, the IMF highlighted India as “one of the bright spots in the global economy”, mainly due to more effective policies and the end of political uncertainty. Coface expects the country’s GDP growth to reach 7.5%. But to what extent have Modi’s reforms contributed to the recent pickup in growth? Are the improvements in the economy without risks?

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Has the US automotive sector shifted safely into top gear?


A recovery sustained by domestic consumption, and recently, increased investment

Following a 35% collapse when the crisis hit, car sales in the United States in 2014 were back at the levels they were at in 2007. The recent fall in oil prices (-48% in 2014) undoubtedly contributed to this. But the recovery of this sector so severely damaged in the crisis, is also being driven by two key factors.

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Coface Insolvency Monitor for Central and Eastern Europe: Economic perspectives improved but corporate challenges remain


Companies in Central and Eastern Europe have experienced turbulent times over the last few years. Economies were challenged by the contraction of private consumption, due to rising unemployment and the ongoing deleveraging process. They were also affected by the double dip recession of their main trading partner, the Eurozone. 2014 was a year of improvement for most CEE economies. The average pace of GDP growth increased from 1.3% in 2013, to 2.5% in 2014. The engine of economic growth was fuelled by internal demand. This is especially visible in the case of household consumption, which is benefitting from lower unemployment rates, rising wages and improved consumer confidence. Low inflation, or even deflation, has reached many economies in the region. This has mainly been caused by external factors, such as lower commodity prices. The improved economic perspectives led to a stabilisation in the number of insolvencies, with a modest decrease of -0.5% in 2014 (compared to +7% in 2013).

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Five advanced economies will avoid the risk of "secular stagnation" within the next decade


More than three years after the official recovery, advanced economies are struggling to return to a path of sustained growth. Some are even forecasting stagnant growth, a situation sometimes seen as irreversible. But not all advanced economies are in the same position when it comes to this risk of long-term stagnation and some exceptions stand out in what is a fragile global landscape. Which of the OECD’s advanced economies have what it takes to accelerate their growth over the next decade?

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Impact of lower international oil prices on Latin America


Latin America is a major producer of commodities and the recent drop in oil prices is impacting the region’s countries in different ways. Which countries could benefit from lower international quotations - and why are others negatively impacted?

Oil prices have been in freefall over recent months, from their peak of 114.81 USD onJune 20 2014, to 48.47 USD on January 28 2015 (see chart 1). The 57.8% contraction is associated with an increase in output, combined with lower demand. On the supply side, the recent shale revolution in the US has raised production in the country to the highest level in three decades. In counterpart China, which is the main consumer (12% of total oil consumption), has demanded lower volumes due to the slowdown in GDP growth. The OPEC decision on November 27 to keep production at the same levels, contributed to the downwards pressure on oil prices. The goal behind OPEC´s decision is to discourage investments in new shale fields, as it reduces their relative profitability.

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