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US Commercial Property Data Response

Commercial Property Lending (Sep.)

Outstanding real estate debt increased for the fourth consecutive month in September, thanks to net lending turning a corner in the residential sector and accelerating in the commercial sector.

15 October 2021

US Housing Market Chart Book

Rising mortgage rates will help cool booming prices

Mortgage rates are on the rise and we expect they will see further gains to end the year at around 3.5%. That, alongside relatively tight credit conditions, will help cool rampant house price inflation. From close to 20% y/y in July, we expect a slowdown to 15% y/y by end-2021 and 3% by end-2022. Stretched affordability will also weigh on home sales, although the drop in first-time buyers has at least arrested the fall in inventory. After four months of consecutive falls single-family building permits were unchanged in August. But with lumber prices rising again and shortages of other materials and labour, we don’t expect a strong rise over the remainder of the year. The lack of homes for sale and the reopening of cities have been positives for the rental sector. Vacancy rates are falling and rental growth is picking up, driving strong investor demand and pushing yields to record lows. We expect yields will stay low for the next year at least.

15 October 2021

FX Markets Weekly Wrap

US dollar falls back as Treasury yields edge down

The US dollar seems set to end the week lower against most currencies, as “risky” assets have rallied and US Treasury yields have edged down a bit. This fall back in the dollar and US yields is somewhat surprising in light of the stronger-than-expected inflation data released Wednesday. But we think those data add to evidence that inflationary pressures in the US remain strong, and will gradually push Treasury yields, and the dollar, higher. And while this week’s rebound in risky assets suggests that concerns about the global economic recovery are fading, the latest activity data from China and the US (due on Monday) are likely to set the tone for FX markets next week.

15 October 2021

Commodities Weekly Wrap

Energy price rally may spill over to other commodities

Most commodity prices increased this week. Optimism over electrification, which was a hot topic during LME Week, seemed to feed through into higher industrial metals prices. But the prices of energy commodities were the pick of the bunch. Brent crude rallied throughout the week and briefly breached $85 per barrel on Friday. OPEC’s monthly oil market report showed that output in September was still 390,000 barrels per day short of target. As prices rise, there are growing calls for higher OPEC production. But it seems doubtful that the group could raise output much faster, unless it abandons the current quota system. Meanwhile, a cold spell that has blown through China has compounded upward pressure on energy prices. That is in addition to the Chinese government allowing coal-fired power prices to rise by up to 20% from base levels from Friday. Looking to next week, China is set to publish its September activity and spending data and Q3 GDP on Monday. We suspect that China’s economy contracted in q/q terms. So far, commodity prices have largely shrugged off the slowdown in China’s economy. And we wouldn’t be that surprised if they continue to do so as currently elevated energy prices spill over to other commodity markets by substantially raising production costs of agriculturals and metals.

15 October 2021

Capital Daily

We doubt China’s slowdown will stop Treasury yields from rising

We doubt that worries about a sharp slowdown in China’s economy will prevent US Treasury yields from rising further, in contrast to what took place in mid-to-late 2015.

15 October 2021

Latin America Economics Weekly

The fiscal risk of rising rates, Mercosur tariff cuts

Central banks were once again in the spotlight this week after the supersized 125bp rate hike in Chile, but one issue that is often overlooked is the damaging impact of rising interest rates on public finances across the region. Brazil is particularly vulnerable on this front, and may resort to financial repression over the medium term to alleviate debt risks. Otherwise, an agreement to cut Mercosur's common external tariff is a positive step towards liberalisation but, as always, domestic politics could be a hurdle for further progress.

15 October 2021

Africa Economics Weekly

FX orthodoxy in Nigeria? Strikes in SA, Ethiopia’s conflict

Comments by Nigeria’s vice president endorsing a more market-based exchange rate regime reflect growing concern about the distortionary effects of the current FX system, but there is no evidence that key officials backing the existing currency arrangements are also shifting tack. In South Africa, ongoing industrial action in the steel industry will probably dampen manufacturing output in Q4, in another hit to the recovery in the sector and the wider economy. Finally, escalating tensions in Ethiopia raise the spectre of more severe strains in the balance of payments.

15 October 2021

Long Run Update

The implications of accelerated renewable electricity use

Accelerated adoption of renewable electricity will cause demand and prices of coal and natural gas to fall over the long run. While we think the global economy will handle this transition well, there will be some winners and losers depending on which commodities countries import or export.

15 October 2021

US Economics Weekly

Labour force exodus shows no sign of reversing

This week brought more news that acute labour shortages and the resulting surge in wages are rapidly feeding through into the most cyclically sensitive components of the consumer price index.

15 October 2021

Canada Economics Weekly

Higher oil prices not a game-changer for the Bank

We are not convinced that the further rise in oil prices this week will be sustained. Even if we are wrong, we doubt that higher oil prices will cause the Bank of Canada to become much more hawkish.

15 October 2021

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