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Global Economics Update

First thoughts on B.1.1.529

It goes without saying that it’s still too early to say exactly how big a threat the new B.1.1.529 strain poses to the global economy. We’ll have more to say as the picture becomes clearer, but in the first instance there are three points worth making.

26 November 2021

Australia & New Zealand Data Response

Australia - Retail Sales (Oct. 2021)

The 4.9% m/m jump in retail sales in October brought them very close to their May peak and supports our view that consumption will reverse nearly all of the plunge during the lockdown this quarter.

26 November 2021

Energy Update

Strategic release of reserves is too little too late

The announcement of the co-ordinated release of oil reserves by the US and other large oil consumers should mean higher supply (and downward pressure on prices) but it will come at a time when we expect that the market will be in a surplus anyway. What’s more, the big risk is that the release prompts OPEC+ to slow or halt its output rises.

25 November 2021

Latin America Economics Update

Unpacking the oddities in Mexican GDP

The final estimate of Mexican Q3 GDP data was revised down to a 0.4% q/q fall (original -0.2% q/q), but the breakdown showed the contraction was almost entirely due to an outsourcing law that hit services output. Regardless of this statistical quirk, Mexico’s recovery will remain one of the weakest in the region.

25 November 2021

Emerging Europe Economics Update

Turkey: how strong is the fiscal picture?

Turkey’s public finances have become more vulnerable to falls in the currency in recent years, although we think the likelihood of sovereign default is very low. Perhaps the bigger risk for the public finances is that the pressure on the central bank to focus on growth is matched by a shift to a looser fiscal stance, causing the debt dynamics to worsen.

25 November 2021

European Economics Update

PEPP not guaranteed to end in March

The account of October’s ECB meeting suggests that it is by no means guaranteed that net PEPP purchases will end in March. And even if they do, the Bank may well leave open the possibility of re-starting PEPP purchases later in 2022 if needed. Meanwhile, we agree with the ECB’s message that investors have got ahead of themselves by pricing in interest rates hikes for next year.

25 November 2021

UK Commercial Property Update

Are flexible offices making a comeback?

Over the last two years, serviced offices have seen more upheaval than most other real estate sectors. But there have been some encouraging signs over recent quarters and long-term trends may have moved in their favour, though we don’t expect improved fortunes for flex space will be enough to change the outlook for offices as a whole.

25 November 2021

Commodities Update

The slump in the Baltic Dry Index is all about iron ore

Some commentators have pointed to the slump in the Baltic Dry Index as a sign that shipping bottlenecks are easing. But we think it is more a symptom of lower Chinese steel output and plunging iron ore prices.

25 November 2021

Nordic & Swiss Economics Update

Riksbank injects a dash of hawkishness

In comparison to the chaotic scenes in the Riksdag yesterday, the Riksbank’s November meeting was a more sedate affair. While the Bank is in no rush to raise the repo rate, the insertion of a rate hike into the end of its three-year projection period means it is no longer as decidedly dovish.

25 November 2021

Middle East Economics Update

Tunisia’s fragile external position poses risk to dinar

Tunisia’s external position is in a dire state and policymakers have little ammunition available to defend the dinar. We think the currency will depreciate by more than 10% against the euro by the end of next year and the risks lie heavily to the downside.

25 November 2021

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