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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.

Germany
25/11/2022 • By Anthony Morlet-Lavidalie

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.

Spain
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.

France
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.

Hungary
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.

Qatar
14/10/2022 • By Pascal DEVAUX

The Qatari economy is dominated by the gas rent, which provides large revenues and is a buffer against external shocks. As gas production is expected to rise by 60%, Qatar will continue to benefit from the favorable prospects of the gas market in the short and the medium term. In the long term, in a context of decarbonisation of economic activities, gas should be a transition fuel. However, the Qatari dependency on hydrocarbon will remain very high.

United Kingdom
07/10/2022 • By Félix BERTE

Gilt yields surged right along the yield curve, increasing downward pressures on the pound sterling.

The rise in market interest rates since the beginning of 2022 has led to higher bank lending rates in the euro area. Both rates of loans for housing purchase and those of loans to non-financial corporations have been affected. For the time being, developments in bank loans outstanding do not reflect the tightening in bank lending conditions but the early consequences could materialize in 2023.

France
23/09/2022 • By Stéphane Colliac

After inflations comes recession? Not systematically, but the nature of the inflation observed since early 2022 lets expect an increased risk of recession for the French economy. During H1 2022, already, the French economy has avoided a recession mainly thanks to the recovery of tourism. However, a couple of shocks has materialized, from drought to higher energy prices and including increasing constraints to energy supply. Corporates have already planned production cuts and the probability for a recession during the next 6 months is increasing.

15/09/2022 • By Salim HAMMAD

Inflation in Latin America is growing at its fastest pace in over 20 years. Already in 2021, inflation had doubled to reach 6.6% – a level comparable to the financial crisis of 2008. In 2022, inflation projections are even higher and should come in at some 8 to 10%. So which countries have witnessed the largest price increases? What are some of their drivers? And what are monetary authorities doing to contain them?

While the first half of the year was better than expected in the Eurozone, the outlook for the second half is negative. According to our forecasts, the Eurozone will not escape a contraction of its GDP in the coming quarters. The current unprecedented combination of shocks (inflationary, health, geopolitical, energy, climate, monetary) should overcome the resilience observed so far.

The last twelve months, inflation has continued to surprise to the upside, due to a combination of a series of supply shocks (covid-19, disruption and shortages, the war in Ukraine, weather conditions) and the strength of demand, which had been underestimated.

Today, the broad-based nature of inflation and its persistence are the real issues, which reduce the visibility in terms of future inflation developments. Therefore, central banks have decided to change their approach. The theory of inflation and monetary policy has been put aside, the only thing that matters are the data.

The main worry of the ECB and the Fed is that inflation expectations become unanchored and influence pricing decision of companies as well as wage negotiations. Consequently, the central banks’ overriding objective is to slow down demand growth by hiking rates, hopefully helped by the absence of new supply shocks.

Turkey
22/07/2022 • By François FAURE

Turkey's economic situation continues to offer a stark contrast, with resilient growth on one hand and soaring inflation, dwindling foreign exchange reserves and a depreciating lira on the other. In short, the reed bends but does not break. Some explanations in this new issue of Eco TV Week.

The prospect of several rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, as well as the risk of disruption of gas supply in Europe and its negative impact on growth, are the main factors that have recently caused a depreciation of the euro versus the dollar, leading to a parity between the two currencies. The economic consequences are significant for the euro area and predominantly negative, the only positive one being a gain in competitiveness. In the short term, a change in direction is unlikely but in the medium term the euro should strengthen against the dollar.

Peru
08/07/2022 • By Hélène DROUOT

After a rebound over 13%, one of the highest growth rates in the region, we should see a major slowdown in Peru in the next two years. On one hand, inflationary pressures, social movements and the gradual withdrawal of support measures taken by the authorities during the pandemic will weigh on domestic demand.

 

01/07/2022 • By Hélène BAUDCHON

It is important to keep talking about climate change and the energy transition because it builds awareness of the issues, helps us better understand what needs to be done, and makes the necessary measures easier to accept. So, let’s keep talking about climate with this update on some of the major European advances that were made over the past few days.

“When the construction sector goes well, so does the economy”. This motto was emblematic of  the French business cycle behaviour over the last decades. As a matter of fact, current order books are still at their record level, roughly at 9 months. Against this background, the sector is experiencing heightened pressures, such as cost pressures, which are increasingly reverberating on prices and margins. Moreover, in parallel, demand is already decreasing as reflected by new orders. As a result, sector’s activity may well ease in the future.

Portugal
17/06/2022 • By Guillaume DERRIEN

So far, Portugal has been generally less affected by the economic repercussions of the war in Ukraine than its European neighbors. The situation worsened this spring, inflation reached 8% in May, leading to a sharp drop in household confidence. Nonetheless, Portugal should be one of the best performing euro zone economies in 2022.

Against the background of the war in Ukraine and the marked slowdown in economic activity, the return on equity of the largest Italian banks felt significantly in the first quarter of 2022. The rise in the cost of risk erased the positive jaws effect of the increase in operating income and the decrease in operating expenses. Non-performing loan ratios nevertheless remain at historically low levels while equity ratios remain at historically high levels.

Eurozone
03/06/2022 • By William DE VIJLDER

Climate change and the energy transition are high on the European agenda. Last year, 'Fit for 55' was presented, a plan to deliver the EU's 2030 climate target on the way to climate neutrality and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. Following the war in Ukraine, REPowerEU was launched, with the ambition to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward the green transition. These initiatives imply that millions of households and businesses will need to make  investments in order to save energy and use alternative energy sources.

United Arab Emirates
27/05/2022 • By Pascal DEVAUX

In United Arab Emirates, economic prospects are positive in the short term thanks to higher oil prices and the recovery in the service sector. In the medium term, ongoing reforms of public finances will reinforce fiscal metrics. Nevertheless, the oil dependency should remain significant, and leveraged government related entities are vulnerable to monetary tightening.

China
20/05/2022 • By Christine PELTIER

In China, economic activity contracted in April and the short-term economic outlook remains uncertain. In this complicated environment, how is credit risk evolving?

Eurozone
13/05/2022 • By Hélène BAUDCHON

One of the economics themes currently being debated, the possible start of a wage-price loop is a cause for concern. However, at first and under normal conditions (which, it is true, is not the case right now), a wage-price loop is not a problem in itself.