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Emerging Countries
30/03/2023 • By Pascal DEVAUX

In Egypt, all macroeconomic indicators are deteriorating. In 2023, economic growth should slow down and CPI inflation reach a high level. Contrary to the other emerging economies, inflation is expected to accelerate in 2023 -notably given the depreciation of the pound- by around 50% for a year.

The currently high level of inflation remains the biggest threat to the global economy, according to the OECD. Granted, we already seem to have passed the inflation peak several months ago, notably in the United States and the Eurozone. But so far inflation has not fallen much. Yet several factors are helping to reduce inflationary pressures. One of these is the ongoing reduction in the supply-demand imbalance: indeed, supply is coming under fewer constraints while they seem to be rising for demand.

16/03/2023 • By Stéphane Colliac

Business insolvencies started to increase again in Western Europe during 2022. In the United Kingdom and Sweden, where growth has deteriorated since the start of 2022, these insolvencies were even higher than their pre-Covid level, with a more significant increase in retail and wholesale trade. In the Eurozone, insolvencies are still below pre-Covid levels, but the current tightening of credit conditions raises the risk that they will reach those levels during 2023. This also applies to France, where there is a risk of wider negative consequences, in particular because these insolvencies take the form of liquidations to a greater extent than before Covid.

09/03/2023 • By William DE VIJLDER

Coping with uncertainty is at the heart of every investment decision. How investors deal with uncertainty is influenced by the interplay between their conviction level when forming views, the nature of the uncertainty and their decision horizon. It is highly likely that elevated uncertainty shortens the investment horizon: when investors don’t have strong opinions, they will probably adopt a short-term approach (or simply do nothing). Even those with strong views about the medium run -e.g. the risk of recession, which would weigh on equity markets- may opt for a short-term approach when the short-term driver -e.g. getting closer to the peak in policy rates- works in the opposite direction. Such short-termism creates a risk of overshooting and an extreme compression of risk premia as well as a prospect of heightened volatility when the dominant influence shifts from the terminal rate to mounting growth fears.

European union
02/03/2023 • By Jean-Luc PROUTAT

Since 2005, the emission trading system, also called carbon market, is at the heart of the European strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This device that covers around 45% of carbon emissions is based on the simple principle of "polluter pays".

The entities concerned, mainly the most polluting industrial sites, but also the intra-EU airlines, are given emission allowances by public authorities. These are tons of carbon which they can emit into the atmosphere every year.

When they reach the limit, they have to obtain additional rights on the markets or bilaterally. This has a cost. So it is a financial incentive to adopt less polluting production methods based on renewable energies for instance.

23/02/2023 • By Guillaume DERRIEN

The public accounts for 2022 are progressively unveiled by the national authorities, and one observation is emerging for Southern Europe countries (Spain, Portugal, Greece): public finances improved again significantly last year.

16/02/2023 • By Hélène DROUOT

The political crisis worsened in Peru over the last two months. In the very short term, political instability should continue, and weigh on the economic outlook.

Despite the still hawkish messages from the Fed and the ECB, markets are already pricing in rate cuts later this year. What explains these seemingly premature rate cute expectations? They could reflect differences in views on the economic outlook, but it is unlikely these would be so big to justify current market pricing. Another explanation is that investors are rationally managing their risk exposure. Investors know that an unexpected dovish twist in central bank guidance would cause a rally in bond and equity markets. They also know that central banks have no incentive to already soften their guidance but that they have the option to surprise, like they have done in the past. The closer we get to the terminal rate, the bigger the likelihood that central banks would change their message. For investors, waiting to reposition until the announcement is made would be too late. This causes markets to anticipate rate cuts well ahead of time. It reflects an investor attitude marked by the fear of missing out (FOMO), in this case, the fear of missing the rally. It implies that by the time central banks change guidance, markets will already have priced this in. In the meantime, in case of surprisingly strong economic data, rate cut prospects will be repriced and cause an increase in market volatility.

In China, the official PMIs published on January 31st and the most recent mobility indicators show that domestic demand is rebounding faster than expected following the end of the zero covid policy and the re-opening of the country. This trend should strengthen further in the coming months assuming the epidemic curve continues to improve. We now expect economic growth to be slightly over 5% in 2023, up from 3% in 2022.

27/01/2023 • By Stéphane Colliac

The French economy is exposed to both negative and positive factors. The recession risk is significant, as inflation acceleration has weighed and should continue to weigh on consumer appetite. However, some factors may drive growth, as e.g. the gradual recovery of their output to pre-Covid levels. Many sectors have already reached this target, but the manufacturing sector (particularly automotive and aeronautics) still experiences various factors limiting their production. If these bottlenecks ease, growth may well surprise on the upside.

26/01/2023 •

Which issues will rule global economy in 2023? After a year of major shocks with the return of inflation and monetary tightening, the time has come to turn to 2023, which should be a two-stage transition year: the first half being under the sign of disinflation and the second half allowing us to anticipate the major trends of 2024 . A real dynamism throughout the year, which will therefore influence the decisions of households, businesses and also financial markets.

The OECD team presents its focus on 2023.

The year is starting off with contrasting signs in the eurozone, between hope of disinflation and fear of recession.

The Country Risk team presents its focus on 2023.

This year, emerging countries will face a more challenging international environment than last year.

Throughout the year, you will be able to read the publications, listen to podcasts and watch videos from the economists dedicated to countries such as China, Brazil, Egypt and India.

19/01/2023 • By Hélène BAUDCHON

Where do we stand regarding the debate on the possible triggering of a wage-price loop in the Eurozone? About six months ago, when the debate first arose, there was some presumption but no tangible evidence that such a loop had been set off. Today, we have first signs that a wage-price loop is underway but in a somewhat normal way and with a limited risk of a problematic spiral.

12/01/2023 • By Jean-Luc PROUTAT

Europe is still well-placed in the race to adopt more environmentally-friendly lifestyles and to switch over to electric cars, despite being disadvantaged by its higher energy costs.

Economic developments in 2023 will to a large degree be the result of the inflation shock of 2022 and the policy reaction of central banks that followed. Three developments look highly likely: disinflation -in terms of headline inflation- should gather momentum, central bank policy rates should reach their cyclical peak and activity should suffer from the rise in interest rates that started last year, implying that the euro area and the US should spend part of the year in recession. The list of uncertainties is long -the evolution of energy prices and the extent and pace of disinflation are key ones- but there are also several factors of resilience, implying that, all in all, the recession should be shallow.

United States
15/12/2022 • By William DE VIJLDER

The latest inflation data in the US were greeted by financial markets because inflation declined more than expected. However, upon closer inspection, the picture is mixed. On the one hand, there is mounting evidence of disinflation (easing of input price pressures, shorter delivery times, decline of goods price inflation) but on the other hand food inflation remains high and shelter is a major contributor to inflation. Prices in certain services rise at a fast pace due to rising wage costs. On balance, this implies that the Federal Reserve will continue to hike its policy rate in the near term and will keep a firm tone thereafter. It will be in no hurry at all to start easing. For that we will have to wait until 2024.

Summary: In November, Anwar Ibrahim became the new prime minister but the political environment remains particularly unstable. However, in the past three years, the Malaysia’s economy has been buoyant and resisted fairly well to successive external shocks. Economic growth is robust. Although public finances are still weaker than before the pandemic crisis, they have strengthened since the beginning of the year.

For the past 10 years the attractiveness of US Treasuries for foreign investors has been in decline. In the light of official projections that the US federal debt will almost double over the next ten years, strengthening their appetite appears paramount.

Since the beginning of 2022, German growth has never ceased to surprise by its resistance, driven by the end of post-Covid catch-up effects. However, the deterioration of the economic situation is now such that all the engines of growth are weakening and fading one by one. In terms of consumption, investment and foreign trade, all followed a downward trend in the fourth quarter. It therefore seems unlikely that German GDP will continue to grow in the last three months of the year. Despite this, the recession that awaits Germany in 2023 is expected to be moderate and time-limited due to massive public support.

Household wealth -the difference between assets (property, financial) and financial liabilities- matters because in the longer run, it should allow to finance expenditures post retirement. During the pandemic, we have seen in the euro area a big jump in the savings rate as well as an above-trend increase in property prices whereas financial assets suffered from negative valuation effects. The European Commission estimates that, on balance, between the onset of the pandemic and the end of 2021, households accumulated around EUR 2.7 trillion of new wealth in excess of the normal trend. This was considered as a factor of resilience for household spending. Households could save less than normal in case of a weaker economic environment because they had saved more than normal during the pandemic. However, according to the European Commission, by mid-2022 elevated inflation had already eroded the real value of additional wealth by almost 50%, implying a much thinner cushion to absorb shocks.

10/11/2022 • By Guillaume DERRIEN

With nearly EUR 19 bn released between the start of 2022 and mid-September, a third more than during the same period in 2021, the Spanish National Recovery and Resilience plan is gaining traction. However, some obstacles to its implementation on the ground remain.

03/11/2022 • By Stéphane Colliac

Inflation has accelerated markedly during 2022. After a limited disinflation during the summer, driven by lower gasoline prices, the inflation rate has reached a new peak in October. Core inflation is accelerating, and expected food and energy price increases are suggesting even higher inflation during Q12023, before a gradual disinflation. In parallel, as wage growth should accelerate moderately, household purchasing power should exhibit a modest increase in 2023.

European union
28/10/2022 • By Thomas HUMBLOT

According to the latest figures from the European Banking Authority, the ratios of non-performing loans in the Spanish, Italian and Portuguese banking systems reached record lows in the second quarter of 2022. It also appears that their cost of risk remains relatively low following the sharp increase in 2020. However, the cost of risk for Southern European banks is likely to increase again in the coming quarters against a backdrop of a slowdown in economic activity linked to high inflation, rising interest rates and higher energy prices.

21/10/2022 • By Cynthia Kalasopatan Antoine

The Hungarian forint is amongst the worst performing currencies in Central Europe since January 2022. The forint has respectively lost 11 and 23 % of its value against the Euro and the dollar. The Central Bank of Hungary even intervened last week to shore up its currency. Why is the forint more affected than other currencies in the region? A few explanations below.